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  • Author: Meg Murphy
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Andrea Ortiz went down to the Charles River on the afternoon that she—victoriously—submitted her senior thesis. There she was, a girl born in Mexico City, an immigrant raised in Miami, a bright light, the first in her family line to get to Harvard. Yet she felt a wave of sadness, and that, she reasoned, made no sense. So she sat by the river to think until it came to her: this was yearning. “You never accomplish anything alone. I was feeling the absence of the people who were most influential in getting me to this point,” she said later. “I wished they could be here too.” Her grandmother is one of those people. She is a woman who created her own philosophy and humanities class in Mexico City for people, like herself at the time, without access to a college education. Later in rural Comitán de Dominguez, where Ortiz spent childhood summers, her grandmother mail-ordered hundreds of books. The family home became an informal library for rural housewives.
  • Topic: Poverty, Social Services, Community, Housing
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Michelle Nicholasen
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Racism and discrimination are daily realities for members of marginalized groups. But what does it look like at the ground level, and how do individuals from various groups and countries respond to such experiences? Drawing on more than 400 in-depth interviews with middle class and working class men and women residing in the multi-ethnic suburbs of New York, Rio, and Tel Aviv, and representing five different racial “groups,” a team of sociologists examine how people deal with and make sense of the various forms of exclusion that are ever present in their lives.
  • Topic: Race, Women, Discrimination, Marginalization
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Brazil, South America, North America
  • Author: Michelle Nicholasen
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: During the 2016 primaries, Donald Trump claimed he had more foreign policy experience than any of the GOP contenders. In fact, he has traveled widely to meet with presidents, prime ministers, financiers, and developers over the past decade as part of his highly profitable business of licensing the Trump name to large real estate developments around the world. On the campaign trail, Trump’s provocative statements about foreign policy have become part of the public record. From pressuring NAFTA members to bombing ISIS, his pledges have caused a stir in the arena of foreign relations. Publicly, candidate Trump threatened to close borders to Mexicans, slap tariffs on Chinese goods, restrict Muslims in the United States, among other vows. Without a record of public service to draw on, it is difficult to know how these declarations might translate into a Trump foreign policy. To understand what lies ahead for the new president, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs asked its Faculty Associates in international relations to comment on the challenges and opportunities that await in five regions of the world: Africa, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Latin America, Europe, and China.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Elections, ISIS, NAFTA
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Riley Collins, Sabrina Peric
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Cultural data gathered by researchers has provided militaries across the globe with intelligence and a unique insight into a category of analysis that is not normally given primacy in military strategic planning. Such data has been used in the past; it was used during World War Two to gain insight into the Japanese mind; it was used during British Colonial pacification efforts in Northern Africa; and it is again used today by the U.S. armed forces’ Human Terrain Teams to understand and relay cultural expectations and needs of occupied communities. This paper examines how the U.S. forces relate to an idea of culture for consumption as intelligence through an analysis of the Human Terrain Teams Handbook. Through this lens, we show how the U.S. armed forces condition members of Human Terrain Teams to interact with and think about local cultures in certain ways that are operationally relevant to military activities.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Military Strategy, Culture
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Japan, Asia, North Africa
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: China’s increasingly significant economic and security interests in the Middle East have several impacts. It affects not only its energy security but also its regional posture, relations with regional powers as well as the United States, and efforts to pacify nationalist and Islamist Uighurs in its north-western province of Xinjiang. Those interests are considerably enhanced by China’s One Belt, One Road initiative that seeks to patch together a Eurasian land mass through inter-linked infrastructure, investment and expanded trade relations. Protecting its mushrooming interests is forcing China to realign its policies and relationships in the region. As it takes stock of the Middle East and North Africa’s volatility and tumultuous, often violent political transitions, China feels the pressure to acknowledge that it no longer can remain aloof to the Middle East and North Africa’s multiple conflicts. China’s long-standing insistence on non-interference in the domestic affairs of others, refusal to envision a foreign military presence and its perseverance that its primary focus is the development of mutually beneficial economic and commercial relations, increasingly falls short of what it needs to do to safeguard its vital interests. Increasingly, China will have to become a regional player in competitive cooperation with the United States, the dominant external actor in the region for the foreseeable future. The pressure to revisit long-standing foreign and defence policy principles is also driven by the fact that China’s key interests in the Middle East and North Africa have expanded significantly beyond the narrow focus of energy despite its dependence on the region for half 1 China has signalled its gradual recognition of these new realities with the publication in January 2016 of an Arab Policy Paper, the country’s first articulation of a policy towards the Middle East and North Africa. But, rather than spelling out specific policies, the paper reiterated the generalities of China’s core focus in its relations with the Arab world: economics, energy, counter-terrorism, security, technical cooperation and its One Belt, One Road initiative. Ultimately however, China will have to develop a strategic vision that outlines foreign and defence policies it needs to put in place to protect its expanding strategic, geopolitical, economic, and commercial interests in the Middle East and North Africa; its role and place in the region as a rising superpower in the region; and its relationship and cooperation with the United States in managing, if not resolving conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Economics, Imperialism, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Middle East, Asia, North Africa
  • Author: Bhavna Dave
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: The Russia-ASEAN summit being held in Sochi on 19-20 May 2016 to mark twenty years of Russia’s dialogue partnership with ASEAN is a further indicator of President Vladimir Putin’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy, triggered also by its current confrontation with the west. Through this pivot, Moscow wants to assert Russia’s geopolitical status as a Euro-Pacific as well as Asia- Pacific power. It is a pragmatic response to the shifting of global power to Asia. It also builds on the growing Russo-Chinese relations to develop the Russian Far East, a resource-rich but underdeveloped region into the gateway for expansion of Russia into the Asia Pacific. At the same time, the growing asymmetry in achieving the economic and strategic goals of Russia and China has resulted in fears that the Russian Far East will turn into a raw materials appendage of China. Moscow lacks the financial resources to support Putin’s Asia pivot. Therefore, Russia needs to strengthen ties with other Asia-Pacific countries and ASEAN as a regional grouping so as to attract more diversified trade and investments into its Far East region. It is in this context that the Sochi summit takes on added significance. However, given Russia’s sporadic interest in Southeast Asia and its strategic role defined mainly by the limited potential of Russian energy and arms exports to ASEAN Member States, the PR diplomacy and summitry at Sochi may not deliver substantive outcomes for Russia. Nonetheless, Moscow aims to enhance its status in the east and seek business and strategic opportunities through the summit thereby compensating to some extent Russia’s loss following the sanctions imposed by the west over the annexation of Crimea.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Xianbai Ji, Pradumna B. Rana, Wai-Mun Chia, Changtai Li
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: The advent of mega-free trade agreements (mega-FTAs) including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a defining feature of global trade governance in the 21st century. What are the costs and benefits of mega- FTAs? What is the political and strategic calculus behind mega-FTAs? Is there a “domino effect” triggering off the mega-FTA troika in a chain of reactions? Does mega-regionalism reinforce or undermine multilateralism? Since commonly used econometrics models cannot shed light on non-economic issues, this paper examines mega-regionalism by conducting a perception survey. This survey received responses from 648 opinion leaders located in 31 Asian countries. Respondents felt that mega-FTAs are good trade policy instruments that are “building blocks” to multilateralism. Linked by a “domino effect”, the mega-FTAs have important political and strategic dimensions. The United States wants to socialise China by writing high- standard “rules of the road” through the TPP. China then pivoted to RCEP to counter the TPP. Brussels through TTIP wanted to join the mega-FTA bandwagon to stay relevant. Additionally, remaining questions on decentralising global economic architecture highlight the need for regional and global institutions to complement each other.
