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  • Author: Richard L. Bernal
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Given their vulnerability to external economic events, small developing countries (SDEs) are particularly cognizant of their place in the world economy. Moreover, given their reliance on international trade for prosperity, SDEs are also concerned about the rules and institutions governing the multilateral trading system. In this paper, the author reviews and evaluates the participation of SDEs in the governance of the multilateral trading system, with a particular focus on the WTO. He suggests how SDEs can improve the efficacy of their participation in the WTO's decision-making process, and proposes ways in which the WTO could be adapted to better integrate SDEs in its governance.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Third World, World Trade Organization
  • Author: Ramin Jahanbegloo
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: For much of the last 30 years, official relations between the United States and Iran have been strained. The most visible indication of this was US President George W. Bush's labeling of Iran as a member of the "axis of evil" in 2002. Breaking with the past, the new US administration is taking a more conciliatory tone. President Barack Obama has demonstrated that Washington is willing to open the lines of communication with Iran. This paper seeks to locate the Obama administration's efforts within the history of US-Iranian relations while also highlighting the contemporary issues that would inform a constructive dialogue, such as the upcoming Iranian presidential elections. Improved dialogue between the two countries could help to improve the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, demonstrating how overlapping areas of interest may provide a new path for US-Iran relations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Washington
  • Author: Giorgi Sordia
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Since the 'Rose Revolution' in November 2003, significant reform has taken place in Georgia. The new Georgian government led by Mikheil Saakashvili, eager to push forward the process of reform and enhance the pace of integration with Euro-Atlantic structures and institutions, has taken a range of important steps to develop the institutional arrangement of government. A number of key ministries have been radically reformed, including the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Education and Science. Structural reform is also ongoing in many other ministries and state bodies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Governance, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Jonathan Wheatley
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Georgia is a multilingual and multi-ethnic society. A large number of minority languages are spoken in Georgia, including Abkhazian, Ossetian, Azeri, Armenian, Russian, Ukrainian, Kurmanji (Kurdish), Chechen (Kist), Ottoman Turkish, Pontic Greek, Syriac, Avar, Tsova-Tush and Udi. In addition, four distinct languages are spoken by the majority Georgian population -- Georgian, Megrelian, Svan and Laz -- although these are basically vernacular languages that are not normally written. According to Article 8 of the Georgian constitution, the official state language is Georgian, and in Abkhazia, also Abkhazian. Most minority languages are spoken only in certain regions of the country.
  • Topic: Politics, Multiculturalism, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Syria
  • Author: Jonathan Wheatley
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This paper aims to explore the extent to which national minorities in the Georgian provinces of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti are integrated into the economic and political life of Georgia and to investigate how government policy in the aftermath of the Rose Revolution of November 2003 has affected the relationship between the state and minority communities in these two regions. It is divided into eight parts. First I provide a general overview of the main characteristics of the population of the two provinces in terms of ethnicity and language use. The second part turns to the economy of the two regions, focusing on both agricultural and industrial production. The next section turns to state-society relations by showing how government policy in the fields of education, local government, infrastructure and economic development has impacted upon the integration of national minorities in the two provinces. The fourth section explores in greater depth the modes of local governance in the two municipalities of Samtskhe-Javakheti (Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda, collectively known as Javakheti) and the five municipalities of Kvemo Kartli (Gardabani, Marneuli, Bolnisi, Dmanisi and Tsalka) in which members of national minorities are concentrated, by identifying the main power brokers in these municipalities and by looking at how local power structures have changed in the last five years. The following part focuses on the process of migration and includes both permanent migration of Georgians and members of national minorities within Georgia and to destinations beyond the country's borders, as well as seasonal migration abroad. The sixth part deals with the issue of land distribution, which has been a contentious one in both provinces. The seventh section is the final substantive part of the paper; it takes the "view from below" by looking at the most salient issues from the point of view of members of national minorities that live in the two provinces. The paper then closes with a short conclusion.
  • Topic: Politics, Governance, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Georgia
  • Author: Giorgi Sordia
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: As a result of the August war of 2008, the demographic situation in South Ossetia has been entirely altered. After the Georgian authorities lost administrative-territorial control over the Didi and Patara Liakhvi gorges and Akhalgori district, the majority of the population of these territories, including the entire population of Didi and Patara Liakhvi, were forced to leave their homes. The demographic structure of districts adjoining the conflict zones was also affected. As of September 2008, internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the conflict zone (including districts of Shida Kartli) numbered more than 127,000 in total. After the ceasefire agreement between Russia and Georgia was signed and Russian troops removed from the region, a large number of those forcibly displaced outside the administrative borders of the former autonomous region of South Ossetia returned home. However, the entire ethnic Georgian population of Didi and Patara Liakhvi, as well as several thousand Georgians from Akhalgori districts, remain displaced. The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia has granted them the status of IDPs and housed them in 38 specially constructed cottage settlements. According to official figures from the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation, the number of IDPs from the August war (excluding those displaced from Upper Abkhazia) currently stands at 24,729.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Georgia, South Ossetia
  • Author: Keith D. Malone
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past several years, Americans have become more aware and more vocal regarding the number of illegal aliens who have taken up residence in the United States. While this issue—and a resolution of this issue—is still being debated, many have questioned why current enforcement efforts are so lax. The focus of this paper is on the government agency responsible for the enforcement of our immigration laws, and in particular how the actions of this agency are influenced by political interests. This paper fills a gap in the literature-to-date by examining the enforcement of immigration laws within the interior of the nation. While other studies put border enforcement efforts in a political framework, this analysis is the first, to the authors' knowledge, to place interior enforcement within the interest-group theory of government framework. Our findings indicate that pressure groups shape the pattern of enforcement that emerges. Despite polls that indicate a majority of Americans favoring stricter enforcement, government enforcement agencies charged with this responsibility apparently succumb to the wishes of those that matter most politically.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy, Politics, Immigration, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Sungno Niggol Seo
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: M. L. Weitzman in his paper "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change" argues that a standard cost-benefit analysis cannot be used as a tool for climate change policy since the problem of climate change possesses a large irresolvable uncertainty. I critique his analysis on two grounds: 1) key issues in the economics of global warming and 2) the claim on catastrophe. I point out that the fundamental economics of global warming is to provide a public good that is spatially global and temporally lasting, for several centuries, by a globally coordinated effort. The fundamental issue is how to cooperate on a global scale to regulate greenhouse gases given the divergent needs and preferences of individuals, businesses, countries, and even future generations. I argue that Weitzman misinterprets climate science by assuming that all scenarios are equally likely and that there will be no policy intervention to control greenhouse gases. In addition, he focuses on long-term climate predictions. Finally, impact studies do not support catastrophic outcomes from climate change within this century.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Author: Edward Stringham
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of one of the longest established private police groups in America, the San Francisco Patrol Special Police (PSP). Dating back to the days of the Gold Rush, the PSP are a collection of independent companies that the city charter authorizes to patrol different neighborhoods at the request of private clients. A survey was conducted to investigate why private parties pay the PSP rather than simply relying on government police. The results indicate that the PSP play an important role in providing safety that citizens cannot obtain if they rely solely on the San Francisco Police Department's safety services. However, despite these evident benefits, the PSP face some challenging political and regulatory obstacles. This article finds evidence that members of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) have been using regulations to restrict competition and effectively take over business using the force of law. This report documents some of the expenses these practices cost taxpayers and offers some suggestions for regulatory reform.
  • Topic: Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States, America, San Francisco
  • Author: Malgorzata Runiewicz-Wardyn
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: There are significant differences in the innovative capacities between the economies of the United States and European Union. The US was able to gain and maintain technological leadership, whereas most of the EU member states (with the exception of some Scandinavian economies) still lag behind in the competitiveness and innovation rankings.
  • Topic: Economics, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Omar G. Encarnación
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A key contention of the transitional justice movement is that the more comprehensive and vigorous the effort to bring justice to a departed authoritarian regime the better the democratizing outcome will be. This essay challenges this view with empirical evidence from the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal, a sweeping policy of purges intended to cleanse the state and society of the authoritarian past nearly derailed the transition to democracy by descending into a veritable witch-hunt. In Spain, by contrast, letting bygones be bygones, became a foundation for democratic consolidation. These counter-intuitive examples suggest that there is no pre-ordained outcome to transitional justice, and that confronting an evil past is neither a requirement nor a pre-condition for democratization. This is primarily because the principal factors driving the impulse toward justice against the old regime are political rather than ethical or moral. In Portugal, the rise of transitional justice mirrored the anarchic politics of the revolution that lunched the transition to democracy. In Spain, the absence of transitional justice reflected the pragmatism of a democratic transition anchored on compromise and consensus.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics, International Affairs, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Portugal, Iberia Peninsula
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: This study finds that North Korea's nuclear test and the imposition of UN Security Council sanctions have had no perceptible effect on trade with its two largest partners, China and South Korea. Before North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test, it was widely believed that such an event would have cataclysmic diplomatic ramifications. However, beginning with visual inspection of data and ending with time-series models, no evidence is found to support the notion that these events have had any effect on North Korea's trade with its two principal partners.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Andrew Selee, Katie Putnam
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: On July 5, Mexicans elected the five hundred members of the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress), six governors, and hundreds of mayors and local legislators throughout the country. At the midpoint of President Felipe Calderón's term, the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) made important gains in the Chamber of Deputies, as well as in gubernatorial and local elections. The election results carry important implications for pending domestic reforms and for the 2012 presidential elections.
  • Topic: Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Central America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: It is time to strengthen the U.S. relationship with Mexico. here are few countries—if any—which are as important to the United States as Mexico. We share more than just a two-thousand mile border. Our economies and societies are deeply interwoven and what happens on one side of our shared border inevitably affects the other side. As the United States seeks to redefine its role in the world, it is vital to start at home, with our neighbors.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Bilateral Relations, Immigration, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Vietnam is among the countries worst affected by the adverse effects of climate change, especially in coastal and low-land regions. Already an average of one million Vietnamese are affected annually by disasters including flooding in the Mekong Delta region. Serious droughts also affect the central coast region, Mekong Delta and mountainous areas. Climate change is recognized by the Government of Viet Nam as a major challenge, and the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change (NTP-RCC) was approved in December 2008.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: “World leaders all over the world can work together to find the best solutions for our green globe in the UN summit on climate change this coming December” is the key message that young people in Vietnam wish to say to the Heads of State joining COP15 in Copenhagen in December 2009.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Youth Culture
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Strong political parties that can compete for power in fair elections are essential to modern democracies. Political parties need resources for building solid organisations and canvassing public support, yet large donations have the potential to compromise the independence of elected officials, undermining democratic values and good governance. Laws and regulations cannot always prevent the undue influence of money and private interests in politics. Transparency is essential.
  • Topic: Corruption, Non-Governmental Organization, International Affairs, Governance
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Bribery and corruption remain endemic problems in many countries, weakening governance and posing a major impediment to development. At the same time, bribery and corruption are a significant risk for companies around the world: not only must companies comply with anti-bribery legislation, but corrupt company practices are increasingly scrutinised and punished by both investors and society at large who demand that companies behave as responsible corporate citizens. To ensure compliance with laws and to manage the broader risk of corruption, firms must adopt coherent policies and systems to prevent and redress bribery and corruption.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Governance, Peacekeeping
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: The Business Principles for Countering Bribery were originally developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder process involving companies, non-governmental organisations and trade unions as a tool to assist enterprises to develop effective approaches to countering bribery in all of their activities.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Governance
  • Author: Juanita Riaño
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Transparency International's (TI) 2009 Global Corruption Barometer (the Barometer) presents the main findings of a public opinion survey that explores the general public's views of corruption, as well as experiences of bribery around the world. It assesses the extent to which key institutions and public services are perceived to be corrupt, measures citizens' views on government efforts to fight corruption, and this year, for the first time, includes questions about the level of state capture and people's willingness to pay a premium for clean corporate behaviour.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Governance, Law