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  • Author: Julia Bastian
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The debate on decentralization has identified local accountability as a key factor for successful decentralization processes in developing countries, stressing that the account ability of subnational governments towards the national level may prove detrimental to their accountability to the citizens. Based on the distinction of formal and informal institutions and the discussion of accountability as a concept, this Working Paper identifies accountability mechanisms relevant at the local level and analyses their functioning, interaction and factors that influence their effectiveness. This analytical grid is then applied to the case study of Mozambique, in a structured and focused comparison of the municipalities of Beira and Catandica. The analysis shows that accountability mechanisms at national level do not necessarily undermine accountability towards the citizens, but even may have an activating effect on other accountability mechanisms. Funding, access to information, political competition at the local level and informal influences that emanate from formal organizations, such as political parties, are factors that influence the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms at the local level.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Mozambique
  • Author: A. Neil Craik, Nigel Moore
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Transparency has become a dominant theme within academic and policy discussions on climate engineering (CE) research governance. As CE research moves from modelling and laboratory studies to field experiments, there is a need to operationalize transparency; that is, to move from transparency in principle to transparency in practice. This, in turn, requires greater attention be paid to the purposes that CE research transparency is intended to serve since the ends sought, as well as the context in which they will operate, will drive the design features of disclosure mechanisms.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Governance, Reform
  • Author: Steven L. Schwarcz
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The International Law Research Program (ILRP) of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Financial Stability Board's (FSB's) Consultative Document, “Cross-Border Recognition of Resolution Action” (hereafter referred to as the “Consultative Document”) that was released on September 29, 2014.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • 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: Michael Lawrence
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This research report examines the “vertical integration” of United Nations (UN) peace building efforts in Sierra Leone by examining the extent to which the mission reached beyond national government institutions and elites to engage society more broadly in peace building. It focuses on the country's youth crisis as a persistent cause of conflict that presents ample opportunity for civil society engagement, and identifies two modes of coordinating youth peace building efforts across international, national and local scales. After exploring different understandings of peace building between these actors, this report ultimately argues that the United Nations fostered only weak vertical integration on the crucial issue of youth marginalization; that the lack of engagement leaves the peace vulnerable; and that deeper vertical integration can help ameliorate this ongoing challenge.
  • Topic: Youth Culture, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Jason Thistlethwaite
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In recent years, a plurality of different governance initiatives has emerged that are designed to expand the disclosure of environmental risk within financial markets. The emergence of these initiatives represents an important policy development, and it has the potential to reduce environmental risk within the financial sector by incentivizing investments in sustainable economic activity capable of long-term value creation. Unfortunately, environmental risk disclosure has yet to be assessed as a field of governance activity in addition to its potential effectiveness in improving disclosure within financial markets. This paper addresses this gap by describing environmental risk disclosure as a “regime complex” that is defined by a field of fragmented but related governance initiatives that lacks an overarching hierarchy. While this regime complex does reveal evidence for policy convergence among different initiatives, it lacks the enforcement necessary to produce a coherent and comparable disclosure and contributes to uncertainty within the financial sector over the impact of environmental risk. This uncertainty justifies an expanded role of international financial regulations in establishing a mandatory and harmonized disclosure standard that can be applied across different domestic jurisdictions.
  • Topic: Environment, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: John Whalley, Hejing Chen
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: China, in the next few years, faces the prospect of major regional and bilateral trade negotiations possibly including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand and separate negotiations with India, Korea and Japan, potentially the United States and even possibly the European Union. A likely key element in such negotiations, and one already raised by the United States in the TPP negotiations, is that of trade arrangements involving state-owned enterprises (SOEs). China is viewed from outside as having a large SOE sector, and large SOEs are viewed as having a protected monopoly position in domestic Chinese markets.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, India, Asia, Australia, Korea
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As the largest emerging economy, China believes that the Group of Twenty (G20), instead of the Group of Eight (G8), is the ideal platform for its participation in global governance. This paper examines the reasons why China joined the G20 rather than the G8, and then focuses on a detailed review of China's participation in G20 summits since the enhanced forum began in 2008. China took a very active and cooperative attitude in dealing with the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. The paper observes that China also insisted on its own agenda for reforms to the international monetary system, through reforms to the international financial institutions that manage it — in particular, raising the number of voting shares and the representation of developing countries at the IMF and the World Bank. Based on the reviews of China's performance in the G20 summits since 2008, the paper explores China's policy making through its participation in the G20, determining that it is shaped by several major economic departments in addition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and coordinated by a vice premier responsible for economic and financial affairs. The paper concludes that China has gained immensely from its participation in the G20. Most importantly, China entered the centre stage of global economic governance through the G20, which allowed the country to demonstrate that it is a responsible great power, and communicate and maintain relations with other major powers. The main challenges China has faced since joining the G20, from the perspective of some Chinese scholars, are a lack of capacity for agenda setting and shaping initiatives, as well as inadequate communication and coordination among different government departments and between the Sherpa and financial tracks of the G20.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, International Monetary Fund, Global Recession, Financial Crisis, World Bank
  • Political Geography: China
  • 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: Bruce Muirhead
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Since its widespread settlement by Europeans in the 1840s, New Zealand (NZ) has been an agricultural economy. As has been pointed out “there [has been] no serious challenge to the fundamental precept that the country's economy rested on an agricultural foundation” (Macdonald and Thomson 1987, 231), and dairy has been a significant focus of that base. Dairy production was introduced to New Zealand with the clear intent to establish New Zealand as an adjunct to the economic needs of Britain (Hawke 1985). Indeed, the closeness of the relationship between “the Britain of the south” and the metropolitan centre is one of the fundamental characteristics of any environmental history of NZ agriculture (Pawson 2008). This would persist in a material sense for more than a century, until the United Kingdom joined the European Community (EC) in 1973.
  • Topic: Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand