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  • Author: Gordon H. Hanson
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Illegal immigration is a source of mounting concern for politicians in the United States. In the past ten years, the U.S. population of illegal immigrants has risen from five million to nearly twelve million, prompting angry charges that the country has lost control over its borders. Congress approved measures last year that have significantly tightened enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to stop the flow of unauthorized migrants, and it is expected to make another effort this year at the first comprehensive reform of immigration laws in more than twenty years.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Robert LaLonde
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: An important component of U.S. productivity growth and economic competitiveness is a flexible labor market that shifts workers quickly into the jobs where they are most needed. Much of the time, this job shifting is fairly painless: Workers quickly find new positions that pay at least as much as their previous ones, often without an intervening spell of unemployment. But prime-aged and older workers can sometimes suffer large, long-term income losses. Such workers' well-founded fears about job displacement lead them and their advocates to resist policies such as free trade that are sometimes blamed for the job shifting. This resistance harms the majority of households because trade helps to lower prices, raise real incomes and promote economic growth. It also has foreign policy consequences since it threatens the United States' ability to play its traditional post–World War II role as the bulwark of a relatively open international trading system. And by reducing the dynamism of the U.S. economy, resistance to trade and other pro-growth policies can weaken the nation's long-term ability to exert global leadership.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter B. Kenen
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is undertaking a wide-ranging reform of its governance and operations within a framework proposed by Rodrigo de Rato, its managing director. The proposed reform is inspired in large part by the emergence of large middle-income developing countries such as China and India, which now play a major role in the world economy but are underrepresented in the Fund as the low-income developing countries. The proposed reform is also inspired by the need to simplify the Fund's internal practices and focus more intensively on its basic mandate: to “oversee the development of the international monetary system in order to ensure its effective operation.”
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, India
  • Author: Robert I. Rotberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Nigeria's vital importance for Africa's political development, for U.S. and European interests, and for world order cannot be exaggerated. Nigeria's sheer aggregate numbers—possibly as many as 150 million of the full continent's 800 million—and its proportionate weight in sub-Saharan Africa' s troubled affairs, make the country's continuing evolution from military dictatorship to stable, sustained democracy critical.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Nigeria
  • Author: Richard Lapper
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The popularity of the new political and economic model being developed in Venezuela has been a consistent source of aggravation for the U.S. government. Since first winning the presidency in December 1998, Hugo Chávez has been able through repeated electoral victories and radical constitutional reform to dominate Venezuela's government and public institutions. Undaunted by stiff U.S. opposition, President Chávez has launched what he calls a Bolivarian revolution, named after Simón Bolívar, a nineteenth-century leader of Latin America's independence wars. Chávez has reasserted the role of the state in the Venezuelan economy and developed extensive social programs to advance an anti- U.S., anti-capitalist crusade. New or newly reinvigorated alliances with established U.S. adversaries have helped internationalize Chávez's aims. Most alarming to those concerned with the health of Venezuelan democracy, Chávez and his allies have concentrated political power in the hands of the executive, curtailed the independence of the judiciary, shown limited tolerance for domestic critics, and openly intervened in the electoral politics of neighboring states.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Keith E. Mascus
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: America's robust economic competitiveness is du e in no small part to a large capacity for innovation. That capacity is imperiled, however, by an increasingly overprotective patent system. Over the past twenty-five years, American legislators and judges have operated on the principle that stronger patent protection engenders more innovation. This principle is misguided. Although intellectual property rights (IPR) play an important role in innovation, the recent increase in patent protection has not spurred innovation so much as it has impeded the development and use of new technologies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Menzie D. Chinn
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Twenty years ago, the United States was the world's largest creditor nation, unsurpassed in its ownership of assets outside of its borders, even after deducting what foreigners owned inside its borders. Yet over the past two decades, America has been transformed into the world's largest debtor nation. At the end of 2004, its debts to the rest of the world exceeded its assets by about $2.5 trillion—21 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). This proportion is unmatched by any other major developed economy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The security and well-being of its citizens stand at the very pinnacle of any government's responsibilities. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the futures of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are shared as never before. As a result, all three countries face a historic challenge: Do they continue on the path of cooperation in promoting more secure and more prosperous North American societies or do they pursue divergent and ultimately less secure and less prosperous courses? To ask the question is to answer it; and yet, if important decisions are not pursued and implemented, the three countries may well find themselves on divergent paths. Such a development would be a tragic mistake, one that can be readily avoided if they stay the course and pursue a series of deliberate and cooperative steps that will enhance both the security and prosperity of their citizens.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Edward J. Lincoln
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Catherine E. Dalpino
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The outcome of national elections in the Philippines on May 10 is still to be determined. For the past three years, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has governed as an appointed head of state in the wake of President Joseph Estrada's forced resignation on corruption charges. Her administration inherited a country in crisis, and it began the critical process of economic stabilization and growth. Economic indicators in the past two years have shown modest progress. In this interim period, the Philippines has been a steadfast ally of the United States in the war against terrorism. These fragile gains could be imperiled if the Philippines does not complete the electoral process in an expeditious and credible manner. Whatever the outcome of the polls, the winner will have little time to lose in addressing a number of short- and long-term problems in the Philippines.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Philippines, Southeast Asia