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  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This commentary honors and celebrates the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, highlighting the growth, evolution, and remarkable accomplishments of two federal programs that together provide health insurance coverage to some 110 million Americans. It also recognizes President Lyndon B. Johnson, whose determination to bring these programs to life is legendary. This was prepared as part of a commemoration sponsored by the Health, Medicine and Society Program of the Aspen Institute, the LBJ Presidential Library, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Karyn Feiden researched and wrote the commentary, on behalf of the Aspen Institute. Special thanks to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation whose source material is extensively cited here.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Social Stratification, Governance, Health Care Policy
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This report summarizes key findings from recent research on links between higher education and the workforce. Featuring eight brief papers from leading education and workforce experts from around the country, the report offers practical advice for institutional leaders, policymakers, students and their advisers about how to use the increasingly available information on the economic value of higher education. Specifically, the authors’ papers and the opening summary explore what various audiences can learn from emerging evidence about: variations in labor market outcomes by program and institution; the value of degrees to jobs both in and out of fields studied; returns to the completion of certain course clusters that don’t add up to a degree; and distortions that may result from examining returns to individual degrees rather than “stacked” degrees.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Labor Issues, Global Markets, Employment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aspen Institute
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In this brief, we use data from the Entrepreneurship Acceleration Research Initiative in order to respond to the following question by Steve Cumming of the MasterCard Foundation about Youth Entrepreneurship “At The MasterCard Foundation, we have a portfolio of youth entrepreneurship projects that we support in Sub Saharan Africa. We’re always looking for data to better understand the space and to inform our programming. I’m wondering if you could share any data by ages 18-24 and 25-30, and by African country or region if possible. Do you see anything interesting under these parameters?”
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: We are happy to publish Volume 7, Issue 1 (January/ February 2015) of the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis (CTTA) by the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. From a terrorism and counterterrorism perspective, the year 2014 was particularly significant. This was due as much to the potential impact of drawdown of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) from Afghanistan as to the declaration of the establishment of a so-called Islamic Caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). While the former has emboldened old and established groups like Al Qaeda Central, the Afghan Taliban, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, among others, the claim of the establishment of the “so called Islamic State” by ISIS seem to have galvanized disparate elements within the Muslim world, drawing fighters in thousands to Iraq and Syria and spurring radicalization and extremism in many countries in an unprecedented scale.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria, Singapore
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: <p>Chinese leaders consider relations with Brazil to be of utmost importance. Brazils vast reserves of natural resources, its massive agricultural sector and market potential for Chinese exports make Brazil one of Chinas top foreign policy priorities. Within the past decade, Sino-Brazilian ties have soared with trade reaching US$22 billion in 2007 and Brazil becoming Chinas main South American trading partner. In early 2009, China even surpassed the United States as Brazil's largest trading partner with two-way trade reaching a staggering US$43 billion. Both countries have cooperated in various sensitive technology sectors such as satellite and military technologies, and are expanding these exchanges. Today, Brazil accounts for 40 per cent of Chinas total agricultural exports and is therefore extremely important for food security of the Asian giant as well. Many observers have argued that Chinas growing relations with Brazil is likely to lead to an alliance between the so-called "third world giants" to balance American and Western hegemony. While there are indeed several complementarities between the two emerging economies and while both countries share some common political beliefs regarding the international system, many issues of contention will remain and perhaps be aggravated as Sino-Brazilian ties develop. Alliances have very different meanings in the post-Cold War context, and they no longer imply rigid military and economic blocks confronting one another. The concept of strategic partnership is a better framework to look into new power relations in the 21st century. Despite some tensions in Sino-Brazilian relations, both nations can be expected to grow closer to one another. The positive aspects of their relationship far outweigh the problems and tensions inherent in most relations among major powers. The Sino-Brazilian strategic partnership is likely to produce significant changes in the balance of power in the Americas. China's growing ties to Brazil, however, will not necessarily lead to a dramatic loss of influence for the United States. While China has gained an impressive economic presence in Brazil and in the region economic influence does not always translate into political and strategic dominance. The economic power of the United States remains the dominant force and its century old relationship with Brazil continues to have a strong appeal among the Brazilians. Arguably, China's growing influence in the Americas, to an extent, is a result of previous U.S. administrations' neglect of the region's needs and it remains to be seen what effect would a more attentive U.S. administration will have in facing China's growing influence in Latin America./p
  • Author: Marijke Deleu
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) used to make international headlines for the conflict that has flared up repeatedly over the past 20 years. When the M23 rebel group was defeated in November 2013, there seemed to be a shift away from these repeated cycles of violence. The country appeared to be turning a corner into a post-conflict phase. However, new research presented in this briefing paper shows that citizens continue to experience widespread exploitation. In many areas they are still vulnerable to brutal violence from armed groups and in some cases from government, including the police, army and local officials. The challenge - how to consolidate the authority of the state, in a way that serves its people and ensures a lasting peace - remains a huge but vital priority.
  • Author: Ben Murphy, Scott Paul, Anne-Marie Schryer-Roy, Ed Pomfret
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Every year, the Somali diaspora sends home approximately $1.3bn. Remittances account for 25–45 percent of Somalia's economy and exceed the amount it receives in humanitarian aid, development aid and foreign direct investment combined. As Somali money transfer operators lose their bank accounts, Somali families are losing their only formal or transparent channel through which to send money. Somalia needs long-term support to build sustainable financial institutions, and urgent help to maintain its current remittance flows. This briefing reviews international efforts to facilitate remittances to Somalia and focuses on the US and the UK, where the threat to the Somali remittance system is most acute. It also looks at the uncertain future viability of the Somali remittance industry in Australia.
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Jessica Hamer, Maria Dolores Bernabe, Mark Fried
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Asia is at a Crossroads. Rising inequality poses a dire threat to continued prosperity in Asia, where an estimated 500 million people remain trapped in extreme poverty, most of them women and girls. The huge gap between rich and poor hinders economic growth, undermines democratic institutions and can trigger conflict. If Asia's policymakers hold tight to yesterday's truths, hoping against hope that growth and prosperity will trickle down to all, they will put everyone's welfare at risk. But if there are courageous leaders, willing to tackle inequality head-on, they can ensure inclusive and sustainable development for all of Asia's people. Oxfam is calling on Asia's governments to make a determined effort to combat discrimination and improve policies on taxation and social spending. This is needed now if the region is to secure a stable and prosperous future.
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Malcolm Sayers
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The world faces twin challenges: delivering a decent standard of living for everyone, while living within our environmental limits. These two concerns are brought together in Oxfam's Doughnut model, which visualizes a space between planetary boundaries and a social floor where it is environmentally safe and socially just for humanity to exist. Here, The UK Doughnut: A framework for environmental sustainability and social justice suggests areas of life that might constitute a social floor below which no-one in the UK should fall, and begins the process of identifying which environmental boundaries might be useful for incorporation into a national UK analysis. The report provides a snapshot of the UK's status by assessing its current position against the suggested set of domains and indicators.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Ellen T. Hoen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world, with 8.2 million deaths in 2012. More than 60 percent of the world's new cases of cancer occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America and these regions account for 70 percent of the world's cancer deaths. In low- and middle-income countries, expensive treatments for cancer are not widely available. Unsustainable cancer medication pricing has increasingly become a global issue, creating access challenges in low-and middle-income but also high-income countries. This report describes recent developments within the pricing of medicines for the treatment of cancer, discusses what lessons can be drawn from HIV/AIDS treatment scale-up and makes recommendations to help increase access to treatment for people with cancer.
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Asia