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  • Author: Kyle L Marquardt, Daniel Pemstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Data sets quantifying phenomena of social-scientific interest often use multiple experts to code latent concepts. While it remains standard practice to report the average score across experts, experts likely vary in both their expertise and their interpretation of question scales. As a result, the mean may be an inaccurate statistic. Item-response theory (IRT) models provide an intuitive method for taking these forms of expert disagreement into account when aggregating ordinal ratings produced by experts, but they have rarely been applied to cross- national expert-coded panel data. In this article, we investigate the utility of IRT models for aggregating expert-coded data by comparing the performance of various IRT models to the standard practice of reporting average expert codes, using both real and simulated data. Specifically, we use expert-coded cross-national panel data from the V–Dem data set to both conduct real-data comparisons and inform ecologically-motivated simulation studies. We find that IRT approaches outperform simple averages when experts vary in reliability and exhibit differential item functioning (DIF). IRT models are also generally robust even in the absence of simulated DIF or varying expert reliability. Our findings suggest that producers of cross-national data sets should adopt IRT techniques to aggregate expert-coded data of latent concepts.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anna Lührmann, Kelly McMann, Carolien van Ham
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Large-N studies suggest that democracy aid is effective, while multiple small-N investigations call such findings into question. This paper accounts for this contradiction and significantly improves our understanding of democracy aid effectiveness by disaggregating democracy aid into specific types and examining effectiveness in different regime types. We argue that a specific type of aid is more likely to be effective when the aid does not pose a threat to regime survival and when the aid matches the particular democratic deficits in a country. Analysis of OECD aid and Varieties of Democracy data for 119 countries from 2002-2012 supports our argument.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph E. Aldy
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the choice between—and design of—CO2 cap-and-trade and tax policies through a political-economy lens. It draws from insights in economics and political economy to highlight important public policy principles and policy options in carbon-pricing policy design. The paper illustrates each of these insights with examples from cap-and-trade and tax-policy experiences. Revealed political preferences about carbon-pricing-policy design can, in practice, inform our understanding of how decision-makers weigh various policy principles, as well as policy objectives. The balance of the paper examines the following design choices: establishing and phasing-in policy targets; setting the point of compliance and scope of coverage; addressing uncertainties in emission and cost outcomes under carbon pricing; updating carbon-pricing targets over time; using revenue and other forms of economic value created by carbon pricing; mitigating adverse competitiveness impacts of pricing carbon; accounting for the existing, complex policy landscape in designing carbon pricing; and linking of carbon-pricing programs. The final section concludes with a discussion of policy implications and next steps for policy-relevant scholarship.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stig Jarle Hansen, Mohamed Husein Gaas, Ida Bary
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Although it may seem that the Muslim Brotherhood has weakened since the onset of the "Arab Winter" in 2013 and onward, organizations with their origins in the Brotherhood still have access to power in countries as diverse as Somalia, Bahrain, Morocco, and Yemen, and might regain power in other countries as well. Most Brotherhood-affiliated movements are committed to some form of democracy, unlike many of their rivals in the Middle East. Even the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have sought allies among Brotherhood affiliates, despite banning a majority of affiliated organizations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Every year the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) surveys its members. This survey, conducted in 2017, polled over 90 agencies on numerous aspect
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Benjamin Tallis, Michal Šimečka
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The discussion paper by Benjamin Tallis and Michal Šimečka, senior researchers at the Institute of International Relations, provides a (critical) reflection on hybrid warfare – as both a concept and a practice – in the context of collective security in Europe, and discusses the role of the institutions and policies of NATO, the EU, and Member States.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Panpan Yang, Bing Han
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: Responsible research and innovation (RRI) represents a new evolving approach to governing research and innovation that takes into account potential impacts on the environment and society. Most published studies on RRI focus on the social benefits of research and innovation through examining RRI’s definitions and approaches for its implementation. In contrast, the present study addresses the influence of RRI on economic growth, and discusses the situations in which RRI will benefit economies. Our study finds that for its implementation to be successful, RRI needs to meet certain conditions, and that its implementation is not always beneficial to economic growth. To achieve a better result from RRI as part of an innovation policy, each country should balance the push and pull power of RRI to make sure that it becomes a building block rather than a stumbling block for innovation, economic growth and social welfare. To assure that RRI can be successfully implemented, China needs to strengthen and improve the participation mechanisms for stakeholders in major scientific and technological innovative activities.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Liu Dongmin
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: The Chinese government seeks a more prominent role for China’s currency, the renminbi, in the international financial system. Its efforts to establish the renminbi as an international currency – like the US dollar – have hitherto emphasized relatively limited applications such as trade settlement and exchange rate arbitrage. However, recent market and policy developments point to the internationalization process henceforth being driven more by the renminbi’s status as a reserve currency
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Mohsen Shariatinia, Hamidreza Azizi
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: Iran served as a bridge in the ancient Silk Road, connecting the East and the West. It also has great potential to play an important role in the new Silk Road. The present study analyzes the factors affecting Iran–China cooperation in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative at the strategic and operational levels. This article shows that, at the strategic level, Iran defines this project as an opportunity to improve its status in the world economy, expanding its room to manoeuvre in the international arena and developing its ties with China, a rising great power. At the operational level, the opportunities and challenges for Iran–China cooperation could be summarized as pertaining to five realms within the Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative: policy coordination, facilitation of connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds. The present study asserts that the main opportunity for cooperation between the two countries lies in facilitating connectivity and that the key challenge is financial integration.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Iran
  • Author: Ivan Timofeev
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: The article aims to highlight Russian approaches to Chinese One Belt-One Road initiative. It examines possible opportunities and challenges for co-development of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt project. Both projects and their co-development may reduce the uncertainty in Eurasia, caused by significant structural changes in international relations and the world economy, the emergence of new trade regimes and the erosion of leadership in international affairs. Russian interests in this regard are determined by the need for modernization and long-term development, which could also help to address acute security issues. These particular factors encouraged Russia to come up with an ambitious plan of the Extensive Eurasian Partnership, although the prospects of its implementation currently are uncertain. The present article argues that the success of Russia-China collaboration in Eurasia will depend crucially on the future dynamics of the Eurasian integration, as well as on the agreement to co-develop the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt Initiative with concrete and mutually beneficial projects.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia