Search

Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Elizabeth Pond
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In the Ukraine crisis, soft economic power last month trumped hard military power for the first time. The threatened meltdown of the Russian economy could push Russian President Vladimir Putin to dial down his undeclared war on Ukraine in return for some easing of Western financial sanctions. Still, that is not assured.
  • Topic: Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Daniele Fattibene
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia’s “pivot to Asia” has come to the fore in the wake of the crisis over Ukraine. Growing tensions with the West over the common neighbourhood, coupled with economic sanctions, have accelerated this trend, with China gaining in strength as both an economic and military partner to Moscow. The Kremlin’s propaganda has sought to convince the broader public that Russia’s strategies in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Arctic region are a complement to China’s new Silk Road Economic Belt. Nonetheless, behind the headlines huge potential problems jeopardise the emergence of a durable Sino-Russian consensus in Eurasia. Against this backdrop, the EU should opt for “strategic patience.” This would be a far more effective policy choice than finger pointing, which only deepens the mutual ideological clash between the EU and Russia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-69-9
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Sergey Ryabkov, Armen Oganesyan
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: To get down to the facts, in April, Russia’s BrICs presidency got off to a flying start. Within two and a half months, a number of major BrICs related events took place in Russia. Furthermore, a major nonproliferation forum took place, a review conference in new York from late April until late May. this event is held once every five years. and I should also mention perhaps a series of very important, intense and constructive contacts at the top and other levels with the leaders of Latin american countries. This sets the current year apart from the previous year and the year 2013.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Security, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Dr. Ariel Cohen, Ivan Benovic
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, a number of gas disputes between Russia and Central and Eastern European countries have unveiled the strategic dependence of Europe on Russian piped gas. The recent Ukrainian crisis demonstrated that Europe has a desperate need to improve the security of its gas supply. The United States is interested in the economic stability and growth of Europe, because the European Union (EU) is its principal and largest economic partner. The United States and the EU enjoy the largest trade and investment relationship in the world, which should not be jeopardized by disruptive, anti-status-quo powers. Europe’s energy independence is not only an economic interest of America, but also a political and security one. Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas undermines European unity and weakens the primary U.S. allies in their relations with Russia. U.S. Armed Forces in Europe and the U.S. Army in particular can and should play an important role in promoting energy security. This involvement includes: increased situational awareness; deployment to the sensitive areas; and enhanced training activities, including with the allies of the U.S. military in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Military Affairs, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Sergey Markedonov
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On February 7, 2014, the 22nd Winter Olympic Games will open in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. Because these games will be the first Olympics hosted by Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, they will be more than a mere athletic competition—they possess a singular symbolic character, important to Russia and particularly to Russian president Vladimir Putin. On the eve of the 119th session of the International Olympic Committee in Guatemala on July 4, 2007, at which the decision on the host city for the 2014 games would be made, Putin was the main Russian lobbyist for the Sochi project.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Erkan Erdogdu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is a European Commission initiative aimed at facilitating the diversification of the routes and sources of gas imported into Europe. This paper is devoted to the analysis of Turkey's role in this initiative. Following a summary of the current economic and energy situation in Turkey, the paper presents recent developments in the SGC and an analysis of Turkey's role in the EU's SGC vision. It concludes that although the newly-built infrastructure within the SGC framework will probably serve Azerbaijani and Turkish interests first in their future relations with the EU, rather than the other way round, as had been initially hoped by the EU, it still addresses the EU's basic strategic interests, namely, the diversification of gas supply routes and suppliers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Netherlands
  • Author: Judyth L. Twigg
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, Russia's relationship with the United States has traveled a swift and seemingly deliberate arc from partner to pariah. The current turmoil in Ukraine and near-certain resulting isolation of Russia culminate several years' worth of deteriorating ties. The Edward Snowden mess, disagreements over Syria and Iran, dismay over the eroding human rights environment in Russia, and now Russian annexation of Crimea have led the previously heralded "reset" to an unceremonious end. What are the implications of these and related developments for U.S.-Russia collaboration in medicine and public health? Should avenues of partnership remain open, even in such a frosty political context? Should the international community support Russia's health sector when ample resources exist within Russia itself? Is it even possible anymore?
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, North America
  • Author: Ariel Cohen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia's occupation of the Crimea and possible incorporation of Eastern Ukrainian regions demonstrated Europe's vulnerability to Gazprom's energy power. Whatever the EU's reactions, diversification of energy supply to diminish Russia's market share is likely to be one of them. TAP is one step towards the strategic goal of diminishing Gazprom's huge presence in Europe. But in view of the proposed construction of the Russian South Stream, how could Central Europe, and especially Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Lithuania, ensure energy diversification? What next for the Southern Corridor? Is Russia going to accept and tolerate infrastructure growth of the Caspian and other competitors south of its borders?
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria
  • Author: Iana Dreyer, Gerald Stang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Energy security has climbed the list of EU energy and foreign policy priorities in the last decade. This process was accelerated by the shock of the 2006 and 2009 disruptions in Russian gas supply through Ukraine, and by the new possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty. Efforts have been directed at interconnecting national gas and electricity markets, diversifying energy suppliers and promoting rules-based energy trade in the wider European neighbourhood. The EU's primary energy security goals are to reduce the strategic dependence of individual member states on single external suppliers and to ensure that energy markets are liquid, open and functioning according to stable market rules rather than power logics. Yet energy security also needs to be balanced against environmental and economic competitiveness concerns.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Steven Ditto
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic has added to its nuclear negotiating team a law professor who has extensive experience making Iran's case in international disputes. On April 9, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States, plus Germany) concluded the latest two-day round of talks on a nuclear deal, setting the next round for May 13. Earlier in the week, on April 7, Iranian media reported the appointment of Dr. Jamshid Momtaz as head of a "legal advisory group" to the Iranian negotiating team. A French-educated expert on sanctions, disarmament, and UN procedure, Momtaz has represented the Iranian government in some of its highest-profile international legal proceedings, including in claims against the U.S. government at the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ). Momtaz's familiarity with the United Nations, his extensive practice in Europe, and his proven history of leveraging complex legal arguments to advance Iran's international interests indicate that in these latest rounds of P5+1 talks Tehran is likely looking for unconventional ways to "address" and "bring a satisfactory conclusion to" the UN Security Council resolutions against it, as called for in the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) agreed to in Geneva last November.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, France
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014.The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiations currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union.The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless, this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014. While the contrived collision between these projects has tragically induced Russia to break all the established international security norms by waging war against Ukraine, the present paper deals essentially with trade policy issues. The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiations currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union. The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014. While the contrived collision between these projects has tragically induced Russia to break all the established international security norms by waging war against Ukraine , the present paper deals essentially with trade policy issues . The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiation s currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union. The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Young Kil Park
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: South Korea's interest in the Arctic reached a peak on May 15, 2013, when the country obtained permanent observer status in the Arctic Council. The country's interest in the Arctic began in the 2000s, following reports of new sea route created by accelerated thawing in the Arctic due to increasing temperatures. A South Korean shipping company completed Korea's first commercial freight voyage via the Arctic Ocean on October 22, 2013, after taking 35 days to make the journey from Ust-Luga port of Russia to Gwangyang port of Korea. This paper examines South Korea's interest and involvement in the Arctic and analyzes its challenges. The paper summarizes the Arctic-related activities the country has pursued so far; examines specific interests in the fields of science, sea routes and hydrocarbon resources, fishing and governance; and, finally, evaluates the challenges ahead. South Korea has made significant progress in entering the Arctic Ocean but many grave challenges must be addressed before the Arctic can become the source of economic prosperity.
