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  • Author: Peter Haynes
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In a world of near-infinite computing power, ubiquitous connectivity, cloud-based services, and big data, the fact that the vast majority of countries holds elections using paper ballots appears an anomaly.
  • Topic: Government, Science and Technology, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Julia Bastian
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The debate on decentralization has identified local accountability as a key factor for successful decentralization processes in developing countries, stressing that the account ability of subnational governments towards the national level may prove detrimental to their accountability to the citizens. Based on the distinction of formal and informal institutions and the discussion of accountability as a concept, this Working Paper identifies accountability mechanisms relevant at the local level and analyses their functioning, interaction and factors that influence their effectiveness. This analytical grid is then applied to the case study of Mozambique, in a structured and focused comparison of the municipalities of Beira and Catandica. The analysis shows that accountability mechanisms at national level do not necessarily undermine accountability towards the citizens, but even may have an activating effect on other accountability mechanisms. Funding, access to information, political competition at the local level and informal influences that emanate from formal organizations, such as political parties, are factors that influence the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms at the local level.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Mozambique
  • Author: Trevor Houser, Shashank Mohan, Sarah O. Ladislaw, Michelle Melton, John Larsen, Whitney Ketchum
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On June 2, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its draft Clean Power Plan (CPP), a proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide from the nation's existing power generation facilities. As the central pillar of the Obama administration's strategy for addressing climate change, the draft rule's release was both highly anticipated and contentious.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Government, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Stephanie Sanok Kostro, Garrett Riba
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, the rising amount of economic losses, and the mounting costs of providing relief indicate the growing importance of disaster resilience. Disasters have far- reaching consequences, ranging from the most basic physical injuries and property losses to long- term psychological, economic, and cultural damage. Merely supplementing resources to address the aftermath of disasters— rather than mitigating risks and putting in place key elements in advance of a disaster— is not a sustainable model for community resilience. Additionally, failure to utilize the resources of all public- and private- sector stakeholders to develop long- term planning mechanisms leaves communities vulnerable to repeated, high levels of damage and destruction.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Government, Terrorism, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Craig Fagan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Public sector officials who have achieved positions of power and managerial control over government budgets and spending can be particularly vulnerable to corruption. Asset declarations offer a critical tool to public officials and those they serve in the prevention, detection, investigation and sanctioning of corruption.
  • Topic: Corruption, Government, Reform, Budget
  • Author: Martin Rhodes, Rachel A. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: European states have a long history of banking sector nationalism. Control over credit allocation is believed to contribute to economic development and competitiveness goals, insulation from external economic shocks, and control over monetary policy. This paper explains the potentially dramatic loss in domestic control over banks created by the European Banking Union (EBU). First, we argue that ongoing liberalization in the global and European economies has made banking sector protectionism both more costly and conflictual. Second, we contend that because many of the biggest banks have internationalized their operations, they now prefer centralized European regulation and supervision. Third, supporting a modified neofunctionalist argument, we find that behind the sometimes frenetic intergovernmental bargaining in 2012-14, it is primarily the European Commission and the European Central Bank that have pushed Banking Union ahead. Supranational institutions have argued, with some success, that they have unique capacity to solve collective action and prisoners' dilemma problems. Contrary to accepted wisdom, Germany has not set or limited the Banking Union agenda to a great extent, in part because of its own internal divisions. Moreover, the Commission and the ECB have managed at critical junctures to isolate Germany to secure the country's assent to controversial measures.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Ran Lachman
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: The national integrity system of Israel was found to have uneven or "oscillating" levels of integrity: some of the central pillars received a fairly high score, placing them in the top fifth of the evaluation scale, some medium-high scores, whereas some pillars, central to the system, received scores barely above mid-scale. The pillars with the highest integrity, in terms of over-all integrity ranking, can be regarded as pillars that safeguard the democracy in Israel: chief among them is the Central Elections Committee (91), followed by the Judicial Branch (83) and the State Comptroller (81). On the other hand, the analyses indicate that the principle weakness of the Israeli national integrity system lies with the pillars of The Public Sector ±i.e., the Civil Service (52), the Executive Branch (58), and the political parties (60).Conspicuous in its low integrity score was The Executive Branch, i.e., the government, where the indicators of Governance and the Role in the integrity system were particularly low.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Citizens rely on governments for essential goods and services. But what's more is they pay for those services through taxation. If a government, or people within a government, feel like nobody is watching, then the temptation to steal becomes much more seductive. Accountability to the public begins when people – like you! – track government spending and detect corruption by watching how and where the money flows.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Philip Kitzberger
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of government strategies vis-à-vis dominant media actors in the Latin American context, where the media's role in democratic politics is increasingly being questioned. It compares the first two Kirchnerist presidencies in Argentina with the first two Workers' Party-led governments in Brazil. While these governments initially adopted accommodation strategies towards media organisations, political crises subsequently disturbed the fragile coexistence of media and government, triggering divergent strategic responses that require explanation. Using accounts relying on ideological preferences, the study establishes the importance of environmental factors and critical junctures as determinants of governments' strategic options. Significant differences in the institutional configurations and articulations of media interests in the two countries are found to be relevant. However, the study shows that such constraints do not tell the whole story. Consequently, the analysis also focuses on how certain junctures affect government perceptions of media power and, in turn, inform governments' strategic stances.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Peter Cary
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: U.S. government support for international media development is declining. Spending by the Department of State and USAID for media freedom and freedom of information programs has dropped 43.5 percent in the past five years–from $135 million in Fiscal Year 2008 to approximately $76.3 million in FY 2012, according to figures supplied by the State Department. This trend and others related to U.S. government support for media development are the subject of this report, which analyzes how U.S. government grant making for media assistance has changed over time and looks at possible reasons those changes have occurred. The data underpinning the report is drawn from two main sources: the State Department's Office of Foreign Assistance Resources, which tracks allocations for foreign aid, and from an in-depth examination and analysis of grant proposals solicited by the U.S. government over the past five years containing at least one media development component.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government, Mass Media, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States