  • Topic: European Union, Multilateralism, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Free Trade, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Inken von Borzyskowski, Clara Portelia
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: When a country is sanctioned for violating international rules today, it is usually targeted by several different entities. The degree to which sanctions by different senders overlap remains a largely unexplored phenomenon. In this paper, we examine the extent of sanctions cooperation, i.e. joint action among major sanctions senders (the US, the EU, and regional organizations) against identical targets. We then map regional patterns and evaluate one potential explanation for them. Our analysis leads to three major findings. First, sanctions overlap is predominant and has consistently increased over the last three decades. Twothirds of sanctions involve more than a single sender. Targets today are usually subject to punishment by at least three different sanctions senders (up from one in 1980) and sometimes up to six different senders. Second, world regions vary widely in the extent of sanctions cooperation, the profile of sanctions senders, and their interactions. Third, to explain variation in sanctions cooperation, we find that hegemonic stability theory does not provide much leverage. We conclude by outlining avenues for future research on sanctions cooperation relating to sanctions onset and effectiveness.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Sanctions, European Union, regionalism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Henrique Carlos de Oliveira De Castro
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The article deals with the recent foreign policy of the Andean countries, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, considering the relationship with the United States and the situation of political crises in these countries. We discuss the national context of each country and the consequences for external relations and international politics of each and of the region. We address United States interests in the effects of the current crisis in the three countries and highlight the importance of political culture for understanding reality.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Venezuela, North America, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: Kevin Appleby, Leonir Chiarello, Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), a nonpartisan think tank/educational institute focusing on the study of international migration, and the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), a not-for-profit organization focusing on protection and development programs for migrants, traveled to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico from August 15 to 22 to visit migrant shelters operated by the religious Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, Scalabrinians. The delegation toured migrant detention and return facilities, met with public officials and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and assessed how the US-Mexico policies of deterrence and interdiction have impacted the region and particularly those seeking to flee the record levels of violence in the Northern Triangle states of Central America.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Regional Cooperation, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, North America, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Clay Ramsay, Ebrahim Mohseni
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Summary of Findings 1. Views of the Rouhani Administration President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif enjoy high levels of popular support in Iran. Nearly 8 in 10 Iranians say they have a favorable opinion of Rouhani and Zarif. Yet the intensity of their popularity has substantially eroded since August 2015. With Iran’s parliamentary elections only about a month away, 6 in 10 Iranians continue to want Rouhani supporters to win, while a growing minority favors his critics. Though Rouhani receives high marks for improving Iran’s security and deepening Iran’s relations with European countries, views of the economy are mixed. An increasing majority of Iranians think that Rouhani has not been successful in reducing unemployment. Iranians are also substantially less optimistic about Iran’s economy, with less than half now thinking that the economy is getting better. 2. Iran’s February 2016 Parliamentary Elections Four in ten Iranians voice confidence that the upcoming Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) elections will be very fair, and another four in ten assume it will be somewhat free and fair. Two thirds are highly confident they will vote in the upcoming elections for the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts. The most important issues Iranians want the new Majlis to tackle are unemployment and Iran’s low performing economy. 3. Civil Liberties in Iran Two in three Iranians believe that it is important for President Rouhani to seek to increase civil liberties in Iran. However, only a small minority complains that Iranians have too little freedom. While only about a third thinks that civil liberties in Iran have increased during Rouhani’s presidency, a plurality expects that civil liberties will increase at least somewhat over the next two years. 4. Approval for Nuclear Deal Seven in ten Iranians approve of the nuclear deal, though enthusiasm has waned somewhat. The deal garners support from majorities of those who favor Rouhani’s critics in the Majlis election, as well as those who favor his supporters. Two thirds still think the Iranian leadership negotiated a good deal for Iran, though the number of those disagreeing has risen to one in five. The number who believes it was a win for Iran has also declined, while the number who believes it was a victory for both sides has risen and is now a majority. 5. Perceptions of the Nuclear Deal Substantial numbers of Iranians now have a more accurate picture of the deal than they did in August 2015. About half (up from a third) now realizes that Iran has accepted limits on its nuclear research. Almost half (up from a quarter) now knows that many US sanctions are not covered by the agreement and will continue. However, growing majorities continue to believe incorrectly that Iranian military sites cannot be inspected under any conditions. A majority also believes that the US has agreed to not impose new sanctions to replace the ones that were removed as part of the nuclear deal. 6. Expectations of Economic Benefits Three in five Iranians expect that the nuclear deal will eventually result in improvements in their own economic well-being. This sentiment is shared by a majority of those who support Rouhani’s critics in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Majorities expect to see, within a year, better access to medical products from abroad, more foreign investment, and significant improvements in unemployment and the overall economy, though these majorities have declined from August 2015. 7. The Nuclear Deal’s Effect on Iran’s Foreign Relations A large majority of Iranians thinks that Iran’s relations with European countries have already improved as a result of the nuclear deal, but only one in three thinks Iran’s relations with the United States have improved. 8. Views of US Cooperation in the Nuclear Deal Six in ten Iranians are not confident that the US will live up to its obligations under the nuclear agreement and do not think the US will accept other countries cooperating with Iran’s civilian nuclear sector, as provided for under the deal. Half assume the US will use pressure and sanctions to extract more concessions from Iran—up from only a quarter in August 2015. 9. Views of the Nuclear Program Just as in past years, four in five Iranians see the development of an Iranian nuclear program as very important, and three in four see this program as being for purely peaceful purposes. Four in five continue to favor the idea of a Middle East nuclear-free zone that would require all countries in the Middle East, including Israel, not to have nuclear weapons. 