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  • 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