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  • Author: Pieter Fourie
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized countries decided at their 2001 meeting in Genoa to establish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to increase international funding for interventions against the three diseases, the United States was a leading supporter. The fund was a public-private partnership set up in 2002 with formal status as a foundation under Swiss law. In the fund's first two years, the United States accounted for nearly half the total amount pledged and challenged other donors to increase their contributions. By 2008 the Global Fund had committed $15.6 billion to AIDS activities in 140 country.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, South Africa
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert M. Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US may not face peer threats in the near to mid term, but it faces a wide variety of lesser threats that make maintaining effective military forces, foreign aid, and other national security programs a vital national security interest. The US does need to reshape its national security planning and strategy to do a far better job of allocating resources to meet these threats. It needs to abandon theoretical and conceptual exercises in strategy that do not focus on detailed force plans, manpower plans, procurement plans, and budgets; and use its resources more wisely. The US still dominates world military spending, but it must recognize that maintaining the US economy is a vital national security interest in a world where the growth and development of other nations and regions means that the relative share the US has in the global economy will decline steadily over time, even under the best circumstances. At the same time, US dependence on the security and stability of the global economy will continue to grow indefinitely in the future. Talk of any form of "independence," including freedom from energy imports, is a dangerous myth. The US cannot maintain and grow its economy without strong military forces and effective diplomatic and aid efforts. US military and national security spending already places a far lower burden on the US economy than during the peaceful periods of the Cold War, and existing spending plans will lower that burden in the future. National security spending is now averaging between 4% and 5% of the GDP -- in spite of the fact the US has been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- versus 6-7% during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Guy Ben-Ari, Gregory Sanders, Jesse Ellman, David Morrow
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Spending by the Department of Defense (DoD) on services contracts, which range from clerical and administrative work to vehicle maintenance to research and development (R), has been largely neglected by past studies of DoD spending trends. Yet DoD spending on services contract actions amounted to just under $200 billion in 2011, more than 50 percent of total DoD contract spending and nearly a third of the entire DoD budget. Both the executive branch and Congress have implemented policies to improve acquisitions of services, but the impacts of their efforts remain uncertain without a clear, concise analysis of past spending. And the then Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr. Ashton Carter, has stated that: “Most of our services acquires, unlike weapons-system acquires, are amateurs… I intend to help them get better at it” (Speech at the Heritage Foundation, April 20, 2011).
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter Ho
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The paper looks at how governments can be better prepared to deal with increasing complexity. Complexity produces strategic shocks and generates wicked problems. But complexity is different from merely complicated. A more complex operating environment increasingly challenges the paradigm of governments. A whole-of-government approach is a vital response to managing an increasingly complex world. There are also various tools that can be deployed to help governments better deal with complexity, and reduce the frequency and amplitude of strategic shocks.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Government, Political Economy, Politics, Governance
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After decades of failed negotiations and attempts to defeat the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN) militarily, a political solution to the Western Hemisphere's oldest conflict may be in sight. Following a year of secret contacts, formal peace talks with FARC are to open in Oslo in October 2012 and continue in Havana. They may be extended to the ELN. There seems a firmer willingness to reach an agreement, as the government realises military means alone cannot end the conflict and FARC appears to recognise that the armed struggle permits survival but little else. With no ceasefire in place, both sides must act with restraint on the battlefield to generate immediate humanitarian improvements. And they will need to balance the requirements of fast, discreet negotiations and those of representativeness and inclusion. The government and the guerrillas have the historic responsibility to strike a deal, but only strong social and political ownership of that deal can guarantee that it leads to the lasting peace that has been elusive for so long.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Government, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Armed Struggle, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Pedro L. Rodríguez, José R. Morales, Francisco J. Monaldi
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Venezuela is a textbook example of a resource-dependent country—between 1950 and 2008, oil generated over a trillion dollars of income for the state. Nevertheless, Venezuela currently combines an economy that is stagnant, despite high oil prices, with an increasingly authoritarian government. The authors argue that large oil rents that accrue to the state, together with a lack of formal and transparent mechanisms to facilitate citizen oversight, are a large part of the problem. They consider the nature of the fiscal contract between the Venezuelan government and its people. This has been characterized by increasing discretion of the executive; only a small share of the rents is now subject to political oversight within the framework of the budgetary system. The authors consider the case for direct distribution of rents, distinguishing it from a populist approach to transfers as effected through Venezuela's misiones. They also report on focus group discussions of the directdistribution approach and the political viability of direct transfers.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Energy Policy, Government, Oil, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Robert N. Stavins, Richard Schmalensee
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Two decades have passed since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 launched a grand experiment in market-based environmental policy: the SO2 cap-and-trade system. That system performed well but created four striking ironies. First, by creating this system to reduce SO2 emissions to curb acid rain, the government did the right thing for the wrong reason. Second, a substantial source of this system's cost-effectiveness was an unanticipated consequence of earlier railroad deregulation. Third, it is ironic that cap-and-trade has come to be demonized by conservative politicians in recent years, since this market-based, cost-effective policy innovation was initially championed and implemented by Republican administrations. Fourth, court decisions and subsequent regulatory responses have led to the collapse of the SO2 market, demonstrating that what the government gives, the government can take away.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Government, Markets, Treaties and Agreements, Law
  • Author: Verena Kroth
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper tests the theory of context-conditional political budget cycles in South Africa's dominant party framework and demonstrates that the central government has both an incentive and the ability to implement PBCs on the subnational level. Using a unique panel dataset comprising South Africa's nine provinces over the period 1995–2010 generates two main results: First, provinces where the national ruling party faces greater electoral competition receive higher per capita transfers in the year before an election. Second, this increase is driven by the conditional grant, which is the nonformula-based component of total the intergovernmental transfer. The ability to implement political budget cycles is successfully constrained when it comes to the formula-based equitable share component of the total transfer for which no evidence of electorally-induced funding is found. Overall, the results suggest that even in a dominant party framework, political competition can function as an incentive to implement political budget cycles.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. policy toward the continued rule of Syrian President Bashar al- Asad is partly based on the impact his rule has had in Syria. Asad's fall might not bring improvement for the Syrian people. But the argument that Asad, odious as he may be, provides stability now looks less and less convincing. Whether Asad stays or falls, the current Syrian unrest could have profound implications on the Middle East in at least four ways: the impact on Iran, Asad's closest strategic partner; the perception of the power of the United States and its allies; the stability of neighboring states; and the impact on Israel. The more Asad falls on hard times, the more Tehran has to scramble to prevent damage to its image with the “Arab street” and to its close ally, Lebanese Hizballah. Asad's overthrow is by no means assured, and U.S. instruments to advance that objective are limited. The U.S. Government decision to call for his overthrow seems to have rested on a judgment that the prospects for success were good and the payoff in the event of success would be high.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Government, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Official federal budget accounts are constructed exclusively in terms of current cash flows – receipts from taxes and fees and outlays on purchases and transfers. But cash-flows do not reveal economically relevant information about who benefits and who loses from government policies. Cash flows also do not reveal how changes in government's policies redistribute resources within and across generations, including reducing the tax burden on today's generations and increasing it on future ones. Because most government transact ions are targeted by age and gender, the federal government can bring about large resource transfers across generations. Intergenerational resource transfers will grow larger as the composition of budget receipts and expenditures changes with relatively faster growth of age-and-gender-related social insurance program. Intergenerational redistributions across generations through federal government operations could substantially affect different generations' economic expectations and choices and exert powerful long-term effects on economic outcomes.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Health, Human Welfare, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alan Reynolds
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This paper confirms recent studies which find little or no sustained increase in the inequality of disposable income for the U.S. population as a whole over the past 20 years, even though estimates of the top 1 percent's share of pretax, pretransfer (market) income spiked upward in 1986-88, 1997-2000 and 2003-2007.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alexandra Starr
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Latino immigrant entrepreneurs are making important contributions to the U.S. economy. They have founded highly successful companies in the frozen food, construction, financial services, and high-tech industries. Many of these companies owe their success to cultural connections with Latin American markets abroad and U.S. Latino consumers at home—markets that are set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Small-scale Latino immigrant entrepreneurs, meanwhile, have helped revitalize city commercial strips and small-town Main Streets across the country.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Franklin S. Reeder, Daniel Chenok, Karen S. Evans, James Andrew Lewis, Alan Paller
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the threat to the cyber infrastructure on which the federal government and the nation relies grows, the urgency of investing wisely in protection against, detecting, mitigating, and recovering from cyber events takes on increasing urgency. Our adversaries are well equipped and agile. Our defenses must be equal to the threat, and they are not.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Government, Science and Technology, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stephen Wicken
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Opponents of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have been pushing for his removal from power for much of his second term in office. In recent months, Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani and leaders from the Iraqiyya list have turned to an effort to withdraw confidence in Maliki as prime minister. Iraq's Shi'ite parties, though concerned about Maliki's accumulation of power, have largely abstained from the no-confidence push. Yet the anti-Maliki effort gained new life in mid-April when the powerful Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr intensified his opposition to Maliki and voiced his intention to remove the premier. Sadr's push for a no-confidence vote is an important inflection not only in his own posture towards Maliki, but also in the ongoing political crisis in Iraq. It has prompted a backlash from Iran, which has supported Maliki by seeking to restrain Sadr and to prevent a vote of no confidence. This backgrounder explores the possible calculus and responses of Sadr, Iran, and Maliki as Iraq's governmental stalemate continues to drag on.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Regional Cooperation, Governance, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kurdistan
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Quietly but steadily Central Asia's basic human and physical infrastructure – the roads, power plants, hospitals and schools and the last generation of Soviet-trained specialists who have kept this all running – is disappearing. The equipment is wearing out, the personnel retiring or dying. Post-independence regimes made little effort to maintain or replace either, and funds allocated for this purpose have largely been eaten up by corruption. This collapse has already sparked protests and contributed to the overthrow of a government.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Government, Fragile/Failed State, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Central Asia
  • Author: Fulvio Castellacci, Jose Miguel Natera
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Missing data represent an important limitation for cross-country analyses of national systems, growth and development. This paper presents a new cross-country panel dataset with no missing value. We make use of a new method of multiple imputation that has recently been developed by Honaker and King (2010) to deal specifically with time-series cross-section data at the country-level. We apply this method to construct a large dataset containing a great number of indicators measuring six key country-specific dimensions: innovation and technological capabilities, education system and human capital, infrastructures, economic competitiveness, political-institutional factors, and social capital. The CANA panel dataset thus obtained provides a rich and complete set of 41 indicators for 134 countries in the period 1980-2008 (for a total of 3886 country-year observations). The empirical analysis shows the reliability of the dataset and its usefulness for cross-country analyses of national systems, growth and development. The new dataset is publicly available.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, International Affairs, Infrastructure
  • Author: Marcus E. Ethridge
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In the wake of the 2010 elections, President Obama declared that voters did not give a mandate to gridlock. His statement reflects over a century of Progressive hostility to the inefficient and slow system of government created by the American Framers. Convinced that the government created by the Constitution frustrates their goals, Progressives have long sought ways around its checks and balances. Perhaps the most important of their methods is delegating power to administrative agencies, an arrangement that greatly transformed U.S. government during and after the New Deal. For generations, Progressives have supported the false premise that administrative action in the hands of experts will realize the public interest more effectively than the constitutional system and its multiple vetoes over policy changes. The political effect of empowering the administrative state has been quite different: it fosters policies that reflect the interests of those with well organized power. A large and growing body of evidence makes it clear that the public interest is most secure when governmental institutions are inefficient decisionmakers. An arrangement that brings diverse interests into a complex, sluggish decisionmaking process is generally unattractive to special interests. Gridlock also neutralizes some political benefits that producer groups and other well-heeled interests inherently enjoy. By fostering gridlock, the U.S. Constitution increases the likelihood that policies will reflect broad, unorganized interests instead of the interests of narrow, organized groups.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics, Power Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has squandered the goodwill and support it received and achieved little of significance in the two years it has been in office. It is inept, increasingly corrupt and hobbled by President Sharif's weak leadership. So far, every effort to make the administration modestly functional has come unstuck. The new leaner cabinet looks impressive on paper but, given divisive politics and the short timeframe, is unlikely to deliver significant progress on key transitional objectives, such as stabilising Somalia and delivering a permanent constitution before August 2011, when the TFG's official mandate ends. Although the Transitional Federal Parliament unilaterally has awarded itself a further three-year-extension, urgent attention needs to be given to the government's structural flaws that stymie peacebuilding in central and south Somalia. If the TFG does not make serious progress on correcting its deficiencies by August, the international community should concentrate its support on the more effective local entities, until a more appropriate and effective national government is negotiated.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Government, Insurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jacob Høigilt
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Jubilant celebrations followed the announcement of Hosni Mubarak's resignation as president of Egypt. The army has taken control of government, promising fundamental judicial and political reforms, but considering that the army has been the guarantor of the Egyptian regime since 1952, the future is far from certain. In the current dramatic situation, the question arises: who are the actors that have succeeded in bringing down Mubarak's regime, what are their aims, and what support base do they have? This paper provides an overview and assessment of the four groups that have emerged as major political players, and the role they may play in Egypt's ongoing political transition: the many-stranded but disciplined youth movement, the Council of Wise Men (lajnat al-hukama'), the National Association for Change, and the Muslim Brothers. The paper also considers the independent Egyptian judges who occupy a crucial position in the current situation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Regime Change, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This study discusses the role of history and tradition in the legitimization of the state in the People's Republic of China. In Chinese political debate, history has traditionally been the most important source of argumentation. Today, the Party-state is reinventing history and tradition to bolster its legitimacy, but the project has met with opposition. This study introduces and analyzes the related debate, ongoing among various actors in different public fora in China, and engaged in both by those affiliated with the Party-state and those outside the establishment.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: China