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  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Israel this week launched missile attacks against Palestinian security targets in Gaza in retaliation for the bombing of a school bus carrying settlers. Tel Aviv and Washington have blamed Palestinian National Authority President Yasser Arafat for the current crisis, saying he could reduce the violence. In fact, the uprising is a spontaneous revolt against the terms of the Oslo peace process. Far from being undermined by the crisis, Arafat is using it to maximise his political and diplomatic position in the event that negotiations resume. The crisis marks a decisive shift in the Palestinians' conditions for peace with Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: United Nations peacekeeping forces are expected to deploy to the Lebanese-Israeli international border soon. Considerable diplomatic efforts have been required to win 'acceptance' of the border by Beirut and Tel Aviv, and thereby enable UN deployment to the area from which Israel withdrew nearly two months ago. The United Nations is likely to find it even more difficult to implement the other terms of its mandate.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Yezid Sayigh, Henry Siegman, Michel Rocard, Khalil Shikaki
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Interim Period of Palestinian Self-Government Arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as stipulated in the Declaration of Principles signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the state of Israel on September 13, 1993, came to an end on May 4, 1999. During that period the two parties signed additional agreements on the transfer of functional and territorial jurisdiction to the Palestinian Authority, which assumed direct responsibility for the conduct of daily life and for cooperation and coordination with Israel in a wide range of spheres. Progress toward a permanent settlement of the decades-old conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, as well as toward peaceful relations in the region, requires the establishment of a capable, credible, and meaningful Palestinian political entity. Good governance is a necessary condition for the success of the peace process, and therefore all parties bear a responsibility to assist and facilitate the strengthening of Palestinian public institutions. The United States, the European Union, Norway as chair of the international donor community, and the international community as a whole hold this view firmly. They have demonstrated a sustained commitment to these goals, extending strong political support, reassurance, and diplomatic input to the process. Moreover, the international community pledged $4.1 billion in assistance for Palestinian reconstruction and development in 1994-98, of which some $3.6 billion was committed against specific projects and $2.5 billion of which was actually disbursed by the end of 1998. Around 10 percent of total disbursement was directed toward Palestinian institution-building. The construction and consolidation of effective and democratic governing institutions based on transparency and accountability is a major step on the road to attaining genuine self-determination for the Palestinians, peace and security for Israel and its neighbors, and stability for the region as a whole. This is the basis for the Palestinians to gain ownership over the assistance, investment, and planning programs that are at present shepherded by the international donor community and its representative institutions on the ground. Ownership is necessary for the Palestinians to make a successful transition from externally assisted emergency rehabilitation and post-conflict reconstruction to sustainable social and economic development, greater self-reliance, and confident competitiveness in global markets. A primary goal of the Palestinian Authority, and of its partners and counterparts in Israel and the international community, should therefore be to achieve good governance, based on the following: a constitutional government; political accountability and judicial review; the transparent and accountable management of public resources; the rule of law and citizens' rights; democratic participatory politics and pluralist civil society; and an effective and responsive public administration. The issue is not only one of organization—that is, of the structures composed of individuals working toward common ends. Even more important, it is one of the rules, norms, and practices that define public institutions and their operating culture and determine relations with their constituents. The Palestinians are moving into a new and decisive phase in their national history, and the purpose of this report is to assist in identifying what needs to be done in order to make that transition successfully.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Norway, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The economies of South East Asia and Korea have been shaken by a financial and economic crisis that has enveloped the region since mid 1997. There are competing explanations for the cause of the crisis however most commentators would agree that a major shock that impacted on the countries has been a dramatic increase in the perceived risks of investing in these economies. This paper explores the impact of a re-evaluation of the risk in the Asian economies focussing on the differential real consequences of a temporary versus more permanent rise in risk. It contributes to our understanding of the possible consequences of the Asia crisis by applying a global simulation model that captures both the flow of goods as well as international capital flows between countries. The real impacts on the Asian economies of a rise in risk perceptions in the model are large and consistent with observed adjustment. However the spillovers to the rest of the world are relatively small because the loss in export demand that accompanies the crisis in Asia is offset by a fall in long term interest rates as capital flows out of Asia into the non-Asian OECD economies. Thus strong domestic demand in economies such as the US induced by the general equilibrium effects of the reallocation of financial capital can more than offset the consequences of lower export growth. The analysis also highlights the impacts on global trade balances reflecting the movements of global capital and points to both potential problems and lesson for policymakers over the coming years.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin, KK Tang
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Despite the setbacks from the recent Asian currency crisis, the ascendancy of Asia as an economic centre of world economic activity is likely to continue into the 21st century. A key issue that will shape the role of Asia, and indeed the shape of the world economy in the 21st century, is the economic development of China. To date China has successfully weathered the currency storm in Asia and continues on a program of economic reform. If anything, the problems of Japan and Korea provide powerful lessons for other countries undergoing rapid economic growth and structural change. These lessons include the importance of a well developed financial sector with lending and investment decisions based on market signals rather than government directives. Whether China can further integrate smoothly into global markets and sustain the fast growth of the last few decades will be a crucial development in the world economy. In this paper, we explore the impacts of continued Chinese economic reform with a focus on the role of international financial flows both in the adjustment within China as well as in the transmission of Chinese reforms to the rest of the world.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper explores the impact on economies of trade liberalization under alternative regional and multilateral arrangements: unilateral liberalization; liberalization as part of the ASEAN regional grouping; liberalization as part of the APEC regional grouping; or liberalization as part of a multilateral trade liberalization regime. The paper is based on a Dynamic Intertemporal General Equilibrium model (DIGEM) called the Asia-Pacific G-Cubed Model. It is shown that the long run gains from a country's own liberalization tend to be large relative to the gains from other countries liberalizing although this varies across countries. It is also shown that there is a significant difference between the effects on GDP (production location) and the effects on consumption per capita of the alternative liberalization approaches across countries. The timing of liberalization is also shown to matter. With open capital markets the gains from credibly announced trade liberalization are realized before the reforms are put in place because there is a rise in global investment which raises the global capital stock. In addition there is a reallocation of capital via financial market adjustment. This paper also demonstrates that for some economies, there can be short run adjustment costs to trade liberalization because resources cannot be instantly reallocated across sectors in an economy. These adjustment costs from own liberalization can be reduced if more countries also liberalize. The nature of the dynamic adjustment suggests that other macroeconomic policies may play an important role during the early period of phased-in trade liberalization.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin, Yiping Huang
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Rapid growth of the Chinese economy in the past decade and its potential for strong growth into the foreseeable future have caused anxieties in the rest of the world. Some commentators see Chinese growth wholly in terms of competition for trade and investment opportunities with other developing economies and a major cause of structural adjustments in the advanced industrialized economies. In particular there have been warnings of severe consequences for international agricultural markets. In this paper we use a dynamic general equilibrium model called the G-CUBED model (developed by McKibbin and Wilcoxen) to explore possible future paths of the Chinese economy based on projections of population growth, sectoral productivity growth, energy efficiency and technical change in the Chinese economy. This model captures not only the composition of the direct trade impacts of developments in the Chinese economy but also the implications of the endogenous flows of financial capital on macroeconomic adjustment in the world economy. The study focuses on the period from 1990 to 2020. Rather than being a problem for the world economy, we find strong growth in China is beneficial for the world economy directly through raising world incomes.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: An important aspect of macroeconomic interdependence in the Asia Pacific region is the adjustment of trade and current account balances in response to changes in saving and investment rates in individual economies. Greater trade flows, reliance on imported intermediate goods as well as more integrated capital markets imply that shifts in private or public saving and investment rates in an economy in the region can potentially have large impacts on other economies. This paper explores the quantitative nature of these linkages by focusing on a number of shocks within the context of a new dynamic multi-sector global model called the Asia-Pacific G-Cubed Model (AP-GCUBED). This model integrates sectoral adjustment with macroeconomic interdependence including explicit treatment of capital flows to explore the implications of a variety of productivity and investment shocks in the Asia Pacific Region. The first shock considered is a permanent decline in private investment in Japan. The second shock is a temporary rise in total factor productivity growth in China. The fall in Japanese investment is found to have a significant effect on trade flows and financial flows in the region whereas the rise in Chinese productivity has a quite different effect on the region.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Heather Smith
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper is the first of a three part project on economic reform on the Korean Peninsula. In this first paper, I focus on the question which has been subject to considerable recent debate, namely whether collapse of North Korea is imminent. In accessing this question the paper discusses the three structural bottlenecks now thought to be severely constraining the North Korean economy following a series of external shocks in the late 1980s, food shortages, energy constraints and a limited capacity to earn foreign exchange. Much speculation has focused on the deterioration in the food economy and that a prolongation of current food shortages will see North Korea collapse. One contribution of this paper lies in its attempt to analyze North Korean agricultural production and food consumption patterns using data made available by North Korea to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. Several anomalies are found between this data and recent World Food Program assessments of food conditions and estimates of nutritional requirements which suggest caution in drawing a too deterministic link between current food shortages and collapse. The paper then discusses the role of international and regional players in prolonging North Korea's economic survival. In particular, the terms under which North Korea signed onto the 1994 Agreed Framework, a return to favorable trading terms with China, and North Korea's attempts aimed at expanding economic ties with the international community, could sustain North Korea at subsistence levels for the next 5 years at least. If collapse is not imminent in the short to medium term, then the policy implications that emerge from such a scenario are clear: that the international community will need to continue to pursue a policy approach of managing tension reduction and the integration of North Korea into the international community. Whether the North Korea regime will embrace fundamental reforms needed to ensure longer term survival remains difficult to judge. In the final section of the paper, several reasons are advanced as to why the window of opportunity for North Korea to embrace reform is now greater than at any time in the past.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper outlines the macroeconomic experience of the Japanese economy since 1990. The MSG2 multi-country model is used to determine the extent to which the strong yen and growth experience of Japan over this period was due to underlying trends in the Japanese economy and to what extent shocks such as changes in the settings of monetary and fiscal policies in Japan and overseas, as well as the Kobe earthquake, played a role. It is shown that many of the key features of the Japanese economy over this period can be attributed to inappropriate macroeconomic policy settings in Japan as well as reflecting long term trends due to population changes and a maturing of the Japanese economy. In particular, it is shown that announcing expansionary fiscal policy in advance of implementation and exaggerating the extent of actual stimulus, tended to appreciate the yen and raise long term real interest rates which further reduced real GDP growth over the period. The extent to which macroeconomic policy rather than entrenched structural problems can explain the experience suggests that future prospects for the Japanese economy are not as bleak as sometimes predicted. Growth is unlikely to return to the high levels experienced in previous decades because of the maturing of the Japanese economy and low future population growth in Japan. This paper projects growth to be sustainable at around 2.5% per year over the next decade and a continual appreciation of the yen in both real and nominal terms.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, East Asia