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  • Author: Jason Thomas Barnosky, Patrick S. Roberts, Joie D. Acosta
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The 2017 hurricane and wildfire seasons were among the worst on record in the United States. The storms that year included three of the five costliest in the nation’s history: Harvey and Irma along the Gulf Coast, and Maria in the Caribbean. More than 70,000 wildfires scorched about 10 million acres. All told, these events affected the lives of nearly 47 million people, testing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in unprecedented ways.
  • Topic: Natural Disasters, Governance, Political Science
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Judit Fabian
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: International trade is often framed in starkly divergent terms: either countries choose multilateral trade agreements (MTAs) and advance the cause of global economic liberalization, or they choose preferred trade agreements (PTAs) and put the entire system at risk. Canada has a long track record of pursuing PTAs and with the Trump administration’s opposition to multilateralism, and longstanding opposition in elements of the Republican and Democratic parties, this trend will likely continue. The question is whether progress will come at the expense of the global trade system. Some economists believe PTAs to be trade-diverting, reducing trade with more efficient producers outside the agreement. Others insist that PTAs can create trade by shifting production to lower-cost producers in one of the participating countries. One prominent contrary argument holds that PTAs lead to discontinuities in tariff regimes between countries and regions, increasing transaction costs, disrupting supply chains, creating opportunities for corruption and harming global welfare, especially in developing nations. While debate continues about the effects of PTAs, a closer examination suggests that worries are overblown about their negative impacts on global trade flows. Evidence indicates that they support rather than harm the international trading system. Countries shut out of PTAs are more motivated to seek out agreements in new markets, increasing liberalization overall. They may also seek a reduction in most-favoured nation (MFN) tariffs, which would deprive PTAs of their major tariff benefits. Studies have found complementarity between preferential and MFN tariffs, revealing that PTAs promote external trade liberalization. Even if a PTA reduces a given country’s incentive to push for multilateral liberalization, it raises the odds of that country liberalizing its trade to avoid getting left behind. PTAs are a response to the difficulties of securing sweeping multilateral agreements. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements authorize them under GATT Article XXIV, GATS Article V, and the enabling clause, and the WTO facilitates a degree of governance over PTAs through its dispute settlement process. Over the past 25 years, countries have adopted these deals at a rapid pace. Between 1994 and 2005, the number of PTAs increased from 50 to 200. By April 2018, 336 were in effect. At the same time, global trade has increased significantly. Between 1994 and 2010, the volume of world merchandise exports more than doubled. The proliferation of PTAs has resulted in a rise in international trade governance, because the countries involved shape their relationships in line with the WTO agreements. This juridification makes PTAs subordinate to the international system rather than giving them room to dissolve it. Canada should therefore have no fear of pursuing PTAs within the larger framework of the effort to achieve multilateral trade liberalization.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Governance, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Yuka Fukunaga
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: The multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been of the utmost importance for Japan's trade policy. In particular, Japan strongly supports the WTO’s rule-based dispute settlement mechanism, and frequently uses it. At the same time, in recent years, the adoption and implementation of regional and mega-regional trade agreements have become critical in Japan’s trade policy, with the stalling of the Doha Round negotiations in the WTO. Although the core of its trade policy remains the same today, Japan has been forced to rethink and modify it in response to the aggressive and unilateral trade policy of the Trump administration.
  • Topic: World Trade Organization, Governance, Internet, Free Trade, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Thierry de Montbrial, Robin Niblett, Ed Feulner, Feng Zhu
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: Ifri’s Executive Chairman Thierry de Montbrial spoke at the 20th World Knowledge Forum in Seoul on September 25, 2019 with Robin Niblett, Chatham House's director, Ed Feulner, The Heritage Foundation's Founder and Former President and Feng Zhu, Director of the Institute of International Studies at Nanjing University about the major governance issues of our time. The global geopolitical situation is caught in a maelstrom. The conflict between the United States and China is getting worse and subsequent negative effects are rising. In Europe, Brexit is making the continent more divisive than harmonious. The instability in Middle East is not solved. In addition, the North Korea’s nuclear weapons are an endless source of problem that defies a quick solution, which made the politics surrounding the Korean Peninsula more complex. The problem is that the currently weak global governance may lead the global political landscape into a serious crisis. To give an answer to these problems, heads of top think tanks share their prospect and the future of the global governance, giving a guideline for each country to listen for a better direction.
  • Topic: Governance, Geopolitics, Think Tanks, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Middle East, North Korea, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Katherine Baicker, Theodore Svoronos
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Given the complex relationships between patients’ demographics, underlying health needs, and outcomes, establishing the causal effects of health policy and delivery interventions on health outcomes is often empirically challenging. The single interrupted time series (SITS) design has become a popular evaluation method in contexts where a randomized controlled trial is not feasible. In this paper, we formalize the structure and assumptions underlying the single ITS design and show that it is significantly more vulnerable to confounding than is often acknowledged and, as a result, can produce misleading results. We illustrate this empirically using the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, showing that an evaluation using a single interrupted time series design instead of the randomized controlled trial would have produced large and statistically significant results of the wrong sign. We discuss the pitfalls of the SITS design, and suggest circumstances in which it is and is not likely to be reliable.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Assaf Orion
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Serious change is required to avoid decisions that accommodate Hezbollah’s ends, ways, and means, and a vital first step is to look at current policy mechanics with a clear eye. With this month marking the thirteenth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and the end of the 2006 Lebanon war, the council will soon hold its yearly debates about renewing the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon. Contrasting the Secretary General’s latest report on 1701 with thirteen years of lessons learned reveals a clear pattern: the victory of consciously false hopes over hard experience, particularly when viewed from Israel’s perspective. Breaking this pattern will require substantial changes to the force’s size, mission, and conduct.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, United Nations, Governance, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: The growth and international clout of cities and sub-state actors has been unparalleled in recent decades. These players seek agency in the international arena, forming networks at the sub-state level that help shape new organizing principles for international cooperation on Global Commons issues like climate, health, transnational crime, and migration. These types of issues will continue to create opportunities for sub-national leadership to help shape outcomes beneficial for all—not just cities and states—through systematic interactions, a stronger connection up and down between cities, states, national capitals, and international bodies, and a larger voice for sub-national actors on Global Commons issues. To explore sub-national activism and its effects upon the international arena, in late 2018 the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy convened a working group on “The New Metropolitanism.” Participants included experts and practitioners drawn from the ranks of local governance, academia, think tanks and research institutions, as well as the diplomatic community. They discussed whether the continuation and pace of this phenomenon is inevitable or a passing response to stalled nation-state leadership; and how this rising “metropolitanism” complicates—or complements—the work of central governments and “old-world” international relations. This report provides a set of policy guidelines and recommendations, aimed at multiple audiences: cities and other sub-national actors and those that work with and within them; national governments; nation-state level foreign ministries; and international organizations. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all the relevant players find ways to harness emerging sub-national activism towards processes, procedures, and relationships that can produce innovative solutions to global challenges.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Governance, Leadership, Cities
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Adam Frost, David J. Bercuson, Andrea Charron, James Fergusson, Robert Hage, Robert Huebert, Petra Dolata, Hugh Segal, Heidi Tworek, Vanja Petricevic, Kyle Matthews, Brian Kingston
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The fundamental rules of conventional sovereignty are that states will refrain from intervening in the internal affairs of other states, are afforded the right to determine their own domestic authority structures and are freely able to decide what international agreements they choose to enter or not. In principle these concepts have been widely accepted, but are often violated in practice. While conventional sovereignty would appear favourable in theory, realistically, the domestic affairs and foreign policy decisions of states can and do have consequences for others. Poor governance in one state can produce regional instability, from uncontrolled migration across borders, uncontrolled arms trade and other illicit trafficking or the rise of militant nonstate actors. Economic, environmental and health policies of one state can affect the food, water, health and economic security of another. These transnational issues are increasingly complex because the world is more globalized than ever before. No state exists in a vacuum. Therefore, it is often within a state’s interest to influence the policy decisions of its neighbours. Pragmatism often trumps abstract theoretical ideals. The lead package of this issue examines the challenges of securing Canada’s sovereignty from modern threats. When discussing Canadian sovereignty the Arctic will invariably be mentioned, and indeed is the focus of fully half of this edition. David Bercuson, Andrea Charron and James Fergusson argue that the perceived threats to Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic are overblown, resulting in alarmist rhetoric. Robert Hage, Rob Huebert and Petra Dolata, however, content that Canada must be vigilant if it does not wish to erode sovereign control of its Arctic territory. Going beyond the arctic circle, Hugh Segal and Heidi Tworek discuss the challenges of defending against hybrid threats and outline possible steps in response to such perils. From coordinating with our closest allies to no longer tolerate attacks against the integrity of our most valued institutions, to increasing transparency of activities and strengthen public trust in Canadian democracy via domestic measures. Finally, this package concludes on the issue of border control. Vanja Petricevic discusses the shortcomings of Canada’s current management of asylum seekers and how the concept of sovereignty is being adapted to address modern migration challenges. While Kyle Matthews asserts the importance of holding Canadian citizens responsible for their actions abroad because to do otherwise is not only dangerous, but an affront to Canadian ideals. Contemporary transnational challenges are complex and dynamic. The climate is changing, technology is enabling previously unimaginable feats, and global demographics and migration are creating new points of contention. If Canada is to navigate these issues, and defend its sovereignty, it must work closely with its international partners and ensure that it is capable and willing to stand on guard for thee.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Sovereignty, Immigration, Governance, Elections, Islamic State, Diversification, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, North America, Arctic, United States of America