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  • Author: Xiaoqing Lu Boynton, Conor M. Savoy
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As China's economy expanded in recent decades, there has been a corresponding rise in the amount of foreign assistance it offers to the developing world. In particular, China increased aid to countries in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Some of China's methods and objectives are controversial with the international aid community. Critics accuse China of frequently following a “mercantilist” strategy in using aid and loans in order to secure natural resources such as oil and raw materials. One commentator went so far as to describe Chinese aid as “rogue aid,” because it is driven by self-interest and not what is best for the developing world.1In remarks widely interpreted as aimed at China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently warned countries to be “wary of donors who are more interested in extracting your resources than in building your capacity.”2Added to these feelings, China treats the methodology of its aid as a competitive asset and has sought to distance itself from international efforts at creating a cooperative framework for foreign assistance. In spite of this, since the second term of the Bush administration, the United States has sought to engage with China on international development. This includes high-level meetings be-tween the heads of China's foreign aid bureaucracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as on-the-ground attempts to find common ground on development.
  • Topic: Development, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Johanna Nesseth Tuttle
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With the introduction of Feed the Future (FTF)—the U.S. government's program to refocus foreign assistance on agricultural development—the private sector has been named a priority partner. President Barack Obama made a bold statement in his 2009 inaugural address, pledging that the United States would work with countries to support and promote food security. Private companies are enthusiastic about engaging in development efforts, and FTF may provide that avenue. The food and agriculture sector has significant capabilities, and market opportunities in developing countries are large and growing. Many companies have engaged in discussions with FTF leadership, and a number of partnerships have been launched. These are important efforts, and more are under way. The fact remains, however, that funding for agricultural development is relatively small—a three-year, $3.5 billion budget, compared to a six-year, $63 billion budget for health—and the investments needed in agriculture are massive: it would take $88.7 billion to meet U.S. global agricultural development goals.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Emerging Markets, Foreign Aid, Food, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Huasheng Zhao
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China holds clear, coherent, but relatively low-profile positions on Afghanistan. While staying largely with the mainstream of the international community on the issue of Afghanistan, China maintains an independent policy that reflects the peculiarities of Chinese interests, concerns, and priorities in Afghanistan. China has multiple interests in Afghanistan; however, domestic concerns about the security and stability of the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang overwhelm all others. China maintains normal and good relations with the Afghan government, takes active part in the country's economic rebuilding, and provides Afghanistan financial aid and other assistance. China supports the international community in its efforts in Afghanistan, but stays away from direct military involvement. China refrains from criticizing America's involvement in the war in Afghan- istan, but it doubts the war's efficacy, and China refuses to join the American Northern Distribu- tion Network (NDN) to Afghanistan. China dislikes the Taliban because of its close relations with the “East Turkistan” organization—a Uyghur separatist group—but China deals with the Taliban cautiously, trying to avoid direct conflict. China favors an Afghanistan governed by Afghans and hopes that the “Kabul process”—the transition to greater Afghan responsibility and ownership in both security and civilian areas—will have a successful end. At the same time, China also prepares for unexpected outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Situated astride one of the world's key strategic crossroads, the “Big Caucasus” is increasingly a region in flux. The August 2008 war among Georgia, Russia, and the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia emphasized the fragility of the territorial status quo that took hold in the years immediately following the collapse of the USSR, but which has failed to establish legitimacy among either local populations or the international community. The 2008 war solidified the de facto separation between the Georgian state and its breakaway provinces and put Georgia's NATO accession on indefinite hold—but did not resolve the underlying problems of sovereignty and security that led to the conflict. Similar problems abound across the Big Caucasus. An increasingly authoritarian Azeri government has staked much of its legitimacy on regaining Nagorno-Karabakh. While talks between Baku and Yerevan have made little progress, an arms buildup in the region continues, raising fears of renewed conflict. Meanwhile, Russia's North Caucasus smolders. A nationalist insurgency that began in Chechnya in the early 1990s has spread to neighboring regions and taken on a harder jihadist edge, raising concerns about a possible al Qaeda presence and creating a direct threat to Western interests.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since it assumed power after Hosni Mubarak's ouster, the performance of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has been, at times, head-scratching. Extolled in the wake of the uprising as the revolution's protector, many have come to view it as an agent of the counter-revolution. It often has been obstinate, before abruptly yielding to pressure. It values its long ties with Washington, from which it receives much assistance, but seemed willing to jeopardise them by targeting U.S.-funded NGOs. Suspected by Islamists of seeking to deprive them of opportunity to govern and by non-Islamists of entering a secret pact with the Muslim Brotherhood, it finds itself in the worst of both worlds: an angry tug-of-war with liberal protesters and a high-wire contest with Islamists. It displays little interest in governing, wishing instead to protect privileges, but erratic behaviour threatens even that. On the eve of presidential elections that have become a high-stakes free-for-all, the SCAF should take a step back and, with the full range of political actors, agree on principles for a genuine and safe political transition.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • 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: Amanda Glassman, Thomas J. Bollyky
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Fewer people are smoking in the United States, Europe, and most of the developing world. Excise taxes, bans on smoking in public places, and graphic health warnings are achieving such dramatic reductions in tobacco use in developed countries that a recent Citigroup Bank investment analysis speculated that smoking could virtually disappear in wealthy countries over the next thirty to fifty years.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Nigel Purvis, Abigail Jones
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Worldwide, about 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity (one in five people), while unreliable electricity networks serve another 1 billion people. Roughly 2.7 billion—about 40 percent of the global population—lack access to clean cooking fuels. Instead, dirty, sometimes scarce and expensive fuels such as kerosene, candles, wood, animal waste, and crop residues power the lives of the energy poor, who pay disproportionately high costs and receive very poor quality in return. More than 95 percent of the energy poor are either in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia, while 84 percent are in rural areas—the same regions that are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Asia
  • Author: Anar Valiyev
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As Azerbaijan celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence, democratic development remains a key challenge facing the country. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan successfully coped with immediate problems such as poverty reduction and economic and political stability, the need to reform the public administration and decentralize governance has become particularly urgent. The main problems, however, remain the same: low public trust in institutions, the absence of a democratic political culture and the lack of bridging social capital. In this regard, the assistance of the Transatlantic Community is necessary. The European Union and the United States should pursue a developmental approach to democracy promotion in Azerbaijan, which has higher chances to succeed than a more explicitly political approach, considering the weak institutional capacity in the country.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Anne Nelson
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: Digital media are disrupting every aspect of modern society, rebooting traditional practices and jumpstarting new disciplines ranging from telemedicine to robotic assembly lines. Along the way, they are rattling hierarchies, making blunders, and fomenting miracles.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Science and Technology, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States