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  • Author: Andreas Antoniades, Stephany Griffith-Jones
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the nature and characteristics of global debt dynamics in the post global financial crisis (GFC) period. First, we attempt to map the ways in which debt has been moving from sector to sector, and from one group of countries to another within the global economy. By capturing this inter-sectorial, inter-national, inter-regional movements of global debt we aspire to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of global debt and its mode of operation. Second, we attempt to analyse what is wrong with global debt dynamics, i.e. we examine the broken link between what global debt was supposed to do and what it does. Here, we point to three interrelated dynamics: the accumulation of unproductive debt, growing inequalities of income and wealth, and the increase in privately-created, interest-bearing money.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Global Recession, Financial Crisis, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus, Global Markets
  • Author: Samuel Knafo, Benno Teschke
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex
  • Abstract: Marxism has often been associated with two different legacies. The first rests on a strong exposition and critique of the logic of capitalism, which has been grounded in a systematic analysis of the laws of motion of capitalism as a system. The second legacy refers to a strong historicist perspective grounded in a conception of social relations and an emphasis on the centrality of power and social conflict to analyse history. In this article, we challenge the prominence of structural accounts of capitalism, which are inspired by the first of these legacies and argue for the need to radicalize the agent-centered and historicist contribution of Marx that derive from the second. Our claim is that Marxists operating within a structural framework systematically fall into economistic readings of capitalism, which hinder the practice of historicisation Marxism was supposed to buttress. To make this argument, we show how this tension between these legacies has played out within Political Marxism (PM). We argue that both orientations – encapsulated in the simultaneous programmatic emphasis on historically specific social conflicts and determinate rules of reproduction that are logically deduced from definitive social property relations – co-existed already uneasily in Robert Brenner’s original contributions to the Transition Debate. We proceed by critically exploring the increasing reliance on a structural conception of the ‘rules of reproduction’ in later works of PM’s early proponents and by some of its contemporary followers. This, we argue, has led to the reification of capitalism and a growing divide between theoretical premises and historical explanation. In response, we seek to return to the early historicist innovation of PM and to recover and develop its commitment to a more contextualised and open-ended interpretation of social conflicts. Through this internal critique and re-formulation of PM, we wish to open a broader debate within Marxism on the need for a more agency-based account of capitalism, which builds more explicitly on the concept of social relations.
  • Topic: Economics, Socialism/Marxism, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Eastern Europe, Germany, Western Europe
  • Author: Robert M. Orr
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In the past two years, the creation of the Chinese-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has caused considerable attention in many capitals, particularly in Washington and Tokyo. Some view the establishment of the AIIB as a challenge to the supremacy of the post-World War II Bretton Woods order. Others see it as another symbol of shifting regional power in Asia. Some have deep concerns about the AIIB’s willingness to adhere to international safeguards and open procurement.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report is prepared for the North American Forum (NAF). In 2015, CIGI’s Global Security & Politics Program became the Secretariat for the Canadian leadership within the NAF. CIGI will be undertaking a program of research to support the Canadian contribution to the NAF in cooperation with our American and Mexican partners. In the coming months, CIGI will publish additional reports to support the work of the NAF. Since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, trade, investment and migration flows among Canada, Mexico and the United States have helped turn North America into one of the most dynamic and prosperous trade blocs on the planet. With a new government in Ottawa, it is an ideal time for Canada to make a stronger, deeper relationship with Mexico a crucial plank of a plan to secure a prosperous future for North America. Better relations between Mexico and Canada not only means more opportunities to take advantage of the two countries’ economic and social complementarities, it also gives the two countries the opportunity to closely work together to get the United States on board with an ambitious North American agenda to secure the continent’s economic future.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nigel Shadbolt, Wendy Hall, Keiron O'Hara
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In May 2014, the world of privacy regulation, data handling and the World Wide Web changed dramatically as a result of judgment C-131/12 in the CJEU. The so-called Google Spain decision confirmed that EU data protection legislation gives data subjects the right to request search engines to de-index webpages that appear in the search results on their names. The search engine is not obliged to agree to such requests — certain conditions have to be met and tests applied — but it is not free simply to ignore them. The decision drew on the 1995 DPD2 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and is consistent with a general direction toward more aggressive protection of privacy rights in Europe, as evidenced by the annulment of the Data Retention Directive, also in 2014 (CJEU 2014). Nevertheless, despite these antecedents, it has been seen as a major step in establishing a right to be forgotten.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media, Global Markets, Information Age, Digital Economy, Privacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Saul P. Limaye, Tsutomu Kikuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Until recently, Southeast Asia had not been a region of sustained focus for the US-Japan relationship. But the situation is changing. The international relations of the Asia-Pacific is becoming more "multipolarized." This requires the US and Japan to think about the future of the region beyond the issue of US-China relations, which has preoccupied past discussions. A number of nations and institutions in the Asia-Pacific region will substantially affect the region's future. Southeast Asian nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are among them. A new era of more coordinated, sustained, and combined commercial and security involvement by the US and Japan in Southeast Asia may be at hand. In light of these changes, the East-West Center in Washington (EWCW), in collaboration with the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), and through the support of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), initiated a dialogue with Southeast Asians about their perspectives on how the US-Japan relationship and alliance could or should approach cooperation with the region.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Markets, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia-Pacific
  • 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: 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