  • Topic: Economics, Oil, Maritime Commerce, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Israel, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: US and Iranian strategic competition is heavily drive by four key factors–the success or failure of sanctions, the im0pact of that competition on the flow of Gulf energy exports, the success or failure of efforts to limit Iran's nuclear options and the broader prospect for arms control, and the prospects for accommodation of regime change. In recent years, the key variable has been ways in which sanctions on Iran have changed US and Iranian competition since the fall of 2011, and helped lead to a tentative set of Iranian agreements with the UN's P5+1--the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany--in November 2013.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Oil, Regime Change, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, Middle East, France, Germany
  • Author: Stephen J. Blank
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States Army War College educates and develops leaders for service at the strategic level while advancing knowledge in the global application of Landpower.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Emerging-market growth from 2000 to 2012 was untypically high. This paper highlights the many reasons why emerging-economy growth is likely to be lower going forward. Much of the catch-up potential has already been used up. The extraordinary credit and commodity booms are over, and many large emerging economies are financially fragile. They have major governance problems, so they need to carry out major structural reforms to be able to proceed with a decent growth rate, but many policymakers are still in a state of hubris and not very inclined to opt for reforms. They are caught up in state and crony capitalism. Rather than providing free markets for all, the West might limit its endeavors to its own benefit. Economic convergence has hardly come to an end, but it has probably reached a hiatus that is likely to last many years. The emerging economies need to improve their quality of governance and other economic policies substantially to truly catch up. For a decade or so, the West could take the global economic lead once again as in the 1980s.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Isabelle Francois
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The past twenty years have been marked by a series of setbacks and disappointments in the US-European-Russian dialogue, despite regular attempts to develop a strategic partnership. In this cyclical relationship, 2012 was a low point in Western relations with Russia, from the calculated absence of President Vladimir Putin at the NATO summit in Chicago to the Russian ban on American adoptions of Russian orphans, and the US reaction to the Sergei Magnitsky case. The year 2013 could have been the beginning of an upswing in the trilateral dialogue. In April, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on the margins of the G8 foreign ministers' gathering in London. At the same time, US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon called on Putin in Moscow, where he hand-delivered a letter from President Barack Obama detailing potential areas of cooperation. A series of meetings between Russian and American officials throughout the summer saw a new diplomatic push to reframe the US–Russia relationship in the run-up to the Group of Eight meeting in June and the G20 meeting in September 2013. However, the Edward Snowden affair and Obama's subsequent decision to cancel the planned September meeting with Putin in light of insufficient progress on bilateral issues point to a pause in the relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Elena Gnedina, Evghenia Sleptsova
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Ukraine has long been castigated for its noncommittal attitude to cooperation with the EU, this being part of its 'multi-vector' foreign policy. Such a policy was widely attributed to the failings of domestic elites, which delay reform for fear of losing rents and power. This CEPS Working Document suggests, however, that the recent setback in EU-Ukraine relations highlights more complex reasons behind this. First, it asserts that a pro-European vector is not a self-evident choice for Ukraine, which is economically interdependent with both Russia and the EU. Second, it finds that the economic crisis has made the EU less attractive in the short term. In good times business was looking to Europe for opportunities to develop. But in times of crisis, it is looking to Russia for cheap resources to survive. Despite these unfavourable short-term trends, the authors conclude that an association agreement with the EU stands out as the only alternative that promises to put the shaky Ukrainian economy back on track towards long-term sustainable economic growth.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Ted Piccone, Emily Alinikoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the emerging global order takes shape, debate is growing more intense around the trajectory of the rising powers and what their ascendency to positions of regional and international influence means for the United States, its traditional allies, and global governance more broadly. Commentary about these rising powers— often referred to in a generic way as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) but actually encompassing a dozen or so countries largely represented in the G-20—ranges from alarmist to sanguine. Pessimists argue that China, with its impressive economic growth and increasingly global reach, is well-positioned to challenge the United States' role of global superpower and to weaken the commitment of other rising powers, and various international organizations, to liberal values. More optimistic analysts insist that the rise of middle powers, most of which are democracies of varying stripes, bodes well for the world: millions are being lifted out of poverty, rule of law is taking hold and the international system is bound to be a more inclusive, representative one.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Globalization, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Arabia
  • Author: Alexey Kuznetsov
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Russia is potentially an attractive host economy for foreign direct investment (FDI), mainly due to its large market and rich natural resources. The Government has, however, been unable to make the radical changes needed in the country's investment climate for attracting FDI on a scale and to a range of industries in line with Russia's potential. Nevertheless, oil and gas, power generation and motor vehicles industries, as well as wholesale and retail trade and several other industries have recently received new and significant FDI. After a steep decline in 2008, inward FDI (IFDI) stock recovered, to reach US$ 491 billion in 2010, although there was a moderate fall again in 2011. IFDI flows fell considerably in 2009 but rose to US$43 billion in 2010 and US$ 53 billion in 2011. In 2008–2010, the largest number of significant greenfield projects were in power generation. Large mergers and acquisitions (M) took place in various industries, but the size of the largest deals was usually smaller in 2010 than in 2008 and 2009. High levels of corruption, lack of competition and a distorted dialogue between the state, business and society are main barriers to the rapid growth of inward FDI. The recent global financial and economic crisis has revealed weaknesses of the Russian model of development in the 2000s. It is doubtful whether the efforts currently under way by the Russian Government to “repair” the existing model without political and economic reforms will lead toward a major improvement of the investment climate as only slight changes are being made (e. g., the improvement of the Russian migration regime and the development of special economic zones). However, the federal elections in 2012 could lead to more efficient steps, although it is difficult to predict the scale of probable positive shifts in the investment climate.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) database provides information about the carbon dioxide emissions, electricity production, corporate ownership, and location of more than 60,000 power plants in over 200 countries. Originally launched in 2007, CARMA is provided freely to the public at www.carma.org and remains the only comprehensive data source of its kind. This paper documents the methodology underpinning CARMA v3.0, released in July, 2012. Comparison of CARMA model output with reported data highlights the general difficulty of precisely predicting annual electricity generation for a given plant and year. Estimating the rate at which a plant emits CO2 (per unit of electricity generated) generally faces fewer obstacles. Ultimately, greater disclosure of plant-specific data is needed to overcome these limitations, particularly in major emitting countries like China, Russia, and Japan. For any given plant in CARMA v3.0, it is estimated that the reported value is within 20 percent of the actual value in 85 percent of cases for CO2 intensity, 75 percent for annual CO2 emissions, and 45 percent for annual electricity generation. CARMA's prediction models are shown to offer significantly better estimates than more naïve approaches to estimating plant-specific performance.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, America, Latin America
  • Author: David Shim, Patrick Flamm
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea’s rising status in regional and global affairs has received much attention in recent years. But in academic, media and policy debates South Korea is usually regarded as a mere middle power that, due to its geopolitical situation, has only limited leeway in its foreign policy. Accordingly, it must constantly maneuver between its larger neighbors: China, Japan and Russia. However, this perspective neglects the fact that the same geopolitical constraint also applies to other states in the region. No country can easily project its power over others. We use the concept of “regional power” as a template to discuss South Korea’s rising stature in regional and global politics. We argue that Seoul seems quite capable of keeping up with other assumed regional powers. Hence, we not only provide a novel account of South Korea’s foreign policy options but also go beyond current approaches by asking about the (undetermined) possibilities for Seoul’s regional relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Israel, South Korea
  • Author: Shanker A. Singham
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The U.S. economy faces major challenges competing internationally. One of the most worrisome is the growing use in China and other advanced developing countries of anticompetitive market distortions (ACMDs)—including regulatory protection that privileges specific companies—which put foreign competitors at a disadvantage. ACMDs are government actions that give certain business interests artificial competitive advantages over their rivals, be they foreign or domestic, to the detriment of consumer welfare. These market distortions are especially damaging to the industries in which the United States enjoys the greatest comparative advantages, but they are also harmful to the long-term prosperity of developing economies and cost the global economy trillions of dollars. To combat ACMDs, the conventional trade policy approach of focusing on the The U.S. economy faces major challenges competing internationally. One of the most worrisome is the growing use in China and other advanced developing countries of anticompetitive market distortions (ACMDs)—including regulatory protection that privileges specific companies—which put foreign competitors at a disadvantage.1 ACMDs are government actions that give certain business interests artificial competitive advantages over their rivals, be they foreign or domestic, to the detriment of consumer welfare. These market distortions are especially damaging to the industries in which the United States enjoys the greatest comparative advantages, but they are also harmful to the long-term prosperity of developing economies and cost the global economy trillions of dollars.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Olga Shumylo-Tapiola
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The customs union formed by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in 2010— the largest in the world by territory—is becoming very real. Though hurdles remain, member states are eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade within the union, moving toward a common external tariff, and fine-tuning a joint customs code. As the customs union's influence on the world stage and in Europe's neighborhood is likely to increase, the European Union (EU) should attempt to understand the project and find ways to protect its own interests.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Eurasia, Kazakhstan, Belarus
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Markets of the future—China, India, Brazil and Russia—will become the dominant retail markets l Africa, the final frontier—as BRIC opportunities diminish retailers will look to Africa as a driver of growth l Virtual marketplace— e-commerce, m-commerce and s-commerce—will transform the global retail landscape l Bricks and mortar will fight back as traditional retailers respond to change by integrating online with physical store offerings l Convenience will be king as shopping habits evolve into a multichannel approach rather than “one-stop shopping” l UK focus: polarised shopping habits could continue even when incomes recover, leading to an even greater squeeze on mid-market retail by 2022.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, United Kingdom, India, Brazil
  • Author: Laura Solanko
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: As was the case in most developing and transition countries, Russia's electricity sector was dominated by a vertically integrated, state-controlled monopoly. The common problems of ageing infrastructure, large distribution losses, very low retail tariffs, inefficient management and increasing tightness of supply encouraged many countries to embark on large reforms to liberalize their power sectors during the 1990s. In Russia, the reform started somewhat later, but to the surprise of many it has since proceeded very swiftly.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Samuel W. Bodman, James D. Wolfensohn, Julia E. Sweig
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Brazil has transcended its status as the largest and most resource-rich country in Latin America to now be counted among the world's pivotal powers. Brazil is not a conventional military power, it does not rival China or India in population or economic size, and it cannot match the geopolitical history of Russia. Still, how Brazil defines and projects its interests, a still-evolving process, is critical to understanding the character of the new multipolar and unpredictable global order.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Alexandros Petersen, Katinka Barysch
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Energy has come to symbolise the geopolitics of the 21st century, reflecting countries' diminishing reliance on military and political power. Today, energy is an instrument of geopolitical competition, like nuclear weapons or large armies were during the Cold War. The means of international influence have become more diverse and sophisticated, but the goals remain much the same: national security, power projection, and control over resources and territory.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The economic crisis has caused millions of migrant labourers from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to lose their jobs in the boom economies of Russia and Kazakhstan. Remittances that kept their relatives afloat have plummeted and many migrants have returned home to certain destitution, putting weak Central Asian governments under severe strain. In Tajikistan half the labour force is without work, while Kyrgyzstan suffers from massive rural unemployment. Before the crisis hit, up to five million people from these countries left home for Russia and Kazakhstan to take on poorly paid and unskilled jobs, often the unpleasant tasks that local people no longer wished to do. Yet at home they were viewed with respect: the most daring members of their society, who were willing to take a jump into the unknown to pull themselves and their families out of poverty. Remittances also boosted their home countries' economic data, allowing governments with little ability or interest in creating jobs to claim a modest degree of success. By 2008 remittances were providing the equivalent of half Tajikistan's gross domestic product (GDP), a quarter of Kyrgyzstan's GDP, and an eighth of Uzbekistan's.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Labor Issues, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The historically coveted region of Abkhazia has become even more dependent on Moscow since Russia's controversial recognition a year and a half ago. Russia is financing half the region's budget, and against vigorous Georgian protests, it is spending $465 million to refurbish existing and build new military installations in the picturesque Black Sea coastal area. Virtually the entire population holds Russian citizenship, and almost all trade is with the northern neighbour. It will take constructive, creative thinking on the part of Georgian, Russian, Abkhazian and international actors alike to restore even a modicum of confidence between the parties to the conflict. Given Abkhazia's unrealistic insistence that Georgia recognise it as independent and the equally unrealistic prospect that Sukhumi will acknowledge Georgia's sovereignty, the two parties should focus on creating economic and humanitarian links without status preconditions in order to benefit both, build stability and give momentum to a long reconciliation process.
  • Topic: Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Like much of the world, Russia has been in the midst of a serious economic crisis since the late summer of 2008. Although the worst appears to be over, Russia will continue to feel its effects longer than many other industrialized countries, largely because of a rigid economy burdened with an overweening state role. The recognition that Russia faces serious long-term challenges has emboldened President Dmitry Medvedev and others to call for far-reaching economic restructuring. If successful, their economic policies could undermine the semi-authoritarian, state-capitalist model developed under Prime Minister and former president Vladimir Putin. Although concrete reforms have so far been limited, Medvedev's demands for change (seconded in some cases by Putin) have acquired increasing momentum in recent months. The speed of Russia's recovery and obstacles along the way will play a major role in determining both the success of Medvedev's call for modernization and the course of Russia's foreign policy since a quicker recovery would diminish the pressure for fundamental reform and lessen the need for caution internationally.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Affairs, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is my thesis that the national security risk posed by Russian energy policies are only tangentially related to Europe's dependency on Russian energy imports. The primary energy risk to Europe, and especially to the newer EU members, stems from the corrosive effect this dependency has on governance and on transatlantic cooperation. Moscow's divide-and-conquer tactics have successfully prevented greater inter-European cooperation on both economic and security issues. As we shall see, these factors have added to already existing strains in the U.S.-Europe relationship. Further NATO enlargement has been stopped, in part, due to Moscow's energy ties with the wealthier Western European states. It is in the U.S. interest to assist those Eastern and Central European (ECE) states that are highly dependent on Russian energy imports and are most susceptible to imported corruption. Kremlin officials, supported by 60 percent of Russian public opinion, favor reestablishing Soviet-era control or influence over ECE countries. The threat to the sovereignty of these new democracies cannot be dismissed.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Moscow
  • Author: François Bafoil
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: From a broad perspective, political economy analyses economic and political exchanges proper to some social groups, embedded in particular historical periods. The great innovation of Max Weber's analysis is to highlight the intersubjective orientations that support these exchanges and characterize a particular period of history. This study firstly compares different features between free market economy and the soviet-type economy. Secondly, it measures their difference in accordance to the "ideal type" of "market", bureaucracy" and "forms of domination". Finally, it insists on the particular "hybrid" figures of "charisma" and "patrimonial bureaucracy".
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Political Economy, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Roderick Kefferpütz, Félix Krawatzek
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The modernisation of Russia has been a topic of vigorous debate for centuries. It has also been an intensely divisive issue among Russia's elite, and since President Dmitry Medvedev came to power, modernisation has become the leitmotif of the presidency. The global economic crisis hit Russia hard, meaning that the status quo in political, economic and social terms is no longer acceptable. However, there are a number of competing visions on modernisation within the Russian political elite and society as a whole. This Working Document aims to illustrate the diversity of and competition for the dominance of views on Russia's future. In a second step, authors Félix Krawatzek, Visiting Researcher at CEPS and Roderick Kefferpütz, Associate Research Fellow, analyse the obstacles to a successful realisation of the ambitious modernisation agenda and outline the implications for the new EU-Russia modernisation partnership.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Alexey Kuznetsov
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In the 2000s, Russia became a significant host for inward foreign direct investment (IFDI). But its investment climate problems, especially corruption, do not allow Russia to exploit its locational advantages to the full. Russia attracts mainly European investors in a rather narrow range of industries (although the share of mining is decreasing) and regions (mainly in Moscow, St. Petersburg and oil-rich Sakhalin). However, even during the crisis, a new industrial cluster has developed near Kaluga and some large mergers and acquisitions (M) and greenfield projects have been realized outside the Central and North-West federal districts. Russia is trying to diversify the structure and geography of IFDI using incentives (e.g. in special economic zones).
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the leaders of Russia, including then-President Boris Yeltsin, searched for new methods of continuing to exert influence over the former Soviet-controlled region. The Kremlin at first used an energy blockade to the Baltic States in 1990 in an attempt to prevent their breakaway from the Soviet Union. After that failed, it then focused on the growing opposition in the former republics of the Soviet Union and in East Central Europe to its foreign and economic policies, and in particular on demands that Russian military forces withdraw from the newly independent states. The Kremlin leadership quickly recognized that short of military action, its major foreign policy tool was the denial or threat of denial of access to Russia's vast oil and gas resources. The economies of East European and Central Asian countries, and especially their rail and pipeline infrastructures, had been hardwired by Soviet leaders to assure total dependency on Moscow for their raw materials, including oil, gas, coal, and nuclear fuel.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics, Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: John P. Millhone
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia has the world's largest share of fossil energy resources. During the Soviet era, because this wealth of resources insulated the country from global energy crises, citizens never had to worry about conserving energy, and much was squandered. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation has improved in western, urban Russia, but great expanses of this vast country continue their inefficient ways. Indeed, recognizing that minimizing waste helps preserve Russia's resources, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev successfully urged the Duma to pass sweeping new energy-efficiency legislation. But more remains to be done to identify how energy resources are used and wasted, and where efficiency might be improved.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin, Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Arctic is emerging as the world's next hot spot for oil and gas development. The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that the Arctic seabed could contain 20 percent of the world's oil and gas resources and Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources says the Arctic territory claimed by Russia could be home to twice the volume of Saudi Arabia's oil reserves. While accessing those reserves once seemed impossible, the melting ice cap now makes it more feasible and opens new shipping lanes for international trade. Countries around the world—particularly Russia—have noticed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Moscow, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Brad W. Setser, Arpana Pandey
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: China reported $1.95 trillion in foreign exchange reserves at the end of 2008. This is by far the largest stockpile of foreign exchange in the world: China holds roughly two times more reserves than Japan, and four times more than either Russia or Saudi Arabia. Moreover, China's true foreign port- folio exceeds its disclosed foreign exchange reserves. At the end of December, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)—part of the People's Bank of China (PBoC) managed close to $2.1 trillion: $1.95 trillion in formal reserves and between $108 and $158 billion in “other foreign assets.” China's state banks and the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China's sovereign wealth fund, together manage another $250 billion or so. This puts China's total holdings of foreign assets at over $2.3 trillion. That is over 50 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP), or roughly $2,000 per Chinese inhabitant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Israel, Asia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Paul Stevens
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Recent events between Russia and Ukraine at the start of 2009 and Russia and Georgia in 2008 have brought transit pipelines back into the media spotlight. Any reading of the history of transit oil and gas pipelines suggests a tendency to produce conflict and disagreement, often resulting in the cessation of throughput, sometimes for a short period and sometimes for longer. It is tempting to attribute this to bad political relations between neighbours. This is certainly part of the story, but also important is the nature of the 'transit terms' – tariffs and offtake terms – whereby transit countries are rewarded for allowing transit. Put simply, the trouble with transit pipelines has a significant economic basis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Economics, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
  • Author: Linda Skjold Oksnes
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The paper analyzes the convergence process of industrial productivity across Russian regions during the period 1996-2004 by applying empirical methods. The industrial sector refers to, in accordance with Russian official statistics, oil gas extraction, electricity production, mining quarrying and manufacturing. Convergence in productivity levels is well analyzed in economic literature, but few have tested the hypothesis on Russian regions. Most previous convergence analysis of Russian regions has examined the development in income per capita. Russia's special history and vast geographical extent have led to huge regional variations in resource endowments, market access and industrial structure, to name a few. Since the regression results are highly sensitive for regionspecific factors, these are identified and controlled for in the analysis. In addition, panel data techniques are used to check the robustness of the results to region-specific characteristics, which are not always measurable. The analysis also tests whether there is a tendency to economic agglomeration in the data. The hypothesis of absolute convergence is not supported in the analysis, but when region-specific factors are controlled for there are signs of convergence among Russian regions.Trade and investment as a share of regional industrial production appear in the analysis as the most significant explanatory variables.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Jaya Prakash Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Just over a year ago, outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from India seemed to be on a path of rapid and sustained growth. Its annual average growth of 98% during 2004–07 had been unprecedented , much ahead of OFDI growth from other emerging markets like China (74%), Malaysia (70%), Russia (53%), and the Republic of Korea (51%), although from a much lower base. Much of this recent growth had been fuelled by large-scale overseas acquisitions, however, and it faltered when the global financial crisis that started in late 2007 made financing acquisitions harder.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Asia, Malaysia, Korea
  • Author: Andrei Panibratov, Kalman Kalotay
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from Russia often surprises outside observers by its landmark deals. One of them was the purchase in September 2009 of a 55% stake in General Motors' German affiliate Opel by a consortium of the Canadian car maker Magna and the Russian state-owned bank Sberbank. The latter is the largest creditor of the Russian car maker GAZ, and may represent its commercial interests in the contract. With this deal, Russia has bought into the industrial heartland of the world economy and could potentially access more advanced technology. This acquisition hints at the growth of Russian OFDI in general, which has prospered despite fears in many host countries that the investors are subject to Russian political interference, a fear that recently announced Russian policy intentions may allay.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Stefan A. Schirm
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: The last 20 years have witnessed the economic emergence of several countries, which are considered today to be “pivotal states”, “regional powers”, and “emerging powers” in world politics. These emerging powers encompass countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, (the BRICs), which have in common both that they have experienced rapid economic growth and that they seek to influence the global economy and world politics to a greater degree than they did before their rise. The BRICs have become leading exporters and lenders (especially China to the US) as well as holders of currency reserves, and they (plus Mexico) are expected to surpass the GNP of the G7 industrialized countries by the year 2040. The reasons for the assignment of a new role, and often of increased power, to these states are their demographic and geographic size, their economic and military capacities, and their political aspirations.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, India, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Robert Jellinek
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This paper has its origins in the observation that government responses to the global financial crisis are as much political phenomena as they are economic. The current global financial crisis, among its many consequences, has on a very high level shaken up the world political order. And while the crisis is international in origin—its roots lie in the breadth and the degree of the dispersal of risk associated with mortgagebacked securities, as well as the growing imbalance in international capital flows—its resolution is necessarily being carried out first and foremost on a domestic level. This is not least of all because, in the decade since the Asian financial crises, states have begun to play a dramatically increased role in international finance in relation to both multilateral financial institutions such as the IMF and traditional private actors. In an age where global economic ties are integral to domestic economies and where states themselves are becoming some of the biggest players in international capital markets, a state's global financial standing will more than ever determine its political clout on the world stage. With states acting as market makers, lenders of last resort, and regulators of last resort, the key to understanding the future of individual states in the global economic order can be found only by analyzing states' domestic and foreign policy decisions within the context of the specific constraints facing those states at home and abroad.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia
  • Author: Lael Brainard, David Lipton
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: From the vantage point of 2008, some of the most memorable initiatives of U.S. international economic leadership—the Paris and Louvre Accords, the support for Poland and Russia after the fall of communism, the Uruguay Round, and the Mexican Financing Loan—seem like quaint reminders of a simpler time. In the coming years, the exercise of international economic leadership will surely prove more complex than in the past. The very success of the American vision of a global spread of vibrant and competitive markets has created a huge, rapidly integrating private economy of trade and finance much less amenable to guidance, let alone control, by governments. Unlike in diplomacy and defense, where non state actors are growing in importance but still a side show, in inter- national economics, households, corporations, labor unions, and non-profits are now the dominant players in most parts of the world. While they respond to national laws and policies, their interests are varied and their operations often span borders.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Paris, Poland, Uruguay, Mexico
  • Author: Wayne Vroman, Vera Brusentsev
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Nearly twenty years have passed since the transition from a centrally-planned towards a market-oriented economy in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (CEE-FSU). This paper documents the differing patterns of unemployment during the period 1990 to 2006 in the 28 countries that constitute the CEE-FS U group and outlines how unemployment protection programs developed in response. We also suggest some tentative explanations for the observed trends in unemployment and unemployment compensation. Our approach is novel in that we compare the performance of the CEE-FSU group to the worldwide average and to other major economies. In addition, we demonstrate important contrasts across the CEE-FSU sub-regions.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: William Tompson
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The period since early 2004 has seen a significant expansion of the direct role of the Russian state in owning and managing industrial assets, particularly in 'strategic sectors' of the economy, such as power-generation machines, aviation, oil and finance. Increasingly, policy seems to have been focused less on market reforms than on tightening the state's grip on the 'commanding heights' of the economy. Many factors have contributed to this shift – factional, ideological, geopolitical and conjunctural – and, as will be argued below, there is not one single process at work, but several. This paper seeks to understand what has been driving the expansion of state ownership in Russia over the recent past and what that expansion might imply for the future. Its central conclusion is that a great deal of the explanation for this trend is in fact structural. While press coverage and public discussion have largely focused on factional politics and the political conjuncture – particularly conflicts between the Kremlin and big business and rivalry among Kremlin 'clans' ahead of the Putin succession in 2008 – a deeper understanding of the growth of the state requires an examination of the interaction between state capacities and Russia's industrial structure.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Karl Sauvant
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: With $1.8 trillion (according to UNCTAD), world foreign direct investment (FDI) flows reached an all-time high last year. All major regions benefitted from increased flows. But that was then. What is, and will be, the impact of the financial crisis and the recession on FDI flows this year and next?
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Central Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Manmohan Agarwal
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Rapid economic growth in the large developing countries collectively known as BRICSAM (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and Mexico) has the potential to change the balance of economic power in the world. This paper analyzes this potential building on developments in these economies over the past four decades in the context of the evolution of the world economy. This evolution has two significant features: increasing economic integration and a hiatus in growth. Increasing integration can be observed in the almost universal rise in the share of the exports of goods and services in GDP, and the increase in private capital flows. There has been a hiatus in growth since the 1973-1974 increase in the price of oil.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Arne Melchior
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The paper presents new results on within-country regional inequality in per capita income for 36 countries during 1995-2005; focusing on Europe but with some non-European countries included for comparison. In 23 of the 36 countries there was a significant increase in regional inequality during the period, and in only three cases there was a reduction. Regional inequality increased in all countries of Central and Eastern Europe, while for most Western European countries there was little change. For the EU-27 as a whole, there was a modest increase in within-country regional inequality, but convergence across countries. The latter effect was quantitatively more important, so on the whole there was income convergence in the EU-27, especially after 2000. Regional inequality is particularly important for some large middle-income countries such as China, Russia and Mexico. In such countries there may however be considerable price differences across regions, and the use of common price deflators for the whole country may lead to a biased assessment of regional inequality.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, Social Stratification, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Oil and gas are proving as much a burden as a benefit to Central Asia. The three oil and gas producers in the region – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – are showing signs of the “resource curse” under which energy rich nations fail to thrive or develop distorted, unstable economies. Geography and their history in the Soviet Union have bound them to Russia, through which most of their energy exports must be transported. Moscow is proving to be an unreliable partner for foreign consumers as it has been willing to cut off pipelines to apply commercial or political pressure. Low investment, corruption and gross mismanagement in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan may mean that their supplies run low before they can diversify their links to markets or their economies. Central Asia is likely to see energy create instability within the region; the chances are low that it will be a factor in improving European energy security any time soon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Soviet Union, Moscow, Turkmenistan
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Fourteen years of negotiation, led alternately by the UN and Russia, have done little to resolve the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. There have been some successes on the ground: ceasefire violations are rare, approximately 45,000 internally displaced (IDP) Georgians have returned to homes in the Gali region, the two sides cooperate on operating the Inguri power plant, and a strategic railway through Abkhazia may restart. But the sharp deterioration in Russian-Georgian relations and a Georgian military adventure in the Kodori valley have contributed to a freeze in diplomacy over Abkhazia since mid-2006. In the absence of a new initiative, new violence is a real possibility. Because prospects are bleak for an early comprehensive settlement of the key political issues, in particular final status, the sides and international facilitators should shift their focus in 2007 to building confidence and cooperation in areas where there are realistic opportunities.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Georgia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Ruslan Yemtsov
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: All countries in transition experienced increases in inequality. They have also undertaken massive privatization of key asset housing, often on give-away terms. Are these two phenomena related? Has transfer of ownership rights to residents slowed down the inequality increases or it pushed it up? Surprisingly little is known in this area. This paper attempts to provide empirical evidence to start answering these questions. It shows how housing privatization affected the distribution of personal wealth and inequality in current consumption based on recent representative household surveys from three transition countries: Poland, Russia and Serbia. Survey data are compared with figures derived from national accounts and housing statistics. Contrary to common belief and some earlier evidence of strong equalizing effect of housing distribution in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the paper finds that the contribution of housing to the overall inequality levels is not strong, and is not universally progressive. There is also a significant variation across countries. In Russia and Serbia progressive. There is also a significant variation across countries. In Russia and Serbia features of privatization programmes resulted in better off households capturing more valuable housing assets on extremely beneficial terms, while in Poland privatization and housing reform led to more equitable outcomes. When owner occupied housing rents and durables are properly accounted for, the effects of housing ownership on inequality in current consumption are mildly progressive in Russia and Poland and regressive in Serbia. The paper argues that the information collected by regular household surveys provides only a starting point to study housing wealth distribution, and there are a number of gaps which should be addressed through improved data collection.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Poland, Serbia
  • Author: Gulnaz Sharafutdinova
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The phenomenon of crony capitalism has been explored primarily with reference to its impact on economic growth. This study investigates the political implications of crony capitalism and, specifically, the interaction between political competition and crony capitalism. Based on a case study of political trajectories in two regions of the Russian Federation, I argue that under crony capitalism political competition can undermine the legitimacy of state authorities and such democratic institutions as the electoral mechanism. Played out in public during electoral campaigns, unrestricted political competition uncovers the predatory nature of crony elites engaged in struggle for power and wealth. Paradoxically, the electoral process itself gets discredited as an essential part of the overall institutional order in the process. Noncompetitive political systems avoid such negative tendencies, at least in the short run.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: George Vojta
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Media Tenor International
  • Abstract: Media Tenor: Even within the BRIC States one cannot say that all three are on the Media Agenda, not mention developing countries. What could be the reason for this salience? Vojta: My sense is that the four BRIC countries are rising in media visibility as they become more significant players in the global system. Very shortly these four countries will surpass the G7countries in annual absolute growth results.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Asia, Latin America
  • Author: John Ravenhill, Lorraine Elliott, Helen E.S. Nesadurai, Nick Bisley
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: In September 2007, Australia will host the annual Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. This will be the culmination of over 100 days of ministerial, official and business group meetings, working groups and dialogues that will be held in various Australian cities from January to August. Fifteen federal government departments will be involved along with a range of other interested actors, predominantly in the private sector. The Australian government will spend considerable sums of money on the leaders' meeting itself, not least to ensure the security of those attending. This will include, if all goes according to plan, the heads of government of 21 countries—member economies in APEC-speak—including the United States, Russia, Japan and China. Security may well be the least of the government's worries. Few would argue that APEC is 'going strong' as a regional economic forum and recent reviews have suggested that at best it faces an uncertain future and that at worst it could be in a state of terminal decline. The forum is argued to have lost its relevance and to have generally been unsuccessful in attaining any of its more ambitious goals such as regional trade liberalisation.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Matthew Ocheltree, Sherman Katz
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia has been in the process of seeking membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) since June 1993. Currently, the United States is the only major economic power that has yet to finalize a bilateral market access agreement with the Russian Federation. Most observers of the situation concur that the enforcement of intellectual property rights laws remains, along with agriculture, one of the two major hurdles to Russian accession to the World Trade Organization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Timothy Shaw, Andrew F. Cooper, Agata Antkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Continuing CIGI's BRICSAM research, this paper questions whether size (economic or population) of emerging economies alone is enough to warrant accommodation in the rules and structures of the international system. The global realignment of states following the resulting power vacuum brought on by the end of the Cold War is finally materializing, as a new triangular formation has taken shape: the 'first world' club of the OECD; the 'second world' of emerging economies; and, a heterogeneous 'third world' of the rest. The interplay between and mobility among these groups of states deserves in-depth analysis. The core of this paper observes the economic and social trends of countries in the second tier, and their upwards aspirations towards the top-tier of the global architecture. Traced through a variety of indices, the growth of the BRICSAM group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, ASEAN-4 and Mexico) is demonstrated to be a powerful force in international economics and political economy. For the inclusion of these states, a change in the key aspects of global economic governance, the international architecture and geopolitics seems inevitable, and with it, new challenges arise for decision-makers and scholars alike.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Hyun H. Son, Nanak Kakwani
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper suggests how the targeting efficiency of government programmes may be better assessed. Using the 'pro-poor policy' (PPP) index developed by authors, the study investigates the pro-poorness of not only government programmes geared to the poorest segment of the population, but also basic service delivery in education, health and infrastructure. This paper also shows that the targeting efficiency for a particular socioeconomic group should be judged on the basis of a 'total-group PPP index', to capture the impact of operating a programme within the group. Using micro-unit data from household surveys, the paper presents a comparative analysis for Thailand, Russia, Vietnam and 15 African countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand
  • Author: Robert J. McIntyre
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In most transitional and many developing countries institutions capable of supporting economic development with localized saving-investment cycles have not developed. This crucial gap is in no way addressed by either country-level macro programmes dealing with 'development finance' or by donor-driven 'micro credit' schemes of Grameen and other types operating at a lower (local) level. The latter seldom evolve into financial institutions able to sustain themselves on the basis of local resources, do not operate on a sufficient scale to trigger dynamic local-level economic growth, and are ultimately artificial manifestations of concessional or charitable aid. The advantages of credit co-operatives in mobilizing and financing local economic development a contrasted with the disadvantages of both conventional micro credit and the most recent neoliberal fashion of so-called 'new wave financial institutions'. Both precedent and the structural logic suggest that this is a promising space for the development of a localized financial system based on credit co-operatives, which elsewhere have overcome the SME credit famine and stimulated local saving-investment cycles. Recent Russian developments are placed in the context of earlier experience in structurally similar conditions. These lessons apply to all other former Soviet Union states, as well as other countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Third World
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Nils August Andresen
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This study examines the financial behaviour of Russian households from the collapse of communism to the financial melt down in August 1998. By transforming savings into investment, financial intermediaries are important to economic growth. In post-Soviet Russia, financial intermediaries were increasingly unable to attract new household savings, as people turned to foreign currency. What determined the allocation of household savings? The study considers the three main alternatives households could turn to: The state savings bank; commercial financial companies; and foreign currency, mainly dollars.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Pekka Sulamaa, Mika Widgrén
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This study simulates the economic effects of eastern enlargement of the EU and an EU-Russian free trade area. The main emphasis of the paper is on the effect this would have on the Russian economy. The simulations were carried out with a GTAP computable general equilibrium model, using the most recent GTAP database 6.0 beta, which takes the former Europe agreements between the EU-15 and the eight new Central and Eastern European member states into account. The results confirm the earlier findings that a free trade agreement with the EU is beneficial for Russia in terms of total output but not necessarily in terms of economic welfare when measured by equivalent variation. The main reason behind this is the deterioration that would occur in Russia's terms of trade. Improved productivity in Russia would, however, make the free trade agreement with the EU advantageous.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anna Gelpern
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Financial collapse usually triggers a flurry of market, academic, and policy innovation. The Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s produced the Brady Bonds and led to the rise of today's emerging markets. In the late 1990s, crises in Pakistan, Ecuador, and Ukraine helped teach the markets how to restructure international sovereign bonds. Crises in Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and throughout East Asia raised doubts about the international system's ability to manage vast and rapid capital flows, and prompted a big-picture reassessment under the rubric “international financial architecture.” This included most famously the sovereign bankruptcy proposals discussed elsewhere in this volume.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, East Asia, Brazil, South America, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Stanislav Markus
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The literature on corporate governance in Russia stresses the abuse of shareholder rights in the face of various asset-diversion tactics by the management. Attributing this fiasco to a number of structural obstacles and the privatization legacy, the orthodox account fails to incorporate–let alone explain–the recent data demonstrating a qualitative improvement of corporate governance in crucial segments of the Russian economy. This paper disaggregates “corporate governance” into specific institutions and examines their quality at the firm level as well as by sector. The data supporting the analysis is drawn from recent studies by the OECD, UBS Warburg, CEFIR, and other organizations. The causal inference presented in this paper critically evaluates the impact of foreign capital on the improved corporate governance in Russia's blue-chip firms. The paper presents two alternative state-centered scenarios to explain the implementation of internationally accepted standards of corporate governance by Russia's big business.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Agata Antkiewicz, John Whalley
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: We discuss recent regional trade and economic partnership agreements involving the large population, rapidly growing economies (BRICSAM: Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa, ASEAN, and Mexico). Perhaps 50 out of 300 agreements that exist worldwide involve BRICSAM countries; most are recently concluded and will be implemented over the next few years. Along with extensive bilateral investment treaties, mutual recognition agreements, and other country to country (or region) arrangements they are part of what we term the non-WTO. This paper aims to document and characterize the agreements and analyze their possible impacts. Agreements differ in specificity, coverage and content. In some treaties there are detailed and specific commitments, but these also co-exist with seemingly vague commitments and (at times) opaque dispute settlement and enforcement mechanisms. Whether these represent a partial replacement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) process for newly negotiated reciprocity based on global trade liberalization or largely represent diplomatic protocol alongside significant WTO disciplines is the subject of this paper.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Dmitri Vinogradov
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We consider an overlapping generations model with two production factors and two types of agents in the presence of financial intermediation and its application to the Russian default of August 1998. The paper focuses on the analysis of the consequences of a sudden negative repayments shock on financial intermediation capacity and consequently on the economy as a whole. The model exhibits a 'chain reaction' property, when a single macroeconomic shock can lead to the exhaustion of credit resources and to the subsequent collapse of the whole banking system. To maintain the capability of the system to recover, regulatory intervention is needed even in the presence of the state guarantees on agents' deposits in the banks (workout incentives). We compare the results for an intermediated economy with those derived under the assumption of a market economy, and draw some broad conclusions on the consequences of the crises, which are contingent on the financial sector structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Evgeny Vinokurov
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Kaliningrad oblast of Russia is currently an important focal point of discussions between the European Union and Russia. Although small in terms of geography and population, Kaliningrad has grown in importance due to the EU enlargement process. Since the break–up of the Soviet Union, the oblast has become an exclave of Russia, and it is now set to also become an enclave within the EU. This paper examines the state of Kaliningrad's economy and trade. The economic crisis that took place in Russia in the 1990s had severe consequences for Kaliningrad, as old patterns of production and trade were disrupted. Since 1999, however, the regional economy has grown with impressive speed. Kaliningrad's Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status has played a crucial role in determining its new patterns of production and trade specialisation. The paper argues that the SEZ regime has made the region's economic growth faster but also vulnerable.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrew; Gaddy Eggers
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper studies the effect of regional unemployment rates on subjective well-being in post-Soviet Russia. Research conducted in Europe and the United States has documented that higher unemployment rates lead to lower reported life-satisfaction. By contrast, our Russian study finds a small but significant effect in the other direction. We estimate that du ring the period of our study (1995-2001), each percentage point increase in the local unemployment rate was correlated with the average well-being of people in the region increasing by an amount equivalent to moving 2% of the population up one level in life satisfaction measured on a five-point scale. Our intuition is that the so-called comparison effect drives this result: when individuals observe their peers suffering in a troubled economy, they lower their standards of what is good enough. All else equal, they thus perceive themselves to be better off in worse times. In highlighting the dependence of subjective well-being scores on expectations and reference groups, we sound a note of caution against using happiness data from economies in crisis to draw macroeconomic policy conclusions.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Daniele Archibugi
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Will Kymlicka has argued “democratic politics is politics in the vernacular.” Does it imply that democratic politics is impossible in a multilingual community, whether at the local, national, regional or global level? This paper discusses this assumption and maintains that democratic politics should imply the willingness of all players to make an effort to understand each other. Democratic politics imply the willingness to overcome the barriers to mutual understanding, including the linguistic ones. Any time that there is a community of fate, a democrat should search for methods that allow deliberation according to the two key conditions of political equality and participation. If linguistic diversity is an obstacle to equality and participation, some methods should be found to overcome it, as exemplified by the Esperanto metaphor. The paper illustrates the argument with four cases of multi-linguistic political communities: a) a school in California with English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students; b) the city of Byelostok in the second half of the nineteenth century, where four different linguistic communities (Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish) coexisted. This led Markus Zamenhof to invent Esperanto; c) the linguistic problems of the Indian state, and the role played by English – a language unspoken by the majority of the Indian population in 1947 – in developing Indian democracy; and d) the case of the European Parliament, with twenty languages and a wealth of interpreters and translators.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, India, California, Germany
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Russia is at a crossroads. Current levels of national economic growth cannot be sustained without significantly restructuring the country's economic system. If economic growth is not sustained, financing for important social reforms will face serious strains, and expectations that have been built up among the Russian population over the past five years will go unrealized. As a result, the political system and the population's long - term well being will be put at risk. To counter this danger, Russia needs to change its national consciousness away from social paternalism and towards competitiveness. This needs to be implemented in a way that Russian citizens, politicians and business people can understand and support. Russia can only meet its expectations of long - term growth and a higher overall standard of living by increasing levels of competitiveness across sectors and delivering tangible and positive results to its citizens.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Population, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Caroline Dufy
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Barter was a prominent issue in public debate during the 1990s in Russia: it prompted a more overall reflection on the nature of the Russian economy and the aim pursued by economic reforms. These major issues shaped a number of divisions: the government opposition portrayed barter as one of the pernicious effects of economic policies that gave priority to finance to the detriment of the national productive sphere. For others, it was to be interpreted as the legacy of the Soviet industrial sector and its lack of competitiveness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Tamara Makarenko
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, St. Andrews University, Scotland
  • Abstract: Chechen resistance movements have reorganised to adjust to the post 11 September 2001 security environment, and appear to be adopting more lethal terrorist tactics. Tamara Makarenko reports.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The fourth regular round table discussion, organized by the George Russell Centre for Corporate Competitiveness (GRCCC) within the framework of the open discussion "The Future of Russia: Developing Global Competitiveness" took place on July 11, 2003 in the Moscow Centre of the EastWest Institute. The theme of the round table was: "VAT Administration: Is Reform Necessary?". Leading Russian experts, largely members of the George Russell Centre expert group, participated in the discussion.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On June 26, 2003 the third regular round - table discussion within open discussion “Future of Russia: Global Competitiveness Development” took place in the Moscow Center of the EastWest Institute. The topic under discussion was: When is it time for competitiveness development strategy for companies?”
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On June 11, 2003 the second regular round - table discussion within open discussion “Future of Russia: Global Competitiveness Development” took place in the Moscow Center of the EastWest Institute. The topic under discussion was: ”Financial System of Russia: Threats and challenges of the 21st century”.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: A.M. Lavrov
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Improvement of the financial relations between the Federation and the regions still remains quite an urgent problem. The Concept of Reforming Inter budgetary Relations in the Russian Federation in 1999 — 2000 is being implemented; Russia's Finance Ministry has developed the Concept of Reforming Budget Federalism in the Russian Federation to 2005, which will soon be approved by the Government; a special section on interbudgetary relations has been included in the Main Long- Term Trends of Socio-Economic Policy of the Russian Federation Government program, drafted by the Strategic Research Center.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Bosnia
  • Author: Anthony Shorrocks, Stanislav Kolenikov
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper applies a new decomposition technique to the study of variations in poverty across the regions of Russia. The procedure, which is based on the Shapley value in cooperative game theory, allows the deviation in regional poverty levels from the all- Russia average to be attributed to three proximate sources; mean income per capita, inequality, and local prices. Contrary to expectation, regional poverty variations turn out to be due more to differences in inequality across regions than to differences in real income per capita. However, when real income per capita is split into nominal income and price components, differences in nominal incomes emerge as more important than either inequality or price effects for the majority of regions.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Ruslan Yemtsov
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses regional data on inequality and poverty in Russia during 1994-2000 using published series from the regionally representative Household Budget Survey. The paper finds that the share of inequality in Russia coming from the between-regions component is large (close to a third of the total inequality), growing, and accounts for most of the increase in national inequality over 1994-2000. The paper demonstrates an absence of interregional convergence in incomes across Russian regions using various techniques. On the other hand, the paper finds evidence of convergence in inequality within regions, trended towards an internationally high level. Based on these two findings, the paper projects dynamics of inequality and poverty in Russia over a ten-year time horizon. The projections show that if the observed trend continues, by 2010 the absolute majority of Russia's poor will be concentrated in a few permanently impoverished regions, while relatively more affluent regions will become virtually free of poverty. Finally, the paper relates fluctuations in inequality within regions to a set of factors classified into four broad categories: endowments and initial conditions, preferences, policies, and shocks. Among these factors short-run fluctuations of the unemployment rate are revealed as significant and strong signals of inequality.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: André Decoster, Inna Verbina
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The interplay of a differentiated indirect tax structure and the variation in expenditure patterns across households, leads to a possibly unequal distribution of indirect tax liabilities across the population. This paper uses the ninth round of the RLMS survey to assess the distributional consequences of the two major components of the indirect tax system: VAT and excise taxes. The global indirect system can be considered to be progressive overall, according to the Kakwani index. Decomposition into constituent terms shows that this is due not only to a progressive VAT structure, but also to progressive excise taxes. This surprising result is mainly explained by the progressivity of the excise tax on car fuel, but might also be sensitive to peculiarities in the data about alcohol consumption.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Svetlana Glinkina, Dorothy Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We argue that the conflicts in the Caucasus are the result of the abrogation by the elite of the earlier, Soviet era, social contract. This process was accompanied by the collapse of the formal economy; evidenced by huge national income compression, falling public goods provision, and growing inequality and poverty. In the absence of state provision of basic amenities and governance, ordinary people are compelled to fall back on kinship ties. Declining standards of governance facilitate state-sponsored corruption and criminality in a setting where the shadow economic activity is increasingly important to individual survival strategies. Oil pipelines and the right to control the transit of goods both legal and illegal also underlie conflict in the region. Criminality has replaced ethnicity as the major motivation for conflict and conflict per se has become a lucrative source of income.
  • Topic: Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Vladimir Shustov
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: To start with, I would like to note that the degree to which the civil society influences state national security policies depends on political and social and economic character of the state and, accordingly, on relationships between various branches of power and the society itself represented by its organizations, mass media and individuals.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Yuri Nazarkin
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: The current Russian security decision-making system represents a particular interest, because Russia today is at a crucial stage of its development. There are a number of factors that are shaping its system: new security dimensions and requirements, traditional and innovative approaches towards security, political interests of various groupings, economic interests of big corporations, politicians' personal ambitions. At the same time the past experience puts a noticeable impact on the current decisionmaking mechanisms. That is why I am going to start with the Soviet period.
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Soviet Union
  • Author: Thomas E. Jr. Graham
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For much of the first decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the issue of reform—of transition to free-market democracy—dominated discussions of Russia in Russia itself and in the West. Russian president Boris Yeltsin advocated reform; Western governments declared their support and offered their assistance. This was particularly true of the U.S. government. President Clinton's administration came into office in 1993 determined to assist Russia in its transformation into “a normal, modern state—democratic in its governance, abiding by its own constitution and by its own laws, market-oriented and prosperous in its economic development, at peace with itself and the rest of the world,” as deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott, the chief architect of the U.S. administration's Russia policy, was wont to put it.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Luigi Manzetti
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: In December 2001, Argentina recorded the world's largest default ever, as it failed to honor payments on its US$132 billion foreign debt. Since then, five presidents have been in power, the Argentine peso has been devalued by 120 percent, and the banking system has virtually collapsed, dragging the economy into a depression. The gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2002. Argentina's per capita income has become one of the worst in Latin America, and, as a result, more than one-third of its people live under the poverty line. 1 Argentines' confidence in their elected officials has disappeared. By most accounts, the country has literally imploded to a degree that has no precedent in Latin America's contemporary history. This is particularly bewildering, considering that only 10 years ago Argentina was hailed around the world as a model of successful economic reforms, with standards of living that were not only the highest in the region but comparable to those of some southern European countries. How could Argentina go from role model to international outcast so quickly? Some place the blame on external shocks created by the financial crises in Mexico (1995), Indonesia (1997), Thailand (1998), and Russia (1998). Others say the cause of the problem was misguided policy advice from the International Monetary Fund (Stiglitz 2002). Yet, most analyses ascribe much of the trouble to the Convertibility Law's fixed exchange rate policy adopted in 1991.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Indonesia, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Thailand
  • Author: Per Botolf Maurseth
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the Soviet Union, one result of central planning was geographical decentralisation of economic activity to a large set of remote peripheral regions. For Russian post-Soviet regions an important question is whether centripetal market forces may alter the pre-existing industrial location. This paper addresses some aspects of regional economic development in Russia. The Russian economic landscape differs from what is common in market economies. Peripheral regions are generally richer than the average. During the 1990s, differences in gross regional product increased. These developments have also meant less spatial concentration of economic activity. During the last half of the 1990s, economic growth was higher in central regions than in the peripheries. If these trends continue, the Russian economic landscape will alter significantly in the future, with income per capita, total income and population being concentrated in economic central regions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Mark Carlson, Leonardo Hernandez
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: The Mexican, Asian, and Russian crises of the mid- and late 1990s have renewed the interest among policymakers in the determinants and effects of private capital flows. This paper analyzes whether policies can affect the composition of capital inflows and whether different compositions aggravate crises. We find that, while fundamentals matter, capital controls can affect the mix of capital inflows that countries receive. We find that during the Asian crisis countries with more Yen denominated debt faired worse, while during the Mexican crisis larger short-term debt stocks increased the severity of the crisis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, North America
  • Author: Linda Jakobson, Christer Pursiainen
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: “Modernity ends when words like progress, advance, development, emancipation, liberation, growth, accumulation, enlightenment, embetterment, avant-garde, lose their attraction and their function as guides to social action.” By this definition, Russia and China are both still undertaking extensive modernisation – though by very different means. Why have Russia and China chosen such different paths for their post-communist transitions? How do their strategies differ, and how are they interrelated? When – at what junctures - were the crucial choices made?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has become something of a cliché to argue that the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in dramatic changes in the unfolding of political space in the 1990s. Yet this was especially true in the case of the then European Community (EC) and its relations with the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. During the Cold War, the relations between the EC and the USSR were practically non-existent. The ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev and the period of perestroika and glasnost resulted, however, in a gradual rapprochement between the two parties. The creation of these new ties was formalized in the signing of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EC and the USSR, which was, however, in effect signed with an already crumbling Soviet Union as it took place as late as 21 December 1989.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, L. Jerome Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: A hallmark of the administration of social assistance under the socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and the USSR was the universal nature of eligibility for benefits, either to all citizens or to categories of deserving citizens, e.g., the physically handicapped. During the transition period since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation has taken limited steps to improve the targeting of benefits. The challenge to improvement is acute because the administration of the great majority of programs rests with agencies of local government. The question addressed here is how amenable local program administration is to improved targeting and more progressive program administration in general. Presented is an analysis of the results of assessments of two pilot programs implemented in two Russian cities in 2000–2001. The “school lunch pilot” introduced means testing in the school lunch program on a citywide basis; eligible families receive cash payments and all children pay the same price for their lunches in cash. The “jobs pilot” is a new, local means-tested program that provides cash support to families while unemployed workers search for work; continued receipt of funds is conditional on a minimum job search effort. We find that both programs were successfully implemented and that there was little resistance to the sharper targeting. On the other hand, a variety of problems with program administration were identified—problems that need to be addressed if program integrity and credibility are to be maintained.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, Kirill Chagin
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: In the Russian Federation the delivery of social services to deserving population groups is mostly the responsibility of municipalities and other local governments. Services are delivered by municipal agencies. One way to inject competition into the delivery system is for local government to hold competitions to contract for social service delivery. The competitions can be open to nonprofit organizations (NPOs), some of which have been providing assistance in recent years to needy individuals and families similar to those that would be contracted.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Matthew Addison, Mark Hodges, Steven Gale, Nick Wedeman
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Agency for International Development
  • Abstract: Since the official dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has moved forward to make the difficult transition to open markets and more democratic institutions. The journey toward a complete restructuring of the Russian economy and an adoption of wide-ranging political reforms has been perilous. Political instability continues, crime and corruption have become more widespread, and economic conditions show little sign of improving quickly. Efforts to privatize state-held industries, initially seen as wildly successful, have now met with resistance, and full citizen involvement in government is far from complete.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nina Khrushcheva
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: One goal of Russia's economic reforms during the last ten years has been to establish a new class of businessmen and owners of private property—people who could form the foundation for a new model post-Soviet citizen. However, the experience of this post-communist economic “revolution” has turned out to be very different from the original expectations. For as people became disillusioned with communism due to its broken promises, the words “democracy” and “reform” quickly became equally as unbearable to large sectors of the Russian public after 1991. Such disillusion was achieved in less than ten years—a record revolutionary burnout that would be the envy of any anti-Bolshevik.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, Burton Richman
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Competent administration is fundamental to successful reform of social assistance programs in transition economies. Only with such administration is there assurance that benefits are being delivered as intended in enabling legislation. Moreover, the perceived efficiency and fairness of administration influences the public's views of the new programs. In the Russian Federation local governments have primary responsibility for the administration of social assistance programs enacted by all levels of government
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Kenneth Flamm, Ann Markusen, Judith Reppy, John Lovering, Claude Serfati, Andrew D. James, Eugene Cobble, Judith Sedaitis, Corinna-Barbara Francis, Dov Dvir, Asher Tishler, Etel Solingen
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Cornell University Peace Studies Program
  • Abstract: A review of current and forthcoming developments in the European defense industry (which here means mainly Britain, France, Germany, and Italy) would lead, I believe, to some fairly clear conclusions. The relationship between sectoral and national (including regional) economic development is changing profoundly. This is above all because the defense industry currently represents a major and extremely significant instance of globalization. However, this is not the kind of globalization described in many summaries.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Middle East, France
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In a recent conference, trade experts identified three primary reasons the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed to launch a new trade Round at its December 1999 Ministerial. First, leading members were unable to resolve differences on critical issues prior to the gathering. In addition, many developing countries and nongovernmental organizations were more assertive than they had been at previous conferences. Finally, in recent years, the WTO has expanded the range of issues it addresses, which has made efforts to reach a consensus on any point more difficult. According to the speakers, as a result of the acrimonious Ministerial, the WTO has suffered a substantial loss of credibility, which will impair efforts to launch a new Round in the near term. There is no immediate alternative to strong US leadership, and WTO negotiations will be more complicated because developing countries and nongovernmental organizations will be more inclined to resist trade liberalization efforts that they believe do not advance their interests. Experts at the conference offered a variety of assessments regarding the course the WTO might choose to follow this year. The majority argued that if the trade body is seeking to rebuild confidence, it could continue with scheduled meetings on agriculture and services and use the time to rebuild confidence. A minority, however, held that the forum is too fractured to make progress, thus talks would only undermine the already declining prestige of the trade body. The experts identified several long-run challenges that the WTO will probably need to address to be an effective decisionmaking institution, including: Bridging the developed-developing country gap Costa Rica, Mexico, and South Africa generally support trade liberalization and have credibility among developed and developing states; thus they are in a position to meld the interests of the two sides. Enacting institutional reforms The organization's expansive agenda and large membership require that it adopt policies that facilitate decisionmaking, especially before new members such as China and Russia join. The trade body may try to increase transparency to promote greater trust in its procedures. Also, to avoid protracted and bitter selections such as the forum suffered last year, the WTO could review its procedures for electing a new director general. Managing the backlash against globalization Supporters of freer trade could launch a massive educational program to highlight the gains for all countries from expanded trade and to counter the dire assertions made by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Kurt Schuler, George A. Selgin
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: On August 17, 1998, Russia devalued the ruble and stopped payment on its government debt, creating a financial crisis that continues today. Some observers have blamed the financial crisis, and the poor performance of the Russian economy generally, on government policies that they claim are rigidly laissez faire. However, a closer look at the Russian financial system reveals that it remains fundamentally socialist, though it has superficial capitalist features.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Janine R. Wedel
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the governments of the United States and other Western countries have provided massive aid to promote a transition to the free market in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. But aid for market reforms in the region has been largely ineffective. Whether provided in the form of technical assistance, grants to political groups or nongovernmental organizations, loans and guarantees to the private sector, or direct financial aid to post-communist governments, that aid has been plagued by a number of problems. The failed $22.6 billion bailout of Russia by the International Monetary Fund in July 1998 only confirmed the flawed nature of the aid-for-reform approach.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Erika Wada
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In the wake of financial crises in Mexico (1994-95), Asia (1997-98), Russia (1998) and Brazil (1998-99), respected observers have questioned the benefits of wide-open international capital markets (Bhagwati, 1998; Krugman, 1998; Rodrik, 1998; Eichengreen, 1999). Our purpose is to identify true hazards and suggest appropriate precautions.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, Brazil, Mexico