10. Iran’s Involvement in Syria and Fighting ISIS Large majorities of Iranians approve of Iran being involved in Syria and strongly support countering ISIS, preserving Iran’s influence in the region, and countering Saudi, American, and Israeli influence. Overwhelming majorities approve of Iran fighting ISIS directly. Large majorities also approve of Iran supporting Shiite and Kurdish groups fighting ISIS and providing support to Iranian allies in the region. Strengthening the Assad government gets more modest support and is seen as a secondary goal for Iran. Two in three Iranians approve of sending Iranian military personnel to help Assad fight against armed Syrian rebels, including ISIS. 11. Views of US Involvement in Syria A large majority of Iranians disapproves of US involvement in Syria. US involvement in Syria is widely perceived as being primarily motivated by a desire to topple the Assad government, to increase US influence and power in the region, to protect Israeli and Saudi interests, and to decrease Iran’s influence and power in the region. Views are divided about whether the United States is seeking to protect Syrian civilians, to end the conflict, to prevent the conflict from spreading, or to fight ISIS. A modest majority says US efforts against ISIS are not at all sincere. A bare majority supports direct cooperation with the United States to counter ISIS in Iraq. 12. Views of Other Nations Involved in Syria Large majorities of Iranians approve of the involvement in Syria of Russia and Hezbollah, and seven in ten express confidence that Russia’s efforts against ISIS are sincerely motivated. However, large majorities disapprove of the involvement in Syria of Turkey, France, and, especially, Saudi Arabia. Large majorities say that the Saudis’ efforts against ISIS are insincere; views of the sincerity of the efforts by Turkey and France are less negative. A large majority has a negative view of Saudi efforts to create a coalition against terrorism, primarily because Saudi Arabia is seen as a supporter of ISIS. 13. International Collaboration on Syria and ISIS Despite their suspicions of other countries operating in the region, eight in ten Iranians approve of Iran participating in the international talks on the conflict in Syria. Of those who know about the Vienna agreement, seven in ten approve of it. 14. Views of Other Countries Iranians view their country’s allies, notably Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Hezbollah, favorably, and view Saudi Arabia and Turkey increasingly unfavorably. Views of Russia and China are generally favorable and have improved considerably over time. Western countries, with the exception of Germany, are viewed unfavorably, with Britain and the US viewed negatively by large majorities in Iran. In contrast, a majority has a favorable opinion of the American people.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Geopolitics, ISIS, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, China, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: anya Loukianova fink
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Policy makers in the Euro-Atlantic region are concerned that incidents involving military or civilian aircraft could result in dangerous escalation of conflict between Russia and the West. This brief introduces the policy problem and traces the evolution of three sets of cooperative airspace arrangements developed by Euro-Atlantic states since the end of the Cold War—(1) cooperative aerial surveillance of military activity, (2) exchange of air situational data, and (3) joint engagement of theater air and missile threats—in order to clarify the current regional airspace insecurity dynamics and identify opportunities to promote transparency and confidence in U.S./NATO-Russian relations.
  • Topic: NATO, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North Atlantic
  • Author: Nilsu Gören
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Beyond its history of military coups and incomplete civilian oversight of its armed forces, Turkey has struggled with defining an independent international security policy. Its perception of U.S./NATO security guarantees has historically shaped its decision to either prioritize collective defense or seek solutions in indigenous or regional security arrangements. As part its domestic political transformation during the past decade, Turkey has decreased its reliance on NATO, leading to questions among observers about Turkey’s future strategic orientation away from the West. This brief argues that Turkey’s strategic objectives have indeed evolved in the recent past and that this is apparent in the mismatch between the country’s general security policy objectives and the outcomes of its policies on nuclear issues. At present, nuclear weapons do not serve a compelling function in Turkish policymakers’ thinking, beyond the country’s commitment to the status quo in NATO nuclear policy. Since nuclear deterrence is secondary to conventional deterrence, Turkey’s policies on nuclear issues are predominantly shaped by non-nuclear considerations. These decisions, in the absence of careful consideration of nuclear weapons, increase nuclear risks. This brief explores how Turkey could formulate more effective and lower risk nuclear policies than it currently does by employing cooperative security measures and how such a reorientation could strengthen to its overall security policy in the process.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Krševan Antun Dujmović
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: With the Presidential Elections coming closer, the global attention is shifting more and more to the United States. During the terms of George W. Bush, especially during his second tenure, the image of the US as an untouchable superpower was somewhat mitigated. In 2001 the US witnessed the largest attack on its territory since Pearl Harbor and military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq took a heavy toll in human lives and material and �inancial expanses. Upon this, the campaign in Iraq had no legal foundation, and that caused a rift with the European allies, especially with two big continental powers Germany and France, and the consequences are still largely felt to date. The legitimacy and the credibility of the US as the global strong leader was further watered down with the �inancial crunch originating on Wall Street, spilling over to the rest of the world, especially the European Union (EU). At the moment when American image and credibility hit the ground, the White House saw a new president Barack Obama, the �irst African American to sit in the Oval Of�ice. In the internal policy, Obama’s two terms saw the American economy gaining an undisputed strength. Unemployment rate and de�icit were cut in half, exports and the dollar were on the hike, just like the GDP growth and the real estate market. Obama’s foreign policy showed to be much more diplomatic and arguably more ef�icient than that of the Bush administration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Elections, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, North America, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Sandy Brian Hager
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: This paper offers new theoretical and empirical insights to explain the resilience of the U.S. Treasuries market as a safe haven for global investment. Going beyond the standard systemic explanation, the paper highlights the importance of domestic politics in reinforcing the safe haven status of U.S. Treasury securities. In particular, the research shows how a formidable “bond” of interests unites domestic and foreign owners of the public debt and works to sustain U.S. power in global finance. Foreigners who now own roughly half of the U.S. public debt have something to gain from their domestic counterparts. The top one percent of U.S. households that dominate domestic ownership of the U.S. public debt have considerable political clout, thus alleviating foreign concerns about the creditworthiness of the U.S. federal government. Domestic owners of the U.S. public debt, in turn, have something to gain from the seemingly insatiable foreign appetite for U.S. Treasury securities. In supplying the U.S. federal government and U.S. households with cheap credit, foreign investors in U.S. Treasuries help to deflect challenges to the top one percent within the wealth and income hierarchy.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, Inequality, Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Benjamin Selwyn
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: Global Value Chain (GVC) analysis is part and parcel of mainstream development discourse and policy. Supplier firms are encouraged, with state support, to ‘link-up’ with trans-national lead firms. Such arrangements, it is argued, will reduce poverty and contribute to meaningful socio-economic development. This portrayal of global political economic relations represents a ‘problem-solving’ interpretation of reality. This article proposes an alternative analytical approach rooted in ‘critical theory’ which reformulates the GVC approach to better investigate and explain the reproduction of global poverty, inequality and divergent forms of national development. It suggests re-labelling GVC as Global Poverty Chain (GPC) analysis. GPC’s are examined in the textiles, food, and high-tech sectors. The article details how workers in these chains are systematically paid less than their subsistence costs, how trans-national corporations use their global monopoly power to capture the lion’s share of value created within these chains, and how these relations generate processes of immiserating growth. The article concludes by considering how to extend GPC analysis.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, Labor Issues, Inequality, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Samuel Appleton
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: The Bretton Woods conference is conventionally understood as a radical break between the laissez faire order and its ‘embedded liberal’ successor, in which finance was suppressed in the interest of trade and productive growth. The new institutions, particularly the IBRD are often considered emblematic of this. In response to this, the paper argues that the Bretton Woods order required the enlistment, not repression, of private American finance. Firstly, laissez-faire era proposals for international financial institutions provided important precedents for the Bretton Woods institutions. Second, these were predicated on the uniquely deep liquidity of American financial markets following upon Progressive-era reforms, in the legacy of which the Roosevelt administration sought to locate the New Deal. Thirdly, they found new relevance in the 1940s as the IBRD turned by necessity to American financial markets for operating capital. Negotiating the imperative of commercial creditworthiness had two important consequences. First, it entailed the structural and procedural transformation of the IBRD, and allowed management to carve out a proprietary terrain in which its agency was decisive. Second, this suggests that US agendas were mediated by the Bank’s institutional imperatives – and that finance was no more ‘embedded’ during the Bretton Woods era than its predecessor.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, World Bank, Global Markets, International Development, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Andrew Shaver, Jacob N. Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: Scholars of civil war and insurgency have long posited that insurgent organizations and their state enemies incur costs for the collateral damage they cause. We provide the first direct quantitative evidence that wartime informing is affected by civilian casualties. Using newly declassified data on tip flow to Coalition forces in Iraq we find that information flow goes down after government forces inadvertently kill civilians and it goes up when insurgents do so. These results have strong policy implications; confirm a relationship long posited in the theoretical literature on insurgency; and are consistent with a broad range of circumstantial evidence on the topic.
  • Topic: War, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, Information Age, Civilians, Casualties
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Shaver
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: The unemployed are often inculpated in the production of violence during conflict. A simple yet common argument describes these individuals as disaffected and inclined to perpetrate affectively motivated violence. A second holds that they are drawn to violent political organizations for lack of better outside options. Yet, evidence in support of a general positive relationship between unemployment and violence during conflict is not established. Drawing from a large body of psychological research, I argue that a basic but important relationship has been overlooked: Loss of employment, rather than rendering individuals angry, increases feelings of depression, anxiety, helplessness, and belief in the power of others. Members of this segment of society are more likely than most to reject the use of violence. Drawing on previously unreleased data from a major, multi-million dollar survey effort carried out during the Iraq war, I uncover evidence that psychological findings carry to conflict settings: unemployed Iraqis were consistently less optimistic than other citizens; displayed diminished perceptions of efficacy; and were much less likely to support the use of violence against Coalition forces.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Labor Issues, Conflict, Violence, War on Terror, Quantitative
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The United States and India have agreed to form a working group to explore the joint development of India's next-generation aircraft carrier. While the Indian Navy has already begun design work, wide-ranging cooperation with the United States has enormous potential and offers India the opportunity to acquire the most capable warship possible. Such collaboration would increase the Indian Navy's combat power and would resonate throughout the Asian continent to India's strategic advantage. The most valuable U.S. contributions are likely to materialize in the fight, possibly in the move, and hopefully in the integrate functions.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Asia
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rupture between Russia and the West stemming from the 2014 crisis over Ukraine has wide-ranging geopolitical implications. Russia has reverted to its traditional position as a Eurasian power sitting between the East and the West, and it is tilting toward China in the face of political and economic pressure from the United States and Europe. This does not presage a new Sino-Russian bloc, but the epoch of post-communist Russia's integration with the West is over. In the new epoch, Russia will seek to expand and deepen its relations with non-Western nations, focusing on Asia. Western leaders need to take this shift seriously.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Richard Sokolsky, Frederic M. Wehrey
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For over three decades, the question of who controls the Persian Gulf has formed the basis for America’s massive military buildup in the region. At the heart of the region’s security dilemma is a clash of visions: Iran seeks the departure of U.S. forces so it can exert what it sees as its rightful authority over the region, while the Gulf Arab states want the United States to balance Iranian power. Resolving this impasse will not be easy. But the Iranian nuclear agreement presents an opportunity to take a first step toward creating a new security order in the Gulf, one that could improve relations between Iran and the Gulf Arab states and facilitate a lessening of the U.S. military commitment. Read more at: http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/10/14/imagining-new-security-order-in-persian-gulf/ij3p
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Stephanie Sanok Kostro, Rhys McCormick
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While the united states has long acknowledged the value of working with partner nations to address shared security concerns, drawdowns in defense spending have underscored the importance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation to leverage capabilities and investments. the Center for strategic and International studies' multiyear Federated Defense Project aims to inform policymakers about global and regional security architectures and defense capabilities that support the achievement of common security goals, as well as ways to improve defense cooperation among nations to address those goals together. This report on institutional foundations of federated defense recognizes that successful cooperation in a budget-constrained environment often rests on the u.s. ability and willing-ness to provide assistance and/or equipment to partner nations. CSIS project staff drew on a literature review, workshops, and a public event (“the Future of the security Cooperation Enterprise”) to identify key findings in five areas: Priorities/Strategic Guidance: Proponents of federated defense should better articulate priorities. A proactive, interagency component that includes, at a minimum, officials from the Defense Department, State Department, and White House is necessary to effect a cultural shift and combat potential backsliding into unilateral approaches. Foreign Military Sales: In a federated approach, officials should identify capabilities that could most effectively support partner nations' contributions to federated defense. Toward that end, officials should also emphasize the establishment and maintenance of high-demand capabilities over time. other key issues related to potential difficulties in foreign sales include surcharges, overhead costs, and transparency in offsets. Export Controls: study participants noted that recent export control reform efforts have not yet resulted in significant change and have inadequately addressed industry concerns. Moreover, there appears to be a lack of appetite for these reforms in Congress. Technology Security and Foreign Disclosure: Improvements are needed to coordinate and speed technology transfer and foreign disclosure decisions. transparency across stovepipes within the executive branch is critical to create a common vision and objectives for federated defense, which is especially important when working with industry and foreign government partners. Acquisition and Requirements Processes: Within the Department of Defense, there is insufficient consideration of the export value and challenges of systems in early stages of the acquisition and requirements processes. Modifications during late stages of development are often far more expensive than building in exportability earlier. Having examined these key areas, the study team identified and analyzed three over-arching institutional challenges to and opportunities for federated defense. First, study participants remarked upon the lack of sufficient advocacy for federated defense among senior U.S. government officials. A second challenge was the cultural resistance to federated defense; experts noted that significant cultural change, such as that brought about by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 (Pub.L. 99-433), may require top-down direction, years to implement, and decades to be accepted. A third challenge was the need for a perceived or actual budget crisis to drive change. The study team's recommendations resulting from this examination were five-fold. First, U.S. national strategies should address the grand strategy questions that could imperil implementation of a federated approach. Implementation of the u.s. National security strategy could impel a new effort to focus on partner capabilities and areas for sharing the common global security burden, as well as to prioritize interests and activities related to U.S. security cooperation, export controls, and technology security/foreign disclosure. Second, proactive U.S. leaders should articulate a vision, objectives, and priorities for a federated approach to defense. third, the Administration and Congress should work together to ensure completion of legal and regulatory reforms already under way (e.g., on export controls). Fourth, executive and legislative officials—perhaps through an interagency task force that works with committee staffs—should identify additional reforms to streamline or create authorities and to eliminate unhelpful directed spending on capabilities and systems that do not contribute to federated defense. Finally, the Department of Defense should start with incremental steps to create a culture that values federated defense; for example, the Defense Acquisition University and Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management could update coursework to institutionalize knowledge regarding federated approaches. This study made it clear that enduring changes in these five areas—from strategy to culture—are necessary to ensure the success of a federated approach to defense.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Budget
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Aaron Linn
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The tensions between the Koreas – and the potential involvement of the People's Republic of China (China or PRC), Japan, Russia, and the United States of America (US) in a Korean conflict – create a nearly open-ended spectrum of possible conflicts. These conflicts could range from posturing and threats – “wars of intimidation” – to a major conventional conflict on the Korean Peninsula, intervention by outside powers like the US and China, and the extreme of nuclear conflict.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Korea, Northeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea last week rejected South Korea’s invitation to attend the Seoul Defense Dialogue in September, denigrating the talks as “puerile.” In the same breath, it also rejected a proposal by National Assembly speaker Chung Ui-hwa for a meeting with his northern counterpart to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean Peninsula on Aug. 15. If you ask an Obama administration official about America’s “strategic patience” policy of non-dialogue with North Korea, he or she will tell you that the problem is not an unwillingness on the part of the United States to have dialogue. On the contrary, the Obama administration has tried every channel possible, from six-party talks to personal communications to secret trips, to jump-start a dialogue. But the regime in Pyongyang has rejected all of these.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Maren Leed, J.D. McCreary, George Flynn
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The demand for amphibious capabilities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region reflects the operational and strategic challenges faced by the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Forces. Both nations have indicated the importance of deepening their strategic partnership, yet there has been a lack of clarity around the desired outcomes for and priority among the variety of cooperative activities. Recognizing that the demand for amphibious capabilities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region will likely continue to exceed the current capacity of any one nation, the CSIS International Security Program sought to explore the strategic and operational utility of various models for combined amphibious forces. The study first provides an overview of existing and projected ADF and USMC amphibious capability and capacity. Using data gathered from interviews with U.S. and Australian subject matter experts, the study examines two potential force options along five dimensions: range/duration, responsiveness, scale, breadth, and force protection. These options are evaluated against three mission sets varying in complexity. As the United States continues to face shortfalls in amphibious capacity and as Australia continues to advance its capabilities, this report provides a framework and recommendations through which to align strategic interests and advance a shared vision for combined amphibious operations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Australia
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Olli Heinonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Iran's nuclear program dates from the late 1950s. By the 1960s, the united states had supplied the iranians with a small research reactor. Later, the shah had ambitious plans to construct twenty-three nuclear power reactors, and initial orders were placed with west german and french companies. Iran also started to invest in nuclear fuel-cycle services, though was unable, due to u.s. Pressure, to obtain reprocessing or uranium enrichment plants. It did, however, invest in the eurodif enrichment plant in france and the roessing uranium mine in namibia, shareholdings it maintains today. When iran signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1968 and ratified it in 1970, all its nuclear activities became subject to inspection by the international atomic energy agency (iaea).
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Namibia
  • Author: Dániel Bartha, Anna Peczeli
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The current crisis in Ukraine pushed US-Russia relations to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, and it also terminated the collaboration between NATO and Russia. After Russia's annexation of Crimea and the infiltrations in Eastern Ukraine, NATO suspended all practical day-to-day cooperation with Moscow (although the Alliance decided to keep the door open for high-level dialogue, and maintained the channels of communication within the NATO- Russia Council as well as the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council). Besides these measures by NATO, the G8 also suspended Moscow's membership, the work of the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction 3 was disrupted, and the 2014 US Compliance Report officially accused Russia of being in violation of its obligations under the Intermediate- Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. In response, the new Russian military doctrine, adopted in December 2014, named NATO's military buildup as one of the top threats to Russian national security. It also listed “ the creation and deployment of global strategic antiballistic missile systems that undermines the established global stability and balance of power in nuclear missile capabilities, the implementation of the 'prompt strike' concept, intent to deploy weapons in space and deployment of strategic conventional precision weapons ” among the major military threats to the strategic stability between the United States and Russia.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Moscow
  • Author: Raymond Robertson, Davide Gandolfi, Timothy Halliday
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Large wage differences between countries (“place premiums”) are well documented. Theory suggests that factor price convergence should follow increased migration, capital flows, and commercial integration. All three have characterized the relationship between the United States and Mexico over the last 25 years. This paper evaluates the degree of wage convergence between these countries during the period 1988 and 2011. We match survey and census data from Mexico and the United States to estimate the change in wage differentials for observationally identical workers over time. We find very little evidence of convergence. What evidence we do find is most likely due to factors unrelated to US-Mexico integration. While migration and trade liberalization may reduce the US-Mexico wage differential, these effects are small when compared to the overall wage gap.
  • Topic: World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico
  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the US economy has been plagued by sluggish wage growth and rising income inequality. The debate over inequality in the 1980s and 1990s focused on the growing disparity between the earnings of skilled and unskilled workers and the earnings of the super-rich. Growing inequality between capital and labor income has now been added to these concerns. Remarkably, the growth in real GDP per worker over the decade of the 2000s, which averaged 1.7 percent annually, was actually more rapid than in the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s, yet in the 2000s workers saw almost no increase in their take-home pay. Consistent with this gap between labor productivity and wage growth was a pronounced decline in the share of US national income earned by workers. As labor's share has declined, the share of capital has risen and has been especially concentrated in corporate profits. As profits are far less equally distributed than wages, this increase has contributed to rising income inequality. There are several plausible reasons for this development—globalization, automation, weak bargaining power of labor, political capture, higher markups—but the natural starting point for explaining factor income shares is the neoclassical theory of the functional distribution of income enumerated by John Hicks and Joan Robinson in the 1930s. In this framework there are two possible explanations for labor's recent declining share. The first is that capital and labor are gross substitutes, and the second is that capital and labor are gross complements. Several papers have explained the recent decline in labor's share in income by claiming that capital has been substituted for labor. Lawrence puts forward the alternative "gross complements" explanation for the declining US labor share. He shows that despite a rise in measured capital-labor ratios, labor-augmenting technical change in the United States has been sufficiently rapid that effective capital-labor ratios have actually fallen in the sectors and industries that account for the largest portion of the declining labor share in income since 1980. In combination with estimates that corroborate the consensus in the literature that the elasticity of substitution is less than 1, these declines in the effective capital-labor ratio can account for much of the recent fall in labor's share in US income at both the aggregate and industry level. Paradoxically, these results also suggest that increased capital formation, ideally achieved through a progressive consumption tax, would raise labor's share in income.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anna Kronlund
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Debates on the war-making powers of the US Congress and the President have been topical of late. President Barack Obama's actions in relation to Libya (2011), Syria (2013), and more recently the "targeted” actions against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, have raised discussions about the powers of the President as the Commander-in-Chief vis-à-vis the powers of Congress. If and when should the President seek congressional authorization for the use of US armed forces? This Working Paper argues that Congress has constitutionally established but contingently manifest powers when it comes to decision-making on war. To examine this, the paper explicates the procedures of congressional involvement in the decision-making process on war and illustrates congressional debates on the war powers between the branches of government. The recent cases of Libya and Syria are examined in more detail to indicate the (aspired) role of Congress. The powers between the branches of government are not static but rather (re)interpreted and (re)defined in different political contexts. War powers are one example to explicate the constitutional powers of the US Congress and the President that are divided, and to examine how these powers are considered and debated. While the debates are considered against the backdrop of the Constitution, the question to consider is how they relate to the political realities and power relations in changing political settings. The Working Paper also explicates the role of Congress in the broader perspective rather than through the legislative record and voting only, even though the members of Congress have particularly emphasized debate (and voting) in the decision-making process. Concepts such as collective judgment, popular sovereignty and separation of powers are used in this context to indicate the role of Congress in this field. The changing nature of war and the concept of war pose new challenges for understanding and defining the powers related to "war making”, and are reflected in the continuing debates concerning the scope and relevancy of the power of Congress (and the President) when it comes to decision-making on the use of US armed forces.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya, Syria
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: Pugwash held a non-official meeting on Security in Afghanistan in Doha on 2-3 May 2015. The meeting involved more than 40 participants, all of whom represented only him/herself and not any Institution or group
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Regional Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Middle East
  • Author: Dr. Mary Manjikian
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: An analysis of weapons-based confidence-building measures shows how academics can work together to self-police their research for national security implications, socialize new members of the academic community into the importance of considering security issues, and develop and disseminate norms regarding what is and is not a moral and ethical use of these technologies. It may be possible for academics and policymakers to come together to work for a ban or build-down on cyber weapons patterned on international efforts to ban chemical and biological weapons and implement export regimes to control the export of code which may form the components of cyber weapons. If we conceptualize cyberspace as territory, we can also learn from the example of territorially-based confidence-building measures such as those implemented along the Indo-Pakistan border. This approach stresses the importance of developing notification procedures to prevent misperceptions and the escalation spiral, as well as communicating regularly to establish trust between all parties. The case studies presented here illustrate the promises and pitfalls of each approach and offer valuable warnings to policymakers seeking to implement such measures in cyberspace. They show what happens when not everyone in a regime is equally committed to a specific outcome by illustrating the difficulties of monitoring compliance in confidence-building regimes, and show the ways in which doctrines and confidence-building measures may not be perfectly aligned.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Science and Technology, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Dr. Larry D. Miller
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, War, Global Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The administration needs to make sure that its imminent creation of a new rebel force is conducted with clear political goals, a concrete military strategy, and due consideration of likely operational contingencies.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Deborah Hardoon
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Global wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite. These wealthy individuals have generated and sustained their vast riches through their interests and activities in a few important economic sectors, including finance and insurance, and pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Companies from these sectors spend millions of dollars every year on lobbying to create a policy environment that protects and enhances their interests further. The most prolific lobbying activities in the US are on budget and tax issues; public resources that should be directed to benefit the whole population, rather than reflect the interests of powerful lobbyists.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Emily Isaac
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy
  • Abstract: In the past five years, San Francisco has become home to dozens of new online and mobile “service networking” companies that claim to be “revolutionizing” the way work gets done. Making up what has come to be known as the “platform economy,” these technology companies provide the platforms for online and mobile marketplaces in which users can buy and sell their goods and services. Together, these “platform economy” companies make up a concentrated innovative cluster in the San Francisco Bay Area, and, more specifically, San Francisco proper. One of the sharing economy’s pioneers and largest success stories, TaskRabbit Inc. allows users to outsource small jobs and tasks to local contractors—or, in company lingo, neighborhood “Taskers.” Launched out of Boston in 2008, TaskRabbit is just one of many tech startups that have left Boston for the San Francisco Bay Area. Since relocating to San Francisco, the company has received $37.5 million in venture funding, is available in 20 cities, and reportedly has 1.25 million users and over 25,000 Taskers. Indeed, TaskRabbit exemplifies the immeasurable benefits of strategically locating a firm in an industry cluster.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Communications, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Emily Taylor
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the proposed transfer of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) oversight away from the US government. The background section explores how the technical architecture of critical Internet resources has certain governance implications, introduces the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its relationship with the US government through the IANA function and the Affirmation of Commitments. After discussing why the relationship has caused controversy, the paper describes the work underway within ICANN to find a successor oversight mechanism and provides a short critique of the proposals so far. The majority of the paper is taken up with more general issues relating to ICANN's accountability. It explains how the IANA transition was recognized to be dependent on ICANN's wider accountability, and the trust issues between community and leadership that this exposed. There follows an analysis of ICANN's strengths and weaknesses in relation to accountability and transparency, followed by conclusions and recommendations.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Zheng Liansheng
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The shadow banking system was defined in 2007 by Paul McCulley, the managing director of Pacific Investment Management Company, but it began to receive significant attention in the immediate aftermath of the GFC. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the regulatory agencies of different countries, international organizations and think tanks have all carried out in-depth research into shadow banking and have released a series of results. Regulatory reforms have also addressed shadow banking, the most important of which is the US Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which aims to restrain the expansion and risk taking of shadow banking in the United States. The United Kingdom and the European Union have also adopted reforms and built up a supervisory system to track the risks of the shadow banking system.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Ming Zhang
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Due to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the Chinese government began to promote renminbi (RMB) internationalization in order to raise its international status, decrease reliance on the US dollar (USD) and advance domestic structural reform. RMB internationalization has achieved progress not only in cross-border trade settlement, but also in the offshore RMB markets. However, the rampant cross-border arbitrage and the relatively slow development of RMB invoicing compared to RMB settlement are becoming increasingly problematic. RMB internationalization has exerted significant influence on not only the Chinese economy but also other emerging market economies. RMB internationalization complicates domestic monetary policy, exacerbates the currency mismatch on China's international balance sheet and increases both the scale and volatility of short-term capital flows. It offers emerging economies another alternative for pricing domestic currency and investing foreign exchange reserves. Its overall impact on the international monetary system's stability will depend on how the capital account is liberalized and the consistency and transparency of Chinese monetary policy. This paper concludes with five recommendations for Chinese policy makers to promote RMB internationalization in a sustainable way that is conducive to international stability.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Chiara Oldan
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives played an important role in the buildup of systemic risk in financial markets before 2007 and in spreading volatility throughout global financial markets during the crisis. In recognition of the financial and economic benefits of derivatives products, the Group of Twenty (G20), under the auspices of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), moved to regulate the use of OTC derivatives. Although a number of scholars have drawn attention to the detrimental effects of the United States and the European Union (EU) to coordinate OTC reform, this overlooks an important aspect of the post-crisis process: the exemption of non-financial operators from OTC derivative regulatory requirements. Critically, they remain exempt under existing legislation regardless of the risks they continue to pose through unreported trades and counterparty risks to financial firms; there is still uncertainty around the pricing of derivatives (i.e., model risk) for non-financial operators that could pose a risk to the financial system. Nevertheless, the lack of coordination between the United States and European Union is detrimental for consistency and coherence among financial sectors. These, and similar inconsistencies in financial regulation, pose risks of conflict and fragmentation that should soon be addressed by the G20. The paper concludes by discussing what lessons can be learned from Canada, after it successfully avoided the worst of the crisis and contained the systemic risks posed by OTC derivatives before and after it.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada
  • Author: Michael Chertoff, Tobby Simon
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: With the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' contract with the United States Department of Commerce due to expire in 2015, the international debate on Internet governance has been re-ignited. However, much of the debate has been over aspects of privacy and security on the visible Web and there has not been much consideration of the governance of the “deep Web” and the “dark Web.”The term deep Web is used to denote a class of content on the Internet that, for various technical reasons, is not indexed by search engines. The dark Web is a part of the deep Web that has been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard Web browsers. A relatively known source for content that resides on the dark Web is found in the Tor network. Tor, and other similar networks, enables users to traverse the Web in near-complete anonymity by encrypting data packets and sending them through several network nodes, called onion routers. Like any technology, from pencils to cellphones, anonymity can be used for both good and bad. Users who fear economic or political retribution for their actions turn to the dark Web for protection. But there are also those who take advantage of this online anonymity to use the dark Web for illegal activities such as controlled substance trading, illegal financial transactions, identity theft and so on. Considering that the dark Web differs from the visible Web, it is important to develop tools that can effectively monitor it. Limited monitoring can be achieved today by mapping the hidden services directory, customer data monitoring, social site monitoring, hidden service monitoring and semantic analysis. The deep Web has the potential to host an increasingly high number of malicious services and activities. The global multi-stakeholder community needs to consider its impact while discussing the future of Internet governance.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi, Pierre Siklos, Samantha St. Amand
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is a risk that positive developments in the US economy and in the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy stance could induce global financial volatility and further exacerbate global economic imbalances. Empirical evidence suggests that global asset prices are responsive not just to US policy actions, but to news events concerning developments in the US economy and to the tones of Federal Reserve statements. Central banks need to continue to be mindful about the potential repercussions of shocking markets through statements and policy actions. The Group of Twenty (G20) ought to work together to implement coordinated, mutually beneficial economic policies. This includes being cognizant of the spillover effects of domestic policies, and seeking to minimize them.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Samah Rahman, Shashanth Shetty
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada is lagging behind in research and development (R&D) commercialization, ranking fifteenth in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Competitiveness Report. One of the most important contributing factors to the gap between R&D and competitiveness is that new entrepreneurs lack the monetary and informational resources to access intellectual property (IP) legal expertise. The authors of this brief argue that the Canadian government’s strategies have been ineffective, and its current policy initiatives have failed to consider the importance of disseminating IP legal knowledge directly to innovators. It is recommended that the government look to the models used by the United States and South Korea to mobilize IP legal knowledge within the entrepreneurial community. This can be achieved by establishing a national IP legal clinic at the university level — as well as increasing funding for existing programs and creating a virtual clinic — and including an IP rights application course in select university programs, targeting innovators who will require IP legal advice in the future.
  • Topic: Economics, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, South Korea
  • Author: Armand de Mestral
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Investor-state arbitration (ISA), also known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), by which a foreign investor is entitled to sue a state for damages resulting from the alleged violation of an applicable bilateral investment treaty or an investment chapter in a regional trade agreement, has come under scrutiny in many parts of the world. But in no countries has it been subject to greater scrutiny and challenge than in developed democracies. First in Canada and the United States as a result of the adoption of NAFTA Chapter 11, subsequently in the European Union as a result of the adoption of the International Energy Charter, and latterly in other countries such as Australia, critics have alleged that ISA grants an undue privilege to foreign investors whose complaints should be heard by domestic courts instead of panels of international arbitrators. Availability of ISA is in fact worldwide, due to a network of more than 3,200 investment treaties; criticisms have been voiced in different parts of the world and various proposals for change have been made. The criticisms in developed democracies have become sufficiently strong for it to be necessary to raise the question of whether recourse to ISA is appropriate in any form in developed democracies. Armand de Mestral’s paper is the first in the Investor-State Arbitration project. The series of papers will be prepared by leading experts from a number of developed democracies. Each will review the experience of ISA within specific jurisdictions, with a view to understanding the debates that have occurred in each one. The focus of the debate is on developed democracies, but the implications for the whole international community are very much in mind.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment, Democracy
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • Author: Joel Blit
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The case for patents rests crucially on three conditions: that innovation is undersupplied in the absence of patents; that patents promote increased innovation; and that the welfare benefits of any additional innovation outweigh the welfare costs associated with the temporary monopoly that patents generate. While it is probably true that innovation is undersupplied, the empirical evidence is mixed on whether patents foster innovation. This may be due to patents stifling cumulative innovation because of holdup and ex ante uncertainty over patent rights. This policy brief recommends that to reduce the potential for holdup, uncertainty around patent rights should be reduced. Patents should be easily searchable and more easily understood by non-legal experts. In addition, patents should be narrower and more clearly demarcated. To the extent that the welfare costs of patents appear to outweigh their benefits, the requirements for obtaining a patent should be tightened. Further, patents should be made less broad and, concomitant with the reduction in the length of the product cycle, the length of patents should also be reduced.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Timothy A. Wise, Emily Cole
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: Expanding demand for biofuels, fed significantly by government policies mandating rising levels of consumption in transportation fuel, has been strongly implicated in food price increases and food price volatility most recently seen in 2008 and 2011-2012. First-generation biofuels, made from agricultural crops, divert food directly to fuel markets and divert land, water and other food-producing resources from their current or potential uses for production of feed for animals and food for human consumption. A key policy driver of biofuel consumption is government mandates to increase or maintain rates or levels of biofuel blends in transportation fuel, the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard and the E.U. Renewable Energy Directive being the most prominent cases. In this paper we assess the spread of such mandates and targets, finding that at least 64 countries now have such policies. We estimate the consumption increases implied by full implementation of such mandates in the seven countries/regions with the highest biofuel consumption, suggesting a 43% increase in first-generation biofuel consumption in 2025 over current levels. We compare this to even higher estimates from international agencies. We assess the likelihood of implementation in key countries and regions, which suggests that with reform, particularly in OECD countries, consumption growth could be slowed. We conclude with policy recommendations to reduce the mandate-driven expansion of first-generation biofuels and mitigate their negative social and environmental impacts.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Food, Biofuels, Europe Union, Chemical Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Brian Dooley
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Washington needs a new strategy to help bring stability and reform to Bahrain. Although the smallest country in the Middle East, Bahrain exemplifies several of the major challenges for U.S. policy in the region: Sectarian tensions exploited by ISIS and other Sunni extremists and by Shi’adominated Iran to fuel conflict Economic troubles linked to public corruption and an over-reliance on oil revenues, exacerbated by sharply falling oil prices Stalled political reform leaving the root grievances of large scale public protests unresolved De facto U.S. support for an authoritarian status quo through a government that fails to deliver good governance and continues to deny basic rights and freedoms to its people, while courting support from Russia and other U.S. rivals Falling public support for the United States Major military assets, in Bahrain’s case the basing of the U.S. Fifth Naval Fleet, threatened by protracted instability
  • Topic: Imperialism, Oil, Religion, Military Strategy, Authoritarianism, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Bahrain
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The United States is not taking Saudi Arabia’s outsized responsibility for human rights abuses within or beyond the kingdom’s borders seriously enough. President Barack Obama did not raise the issue in his meeting last year with the late King Abdullah. On his way to meet the new Saudi monarch, King Salman, in January 2015 the President remarked, “Sometimes we have to balance our need to speak to them about human rights issues with immediate concerns that we have in terms of countering terrorism or dealing with regional stability." He did not mention that Saudi Arabia’s policies (denying rights and freedoms at home while leading a vigorous, region-wide effort to push back against popular calls for better governance) have themselves contributed to regional instability and undermined counterterrorism efforts. Such policies harm U.S. interests and those of the people of Saudi Arabia and the region as a whole.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Terrorism, Repression
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: “First, for civil society to continue to succeed it must have open, free, democratic space. I have followed closely the ongoing debate in Kenya around civil society and its regulation…. [A]ccountability and transparency are important for civil society organizations, just as they are for all others. But there are ways to achieve accountability and transparency that do not restrict or impede the vital work of civil society.… Regulation should embrace diversity. Regulation must not be used to silence opinions or stifle views that the powerful do not share…. We carry out extensive due diligence on all the organizations we partner with, to ensure that they are not being used for illicit purposes, such as terrorist financing. We have not seen any evidence to suggest Haki Africa’s activities pose a threat to national security or jeopardize Kenya’s efforts at combating terrorism.” –U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Robert F. Godec, June 5, 2015 The visit of President Obama to Kenya in July 2015—the first by a sitting U.S. president—is much anticipated in the country, which faces serious challenges, including poverty, terrorism, corruption, and abuses by state security forces. Kenya has yet to fully recover from large-scale violence following the 2008 election, when around 1,300 people were killed—including hundreds by the police—and half a million were displaced during a six-week period. Kenya also hosts around half a million refugees fleeing war in Somalia. The U.S. government has sought to help Kenya address its human rights problem with humanitarian, good governance, and security initiatives. Kenya is routinely among the top seven recipients of U.S. aid, getting hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Yet the United States should strengthen and sharpen its efforts to support Kenya. A reinvigorated approach, initiated by the President’s visit, would both improve the lives of Kenyans and serve U.S. interests by combating violent extremism. This report recommends actions the U.S. government should take to promote greater stability in Kenya and the region, and outlines in particular how the U.S. government should support Kenyan civil society. In 2010 Kenyan voters approved a new constitution, which contains strong human rights safeguards, protections for civil society, and judicial reforms. And it is in many ways a model of legal protection for human rights. It provides for the creation of several important bodies, including the National Gender Equality Commission—which is pushing for the implementation of article 81b of the constitution: “not more than two thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender”—and the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights. Unfortunately, these and other official entities set up under the constitution to protect rights are insufficiently resourced and politically weak. The government’s implementation of the constitution has generally not matched the promise of its text. It has attacked civil society groups and attempted to muzzle dissent, often in the name of counterterrorism. The 2013 Public Benefit Organizations (PBO) Act, a law designed to regulate and protect civil society, has yet to be implemented. On the positive side, parts of the Kenyan judiciary remain defiantly independent of government interference, something President Obama should praise during his trip. The Kenya section in the U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 states: “The most serious human rights problems were security force abuses, including alleged unlawful killings, forced disappearances, torture, and use of excessive force; interethnic violence; and widespread corruption and impunity throughout the government…. Widespread impunity at all levels of government was a serious problem, despite public statements by the president and deputy president and police and judicial reforms. The government took only limited steps to address cases of unlawful killings by security force members.” That crackdown runs counter to President Obama’s insistence that stability and security require “freedom for civil society groups.” During his visit, President Obama should discuss the crackdown on civil society along with other pressing and sensitive issues: security cooperation, corruption, refugee protection, and the human rights of LGBT people.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, United States, Nairobi, East Africa