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  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report is prepared for the North American Forum (NAF). In 2015, CIGI’s Global Security & Politics Program became the Secretariat for the Canadian leadership within the NAF. CIGI will be undertaking a program of research to support the Canadian contribution to the NAF in cooperation with our American and Mexican partners. In the coming months, CIGI will publish additional reports to support the work of the NAF. Since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, trade, investment and migration flows among Canada, Mexico and the United States have helped turn North America into one of the most dynamic and prosperous trade blocs on the planet. With a new government in Ottawa, it is an ideal time for Canada to make a stronger, deeper relationship with Mexico a crucial plank of a plan to secure a prosperous future for North America. Better relations between Mexico and Canada not only means more opportunities to take advantage of the two countries’ economic and social complementarities, it also gives the two countries the opportunity to closely work together to get the United States on board with an ambitious North American agenda to secure the continent’s economic future.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nigel Shadbolt, Wendy Hall, Keiron O'Hara
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In May 2014, the world of privacy regulation, data handling and the World Wide Web changed dramatically as a result of judgment C-131/12 in the CJEU. The so-called Google Spain decision confirmed that EU data protection legislation gives data subjects the right to request search engines to de-index webpages that appear in the search results on their names. The search engine is not obliged to agree to such requests — certain conditions have to be met and tests applied — but it is not free simply to ignore them. The decision drew on the 1995 DPD2 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and is consistent with a general direction toward more aggressive protection of privacy rights in Europe, as evidenced by the annulment of the Data Retention Directive, also in 2014 (CJEU 2014). Nevertheless, despite these antecedents, it has been seen as a major step in establishing a right to be forgotten.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media, Global Markets, Information Age, Digital Economy, Privacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Emily Taylor
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the proposed transfer of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) oversight away from the US government. The background section explores how the technical architecture of critical Internet resources has certain governance implications, introduces the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its relationship with the US government through the IANA function and the Affirmation of Commitments. After discussing why the relationship has caused controversy, the paper describes the work underway within ICANN to find a successor oversight mechanism and provides a short critique of the proposals so far. The majority of the paper is taken up with more general issues relating to ICANN's accountability. It explains how the IANA transition was recognized to be dependent on ICANN's wider accountability, and the trust issues between community and leadership that this exposed. There follows an analysis of ICANN's strengths and weaknesses in relation to accountability and transparency, followed by conclusions and recommendations.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Zheng Liansheng
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The shadow banking system was defined in 2007 by Paul McCulley, the managing director of Pacific Investment Management Company, but it began to receive significant attention in the immediate aftermath of the GFC. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the regulatory agencies of different countries, international organizations and think tanks have all carried out in-depth research into shadow banking and have released a series of results. Regulatory reforms have also addressed shadow banking, the most important of which is the US Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, which aims to restrain the expansion and risk taking of shadow banking in the United States. The United Kingdom and the European Union have also adopted reforms and built up a supervisory system to track the risks of the shadow banking system.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Ming Zhang
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Due to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the Chinese government began to promote renminbi (RMB) internationalization in order to raise its international status, decrease reliance on the US dollar (USD) and advance domestic structural reform. RMB internationalization has achieved progress not only in cross-border trade settlement, but also in the offshore RMB markets. However, the rampant cross-border arbitrage and the relatively slow development of RMB invoicing compared to RMB settlement are becoming increasingly problematic. RMB internationalization has exerted significant influence on not only the Chinese economy but also other emerging market economies. RMB internationalization complicates domestic monetary policy, exacerbates the currency mismatch on China's international balance sheet and increases both the scale and volatility of short-term capital flows. It offers emerging economies another alternative for pricing domestic currency and investing foreign exchange reserves. Its overall impact on the international monetary system's stability will depend on how the capital account is liberalized and the consistency and transparency of Chinese monetary policy. This paper concludes with five recommendations for Chinese policy makers to promote RMB internationalization in a sustainable way that is conducive to international stability.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Chiara Oldan
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives played an important role in the buildup of systemic risk in financial markets before 2007 and in spreading volatility throughout global financial markets during the crisis. In recognition of the financial and economic benefits of derivatives products, the Group of Twenty (G20), under the auspices of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), moved to regulate the use of OTC derivatives. Although a number of scholars have drawn attention to the detrimental effects of the United States and the European Union (EU) to coordinate OTC reform, this overlooks an important aspect of the post-crisis process: the exemption of non-financial operators from OTC derivative regulatory requirements. Critically, they remain exempt under existing legislation regardless of the risks they continue to pose through unreported trades and counterparty risks to financial firms; there is still uncertainty around the pricing of derivatives (i.e., model risk) for non-financial operators that could pose a risk to the financial system. Nevertheless, the lack of coordination between the United States and European Union is detrimental for consistency and coherence among financial sectors. These, and similar inconsistencies in financial regulation, pose risks of conflict and fragmentation that should soon be addressed by the G20. The paper concludes by discussing what lessons can be learned from Canada, after it successfully avoided the worst of the crisis and contained the systemic risks posed by OTC derivatives before and after it.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada
  • Author: Michael Chertoff, Tobby Simon
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: With the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' contract with the United States Department of Commerce due to expire in 2015, the international debate on Internet governance has been re-ignited. However, much of the debate has been over aspects of privacy and security on the visible Web and there has not been much consideration of the governance of the “deep Web” and the “dark Web.”The term deep Web is used to denote a class of content on the Internet that, for various technical reasons, is not indexed by search engines. The dark Web is a part of the deep Web that has been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard Web browsers. A relatively known source for content that resides on the dark Web is found in the Tor network. Tor, and other similar networks, enables users to traverse the Web in near-complete anonymity by encrypting data packets and sending them through several network nodes, called onion routers. Like any technology, from pencils to cellphones, anonymity can be used for both good and bad. Users who fear economic or political retribution for their actions turn to the dark Web for protection. But there are also those who take advantage of this online anonymity to use the dark Web for illegal activities such as controlled substance trading, illegal financial transactions, identity theft and so on. Considering that the dark Web differs from the visible Web, it is important to develop tools that can effectively monitor it. Limited monitoring can be achieved today by mapping the hidden services directory, customer data monitoring, social site monitoring, hidden service monitoring and semantic analysis. The deep Web has the potential to host an increasingly high number of malicious services and activities. The global multi-stakeholder community needs to consider its impact while discussing the future of Internet governance.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi, Pierre Siklos, Samantha St. Amand
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is a risk that positive developments in the US economy and in the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy stance could induce global financial volatility and further exacerbate global economic imbalances. Empirical evidence suggests that global asset prices are responsive not just to US policy actions, but to news events concerning developments in the US economy and to the tones of Federal Reserve statements. Central banks need to continue to be mindful about the potential repercussions of shocking markets through statements and policy actions. The Group of Twenty (G20) ought to work together to implement coordinated, mutually beneficial economic policies. This includes being cognizant of the spillover effects of domestic policies, and seeking to minimize them.
  • Topic: Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Samah Rahman, Shashanth Shetty
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada is lagging behind in research and development (R&D) commercialization, ranking fifteenth in the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Competitiveness Report. One of the most important contributing factors to the gap between R&D and competitiveness is that new entrepreneurs lack the monetary and informational resources to access intellectual property (IP) legal expertise. The authors of this brief argue that the Canadian government’s strategies have been ineffective, and its current policy initiatives have failed to consider the importance of disseminating IP legal knowledge directly to innovators. It is recommended that the government look to the models used by the United States and South Korea to mobilize IP legal knowledge within the entrepreneurial community. This can be achieved by establishing a national IP legal clinic at the university level — as well as increasing funding for existing programs and creating a virtual clinic — and including an IP rights application course in select university programs, targeting innovators who will require IP legal advice in the future.
  • Topic: Economics, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, South Korea
  • Author: Armand de Mestral
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Investor-state arbitration (ISA), also known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), by which a foreign investor is entitled to sue a state for damages resulting from the alleged violation of an applicable bilateral investment treaty or an investment chapter in a regional trade agreement, has come under scrutiny in many parts of the world. But in no countries has it been subject to greater scrutiny and challenge than in developed democracies. First in Canada and the United States as a result of the adoption of NAFTA Chapter 11, subsequently in the European Union as a result of the adoption of the International Energy Charter, and latterly in other countries such as Australia, critics have alleged that ISA grants an undue privilege to foreign investors whose complaints should be heard by domestic courts instead of panels of international arbitrators. Availability of ISA is in fact worldwide, due to a network of more than 3,200 investment treaties; criticisms have been voiced in different parts of the world and various proposals for change have been made. The criticisms in developed democracies have become sufficiently strong for it to be necessary to raise the question of whether recourse to ISA is appropriate in any form in developed democracies. Armand de Mestral’s paper is the first in the Investor-State Arbitration project. The series of papers will be prepared by leading experts from a number of developed democracies. Each will review the experience of ISA within specific jurisdictions, with a view to understanding the debates that have occurred in each one. The focus of the debate is on developed democracies, but the implications for the whole international community are very much in mind.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment, Democracy
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • Author: Joel Blit
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The case for patents rests crucially on three conditions: that innovation is undersupplied in the absence of patents; that patents promote increased innovation; and that the welfare benefits of any additional innovation outweigh the welfare costs associated with the temporary monopoly that patents generate. While it is probably true that innovation is undersupplied, the empirical evidence is mixed on whether patents foster innovation. This may be due to patents stifling cumulative innovation because of holdup and ex ante uncertainty over patent rights. This policy brief recommends that to reduce the potential for holdup, uncertainty around patent rights should be reduced. Patents should be easily searchable and more easily understood by non-legal experts. In addition, patents should be narrower and more clearly demarcated. To the extent that the welfare costs of patents appear to outweigh their benefits, the requirements for obtaining a patent should be tightened. Further, patents should be made less broad and, concomitant with the reduction in the length of the product cycle, the length of patents should also be reduced.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jennifer Spence
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In April 2015, Canada will hand the chairmanship of the Arctic Council to the United States. As the chair, the United States will have an opportunity to shape the priorities of the Arctic Council for the next two years and communicate its vision for the future of the circumpolar region. In anticipation of acquiring this leadership role, the United States first provided a sense of its vision for the chairmanship on September 30, 2014 in Washington, DC, during the Passing the Arctic Council Torch conference supported by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Canada
  • Author: Robert N. McCauley, Catherine R. Schenk
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the discussion of a substitution account in the 1970s and how the account might have performed had it been agreed in 1980. The substitution account would have allowed central banks to diversify away from the dollar into the IMF's Special Drawing Right (SDR), comprised of US dollar, Deutschmark, French franc (later euro), Japanese yen and British pound, through transactions conducted off the market. The account's dollar assets could fall short of the value of its SDR liabilities, and hedging would have defeated the purpose of preventing dollar sales. In the event, negotiators were unable to agree on how to distribute the open-ended cost of covering any shortfall if the dollar's depreciation were to exceed the value of any cumulative interest rate premium on the dollar. As it turned out, the substitution account would have encountered solvency problems had the US dollar return been based on US treasury bill yields, even if a substantial fraction of the IMF's gold had been devoted to meet the shortfall at recent high prices for gold. However, had the US dollar return been based on US treasury bond yields, the substitution account would have been solvent even without any gold backing.
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: James M. Boughton
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canadians have long harboured a desire to "punch above their weight" in international diplomacy, an aspiration justified by Canada's position in the world both geographically and culturally. This paper examines one aspect of that effort: Canada's role in international financial governance, particularly within the International Monetary Fund. The key issue for the future is whether Canada will continue to have the capacity and the will to take leading positions and actions in the face of increasing competition from the rapidly growing emerging market countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, International Monetary Fund, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • Author: Aaron Shull
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Examining global cybercrime as solely a legal issue misses an important facet of the problem. Understanding the applicable legal rules, both domestically and internationally, is important. However, major state actors are using concerted efforts to engage in nefarious cyber activities with the intention of advancing their economic and geostrategic interests. This attempt to advance a narrow set of economic interests through cybercrime and economic cyber espionage holds to the potential to erode the trust in the digital economy that has been a necessary condition for the success of the Internet as an economic engine for innovation and growth. By pursuing these efforts, states are prioritizing short-term interests over long-term stability and a responsibly governed, safe and secure Internet platform. This paper explores the recent unsealing of a 31-count indictment against five Chinese government officials and a significant cyber breach, perpetrated by Chinese actors against Western oil, energy and petrochemical companies. The paper concludes by noting that increased cooperation among governments is necessary, but unlikely to occur as long as the discourse surrounding cybercrime remains so heavily politicized and securitized. If governments coalesced around the notion of trying to prevent the long-term degradation of trust in the online economy, they may profitably advance the dialogue away from mutual suspicion and toward mutual cooperation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Crime, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Pierre Siklos, Martin T. Bohl, Philipp Kaufmann
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Soaring prices in European alternative energy stocks and their subsequent tumble have attracted attention from both investors and academics. This paper extends recent research to an international setting and analyzes whether the explosive price behaviour of the mid-2000s was driven by rising crude oil prices and an overall bullish market sentiment. Inflation-adjusted US alternative energy stock prices do not exhibit signs of explosiveness. By contrast, we find strong evidence of explosive price behaviour for European and global sector indices, even after controlling for a set of explanatory variables. Interestingly, while the sector indices plunged with the outbreak of the global financial crisis, idiosyncratic components continued to rise and did not start to decline until after world equity markets had already begun to recover in 2009. This finding suggests a substantial revaluation of alternative energy stock prices in light of intensifying sector competition and shrinking sales margins, and casts some doubts on the existence of a speculative bubble. Nevertheless, this paper observes temporary episodes of explosiveness between 2005 and 2007 followed by rapid collapses, indicating the presence of some irrational exuberance among investors.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Aaron Shull, Paul Twomey, Christopher S. Yoo
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The US government has announced that it is prepared to unilaterally relinquish its historical control of the key technical functions that make up the modern-day Internet. This control stems from the foundational role played by the United States in the creation of the Internet, and has been exercised through the law of contract over the organization that performs these functions, a not-for-profit corporation based in California, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Under the existing contractual arrangement, ICANN has been accountable to the US government for the performance of these functions. However, if the US government is no longer party to this agreement, then to whom should ICANN be accountable?
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Hongying Wang
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: More than a decade after it put forth the idea of the Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM) in the early 2000s, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is again seeking to engage various stakeholders in a new round of discussions about improving sovereign debt restructuring. As a major international creditor, China is an important force to reckon with. So far, the Chinese government has said little publicly regarding the recent IMF reports on this issue. Chinese policy makers and analysts are supportive of the IMF's attempt to explore ways for earlier and more orderly debt restructuring, but they find the proposed reforms to be only marginally useful. From China's point of view, the most important question in debt management is how to prevent excessive borrowing and lending and reduce the likelihood of unsustainable debt. It sees discussions about the mechanisms of sovereign debt restructuring as having little effect on this question. As an international creditor, China's main concern has to do with safeguarding the value of its overseas assets from the detrimental effect of macroeconomic policies of Western countries, especially the United States. This is not an issue that can be addressed by improved debt restructuring mechanisms. China remains deeply concerned about the power imbalance between developed and developing countries in the international financial system. Going forward in the global dialogue over sovereign debt restructuring, China's priority will be to minimize international financial instability while protecting the development needs of developing countries.
  • Topic: Debt, International Monetary Fund
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The G20 has emerged as the lynchpin of China's involvement in global economic governance. It remains the only economic institutional setting where the country can operate on par with major Western powers. China has a strong interest in maintaining the status of the G20 as the premier forum for economic cooperation, and a vested interest in ensuring that the G20 does not degrade into yet another “talk shop” of multilateral diplomacy. However, the Chinese leadership's current approach to the G20 is not driven by a desire to position the country as a leading agenda setter. Instead, China's main policy priority is ensuring that the country is treated as an equal and respected partner. China recognizes that in many ways it is still in a comparatively weak position and does not have the institutional capabilities and talents needed to operate in global financial and economic institutions such as the G20.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: David A. Welch
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As events demonstrate on a regular basis, the Asia-Pacific is a region prone to crisis. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the use of military force to signal interests or resolve, and even, in some cases, to alter the status quo, particularly in the East and South China Seas. Fortunately, none of these “mini crises” have escalated to the level of a shooting war. The received wisdom is that, all other things being equal, no country in the region desires conflict, owing to their high levels of economic interdependence. However, it is clear that in a context of rising nationalism, unresolved historical grievances and increasing hostility and suspicion, there is no reason to be complacent about the prospect of managing every future crisis successfully. Hence the recent surge in interest in crisis management “mechanisms” (CMMs). This paper explores the dangers of thinking of crisis management in an overly technical or mechanistic fashion, but also argues that sensitivity to those very dangers can be immensely useful. It draws upon US and Soviet experiences in the Cuban missile crisis to inform management of a hypothetical future Sino-American crisis in the East China Sea, and to identify general principles for designing and implementing CMMs.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, International Security, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia