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  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Electoral rigging has hampered Pakistan's democratic development, eroded political stability and contributed to the breakdown of the rule of law. Facing domestic pressure for democracy, successive military governments rigged national, provincial and local polls to ensure regime survival. These elections yielded unrepresentative parliaments that have rubber-stamped extensive constitutional and political reforms to centralise power with the military and to empower its civilian allies. Undemocratic rule has also suppressed other civilian institutions, including the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which is responsible for holding elections to the national and four provincial assemblies, and local governments. With the next general election in 2013 – if the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led government completes its full five-year term – the ruling party and its parliamentary opposition, as well as the international community, should focus on ensuring a transparent, orderly political transition through free, fair and transparent elections.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Raghuram G. Rajan
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Rajan examines the problems of failed states, including the repeated return to power of former warlords, which he argues causes institutions to become weaker and people to get poorer. He notes that economic power through property holdings or human capital gives people the means to hold their leaders accountable. In the absence of such distributed power, dictators reign. Rajan argues that in failed states, economic growth leading to empowered citizenry is more likely if a neutral party presides. He proposes a unique solution to allow the electorate to choose a foreigner, who would govern for a fixed term. Candidates could be proposed by the UN or retired leaders from other countries; they would campaign on a platform to build the basic foundations of government and create a sustainable distribution of power. Rajan emphasizes that this is not a return to the colonial model—the external candidate (like all the others) would be on a ballot and the electorate would choose whether he or she was their best chance to escape fragility.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Government, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Unless repeal attempts succeed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ObamaCare) promises to increase state government obligations on account of Medicaid by expanding Medicaid eligibility and introducing an individual health insurance mandate for all US citizens and legal permanent residents. Once ObamaCare becomes fully effective in 2014, the cost of newly eligible Medicaid enrollees will be almost fully covered by the federal government through 2019, with federal financial support expected to be extended thereafter. But ObamaCare provides states with zero additional federal financial support for new enrollees among those eligible for Medicaid under the old laws. That makes increased state Medicaid costs from higher enrollments by "old-eligibles" virtually certain as they enroll into Medicaid to comply with the mandate to purchase health insurance. This study estimates and compares potential increases in Medicaid costs from ObamaCare for the five most populous states: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Markets, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, California, Florida
  • Author: Mikael Mattlin
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: While China's reform strategy has largely been a success story that has seen living standards rise tremendously, it has also led to widening income gaps, regional disparities, and much wasteful investment. Large income gaps breed social discontent that may turn into political demands. The ruling Communist Party has proved itself adroit at preventing such demands from emerging, by taking timely pre-emptive action in response to people's needs.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Guy Ben-Ari, Joachim Hofbauer, Gregory Kiley, Jesse Ellman
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, federal spending on service contracts more than doubled in constant terms, from $164 billion in 2000 to $343 billion in 2010. Policymakers have recently attempted to reduce or even reverse this increase, emphasizing instead what is now called the “insourcing” of services contracts. Conversions from contractors to government civilians, as well as other actions to expand the federal workforce, are being undertaken for political and cost savings reasons. In this study, CSIS looks into recent developments of these insourcing efforts within one executive department: the Department of Defense (DoD). DoD is the largest government department in terms of demand for services. In 2010, it awarded $161 billion worth of service contracts, up from $67 billion in 2000. This report reviews the analytical validity of the current policy and practices and proposes an alternative methodology for conducting better sourcing decisions between private and public providers.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sean Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: The last two decades or so has seen an explosion of interest in the question of civil society and the role of media and information in democratic politics. Specifically for Africa, the development of strong civil societies is seen as vital for democratization and democratic stability and in thinking about the State. Much of the literature has a prescriptive tone, suggesting that the development of privately owned media enterprises is the key to the emergence of a fully functioning public sphere, in which government wrongdoing will be exposed and democratic debate can take place. In much of the writing, particularly by political scientists, dependence on the state is the main factor, along with resource constraints, lack of training, and inability to reach areas of the population that cripples media and its ability to nourish the free flow of ideas in civil society. However, this paper is less interested in how much we can expect from the kind of institutional reform implied by the scholarship mentioned above, but rather from the assumptions about the role of the state and the place of media in African politics. The paper will discuss these issues in the context of a very advanced and well-developed media system – that of democratic South Africa – to see how well it is fulfilling the expectation of this literature.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ana Larcher Carvalho
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Since gaining independence from France in 1958, Guinea has remained relatively stable and has never experienced violent conflict. Until the bloodless military coup of 2008, it had had only two governments: the socialist administration of Sékou Touré (1958-1984) and the liberal regime of Lansana Conté (1984-2008). Despite some moves towards a more democratic system, including the adoption by referendum of a new constitution in 1990, the latter years of the Conté government were marked by bad governance, human rights violations, weak rule of law and impunity. This was compounded by the prolonged illness of the president, whose fitness to govern was widely doubted, and by 2003 there were fears that Guinea could become yet another failed state.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Government, Torture, Regime Change, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea
  • Author: Marwan Muasher
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The protests that spread throughout the Middle East in the spring of 2011 are calling greater attention to reform in the region. King Abdullah II has attempted to launch a number of political reform initiatives in Jordan since coming to the throne in 1999. But all efforts to open up the political system have been thwarted by a resilient class of political elites and bureaucrats who feared that such efforts would move the country away from a decades-old rentier system to a merit-based one. This group accurately predicted that reform would chip away, even if gradually, at privileges it had acquired over a long period of time in return for its blind loyalty to the system. It thus stood firm not just against the reform efforts themselves, but also in opposition to the king's own policies.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: S. Y. Quraishi
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: DR. RICHARD JOHNSTON: Welcome everyone to the welcome lecture from S. Y. Quraishi to the Comparing Elections and Electoral Systems in North America and India Conference. My name is Richard Johnston. By a vote of three to one, I was chosen as the person to do the introduction so I was not present at the time the vote was taken, but I am actually very pleased to be asked to do this. Just so you know, my current affiliation is the University of BC, but I am a former Penn person. It doesn't feel very former at the moment, I'll say, which is very pleasant. Anyway, my task is not to talk about me, but to introduce S. Y. Quraishi, the Chief Commissioner for Elections for India. I can't underscore how big a deal it is for us to have Dr. Quraishi here. The position is recognized in the Constitution of India. It is an enormously important role. This is the largest election task in the world. Not only does the Elections Commission take care of the Parliamentary elections, Lok Sabha elections, but also Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections, and elections in several states. So Dr. Quraishi is responsible for organization of elections, certainly to a Canadian, on an unimaginable scale. He is the seventeenth Chief Commissioner. He has been so since the third of July last year and served on the Commission for four years before that.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: John Zysman, Jonathan Murray
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy
  • Abstract: “Cloud computing” is much more than simply a new set of technologies and business models. It is rapidly emerging as the platform that will underpin the next generation of digital products and services. Cloud Computing is transforming how consumers, companies, and governments store information, how they process and exchange that information, and how they utilize computing power. Consequently, it opens a new set of policy discussions while at the same time underling the importance of old debates.
  • Topic: Government, Intelligence, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Author: Tariq Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Donor governments are prioritizing aid 'results' in advance of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HFL4) in Busan, Korea, due to take place at the end of 2011. But there is a real risk that their efforts will lead to a poorly designed results policy that could undo years of work to make aid more useful for fighting poverty.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Matthew Kirk, Julie Steele, Christele Delbe, Laura Crow, Justin Keeble, Caroline Fricke, Richard Myerscough, Gib Bulloch
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Mobile communications can help to meet the challenge of feeding an estimated 9.2 billion people by 2050. The 12 specific opportunities explored in this study could increase agricultural income by around US$138 billion across 26 of Vodafone's markets in 2020.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Government, Non-Governmental Organization, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Social Security is often described as a "foundational" element of the nation's social safety net. Almost all Americans are directly affected by the program and many millions primarily depend on its benefits for supporting themselves during retirement. But the program's financial condition has worsened considerably since the last recession, which began in 2007. In that year, the Social Security trustees estimated that the program's trust fund would be exhausted by 2042. The trustees' annual report for 2011 brings the trust fund exhaustion date forward to 2038. Indeed, the programs revenues fell short of its benefit expenditures in 2010 and it appears unlikely that significant surpluses will emerge again under the program's current rules. If the program's finances continue to worsen at this rate, it won't be long before the debate on reforming the program assumes an urgency and intensity similar to that during 1982-83, when imminent insolvency forced lawmakers to implement payroll tax increases and scale back its benefits.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: America, Ethiopia
  • Author: Alexander Ghaleb
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications enjoy full academic freedom, provided they do not disclose classified information, jeopardize operations security, or misrepresent official U.S. policy. Such academic freedom empowers them to offer new and sometimes controversial perspectives in the interest of furthering debate on key issues. This report is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Government, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Eugene L. Meyer
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: Codes of ethics for journalists have long been established and widespread in Western democracies. In such countries, they are universally voluntary, often issued and adopted by leading organizations of journalists. They incorporate best practices that may go beyond the laws of libel, defamation, and privacy.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Government, Mass Media, Sociology
  • Author: Tessa Bold, Mwangi Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu, Justin Sandefur
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A large empirical literature has shown that user fees signicantly deter public service utilization in developing countries. While most of these results reflect partial equilibrium analysis, we find that the nationwide abolition of public school fees in Kenya in 2003 led to no increase in net public enrollment rates, but rather a dramatic shift toward private schooling. Results suggest this divergence between partial- and general-equilibrium effects is partially explained by social interactions: the entry of poorer pupils into free education contributed to the exit of their more affluent peers.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Robert H. Bates, Brett L. Carter
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Those who study the role of agriculture in the political economy of development focus on government policy choices on the one hand and the impact of price shocks on the other. We argue that the two should be studied together. We find that civil unrest (Granger) causes government policies, pushing governments in poor and medium income countries to shift relative prices in favor of urban consumers. We also find that while civil wars are related to food price shocks, when government policy choices are taken into account, the relationship disappears. We thus learn two things: Policies that placate urban consumers may inflict economic costs on governments, but they confer political benefits. And when estimating the relationship between price shocks and political stability, equations that omit the policy response of governments are misspecified.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Government, Markets, Political Economy, Food
  • Author: Jill Shankleman
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: This report is the result of a six-month research project undertaken at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. The focus of the work is on the impact of China's oil and mining companies' recent overseas expansion on the governance of resource wealth. The paper covers four topics: The structure of the Chinese oil and mining industries, focusing on overseas operations; the emergence over the last ten years within the large-scale, OECD-based extractive industry, of a “new model” for resource extraction focusing on minimizing negative social and environmental impacts and on resource revenue transparency; the development of corporate social responsibility concepts in China, and the extent to which this is leading Chinese oil and mining companies to apply the “new model” for resource extraction, and the role of Chinese infrastructure loans to resource-rich developing countries in resource wealth governance.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: China, Washington
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: This is the fourth edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy index. It reflects the situation as of the beginning of December 2011. The first edition, published in The Economist's The World in 2007, measured the state of democracy in September 2006; the second edition covered the situation towards the end of 2008; and the third as of November 2010. The index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories—this covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world's independent states (micro states are excluded). The overall Democracy index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Partai Keadilan Sejahtera PKS is one of the younger parties in Indonesia today, yet it has established itself as a national party with branch offices all over the Indonesian archipelago and representation in government at all levels. When it first came onto the scene of Indonesian politics it was criticized by Indonesian liberal intellectuals as a 'Trojan horse' for further Islamisation of Indonesia. However some of Indonesia's more radical and militant Islamist groups have in turn criticized the PKS for 'selling out' by joining the democratic political process.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia