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  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Data has been hailed by some as “the new oil,” an analogy that captures the excitement and high expectations surrounding the data-driven economy. The success of the world’s most valuable companies (Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft) is now underpinned by a sophisticated capacity to collect, organize, control and commercialize stores of data and intellectual property. Big data and its application in artificial intelligence, for example, promises to transform the way we live and work — and will generate considerable wealth in the process. But data’s transformative nature also raises important questions around how the benefits are shared, privacy, public security, openness and democracy, and the institutions that will govern the data revolution. The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed the vulnerability of democracies to data strategies deployed on platforms such as Facebook to influence the outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential race. Any national data strategy will have to address both the economic and non-economic dimensions of harnessing big data. Balances will have to be struck between numerous goals. The essays in this collection, first published online in spring 2018, by leading scholars and practitioners, are grouped into five blocks: the rationale of a data strategy; the role of a data strategy for Canadian industries; balancing privacy and commercial values; domestic policy for data governance; and international policy considerations. An epilogue concludes with some key questions to consider around data governance in the digital age.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Basic Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The World Refugee Council (WRC) was created to build on the momentum generated by UN meetings in New York in September 2016, which saw the unanimous adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and to develop bold approaches to transform the current refugee system, focusing on the issues of accountability, responsibility sharing and governance, and finance. The WRC offers this interim report, and other discussion and research papers, to raise awareness of these issues and to stimulate ideas for reform that will transform lives.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephanie Maclellan, Christian Leuprecht
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: By virtue of the constitutional division of powers into federal and provincial jurisdictions, the governance of the provision of cyber security in Canada — and in comparable federal systems with constitutionally distinct levels of government, such as the United States and Australia — raises a host of policy-making challenges. This special report’s authors ponder the division of authority and responsibility — for cyber, in general, and cyber security, in particular — between public and private actors and different levels of government. Drawing on expertise and insights from business, law, policy and academia, they posit normative models of cyber security governance and gauge the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Their contributions illuminate some preliminary lessons for policy makers striving to improve governance outcomes across the cyber domain in Canada.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeff Crisp
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Many commentators have suggested that the displacement of people across international borders is caused by a lack of “political will,” and that refugee situations could be averted, mitigated or resolved if only such will existed. However, there has been little serious analysis as to what “political will” means and how to generate and sustain it in a refugee context. This paper is an initial attempt to address these neglected issues. It begins by defining the notion of political will and then outlines the gap between the protection principles formally espoused by states and the ways in which they treat refugees and asylum seekers in practice. The paper then identifies the key ways in which political will can be mobilized on behalf of refugee protection and solutions, focusing on the humanitarian interests of political leaders, the obligations that states have assumed in relation to refugees, the incentives that can be used to encourage compliance with refugee protection principles and the pressure that can be placed on states by other stakeholders. Following an examination of interstate cooperation on refugee issues and the role of the UN Refugee Agency in promoting refugee protection and solutions, the paper concludes with a call for political will to be mobilized in a way that is evidence-based, geographically differentiated, inclusive of other actors, and sensitive to the situation of other people who are on the move and whose rights are also at risk.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Crisis, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Muggah, Adriana Erthal Abdenur
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Today, more than 60 percent of all refugees and 80 percent of all internally displaced persons are living in urban areas. While cities are periodically overwhelmed by sudden mass influxes of forced migrants, they are remarkably effective at absorbing populations on the move. With some exceptions, the international community — the UN Refugee Agency, in particular — has been slow to empower cities to assume a greater role in protecting, assisting and promoting durable solutions for refugees, asylum claimants and other groups of concern. New compacts on migration and refugees only tangentially address cities’ pivotal role in shaping the experience of forced migrants. Instead, cities are developing solutions on their own. This paper assesses the characteristics of the urban displacement crisis and identifies challenges and opportunities confronting cities, challenging myths associated with the “refugee burden” and offering preliminary recommendations for stepping up international, national and municipal cooperation.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Urban, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ryerson Neal
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Participants from academia and various levels of government gathered in Ottawa to discuss the often underappreciated interplay between the international climate agenda and the global trade system. The trade system has traditionally supported open flows of goods and services by disciplining tariffs, as well as trade-distorting subsidies and regulations. But there is an emerging tension between this approach and the desire of governments to address climate change through potentially trade-distorting domestic regulations and green subsidies. The challenge for policy makers is how to maintain relatively free, undistorted trade, while still giving countries sufficient policy space to implement effective measures to combat climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Regulation, Green Technology, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Worldwide, the internet and the increasingly important social media and content applications and platforms running on it have assumed an extraordinary and powerful role in people’s lives and become defining features of present-day life. This global digital ecosystem has created immeasurable benefits for free expression, social and cultural exchange, and economic progress. Yet, its impacts, and the easy access to content it provides, have not all been either foreseeable or desirable, as even a cursory scan of the daily news will show. In this environment, the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, in cooperation with the Department of Canadian Heritage, invited government, business, academic and civil society experts to an international working meeting in March 2018 to explore governance innovations aimed at protecting free expression, diversity of content and voices, and civic engagement in the global digital ecosystem. One of the goals was to bring different players and perspectives together to explore their similarities within a comparative public policy context. This publication reports on the meeting’s discussion as participants sought innovative approaches to deal with both present and emerging challenges, without impeding the creativity and benefits that the internet can bring.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Digital Economy, Engagement
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James A. Haley
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the concept of fiscal space, or the capacity to deploy fiscal stimulus should it be needed; identifies the key factors that determine its size; and discusses considerations relevant to its use. The paper is motivated by the remarkably rapid mobilization of fiscal stimulus in the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, coordinated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was followed by the equally remarkable rapid adoption of austerity in key advanced economies. This switch from stimulus to austerity occurred despite the languid pace of the global recovery, in which growth was, as subsequently described by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, “too low, for too long.” At the time, the change was justified in terms of concerns over large debt burdens and diminished capacity for future action. Curiously, however, the principled voices defending the interests of future generations were silent with respect to more recent tax cuts and the adoption of higher budgeted spending.
  • Topic: Budget, Fiscal Policy, IMF, Stimulus
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aldo Chicop, Meinhard Doelle, Ryan Gauvin
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This report investigates the international law and policy challenges to the determination of the international shipping industry’s contribution to climate change mitigation efforts through the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations and the competent international organization with respect to shipping in international law. The report sets out the international legal framework that serves as the context for the IMO initial strategy, the challenge of regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, and the process and issues in determining the industry’s “fair share” of mitigation efforts and potential legal pathways. The report concludes with general, policy and legal considerations that have a bearing on the current and possible future directions of the nascent IMO strategy. General considerations include the observation that the complexity and uncertainty underscoring the development of the IMO strategy call for a long-term planning instrument that is integrated and systemic in scope, flexible in approach and adaptive in application. As other regimes and sectors progress in developing and delivering on mitigation efforts, care should be exercised in considering lessons and tools from other sectors for application to shipping, given its uniqueness and that other sector experiences emanate from different contexts and considerations. Given continuing significant differences on GHG issues in the IMO, it is vital for the long-term IMO strategy to be advanced and maintained on the basis of the culture of consensus that has helped shape the IMO as a successful regulatory body.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, Policy Implementation, IMF, Shipping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Miller
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Generally speaking, those who study forced migration and those who advocate for solutions to forced migration spend little time studying xenophobia. This paper has aimed to address that gap by examining xenophobia in the context of refugees, first by considering definitions of xenophobia vis-à-vis other terms, including racism and nativism, and next by looking at the roots of xenophobia, which include not only political, social and economic grievances and uncertainty but also competition for scarce resources and the belief that one’s own nation-state or group is superior to others. The paper then reviews some expressions of xenophobic rhetoric and actions, and their impacts, before considering key issues and challenges in overcoming xenophobia. Looking at successful attempts in combatting xenophobia provides lessons for those engaged in research and advocacy. Recommended actions include holding governments more accountable for their failures to protect people’s rights; identifying and fighting against policies that incentivize xenophobic behaviour; recognizing that pro-migrant programming can backfire; identifying political actors who promulgate xenophobia and choosing interventions carefully; and seeking greater collaboration and creativity among different actors working to combat xenophobia. The use of localized approaches emerges from the literature as particularly important. The backdrop of the UN Refugee Agency’s global compacts on refugees and for migration makes the moment ripe for further discussion on how to reduce xenophobia and increase responsibility sharing in refugee situations. Likewise, the prominence of political regimes that draw on xenophobic rhetoric and even encourage xenophobic actions means that finding new ways to reduce xenophobia is more important than ever.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Global Focus