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  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: For small financially active countries the exchange rate assumes particular importance, not only as a shock absorber, but potentially also as a source of shocks during financial market crises. This is very much in evidence today in the case of Iceland which is being hit hard by the recent turbulence in financial markets.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hasso Lieber
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The time is ripe for a re-think of the area of justice and home affairs, and this includes the way in which these policies are re-structured at the institutional level within the European Commission. In most of the EU's member states, the ministries of justice and the interior are separate. This is not just a question of tradition; it is rather the notion of checks and balances that speaks in favour of this separation. The separation of justice and home affairs should therefore progress from being a European standard to becoming a standard for Europe. What has been achieved in nearly all member states should also apply to the European Commission. As there will be a new incumbent in 2009 anyway, now is the time for an independent Commissioner for Justice.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The recent past has been a miserable time for political relations between Russia and both the EU and the US. While business has been booming on the back of Russia's huge gains from the skyrocketing price of oil and gas, the foreign policy scene has been desolate.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Stefano Micossi, Maria Teresa Salvemini, Alfonso Iozzo
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The present budget of the European Union has long ceased to represent European policy priorities; it is the result of decisions taken decades ago and subsequent incremental adjustments decided under the pressure of external events or for political expediency. Its increasing detachment from emerging needs and policy priorities undermines support for the Union among public opinion.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Youngs, Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The idea of an official organisation of democratic states wishing to promote democracy worldwide has surfaced periodically in recent years. In 2000 the Community of Democracies was inaugurated and survives as a body committed to supporting democratic change (and we comment on this little-noticed initiative further below). Now the notion is gaining further currency. US Presidential candidate John McCain has advocated a League of Democracies. And analyst Robert Kagan, an advisor to McCain, has recently made a contribution on the subject in the Financial Times. It is quite possible that the European Union will need to adopt a position on this proposal.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer, Asbjørn Aaheim, Darryn McEvoy, Frans Berkhout, Reinhard Mechler, Henry Neufeldt, Anthony Patt, Paul Watkiss, Anita Wreford, Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Carlo Lavalle
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief provides a first overview of the state of ADAM research that was discussed during the first ADAM-CEPS seminar on 12 October 2007. It brought together academic experts, policy-makers and the civil society to discuss adaptation issues and (preliminary) ADAM research results.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Sebastian Kurpas
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Irish no-vote on the Treaty of Lisbon, numerous scenarios are currently being debated. This paper critically assesses the legality and political feasibility of the principal proposals and then puts forward an alternative 'Plan B', which we believe would amply satisfy both criteria.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Arno Behrens, Henry Neufeldt, Gunnar Eskeland, Eberhard Jochem, Thure Traber, Nathan Rive
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The electricity sector plays a central role in the European Union's efforts to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of at least 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. While the electricity sector is currently responsible for about one-third of Europe's total energy-related GHG emissions, there are large potentials for reducing emissions. Mitigation strategies will need to focus on more efficient electricity use, but also on improved conversion rates and new technologies such as renewables and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Apart from mitigation of climate change, the sector will also have to adapt to climate change. Global warming will have a significant impact on the ability to generate electricity and to deliver it without interruption. This ADAM-CEPS Policy Brief focuses on four issues relevant to the nexus between climate change and the electricity sector.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jørgen Mortensen, ain Begg, Juraj Draxler
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This policy brief picks up the main observations and arguments included in a study undertaken by CEPS for the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the European Commission. It was presented by Iain Begg at a major Commission conference in Brussels on 16 April 2008, which had broad attendance by officials, media people and researchers, and was concluded by a keynote speech by José Manuel Barroso, President of the Commission. The conference took place at a time of emerging financial crisis and rising oil and food prices, aspects emphasised by some speakers as elements throwing new light on some of the arguments in the report. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament, stressed that promotion of knowledge and innovation constitutes an important condition for enhancing the competitiveness of the European economy. Thus, the Union should take on a leadership role in combining globalisation with social policy, fighting climate change and fostering environmental stability. Mr. Barroso, in his conclusions underlined the necessity of a renewal of social policies based on equal opportunities, access and solidarity.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John Temple Lang, Eamonn Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon in June 2008, Irish voters who voted against the Treaty gave several specific reasons as well as a variety of vague or general reasons that were unrelated to anything that was in the Treaty. These vague or general reasons are important because they probably were also significant influences in the “no” votes in France and the Netherlands. Moreover, they may be shared by a substantial but unknown number of people in other EU member states who did not get an opportunity to vote in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty or the Treaty for a Constitution. There were positive referendum results in Luxembourg and Spain. Other countries promised referenda, but did not hold them.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Netherlands, Ireland
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The small war between Georgia and Russia from 8 to 22 August 2008 has shattered any remaining illusions over the frontiers of the normative map of Europe. All the primary parties have to be criticised: Russia for setting a trap for Saakashvili to fall into, the Georgian leadership for its astounding military and political blunder in falling into it, and the United States for having failed to restrain its protégé. The first consequence is that Georgia has paid the price of Saakashvili's folly, with the definitive loss of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The second consequence is triggered by Russia's continued occupation of strategic points in Georgia-proper, which means not peacekeeping but threatened strangulation of the Georgian economy and its role in the transit of oil and gas from the Caspian to the West. It also means that business as usual has become impossible, as already announced between NATO and Russia, and with more important decisions pending in both the EU and US. The third consequence is that the EU should immediately step up its policies to integrate Ukraine, with real perspectives of membership subject to the standard criteria. The fourth unknown consequence is how far this deteriorating process between Russia and the West will go. Russia may pretend, with its petro-power and wealth, to be immune from any actions by the West, but beyond the short-term it is vulnerable. Whatever these unknowns, already Russia has crossed a red line with its strategic occupation of Georgia-proper, rather than the option just to push Georgia out of South Ossetia. This latter option would have met with widespread understanding internationally. But with its chosen option Russia has placed itself in another category, which is a throwback to earlier times, and totally incompatible with the political and moral principles of modern Europe.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, War, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Olivier Roy
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Why do we bother, in Europe, about 'Islamic radicalisation'? The answer seems obvious. There are at least two good reasons: one is terrorism, with its security implications; the other is the issue of integrating second-generation migrants in Europe, apparently the most fertile ground for recruiting terrorists. For most observers, the link between terrorism and integration is a given fact. Al Qaeda-type terrorist activities carried out either in Europe, or by European residents and citizens abroad, are seen as the extreme form, and hence as a logical consequence, of Islam- related radicalisation. There is a teleological approach consisting of looking in retrospect at every form of radicalisation and violence associated with the Muslim population in Europe as a harbinger of terrorism.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Youth Culture
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Amitai Etzioni
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The main challenge currently facing the EU is a community deficit: the low valuation the majority of its citizens accord the evolving collectivity. The EU is challenged by the mismatch between its increasing supranational decision making and the strong loyalties of its citizens to their respective nation states. To deal with this community deficit, the EU must either introduce strong measures of community building or else significantly scale back its plans for action in unison.
  • Topic: International Organization, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Elspeth Guild
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: well before the French Presidency took over the European Council in July 2008, it was well known that immigration was going to constitute one of its central priorities. The French enthusiasm coincided with an increasing interest by Barroso's Commission in this domain. The French government and the European Commission started to fine-tune their respective strategies and 'the way forward' through a series of informal meetings. This materialised in the presentation of two policy outputs: First, a Commission Communication on a Common Immigration Policy for Europe and another on a Policy Plan on Asylum; and second, various drafts of the French Presidency's European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, the latest of which appeared on September 3rd. This Policy Brief refers to all previous drafts offered up for public comment so far.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The question of whether central banks should react to stock price developments has been hotly debated. This discussion has intensified since the eruption of the credit crisis. According to some analysts, including myself, the failure of the US Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan to react to the bubbles in the stock and housing markets helps to explain the financial excesses and the subsequent crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Elspeth Guild, Kees Groenendijk
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The European Parliament (EP) elections will take place on 4-7 June 2009. The various political parties of the EU are now beginning to focus on their programmes for the upcoming campaign. Many areas of EU policy will be critical during these elections and the themes will vary substantially from one member state to another in an EU of 27 countries. Still, the issues that have become part of EU law over the past five years through the exercise of Treaty powers in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) will need to be addressed all across the Union. These policies lay at the heart of every person's interest and concern as they have deep implications for his or her degree of liberty and security.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Christian Egenhofer
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is seen as a key technology, without which the achievement of EU and global climate change targets will be extremely difficult. In order to reach these targets, the EU aims to have CCS technology available on a commercial basis as of 2020, which adds a certain sense of urgency to the endeavour. To this end, in 2007, the European Council announced up to 12 large-scale CCS demonstration plants. No decision on possible public financial support has so far been taken.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The time is not only ripe but pressing for the EU and the states of the Western Balkans to recalibrate and reinforce the current pre-accession strategy. Trade policy should be moved beyond existing free trade commitments for all the Western Balkans to enter the customs union of the EU and Turkey. Eurozone doctrine should be adapted to realities. Rather than regarding the use of the euro by Montenegro and Kosovo as an unfortunate turn of events, the costs and benefits of unilateral adoption of the euro by not-yet member states of the region should be more openly appraised, and the option to 'euroise' recognised as a possibility. It is good that the EU has moved at the declaratory level toward s visa 'liberalisation', which means scrapping visas rather than just 'facilitation' measures. However the Commission has not yet published guidelines or timelines for this. The region should be put on track for access to the Structural Funds on terms and scales progressively approaching those from which new member states such as Bulgaria and Romania already benefit. The ratio of these aid receipts between the new member states and the Western Balkans is currently 4:1; the former are receiving more than they can handle efficiently, whereas the Western Balkans have huge unsatisfied needs. Overall the case is made for significant moves towards 'functional membership' of the whole of the region with the EU, which would be a highly useful advance, irrespective of how or when the EU overcomes its Lisbon Treaty hiatus.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania, Lisbon
  • Author: John O'Brennan
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the electorate on 12 June 2008 has presented the Irish government with the most serious crisis in external relations since the Second World War. This was the third such referendum on Europe held in Ireland since the millennium and the second plebiscite in three to result in a rejection of an EU Treaty following the failed Nice poll in 2001. There is no obvious solution to the dilemma the government faces and no obvious pathway to achieve ratification. There is however a clear consensus amongst the political parties that ratification constitutes both a clear political priority and a fundamental national interest. At the October European Council summit in Brussels, Taoiseach Brian Cowen promised to come back to the December meeting “with a view to our defining together the elements of a solution and a common path to follow”. But the external context is now clear – EU leaders indicated an unwillingness to re-negotiate any part of the Treaty: it will be up to Ireland to find an Irish solution to this European problem. Thus the opportunity cost of the No vote has become somewhat clearer: Ireland faces marginalisation and isolation in Europe if a solution to the Lisbon dilemma is not found. The domestic context is also somewhat clearer now that we have access to extensive data that sheds light on the reasons for the No vote in the 12 June poll. In assessing the options for ratification this paper draws upon that data, presented in among other sources, the post-referendum Eurobarometer survey and the government-commissioned Millward Brown IMS research findings.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon, Ireland
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This brief focuses on three issues that are especially important in the long-term development of the climate regime: (a) the challenge of the fragmentation of negotiations and governance systems; (b) the challenge of steering and evaluating novel types of privatised and market-based governance mechanisms; and (c) the challenge of designing architectures for global adaptation governance. These three core issues of fragmentation, privatisation and adaptation can be related to the overarching need to define the architecture of the post-2012 regime – and of any subsequent regimes that may follow a Copenhagen agreement.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Privatization, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The paradigm that financial markets are efficient has provided the intellectual backbone for the deregulation of the banking sector since the 1980s, allowing universal banks to be fully involved in financial markets, and investment banks to become involved in traditional banking. There is now overwhelming evidence that financial markets are not efficient. Bubbles and crashes are an endemic feature of financial markets in capitalist countries. Thus, as a result of deregulation, the balance sheets of universal banks became fully exposed to these bubbles and crashes, undermining the stability of the banking system. The Basel approach to stabilise the banking system has as an implicit assumption that financial markets are efficient, allowing us to model the risks universal banks take and to compute the required capital ratios that will minimise this risk. I argue that this approach is unworkable because the risks that matter for universal banks are tail risks, associated with bubbles and crashes. These cannot be quantified. As a result, there is only one way out, and that is to return to narrow banking, a model that emerged after the previous large-scale banking crisis of the 1930s but that was discarded during the 1980s and 1990s under the influence of the efficient market paradigm.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Noriko Fujiwara
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The annual climate change conference (COP14/CMP4) will take place in Poznań, 1–12 December 2008. This Policy Brief aims at providing a brief assessment of where we are on the road from Bali to Copenhagen, thinking ahead of Poznań in relation to the current negotiating environment and exploring the possible nature of an agreed outcome to be reached in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bali
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: A turn in the domestic investment cycle has been coupled with a dramatic slowdown in external demand, leaving China weathering storms on both fronts. But with the government announcing an unprecedented fiscal package and with fewer structural problems to contend with than in earlier downturns, China is likely to fare better than in previous domestically-driven slowdowns such as in the early-1980s and 1990s.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: Germany appears to be slipping deeper into recession. The latest industrial figures are alarming: production fell 2.1% in October and orders were down 17.3%. If output remained at current levels to year-end, then Q4 would be down 3.2% on Q3, but the situation is deteriorating. The manufacturing PMI is below 40 and the expectations component of the Ifo is at its lowest level since the first oil crisis in the early 1970s. Key to the rapid decline has been an abrupt halt to investment, both in Germany and globally. Investment in machinery and equipment had stalled in Q3 and domestic orders of capital goods then dropped 6% in both October and November. Business investment will fall by over 4% in 2009. But exports have also seen a rapid decline, having fallen in both Q2 and Q3, while export expectations are near all-time lows. Export volumes are expected to drop next year, despite the depreciation of the euro. We have slashed our growth forecasts, with GDP now likely to fall by at least 1% in Q4. And we now do not expect the economy to emerge from recession until 2009H2 and for the economy to shrink by over 2% in 2009 overall – the biggest drop in over 60 years. Rapidly declining oil prices and an extended recession mean inflation could fall close to zero by next summer. Inflation has already slowed to 1.4% in November from a peak of 3.1% in July.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: In sharp contrast to many emergers, Brazil was still growing very robustly in Q3. But the intensification of the global crisis, and its numerous repercussions – many of which were unforeseen – since September has been so great that it has stopped the economy in its tracks. The clearest sign of this is that annual import growth, which had been growing at close to 60% mid-year, dropped to only 9.2% in November. This is an indication of the extent to which previously soaring domestic demand growth, particularly investment, has slowed. Export volumes were already weakening in Q3 and the major deterioration in the global background since then is expected to lead to exports falling by nearly 3% in 2009 as a whole. This, together with the much lower commodity prices than firms will have budgeted for and the global fall in business confidence, will cause investment to shrink in 2009 after 15% growth in 2008. Consumer spending growth is also forecast to slow significantly but should at least stay positive, helped by an expected moderation in inflation. Meanwhile, given its healthy fiscal position, the government is likely to step up its spending. Overall, GDP growth is now forecast to slow to 1.3% in 2009. Although scope for the central bank to cut interest rates remains constrained by the weak BRL and 6%+ inflation, the rapid pace of the slowdown in both Brazil and the rest of the world may lead to a substantial reduction in underlying inflation pressures. This could pave the way for interest rate cuts to start in early-2009.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: In their January 2007 Op-Ed , George Shultz, William Perry, Sam Nunn and Henry Kissinger advocated "A World Free of Nuclear Weapons." To imagine a world without nuclear weapons means that the United States and the other nuclear powers can find a way to get rid of them. In other words: "Getting to zero." But, how to reach "zero" is usually where the debate stalemates. With characteristic candor, Shultz himself admits he doesn't know how to get to zero, and doubts if his colleagues do.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: In early 2001, the Pentagon anticipated an approximate budget of $900 billion for the Navy and Marines for the period 2001 to 2009. Not counting $95 billion subsequently received for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Navy/Marine Corps "base" (nonwar) budget was increased by $174 billion to $1.074 trillion. The data used for these calculations are displayed in the table on this page.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, War, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: On July 1, 2008 when France assumes the European Union (EU) presidency for six months, one of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's top priorities will be the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). According to Le Monde, Sarkozy is planning a "Saint-Malo (B)" – a reference to the Anglo- French declaration signed on Dec. 4, 1998, relaunching movement towards an EU defense capacity, and leading eventually to the birth of ESDP.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: The new 2009 defense budget has just been released. The more you look into the numbers, the more things become unclear, very unclear. Most of the numbers that have been released are inaccurate or incomplete, or both. Other numbers will change as the year progresses, but we do not know if they will go up or down.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Debt, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Until Dec. 27, the "success" of U.S. President George Bush's defiant rejection of the American public's repudiation of his Iraq and Afghanistan war policies – evidenced by the November 2006 congressional election – looked to be the most significant aspect of major armed conflicts around the world during 2007.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Karl P. Sauvant
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: With $1.8 trillion (according to UNCTAD), world foreign direct investment (FDI) flows reached an all-time high last year. All major regions benefitted from increased flows. But that was then. What is, and will be, the impact of the financial crisis and the recession on FDI flows this year and next?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Pierre L. Siklos
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Has the global financial crisis made monetary policy more powerful, or it has exposed its limitations? For the most part, the answer is the former, at least today, but the outlook may not be so rosy. When the former British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, was asked what were the greatest challenges he faced, he replied: “Events, my dear boy, events.” We have certainly witnessed in the last year a series of events that are challenging policy makers as well as their beliefs about how monetary policy ought to be conducted in future. Indeed, these same events may come to haunt the monetary authorities, and we may well see a return to a period when monetary policy was subservient to a fiscal policy that steps in, ostensibly to impose order on an apparently unruly private sector. Central banks, among other players, appear to have unwittingly put in place the conditions necessary for what we can now confidently call the perfect storm of 2008. There were several observers who predicted that a train wreck was looming on the horizon. Indeed, perhaps most stunning of all, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), created from the ashes of World War I and which quickly became the forum for central bank cooperation, a role it continues to fill to this day, had repeatedly warned about the troubles that lay ahead. “…these facts also suggest that the magnitude of the problems yet to be faced could be much greater than many now perceive” (BIS Annual Report, 2008: 9). The failure of central banks to act on these warnings may come back to haunt them in the near future.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Britain
  • Author: Stan J. Liebowitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Why did the mortgage market melt down so badly? Why were there so many defaults when the economy was not particularly weak? Why were the securities based upon these mortgages not considered anywhere as risky as they actually turned out to be? This report concludes that, in an attempt to increase home ownership, particularly by minorities and the less affluent, virtually every branch of the government undertook an attack on underwriting standards starting in the early 1990s. Regulators, academic specialists, GSEs, and housing activists universally praised the decline in mortgage-under- writing standards as an “innovation” in mortgage lending. This weakening of underwriting standards succeeded in increasing home ownership and also the price of housing, helping to lead to a housing price bubble. The price bubble, along with relaxed lending standards, allowed speculators to purchase homes without putting their own money at risk. The recent rise in foreclosures is not related empirically to the distinction between subprime and prime loans since both sustained the same percent- age increase of foreclosures and at the same time. Nor is it consistent with the “nasty subprime lender” hypothesis currently considered to be the cause of the mortgage meltdown. Instead, the important factor is the distinction between adjustable-rate and fixed-rate mortgages. This evidence is consistent with speculators turning and running when housing prices stopped rising.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Financial Crisis, Minorities
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Tobias Debiel, Jens Martens
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Since their proclamation in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have become the leitmotiv of international development politics. With the MDGs, the development discourse among governments and international organisations has focused on eradicating the most extreme forms of hunger and poverty as well as on basic social services for the population, above all in the fields of primary education, health and water supply. Most of the MDGs are linked to clear quantitative and time-bound targets, the majority of which are to be attained by 2015.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, United Nations, Governance
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The 2007 U.S.-China Energy Security Cooperation Dialogue was held in a period when a broad range of activities and policy recommendations have been proposed to address global energy security and environmental issues. The Dialogue identifi ed a number of further steps that China and the United States could cooperatively undertake to accelerate developments.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Because of their significant contribution to global demand for improved living standards, meaningful actions by the United States and China on transportation and energy will be important in any effort to reduce global consumption of traditional energy sources. Together the United States and China consume 40% of the world's energy and are responsible for 50% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Given their economic size and impact on global markets, it is imperative that the U.S. and China join in a mutually beneficial process.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Christopher Boucek
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Course Pack
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of a wave of deadly terrorist attacks that began in 2003, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a wide-ranging counterterrorism campaign. Central to Saudi counterterrorism efforts has been the use of unconventional “soft” measures designed to combat the intellectual and ideological justifications for violent extremism. The primary objective of this strategy is to engage and combat an ideology that the Saudi government asserts is based on corrupted and deviant interpretations of Islam. The impetus for this soft approach came in large part from the recognition that violent extremism cannot be combated through tradition security measures alone. This Saudi strategy is composed of three interconnected programs aimed at prevention, rehabilitation, and post- release care (PRAC). Although only in operation for the past four years, the Saudi strategy—es- pecially the rehabilitation and counter-radicalization programs—has generated very positive and very intriguing results. To date, recidivist and rearrest rates are extremely low, at approximately 1 to 2 percent. Similar programs designed to demobilize violent extremists and their supporters are increasing in popularity, with a number of countries adopting comparable counter-radicalization pro- grams. Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all established rehabilitation and engagement programs, as has the U.S. military through Task Force 134 in Iraq. As such, the importance of understanding the Saudi strategy, and counter-radicalization broadly, is increasing in relevance in the fight against violent radical Islamist extremism.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism, Governance
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Evo Morales
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features a keynote address by President Evo Morales Ayma of Bolivia followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, War on Drugs, International Affairs, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features a keynote address by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey entitled, "Turkey's Role in Shaping the Future."
  • Topic: Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Rohit T. Aggarwala, Kelly Kleinert, Klaus S. Lackner, Lionel McIntyre
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: President Lee C. Bollinger hosts this World Leaders Forum program featuring a panel discussion on environmental stewardship through Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative, Columbia's contributions to the City's sustainable future, and what role New Yorkers play in the global effort. The program will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Education, Environment, Health
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Danilo Türk
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: A keynote address by President Danilo Türk of Slovenia followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Balkans, Slovenia
  • Author: Anders Fogh Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: A keynote address by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Leonel Fernández
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: A panel discussion featuring President Leonel Fernández in conversation with Professor Emeritus Ronald M. Schneider and Dean John H. Coatsworth; moderated by John R. Gagain Jr.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Anne Lauvergeon
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: A keynote address by Anne Lauvergeon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Areva followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Author: Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: Clean Energy and Human Capital: Iceland- The Laboratory Small States in Global Development. A keynote address by President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson of Iceland, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iceland
  • Author: Saskia Sassen, David Rothkopf, Robert Hormats, Merit Janow, Luis Alberto Moreno, Alan Murray
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: President Lee C. Bollinger hosts a panel discussion with Columbia University's distinguished alumnus, David Rothkopf (Columbia College '77), on the topic of his provocative new book, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: PalThink For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Local banks in Gaza, under pressure from Israeli sanctions, are running out of cash and desperate Palestinians lined up at branches Monday hoping to pull money out of frozen accounts. But most banks have sharply curtailed withdrawals over the past two weeks and some have posted signs telling customers they cannot take out any more money. The U.N. stopped distributing cash handouts to Gaza’s poorest last week. Economists and bank officials are warning that tens of thousands of civil servants will not be able to cash paychecks next month. “No society can operate without money, but that’s the situation we are reaching in Gaza,” said economist Omar Shaban. The Israeli shekel is a widely used currency in the Gaza Strip, and the territory needs at least 400 million shekels, or about $100 million, each month in new currency to replace aging notes and to pay salaries
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Gaza