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  • Author: James Cockayne
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: On 30 November 1943, Franklin Roosevelt was in Teheran, celebrating Winston Churchill's sixty-ninth birthday with Josef Stalin. FDR gave Churchill a Persian vase, and as discussion turned to the post-war order he passed an aide a pencil sketch of what was to become the United Nations.
  • Topic: Crime, International Cooperation, International Law, Narcotics Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Law Enforcement, Piracy
  • Author: Teressa Juzwiak, Elaine McGregor, Melissa Siegel
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This policy brief considers how businesses and governments in global cities contribute to the integration of migrant and refugee populations, either through outreach, specialized programmes, the provision of services, or targeted funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and to what extent these contributions can be deepened or expanded. The research involved the study of eight cities around the world representing a diversity of immigration experiences: Auckland (New Zealand), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Chicago (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Lisbon (Portugal), Nairobi (Kenya), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and São Paulo (Brazil).
  • Topic: Non-Governmental Organization, Immigration, Governance
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Malaysia, Brazil, Lisbon, Portugal, New Zealand, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur
  • Author: Shyama V. Ramani, Ajay Thutupalli, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Veena Ravichandran, Tamás Medovarszki
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Women entrepreneurs in the informal economy need business engagements with other women (and men) that offer 'spaces' for dialogue to learn and build business capabilities. While formalization of entrepreneurial activity is favourable under some circumstances, it can be detrimental under others, necessitating a case-by-case evaluation. Many top-down actions for women's empowerment in the informal sector are only effective in gender-neutral economic development programmes. In this Policy Brief, we argue that although policy interventions may be favourable, they are neither necessary nor sufficient for change, as successful women role models are often the best agents for sweeping change.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David M. Malone, Rohinton P. Medhora
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Notions of development have varied over time, and so an account of the international organizations concerned with its advancement must be accordingly elastic. The roots of international organizations concerned with development lie in two aspects of global inter-connectedness. The first is the propagation and management of a nascent technology for the global good. Thus were born the International Telegraph Union (ITU, now the International Telecommunication Union) in 1865 and the General Postal Union (GPU, now the Universal Postal Union) in 1874.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Cooperation, International Organization, Post Colonialism
  • Author: David M. Malone, Poorvi Chitalkar
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The UN Security Council, largely handicapped by the Cold War until the late 1980s, has become considerably more proactive over the last twenty-five years. The results are mixed. One constant for the Council since 1980 is that it has been at grips with conflicts involving Iraq — conflicts with Iraq's neighbours and also internal strife prior to and particularly since 2003. Every instrument at the Council's disposal, including all the coercive ones, have been invoked at one time or another against authorities in Iraq or to assist them. After a promising beginning in helping to end the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), and in mandating the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which Baghdad had sought to annex in 1990, the Council's silent tolerance of intrusive international humanitarian activities in Iraq's Kurdish provinces as of 1991 was ground-breaking. Nevertheless, the Council's post-war strategy for Iraq outlined in Resolution 687 of 1991 wound up over-reaching, involved serious unintended consequences arising from an overzealous sanctions regime (and a related humanitarian program the UN did not possess the administrative machinery to oversee effectively), and eventually sundered relations among the Permanent Five (P-5) members of the Council through a series of fractious episodes from 1988 to 2003. This working paper outlines a three-decade span of Security Council resolutions, actions and impasses on Iraq, investigating closely the period of diplomatic confrontation in 2002–2003 culminating in unilateral military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power by the US, the UK and a very few others without a mandate from the Council to do so. The UN was subsequently mostly side-lined in and on Iraq. The paper considers damage to perceptions of the Council legitimacy stemming from the events of 2002–2003 and assesses its evolving approach to international security in Iraq and beyond since then.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade is a global crisis that not only threatens the conservation of protected species but also has deep implications for peace and security in nations across the world. As wildlife trafficking becomes more organized and illegal trade of wildlife continues to flourish on the ground and in cyberspace, there is an urgent need for a concerted international effort to gather and share wildlife crime information among law enforcement and policymakers, empowering them to stem the tide of wildlife trafficking. There are several good examples out of such efforts, primarily by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and INTERPOL, to combat wildlife poaching and transboundary illegal wildlife trade. At a policy level, the formation of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) can be considered as one of the major achievements in recent times, where CITES, INTERPOL, World Bank, UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and World Customs Organization have come together as one unit to address the issue. The good work done by civil society, including WWF, TRAFFIC, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and member organizations of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Species Survival Network (SSN) including grass root NGOs, is noteworthy as well. Yet, combating wildlife crime remains a big challenge. The collective efforts of the conservation community and governments are still unable to check the behaviour of poaching syndicates and organized criminals. We remain far behind in finding an adequate response to the crisis.
  • Topic: Crime, Globalization, International Law, International Organization, Natural Resources, Law Enforcement
  • Author: Augustin K. Fosu
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: What can the less well-off developing countries learn from the “successes” of other developing countries? This Policy Brief highlights successful development strategies and lessons from in-depth case studies of select countries from the developing world. The coverage includes East Asia and the Pacific, the emerging Asian giants, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, along with respective regional syntheses. Although countries' experiences are not necessarily replicable, the recurrent themes across countries and regions provide the appropriate connectedness for a comprehensive global perspective on development strategies and lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Latin America
  • Author: Madoka Futamura
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Countries under transition from war to peace or from an authoritarian to a democratic regime face fundamental political and social transformations and difficulties in emerging from a problematic past. The transition presents challenges but also opportunities for countries to reconsider their death penalty policies. It is in such a context that some countries abolish, retain or even actively resort to the death penalty to tackle transitional needs. Those who are working for abolition of the death penalty need to go beyond the human rights approach and take a more holistic approach to understand the fragile and complex local situation and needs in which the death penalty becomes a highly political issue.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Human Rights, Political Economy, Prisons/Penal Systems, Reform
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Weena Gera, David Mungai
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 2000s, African cities have witnessed a series of interventions to improve water and sanitation. This policy brief outlines key lessons learned from the intervention experience, drawing on the UNU research project Multi-level Urban Governance for Total Sanitation (2011-2013) under the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) Project. It highlights the importance of multi-actor approaches for promoting: (1) an institutional framework to coordinate civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and the state agencies across levels; (2) policy recognition of water and sanitation as socially embedded infrastructure with gendered dimensions; and (3) the relevance of scientific research and university education to ongoing policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: When, why and how has foreign aid facilitated, or hindered, democracy in recipient countries? Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, this policy brief examines the impact of foreign aid on supporting transitions from one-party to multi-party regimes, preventing democratic breakdown and the erosion of civil liberties, enhancing vertical and horizontal accountability, and enabling competitive political party systems. Particular attention is given to the trade-offs and complementarities between different types of foreign aid, namely democracy assistance and economic development aid. Select policy recommendations are offered to improve aid effectiveness at bolstering democratic trajectories within the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Claudia Luepschen, Ruediger Kuehr, Federico Magalini
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: ZeroWIN (Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Networks) is a five-year project (2009-2014) under the European Commission's Seventh Research Framework Programme. The ZeroWIN project has developed effective strategies for waste prevention through industrial networks. Ten industrial case studies in the automotive, construction, electronics and photovoltaic industries form the core of the project and exchange energy, water and materials in such a way that waste from one industry becomes raw material for another. This brief suggests what can be done to advance the implementation of industrial networks in practice, based on first outcomes of the ZeroWIN project. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7 2007-2013 under grant agreement n° 226752
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Health, Industrial Policy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Koko Warner, Tamer Afifi, Walter Kälin, Scott Leckie, Beth Ferris, Susan F. Martin, David Wrathall
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The needs of affected people vary across types of human mobility: migration, displacement and planned relocation. Climate policy should draw on state-of-the-art knowledge and experience to distinguish between migration, displacement and planned relocation to improve the resilience of affected countries and communities.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Migration
  • Author: Nadia Bergamini, Robert Blasiak, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Kaoru Ichikawa, Dunja Mijatovic, Fumiko Nakao, Suneetha M. Subramanian
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The following policy report constitutes an important supplement to a set of 20 indicators for resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs) that was developed over the course of joint collaboration between Bioversity International and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). The indicators were disseminated widely in pamphlet form for the first time in March 2012. Subsequently, a need was identified for sharing a more in-depth overview of the considerations that went into creating this list of indicators as well as the outcomes of initial field-testing.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Sociology
  • Author: Philip Verwimp, Wim Naudé, Tilman Brück
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Although the impacts of violent conflict on investment, production, incomes and inequality have been widely studied on an aggregate level, comparatively less is known about the more diverse impacts of such conflict at the micro (particularly firm) level. Understanding such impacts can improve policies to mitigate the human and financial costs of violent conflict in developing countries. This policy brief discusses lessons from recent studies to address this gap.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Economics, International Trade and Finance, War
  • Author: Sefano Burchi, Pasquale Steduto, Eelco van Beek, Patrick MacQuarrie, Anton Earle, Anders Jägerskog, David Coates et al
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This Brief offers a working definition of water security developed from contributions made by the broad range of organizations, agencies, programmes and institutions that form UN-Water. Through this Brief, UN-Water aims to capture the constantly evolving dimensions of water-related issues, offering a holistic outlook on challenges under the umbrella of water security. It highlights the main challenges to be addressed, the role water security plays in policy agendas, and possible options for addressing water security challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Health, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Wim Naudé
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Some states lack the capability and/or the willingness to progressively promote the shared development of their citizens and are particularly vulnerable to external shocks and internal conflicts. They have been described as "fragile states". The poor governance and lack of state capabilities in around 45 fragile states pose a threat to global security and development. Effective international partnerships are necessary to pull them out of low-development–high-conflict traps. The "New Deal on Fragile States" announced on 30 November 2011 at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan by the g7+ (see "The International Dialogue on Peace-building and State-building and the g7+" Box) is the most recent initiative to foster such partnerships.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Political Economy, Terrorism, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State
  • Author: Augustin Kwasi Fosu
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study presents recent global evidence on the transformation of economic growth to poverty reduction in developing countries, with emphasis on the role of income inequality. The focus is on the period since the early/mid-1990s when growth in these countries as a group has been relatively strong, surpassing that of the advanced economies. Both regional and country-specific data are analysed for the US$1.25 andUS$2.50 level poverty headcount ratios using the most recent World Bank data. The study finds that on average income growth has been the major driving force behind both the declines and increases in poverty. The study, however, documents substantial regional and country differences that are masked by this 'average' dominant growth story. While in the majority of countries growth was the major factor behind falling...
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter Warr
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Thailand's development strategy has been strongly market-oriented and open to trade and investment flows with the rest of the world. Since the late 1950s, its growth performance has been outstanding. Poverty incidence has declined dramatically, but economic inequality has increased. Economic progress has been reflected in very significant improvement in non-economic indicators of well-being such as life expectancy, infant and maternal morality, and literacy. Nevertheless, the performance of the education system is chronically poor. Environmental problems and institutional failures in resource management are ongoing. Reform is needed in several areas, including political and corporate governance, regulation of industry, and in the education and health systems.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Emerging Markets, Poverty, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Samuel Kobina Annim
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the combined effect of interest rates and poverty levels of microfinance clients on loan size. Cross section data on 2,691 clients and non-clients households from Ghana is used to test the hypothesis of loan price inelasticity. Quantile regression and variants of least squares methods that explore endogeneity are employed. We find the expected inverse relationship only for the 20th to 40th quantile range. The semi-elasticity of loan amount responsiveness to a unit change in interest rate is more than proportionate and significant for the poorest group only. Market segmentation based on poverty level is suggested in targeting and sustaining microfinance clients.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Jones
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The recent financial crisis has rekindled interest in the foreign aid supply behaviour of bilateral donors. Using the latest data covering the period 1960-2009, this paper examines how such behaviour is related to domestic factors. Based on a simple empirical model, a distinction is made between long-run supply trends and short-run dynamics, which motivates use of error correction methods. Panel econometric techniques are employed that are consistent in the presence of parameter heterogeneity and cross-section dependence. Results support the error correction framework, but point to very substantial heterogeneity between countries. There is also good evidence that donor behaviour continues to evolve over time. As such, past trends in aid supplies are unlikely to provide a good guide to those of the future.
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Ravi Kanbur, Dennis Rodgers, Jo Beall
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper argues for a more systemic engagement with Latin American cities, contending it is necessary to reconsider their unity in order to nuance the 'fractured cities' perspective that has widely come to epitomise the contemporary urban moment in the region. It begins by offering an overview of regional urban development trends, before exploring how the underlying imaginary of the city has critically shifted over the past half century. Focusing in particular on the way that slums and shantytowns have been conceived, it traces how the predominant conception of the Latin American city moved from a notion of unity to a perception of fragmentation, highlighting how this had critically negative ramifications for urban development agendas, and concludes with a call for a renewed vision of Latin American urban life.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Konstantin M. Wacker
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper first shows that important economic arguments in favor of the Prebisch- Singer hypothesis of falling terms of trade of developing countries have implicitly relied on the role of multinational corporations and foreign direct investment. As of yet, the relationship between the latter and terms of trade has not been empirically investigated. In order to start closing this gap in research, data on 111 developing countries between 1980 and 2008 is analyzed using panel data methods. The empirical results suggest that there is no reason to believe multinationals' activities were responsible for a possible decrease of the developing countries' net barter terms of trade. On the contrary, foreign direct investment seems to play a positive role for developing countries' terms of trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Electoral coalitions are becoming increasingly popular among opposition parties in Africa because they offer many advantages with respect to reducing party fragmentation and increasing incumbent turnovers. At the same time, however, they are often comprised of parties that are defined predominantly by their leaders' personalities and exhibit little differentiation in terms of their policy orientation. Based on a dataset spanning all opposition coalitions since 2000 in Africa's electoral democracies, this paper demonstrates not only that coalitions rarely defeat incumbents but also that they are only competitive when major opposition parties are involved. More significantly, the paper highlights that in many countries, a sizeable share of total electoral volatility is due to fluctuations in voting for opposition parties that have belonged to coalitions. The paper argues that such volatility reflects the inability of coalition members to build loyal constituency bases over time, which is critical for party development and broader consolidation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Abdelrasaq Na-Allah
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Recent developments in policy initiatives as well as some current practical events have combined to put the spotlight on the issue of industrial embeddedness in sub-Saharan Africa. Though extant research documents some stylized facts, as determinants of its manifestations, their relevance to realities in the sub-continent, have until now been overlooked. Yet, it is difficult to ignore the fact that its constituent economies possess some peculiar attributes with potentially significant implications for embeddedness behaviour. Using data for the country of Lesotho, a probit model is estimated to ascertain the veracity of some of the widely acclaimed explanatory factors. We find, as we argue, that among all, the issue of supply potentials appears the most important.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ignacio A. Navarro
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The relationship between the cocaine trade and urban land markets in South America has been overlooked by the mainstream economics and urban studies literature. This paper examines two avenues through which the cocaine trade can have a large impact on urban development in producer countries: (i) through an employment multiplier effect similar to that of other legal exports, and (ii) through money laundering using urban real estate. We test our hypotheses using the Bolivian case and find that urban growth patterns are closely related to fluctuations in cocaine production. Further, even though our estimates suggest that the cocaine trade affects urban growth through the two avenues presented in the paper, we find that formal urban employment generated by the cocaine trade has a modest effect on urban growth and most of the effect seems to be explained by money laundering using real estate and other paths.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Narcotics Trafficking, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Michael Cohen
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: International narratives on Argentina's recovery from the crisis of 2001-02 tend to emphasize the role of rising commodity prices and growing demand from China. Argentina is said to have been 'lucky', saved by global demand for its agricultural exports. The international narrative has also been used by local agricultural exporters to justify their objections against higher export taxes during periods of high commodity prices. These narratives are not correct. Data on the country's recovery show that it was not led by agricultural exports but was fuelled by urban demand and production. When the Convertibility period ended and the peso was devalued in 2002, price increases for imports stimulated the production of domestic goods and services for consumers. This production in turn generated multiplier effects which supported small and medium-sized firms and helped to create many new jobs. This later produced a revival of the construction and then the manufacturing sectors as well.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Lissette Aliaga Linares
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Unlike in most Latin American cities, street vendors organized in farmers' markets popularly known as ferias libres in Santiago de Chile, gained legal recognition early in the twentieth century. Since then, comunas, or local municipalities, have provided vendors with individual licenses that stipulate the place and time of operations, and have defined a clear set of rules regarding customer service. However, this early legal recognition has not necessarily overcome the embedded conflict over the economic use of public space. As supermarkets become spatially positioned along the main streets within easy access of the city's transportation system, feriantes, or licensed street vendors, are being relocated in less profitable areas. Moreover, coleros, or unlicensed vendors, are still flourishing despite efforts to restrict their numbers.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Eduardo Lora, Andrew Powell
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A growing number of cities around the world have established systems of monitoring the quality of urban life. Many of those systems combine objective and subjective information and attempt to cover a wide variety of topics. This paper introduces a simple method that takes advantage of both types of information and provides criteria to identify and rank the issues of potential importance for urban dwellers. The method combines the so-called 'hedonic price' and 'life satisfaction' approaches to value public goods. Pilot case results for six Latin American cities are summarized and policy applications are discussed.
  • Topic: Economics, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Flavio Janches
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This article surveys the problem of urban marginalization by one of its more critical expressions in the contemporary city: the slums. The aim is to define an urban design strategy for the integration of those settlements as part of the city context, which enables to find solutions for the conflict improving these communities quality of life.
  • Topic: Poverty, Sociology, Urbanization
  • Author: Mahvash Saeed Qureshi, Charalambos G. Tsangarides
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper revisits the link between exchange rate regimes and trade in the context of Africa's exchange rate arrangements. Applying an augmented gravity model that includes measures of currency unions and pegged regimes, the paper compares Africa's experience with that of the world. Our results suggest that both currency unions and direct pegs promote bilateral trade in Africa vis-à-vis more flexible exchange rate regimes,and that their effect is almost double for the region than that for an average country in the world sample. Further, we find evidence that the effect of conventional pegs is at least as large as that of currency unions in Africa, and that the benefits of fixed exchange rate regimes stem through channels in addition to reduced exchange rate volatility.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lucy Earle
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study focuses on the city of São Paulo, Brazil and examines the ways in which irregular and illegal growth have influenced the collective action of social movements of the urban poor. The study describes how São Paulo grew as a socially segregated city during the twentieth century due to calculated neglect on the part of the municipal authorities. Highlighting the city's sociospatial inequality, degradation of the central districts and widespread irregularity, it illustrates how these factors have both negatively affected the urban poor and provided a catalyst for social mobilization.
  • Topic: Poverty, Social Stratification, Social Movement, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Dennis Rodgers
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Many commentators have noted the existence of a historical correlation between cities and democratization. This image of the city as an inherently civic space is linked to the notion that the spatial concentration intrinsic to urban contexts promotes a democracy of proximity. Seen from this perspective, it is perhaps not surprising that the most urbanized region of the global south, Latin America, is also a heartland of vibrant and much applauded democratic innovation. Of particular note are the myriad local level 'radical democracy' initiatives that have proliferated throughout the region's cities during the past two decades. At the same time, however, it is a significant paradox that Latin American urban centres are also amongst the most segregated in the world, something that is widely considered to have a significantly fragmenting effect on public space, and is therefore undermining of democracy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Social Stratification, Sociology, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Channing Arndt, M. Azhar Hussain, E. Samuel Jones, Virgulino Nhate, Finn Tarp1, James Thurlow
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Measuring poverty remains a complex and contentious issue. This is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa where poverty rates are higher, information bases typically weaker, and the underlying determinants of welfare relatively volatile. This paper employs recently collected data on household consumption in Mozambique to examine the evolution of consumption poverty with focus on the period 2002/03 to 2008/09. The paper contributes in four areas. First, the period in question was characterized by major movements in international commodity prices. Mozambique provides an illuminating case study of the implications of these world commodity price changes for living standards of poor people. Second, a novel 'backcasting' approach using a computable general equilibrium model of Mozambique, linked to a poverty module.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Markus Brückner
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A common finding in the empirical civil war literature is that population size and per capita income are highly significant predictors of civil war incidence and onset. This paper shows that the common finding of population size and per capita income having a significant average effect on civil war risk in a world sample breaks down once country- and year-specific unobservables are accounted for. However, for Sub-Saharan Africa there continues to be a highly significant average effect of population size and per capita income on civil war risk that is robust to the use of country- and year-fixed effects and instrumental variable techniques.
  • Topic: Civil War, Demographics, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steve Onyeiwu
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the innovative capabilities and absorptive capacities of African countries, and investigates whether they have played significant roles in the region's slow and episodic economic growth. Results from cross-country regressions covering 31 Sub-Saharan African countries suggest that growth in Africa is not simply a question of capital accumulation, fertility rates, aid dependency, and stable macroeconomic environment. It is also about strengthening the capacity of African countries to assimilate and effectively use knowledge and technology. Contrary to the views held by many analysts, the growth of African economies does not depend so much on their ability to innovate, but rather on their capacity to absorb and effectively use new technologies. Beyond technological issues, the paper confirms the stylized facts that the size of the government and political stability are important for the growth performance of African countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Philip Abbott, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Vietnam has been among the most successful East Asian economies, especially in weathering the external shocks of recent globalization crises—the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and the 2008-09 great recession, financial crisis and collapse of global trade. Its success contradicts its characterization as an example of export-led growth and highlights the role of the state, particularly in maintaining and influencing investment. Examination of economic performance and policy responses shows rising dependence on foreign finance around each crisis, and actions by the government to counteract that dependence and bolster the domestic economy while continuing to restructure the economy toward greater emphasis on the private sector. Growth, employment and poverty alleviation have been maintained at the expense of renewed inflation, larger budget deficits, and currency depreciation. The 'stop-go' nature of present …
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Céline Ferré*
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: During the twentieth century, internal migration and urbanization shaped Brazil's economic and social landscape. Cities grew tremendously, while immigration participated in the rapid urbanization process and the redistribution of poverty between rural and urban areas. In 1950, about a third of Brazil's population lived in cities; this figure grew to approximately 80 per cent by the end of the nineteenth century. The Brazilian population redistributed unevenly—some dynamic regions became population magnets, and some neighbourhoods within cities became gateway clusters in which the effects of immigration proved particularly salient. This study asks, has domestic migration to cities been part of a healthy process of economic transition and mobility for the country and its households? Or has it been a perverse trap?
  • Topic: Demographics, Migration, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: J.W. Sanders, Ukachukwu Ndukwu
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Reasoning about a distributed system that exhibits a combination of probabilistic and temporal behaviour does not seem to be easy with current techniques. The reason is the interaction between probability and abstraction, made worse by remote synchronisation. In this paper the recently proposed language ptsc (for probability, time and shared-variable concurrency) is extended by constructs for interleaving and local block. Both enhance a designer's ability to modularise a design; the latter also permits a design to be compared with its more abstract specification, by concealing appropriately chosen design variables. Laws of the extended language are studied and applied in a case study consisting of a faulty register-transfer-level design.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Organization, United Nations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Hanneke Van Lavieren, John Burt, David A. Feary, Geórgenes H. Cavalcante, Elise Marquis, Lisa Benedetti, Charles Trick, Björn Kjerfve, Peter F. Sale
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Like many other places in the world, the coastal region of the Persian Gulf (also known as the Arabian Gulf, and hereafter referred to as 'the Gulf') faces continuous environmental degradation. The unprecedented rate and scale of development that has occurred poses numerous environmental challenges and may be the greatest threat facing the Gulf's marine communities in the coming decades as urban populations along it's shores continue to grow. Some Gulf countries have already developed more than 40% of their coastline during the last 20 years. Pressure on coastal ecosystems is especially high in the smaller Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, where residents either live entirely, or almost entirely within 100 km of the coast. Development has led to loss and severe degradation of important natural habitats, including mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. Coastal 'mega-projects' including artificial islands, waterfront cities, ports, marinas and man-made waterways have sometimes been poorly conceived from an environmental perspective, leading to severe pressure on natural environments. Because development has taken place so rapidly there has not been enough time to develop adequate regulatory, technical, and monitoring capacity to guide this growth appropriately. Present trends suggest that development will not be accompanied by appropriately sophisticated policies and mechanisms for minimizing and mitigating deleterious impacts on the environment.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Shimako Takahashi
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Research capacity development at the higher education level in order to improve environmental planning and management has been considered invaluable in ensuring the sustainable development of developing countries. In least developed countries (LDCs), such as Cambodia, people are especially vulnerable to environmental changes and advanced knowledge is urgently needed to enhance their socio-ecological resilience; however, governments lack both the financial and human resources needed to ensure adequate academic infrastructure for knowledge generation and dissemination. Furthermore, the international aid community has rarely placed emphasis on investing in higher education in developing countries; instead, producing basically skilled labourers through primary and secondary education was considered more effective in bringing return on investment and enhancing economic development. Neither national nor international development agendas have so far resulted in a substantial commitment to research capacity development of academic institutions in LDCs.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Environment
  • Political Geography: Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Wim Naudé, Adam Szirmai, Micheline Goedhuys
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Nobody can be left in any doubt as to the importance of innovation for prosperity upon reading that “people living in the first decade of the twentieth century did not know modern dental and medical equipment, penicillin, bypass operations, safe births, control of genetically transmitted diseases, personal computers, compact discs, television sets, automobiles, opportunities for fast and cheap worldwide travel, affordable universities, central heating, air conditioning . . . technological change has transformed the quality of our lives.”
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Markets
  • Author: Albrecht Schnabel, Vanessa Farr, Henri Myrttinen
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Every day, small arms and light weapons (salw) kill, maim, wound and threaten millions of adults and children. The victims are combatants and civilians in war zones or communities in degraded “peacetime” environments characterized by large-scale criminal or political violence, and can also be found in “societies at peace” where SALW may be used in cases of domestic violence or shooting sprees. Due to their widespread availability, mobility and ease of use, prolific SALW play a significant role in maintaining social dislocation, destabilization, insecurity and crime in the build-up to war, in wartime and in the aftermath of violent conflict. Small arms are misused within domestic settings as well as in public spaces, and they affect everyone in the community regardless of sex or age.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Arms Control and Proliferation, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Luc Soete, Alexis Habiyaremye
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Before the current global recession, many resource-rich African countries were recording unprecedented levels of growth due to a raw material price boom. However, the collapse in raw material prices and the ensuing severe economic difficulties have again exposed the vulnerability of these countries' natural resource export-focussed economic structures. In this research brief, we describe how Africa's abundance of natural resources attracted disruptive and predatory foreign forces that have hindered innovation-based growth and economic diversification by delaying the accumulation of sufficient stocks of human capital. We suggest that for their long-term prosperity, resource-rich African countries shift their strategic emphasis from natural to human resources and technological capabilities needed to transform those natural resources into valuable goods and services to compete in the global market.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, Global Recession, Natural Resources, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India
  • Author: Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, Edward Newman, Madoka Futamura
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In recent decades, international peacebuilding and reconstruction after civil wars have managed to promote stability and contain conflict in many regions around the world, ending violence and enabling communities to rebuild their lives and societies. However, the peacebuilding record indicates that there are problems related to the effectiveness and legitimacy of peacebuilding, especially related to the promotion of liberal democracy, market reform and state institutions. This brief considers these limitations and argues that a new human security-based approach may offer insights for a more sustainable form of peacebuilding.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Human Welfare, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Nicholas Turner, Nanako Otsuki
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Genocide and ethnic cleansing have all- too-clearly demonstrated the dangers of failing to protect minority groups. A “kin-state” with strong ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic links to a minority population abroad, may be well-placed to assist in its protection. But unilateral interference by kin-states can raise tensions with host-states, endangering international peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Nationalism, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Minorities
  • Author: Wim Naudé
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This policy brief provides some fresh perspectives on the relationship between entrepreneurship and development, and considers policy design issues. It reports on the UNU-WIDER two-year research project “Promoting Entrepreneurial Capacity”, which aimed to understand whether and how entrepreneurship matters for development, how it could derail development, how entrepreneurs function in high growth as well as in conflict environments, and how female entrepreneurship differs across countries at various stages of development.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Third World
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Burundi
  • Author: Sandeep Kapur, Suma Athreye
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The last two decades have seen a significant rise in the internationalization of firms from developing economies. In addition to their growing participation in international trade, a number of leading emerging economies are contributing to growing outflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. According to the 2008 World Investment Report, outward flows of FDI from developing countries rose from about US$6 billion between 1989 and 1991 to US$225 billion in 2007. As a percentage of total global outflows, the share of developing countries grew from 2.7% to nearly 13.0% during this period.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Wim Naudé
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: T HE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN AND RECESSION, WHICH spread across the globe following the US sub-prime mortgage crisis in September 2008, has become the dominant news topic of the past year. One year into the crisis it has become clear that the paradigm for international development has changed irrevocably. With leadership, moral authority and the capacity of the West diminishing, developing countries' recovery and future growth will critically depend on their own initiatives and solutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Wim Naudé, Augustin Kwasi Fosu
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS OF 2008 HAS INDUCED two negative external shocks in African countries. The first is a financial shock with the availability of credit declining and the cost of international credit increasing (a financial crisis); and the second is a shock relating to the demand for and price of exports, as most of Africa's important markets went into recession and commodity prices tumbled (an economic crisis).
  • Topic: Globalization, Poverty, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Monika Kruesmann, Martina Timmermann
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Women represent the great majority of the world's poor. With this poverty comes a range of well-documented problems: low educational attainment; low income and earning potential; inferior social power, status and influence compared with men; and importantly, poor health outcomes for both women and their children. High rates of maternal mortality and morbidity remain apparently intractable problems in many countries, particularly developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that every minute, at least one woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth; and 20 more suffer injury, infection or disease.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Health, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States