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  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, L. Jerome Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: A hallmark of the administration of social assistance under the socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and the USSR was the universal nature of eligibility for benefits, either to all citizens or to categories of deserving citizens, e.g., the physically handicapped. During the transition period since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation has taken limited steps to improve the targeting of benefits. The challenge to improvement is acute because the administration of the great majority of programs rests with agencies of local government. The question addressed here is how amenable local program administration is to improved targeting and more progressive program administration in general. Presented is an analysis of the results of assessments of two pilot programs implemented in two Russian cities in 2000–2001. The “school lunch pilot” introduced means testing in the school lunch program on a citywide basis; eligible families receive cash payments and all children pay the same price for their lunches in cash. The “jobs pilot” is a new, local means-tested program that provides cash support to families while unemployed workers search for work; continued receipt of funds is conditional on a minimum job search effort. We find that both programs were successfully implemented and that there was little resistance to the sharper targeting. On the other hand, a variety of problems with program administration were identified—problems that need to be addressed if program integrity and credibility are to be maintained.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, Kirill Chagin
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: In the Russian Federation the delivery of social services to deserving population groups is mostly the responsibility of municipalities and other local governments. Services are delivered by municipal agencies. One way to inject competition into the delivery system is for local government to hold competitions to contract for social service delivery. The competitions can be open to nonprofit organizations (NPOs), some of which have been providing assistance in recent years to needy individuals and families similar to those that would be contracted.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Matthew Addison, Mark Hodges, Steven Gale, Nick Wedeman
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Agency for International Development
  • Abstract: Since the official dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has moved forward to make the difficult transition to open markets and more democratic institutions. The journey toward a complete restructuring of the Russian economy and an adoption of wide-ranging political reforms has been perilous. Political instability continues, crime and corruption have become more widespread, and economic conditions show little sign of improving quickly. Efforts to privatize state-held industries, initially seen as wildly successful, have now met with resistance, and full citizen involvement in government is far from complete.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: For almost two centuries—since Alexander Pushkin's masterpieces laid the foundation—Russian literature has persisted in addressing the core issues and dilemmas of human existence, taking humanity's measure, and explaining Russia and Russians to themselves and the world. Even during the Soviet era, when virtually all of Russia's finest writers and poets were exiled, killed, imprisoned, savagely censored, or forbidden to publish, the tradition lived in underground samizdat, manuscripts smuggled abroad, and in the state-run literary magazines of the “liberal” persuasion, especially during political thaws.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Berlin Wall fell eleven years ago, and nine years have passed since Boris Yeltsin launched the Russian economic revolution by abolishing state control over prices. Although minuscule in historic terms, the time elapsed still furnishes a wealth of data for a provisional analysis of the key factors that shaped the political, economic, and social character of post-Communist nations. The same structural variables may help gauge the future—at least in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Berlin
  • Author: Alan Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey's economic crisis is naturally the leading issue in bilateral U.S.-Turkish relations, and it is almost certainly topping the agenda of today's meetings of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem with Vice President Richard Cheney and other senior officials. Of course, these meetings pose the difficult question of how much Washington should do, if anything, to bail out its strategically vital ally. But this is only one of several uncertainties characterizing U.S.-Turkish relations in the early days of the Bush administration. Because so much of Turkey's importance to the United States derives from its critical strategic location, bilateral relations are greatly affected by U.S. policies toward other states in Turkey's region. Of most concern to Turkey will be the evolution of Bush administration policy toward Iraq, Iran, and Russia, and also toward Europe's nascent bid to develop an autonomous security capacity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Europe, Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Nina Khrushcheva
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: One goal of Russia's economic reforms during the last ten years has been to establish a new class of businessmen and owners of private property—people who could form the foundation for a new model post-Soviet citizen. However, the experience of this post-communist economic “revolution” has turned out to be very different from the original expectations. For as people became disillusioned with communism due to its broken promises, the words “democracy” and “reform” quickly became equally as unbearable to large sectors of the Russian public after 1991. Such disillusion was achieved in less than ten years—a record revolutionary burnout that would be the envy of any anti-Bolshevik.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Raymond J. Struyk, Burton Richman
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Competent administration is fundamental to successful reform of social assistance programs in transition economies. Only with such administration is there assurance that benefits are being delivered as intended in enabling legislation. Moreover, the perceived efficiency and fairness of administration influences the public's views of the new programs. In the Russian Federation local governments have primary responsibility for the administration of social assistance programs enacted by all levels of government
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Kenneth Flamm, Ann Markusen, Judith Reppy, John Lovering, Claude Serfati, Andrew D. James, Eugene Cobble, Judith Sedaitis, Corinna-Barbara Francis, Dov Dvir, Asher Tishler, Etel Solingen
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Cornell University Peace Studies Program
  • Abstract: A review of current and forthcoming developments in the European defense industry (which here means mainly Britain, France, Germany, and Italy) would lead, I believe, to some fairly clear conclusions. The relationship between sectoral and national (including regional) economic development is changing profoundly. This is above all because the defense industry currently represents a major and extremely significant instance of globalization. However, this is not the kind of globalization described in many summaries.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Middle East, France
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In a recent conference, trade experts identified three primary reasons the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed to launch a new trade Round at its December 1999 Ministerial. First, leading members were unable to resolve differences on critical issues prior to the gathering. In addition, many developing countries and nongovernmental organizations were more assertive than they had been at previous conferences. Finally, in recent years, the WTO has expanded the range of issues it addresses, which has made efforts to reach a consensus on any point more difficult. According to the speakers, as a result of the acrimonious Ministerial, the WTO has suffered a substantial loss of credibility, which will impair efforts to launch a new Round in the near term. There is no immediate alternative to strong US leadership, and WTO negotiations will be more complicated because developing countries and nongovernmental organizations will be more inclined to resist trade liberalization efforts that they believe do not advance their interests. Experts at the conference offered a variety of assessments regarding the course the WTO might choose to follow this year. The majority argued that if the trade body is seeking to rebuild confidence, it could continue with scheduled meetings on agriculture and services and use the time to rebuild confidence. A minority, however, held that the forum is too fractured to make progress, thus talks would only undermine the already declining prestige of the trade body. The experts identified several long-run challenges that the WTO will probably need to address to be an effective decisionmaking institution, including: Bridging the developed-developing country gap Costa Rica, Mexico, and South Africa generally support trade liberalization and have credibility among developed and developing states; thus they are in a position to meld the interests of the two sides. Enacting institutional reforms The organization's expansive agenda and large membership require that it adopt policies that facilitate decisionmaking, especially before new members such as China and Russia join. The trade body may try to increase transparency to promote greater trust in its procedures. Also, to avoid protracted and bitter selections such as the forum suffered last year, the WTO could review its procedures for electing a new director general. Managing the backlash against globalization Supporters of freer trade could launch a massive educational program to highlight the gains for all countries from expanded trade and to counter the dire assertions made by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China