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  • Author: Jeffrey Gutman, Claire Horton
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Although the progress of the last decade in the disclosure of aid information has been unprecedented, the ultimate impact of that disclosure is dependent on the specific type of information being disclosed and its accessibility by those who can make use of it. What is evident is that there remains a critical gap, especially when it comes to the timely and accessible disclosure of information during project implementation. If the donor community is sincere in wanting to effectively engage stakeholders, not just during project preparation but throughout the project’s implementation, then it is essential that this gap be filled. Until this is addressed, the promise and potential of transparency and its impact on the governance of aid remain unfulfilled. There has been significant progress in transparency and the accessibility of aid information with regard to the upstream aspects of project design, including project identification, project appraisal, and safeguards. There has also been progress in the reporting of what aid projects have achieved and their impacts after completion. What is still less evident, though, is the transparency of information during the course of project implementation. This critical period—when even the best designed projects can go wrong—has been a relative foundling in terms of available timely information on how a project is progressing, what changes have been made to contract terms and amounts, and whether projects are being executed in accordance with their design and safeguard specifications, leaving a major governance gap in monitoring aid.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Reform, Budget
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Eujiin Jung, Tyler Moran, Martin Vieiro
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Hufbauer and colleagues critically evaluate the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s ambitious multipart project titled Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which contains 15 "Actions" to prevent multinational corporations (MNCs) from escaping their "fair share" of the tax burden. Spurred by G-20 finance ministers, the OECD recommends changes in national legislation, revision of existing bilateral tax treaties, and a new multilateral agreement for participating countries. The proposition that MNCs need to pay more tax enjoys considerable political resonance as government budgets are strained, the world economy is struggling, income inequality is rising, and the news media have publicized instances of corporations legally lowering their global tax burdens by reporting income in low-tax jurisdictions and expenses in high-tax jurisdictions. Given that the US system taxes MNCs more heavily than other advanced countries and provides fewer tax incentives for research and development (R&D), implementation of the BEPS Actions would drive many MNCs to relocate their headquarters to tax-friendly countries and others to offshore significant amounts of R&D activity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Basil Ugochukwu
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Actions taken to mitigate and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change must be centred on human rights. This paper analyzes a few examples of national, subnational and corporate climate change policies to show how they have either enshrined human rights principles, or failed to do so. It also examines the challenge of integrating human rights principles in climate change actions. Climate change policies, if they are to respect all human rights, must actually use human rights language to articulate adaptation or mitigation measures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Arunabha Ghosh, Anupama VijayKumar, Sudatta Ray
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: With halting progress in climate negotiations, there are growing calls for partnerships among self-selected pools of countries, in the expectation that they would facilitate consensus (among both developed and developing countries) and result in faster decision making. In critically examining such a claim, this paper asks: what kinds of partnerships could facilitate coordinated climate-related action across several countries? By focusing largely on technology partnerships (a key demand in climate negotiations), it examines characteristics of successful partnerships and the conditions under which they are created and sustained. While the motivations of existing partnerships are diverse, their functional scope has remained limited. A review of more than 30 initiatives reveals that very few had been designed to extend beyond sharing knowledge and some preliminary research and development activities. Even fewer had enlarged functional focus on actual transfer of equipment, joint production or extensive deployment mandates. The paper intensively analyzes the purpose, membership and governance of four partnerships. Drawing on their lessons, the paper identifies critical features — appropriate financing, leveraging capacity, flexible intellectual property rules and coordination across several institutions — which could become the foundation of new partnerships to deliver measurable action and possibly increase trust among negotiating parties.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Hearn
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: This short paper provides an overview of the evidence on why institution-building is central to successful peacebuilding, and aims to stimulate fresh thinking on ideas for improving international institution-building efforts. The international community is moving at a slow pace to improve its performance in this area, despite a range of international commitments to building national institutions and ownership in conflict-affected countries. I argue that the UN could pursue more innovation, especially in the areas of south-south and triangular cooperation, setting norms for institution-building, and sustaining long-term attention to institution-building, as well as championing the development of a wider range of aid instruments and partnerships. Finally, I point to major data and evidence gaps, and suggest generating more north-south knowledge partnerships on the subject as a matter of priority – especially around building national ownership and supporting inclusive institution-building processes.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation, United Nations, International Affairs, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter Engelke
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In the latest FutureScape issue brief from the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security's Strategic Foresight Initiative, author Peter Engelke discusses the long-term economic, environmental, and policy implications of urbanization. Entitled "Foreign Policy for an Urban World: Global Governance and the Rise of Cities," the brief examines how urbanization is hastening the global diffusion of power and how cities themselves are increasingly important nodes of power in global politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Manley
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: There has rarely been as large a commodity boom, with such resounding effects, as the one that has recently ended. Policy makers and commentators saw the boom as an opportunity to pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But, after the crash of commodity prices, one might ask whether this opportunity been largely missed. Policymakers and citizens of resource-rich countries should draw lessons from the experience and ascertain what risks and opportunities they now face in a period of depressed prices. To contribute to this thinking, NRGI gathered more than 180 experts for two days of discussion at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, in June 2015. Key questions addressed in this conference summary paper include: Were countries prepared for the bust? Was a lack of accountability and transparency really to blame for countries’ poor resource governance efforts? How can transparency be more useful? Has the price slump closed the door on new investment? Is there a “race to the bottom” to stem capital flight? Can we turn the crisis into an opportunity?
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Poverty, Natural Resources, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi , Kelsey Shantz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change. In this year’s survey, 31 CIGI experts conclude that international economic arrangements continue to show a level of “status quo,” averaging a score of 50% across all five areas. The 2015 survey indicates a slight improvement to the result of last year’s survey, which suggested a minimal regression overall. The experts’ assessment of progress was most promising in the area of climate change cooperation, with an average score of 57%, whereas the least promising area was macroeconomic and financial cooperation, with a score of 44%, indicating minimal regression. The remaining three areas polled all fell within the “status quo” range, with trade at 46%, development at 48% and international cooperation on financial regulation at 53%. Interestingly, in the area of cooperation on development, CIGI’s experts provided a relatively mixed assessment. Responses varied based on experts’ perception of the effectiveness of current rhetoric, from 70% (indicating some progress) to 10% (suggesting major regression). Compared to last year, climate change governance has made the greatest improvement, but the remaining three areas (with the exception of development, which was not included in the 2014 survey) have all, on average, regressed further or remained stagnant. This trend is cause for concern.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Celis Parra, Krista Dinsmore, Nicole Fassina, Charlene Keizer
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Urban food insecurity is distinct from that experienced in rural areas and must be addressed through a different set of policies. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 2 recommends that governments aim to improve food security and nutrition over the next 15 years in response to the global challenge of fostering sustainability.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Food Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi , Kelsey Shanty
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change. In this year’s survey, 31 CIGI experts conclude that international economic arrangements continue to show a level of “status quo,” averaging a score of 50% across all five areas. The 2015 survey indicates a slight improvement to the result of last year’s survey, which suggested a minimal regression overall. The experts’ assessment of progress was most promising in the area of climate change cooperation, with an average score of 57%, whereas the least promising area was macroeconomic and financial cooperation, with a score of 44%, indicating minimal regression. The remaining three areas polled all fell within the “status quo” range, with trade at 46%, development at 48% and international cooperation on financial regulation at 53%. Interestingly, in the area of cooperation on development, CIGI’s experts provided a relatively mixed assessment. Responses varied based on experts’ perception of the effectiveness of current rhetoric, from 70% (indicating some progress) to 10% (suggesting major regression). Compared to last year, climate change governance has made the greatest improvement, but the remaining three areas (with the exception of development, which was not included in the 2014 survey) have all, on average, regressed further or remained stagnant. This trend is cause for concern.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus