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  • Author: Sam Bateman
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) created new maritime law and extended maritime jurisdiction that were ex-pected to justify naval expansion. To some extent this has been so, but another trend is also apparent. Regional navies are concentrating on war-fighting capabilities while existing coast guards are being expanded and some countries are establishing coast guards for the first time. The protection of off-shore areas and resources is a central element of national security for most regional countries and an important consideration in nation building and governance. Coast Guards are emerging as important national institutions in Asia and the Pacific with the potential to make a major contribution to regional order and security. This development reflects a concern for coop-erative and comprehensive security and will facilitate regional maritime cooperation and confidence building. It is a positive factor for regional order and security and may constitute a revolution in maritime strategic thinking.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Christopher A. McNally
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Even though China's state firms lost their near-monopoly status after 1978, they still form the country's financial and industrial nucleus.Nevertheless, in early 1996 the total losses of these state-owned enterprises (SOEs) exceeded profits for the first time. With the economy threatened, offi-cialdom issued a mandate in 1997: SOEs must become profitable in three years. In 2001, statistics showed a massive turn around, and victory was declared. Despite doubts about the official statistics, substantial improvement did seem evident. The question was, what caused it? While massive layoffs and corporate restructuring did increase efficiency, most improvements have been the result of external factors such as debt restructuring and government-arranged buy-outs and mergers. This strategy offers short-term rewards, but could be a disaster in the long term. Real reform of China's state sector requires financial reforms that bite (even more urgent with WTO entry), serious moves toward a social security system for displaced workers, and more outright priva-tization of state firms to give non-state shareholders real power on their boards.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda M. Gerber
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: This policy brief grew out of discussions with a team of former national security and foreign policy officials held at the Washington office of the Fourth Freedom Forum in the summer of 2003. The brief was written by the staff of the Fourth Freedom Forum and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, who are solely responsible for the report's specific content. The authors incorporated numerous comments and suggestions from the policy advisers. The policy advisers listed below endorse the general thrust of this report and generally agree with the findings presented. Each participant may not, however, be in full agreement with every specific point and detail. The policy advisers listed extend their endorsement as individuals, not as representatives of any organization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Peace Studies, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda M. Gerber
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The recent 97-0 vote of the U.S. Senate calling on the White House to seek NATO and UN support for the postwar transition in Iraq highlights growing public concerns about the Bush administration's go-it-alone occupation policy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda M. Gerber
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The Anglo-American proposal now before the Security Council calls for an immediate end to UN sanctions. The lifting of sanctions is necessary to clarify procedures for the resumption of Iraqi oil exports and to remove trade and investment barriers that impede Iraq's economic recovery. The stakes in this debate go far beyond the question of freeing trade, however. Fundamental issues of international law also hang in the balance. The verification of Iraq's disarmament, the UN role in Iraq's reconstruction and political transition, the prospects for restraining weapons proliferation in the region, and the fate of hundreds of billions of dollars of debt and compensation claims-all hinge on how sanctions are lifted.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Dennis J.D. Sandole, Kevin Avruch, Jannie Botes, Sandra I. Cheldelin, Sara Cobb, Daniel Druckman, Ho-Won Jeong, Linda Johnston, Michelle LeBaron, Christopher Mitchell, Daniel Rothbart, Richard Rubenstein, Wallace Warfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University
  • Abstract: The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution is commemorating a number of historic milestones in this academic year. Among the reasons for celebration is that ICAR recently surpassed the 20 year mark since the Center for Conflict Resolution, ICAR's forerunner, opened its doors. Moreover, ICAR's doctoral program in conflict analysis and resolution, in existence since 1988, now counts nearly 30 Ph.D.s on its roll.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Human Rights, Peace Studies
  • Author: Catriona Gourlay, Catriona Mace, Gerrard Quille
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Security Information Service
  • Abstract: The European Security Strategy (ESS) adopted as the basis for an EU Strategic Concept at the Thessaloniki European Council on 20 June is intellectually coherent, holistic and sufficiently flexible to enable the EU to adapt effectively to the changing security environment. It directly addresses the US priorities of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMD), proposing concrete steps within a broad framework. Moreover, should member states muster sufficient will to agree a Security Concept in December 2003, this will represent an important moment in the evolution of the EU-US strategic partnership. It remains to be seen, however, whether this will deliver effective multilateralism, an institutionalised and equitable dialogue with the US and the capabilities required for decisive and rapid responses to international crises.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Catriona Gourlay, Catriona Mace, Jocelyn Mawdsley
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Security Information Service
  • Abstract: Now that the war in Iraq is officially over, the EU must consider what role it can play in post-war reconstruction. Thus far the Union has reacted swiftly to the humanitarian crisis but not yet defined the part that it will play in the stabilisation and institution building processes. With the US announcement that an interim administration should be in place in Iraq by June the pressure is on to define the EU's role in the reconstruction of Iraq and build bridges within its own CFSP.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe
  • Author: Catriona Gourlay, Catriona Mace, Gerrard Quille, Malin Tappert
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Security Information Service
  • Abstract: The extraordinary meeting of the European Council held in Brussels on 17th February was as much about the crisis in the EU as it was about the crisis in Iraq. The summit brought a welcome restatement of common principles after weeks of disunity among member states. However, while it succeeded in highlighting the commonalities in member state positions: multi-lateralism, support for the UN, and for a regional solution in the Middle East, there was no indication that divisions over the necessity and timing of the use of force had been bridged.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Saudi Arabia's past involvement in international terrorism is indisputable. While the Bush administration decided to redact 28 sensitive pages of the Joint Intelligence Report of the U.S. Congress, nonetheless, Saudi involvement in terrorist financing can be documented through materials captured by Israel in Palestinian headquarters in 2002-3. In light of this evidence, Saudi denials about terrorist funding don't hold water. Israel retrieved a document of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) which detailed the allocation of $280,000 to 14 Hamas charities. IIRO and other suspected global Saudi charities are not NGOs, since their boards of directors are headed by Saudi cabinet members. Prince Salman, a full brother of King Fahd, controls IIRO distributions "with an iron hand," according to former CIA operative Robert Baer. Mahmoud Abbas, in fact, complained, in a handwritten December 2000 letter to Salman, about Saudi funding of Hamas. Defense Minister Prince Sultan has been cited as a major IIRO contributor. It was hoped, after the May 12 triple bombing attack in Riyadh, that Saudi Arabia might halt its support for terrorism. Internally, the Saudi security forces moved against al-Qaeda cells all over the kingdom. But externally, the Saudis were still engaged in terrorist financing, underwriting 60-70 percent of the Hamas budget, in violation of their "roadmap" commitments to President Bush. Additionally, the Saudis back the civilian infrastructure of Hamas with extremist textbooks glorifying jihad and martyrdom that are used by schools and Islamic societies throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Ideological infiltration of Palestinian society by the Saudis in this way is reminiscent of their involvement in the madrassa system of Pakistan during the 1980s, that gave birth to the Taliban and other pro bin-Laden groups.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Joel S. Fishman
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Israel and the PLO have been confronting each other according to completely different paradigms of conflict. Since the late 1960s, the PLO has adopted a "people's war" paradigm that continued to guide its policies even after the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords. According to the "people's war" paradigm, borrowed from Marxist-Leninist traditions in China and Vietnam, conflict is waged on both the political and military levels, but for militarily weaker guerilla groups, political conflict is more important, especially the delegitimization of an adversary and the division of his society. Prior to 1993, Israel largely responded to the PLO militarily as a terrorist threat, but not politically. After 1993, with the PLO "renouncing" terrorism, Israel embraced the PLO leadership and ignored the signs that the PLO was still engaged in political warfare against it (incitement, reluctance to alter PLO Covenant, UN votes, textbooks). Israeli governments later complained about these symptoms of political warfare, without identifying the cause. Established Israeli traditions place undue emphasis on the narrowly-framed military approach to the detriment of the political, which leaves Israel particularly vulnerable to broad-based strategic deception. Israeli policy-makers must reexamine the assumptions upon which they have based political and military policy over the last decade.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Vietnam, Arab Countries, Oslo
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The record of formal efforts to negotiate peace in protracted ethno-national conflicts (Balkans, N. Ireland, Sri Lanka, etc.) is not encouraging. Israel needs a serious insurance policy, in the form of unilateral separation, to minimize vulnerability to another and potentially more deadly terror campaign, should the "roadmap" fail. The construction of a separation barrier is supported by over 70 percent of the Israeli public, representing a broad consensus from across the political spectrum that favors a physical barrier blocking access to Israeli cities in order to prevent a resumption of the Palestinian terror campaign of the past three years. Political separation will also promote a two-state solution, allowing Israel to remain a culturally Jewish and democratic society while fostering Palestinian sovereignty. Key policy issues concern the pace of construction and the route to be taken for the remaining sections. While options range from a minimalist 300 km line to a 600 km alternative that would include most Israeli settlements, a pragmatic middle route including settlement blocs like Ariel and Gush Etzion may provide the optimum mix under present circumstances. If the Palestinian security framework proves its capabilities in preventing terror, and political negotiations on borders progress, the barrier can be relocated.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Arabia, Balkans, Ireland
  • Author: Anne Bayefsky
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The roadmap has significant roots in the UN, an organization long understood as biased against Israeli interests and Jewish well-being in general. Examples include the work of the UN "Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories," established in 1968, and the UN "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," created in 1975. There is a pressing need to clarify with the American administration what attributes of sovereignty will not be accorded a Palestinian state with provisional borders prior to final status negotiations. Israel must reassert that its consent is necessary for any decision affecting its essential interests. An American commitment to object to any unilateral declaration of independence should be immediately forthcoming and clearly understood by the parties. The UN and the European Union must be kept out of any monitoring and assessment function. Recognition of a fundamental breach, and the ability to apply the necessary consequences, require that precise and public monitoring by Israel start now.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The quest for defensible borders has been an axiom of Israeli governments since 1967 on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242. Defensible borders for Israel has been explicitly backed by Washington since the Reagan administration. In Rabin's last Knesset address he made clear that Israel "will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines." He insisted on a map including a united Jerusalem, the settlement blocs, and the Jordan Valley. In 2003, Israeli planners will have to operate under the assumption that the dismantling of the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure will be incomplete, and should a Palestinian state nonetheless be established, its complete demilitarization will not be reliable. During the Oslo years, the Palestinian leadership was in material breach of the military clauses of the Interim Agreement, seeking to import illegal weaponry like SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and manufacturing Qassam rockets. Many of the same security figures who breached Oslo now serve the government of Mahmud Abbas. Moreover, fundamentalist groups like Hamas that mentioned the Islamic term hudna, for cease-fire, understood that it means a truce that is maintained until the balance of power changes. This means they will seek rearmament; Israeli military intelligence was, in fact, reporting that Hamas had accelerated production of Qassam rockets in early July. In their pronouncements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have even used a weaker term: ta'liq - a temporary cessation of hostilities. In the wake of the decline of the threat from Iraq, Israel will require defensible borders to meet the growing lethality of the Palestinian threat, backed by the assistance of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The Bush administration should provide Israel with assurances concerning defensible borders as it seeks Israel's acquiescence to the creation of a Palestinian state.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Justus Reid Weiner
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent decades, municipalities and governments in all parts of the world have struggled with illegal building. However, compared with the incessant denunciation of rather infrequent demolitions by the Jerusalem Municipality, there has been nearly a complete lack of publicity when other governments demolish illegal structures. Those who complain that many Arabs cannot afford housing in Jerusalem ought to recognize economic reality; Jewish residents of Jerusalem who also cannot afford the high cost of housing find it necessary to move to the periphery of the city where housing is more affordable. In New York, nobody would excuse or tolerate people building illegally in Central Park, whatever their attachment to Manhattan or however large their family. Even the Palestinian Authority has demolished houses constructed illegally. Particularly refreshing was PA leader Sari Nusseibeh's statement that the "gangs that build illegally on land that does not belong to them should be thrown into jail," and that "Nobody in their right mind is in favor of illegal building."
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Jerusalem
  • Author: Dan Diker
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The impending renewal of Arab-Israeli contacts after the Aqaba summit is an appropriate occasion to reassess one of the weak points of Israel's information effort. At the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, then Deputy Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "broke the ice" with scores of Arab reporters when he provided articulate explanations of Israel's positions. Eytan Bentsur, Director General of Israel's Foreign Ministry at the time of Madrid, saw Israel's "paternalistic" approach to the Palestinians at Oslo as contributing to the ultimate collapse of the peace process. The launch of Arab satellite television in 1994 provided Israel with direct access to millions of Arab and Muslim viewers throughout the Middle East. Prime Minister Sharon's foreign media advisor, Raanan Gissin, is regularly interviewed on the leading Arab channels. Despite the high standards of news programming on Israel's new Arabic-language Middle East Satellite Channel, it is not widely viewed in the Arab world because it is recognized as an Israeli government operation. ArabYnet, an Arabic translation of the popular Ynet news website of the Israeli Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot, has become one of the most popular Arabic language websites on the Internet, with nearly a million unique monthly users. It is a commercial site that presents an Israeli point of view but with no particular political agenda.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Irwin J. Mansdorf
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since 1993, attempts have been made to portray Palestinian-Arab perpetrators of suicide bombings as desperate individuals understandably coping with a difficult situation, in effect, transforming the attackers into victims, and thus diminishing the impact of one's revulsion at such attacks. The use of the “bomber as victim” model has led others to similarly view, and incorrectly justify, the motivations behind Palestinian-Arab suicide bombers. Yet, in fact, individual psychopathology or personal feelings do not appear to play any significant role. Unlike other groups that have used suicide as a political or military tool, only in the case of Palestinian-Arab terror has there been an attempt to personalize the perpetrator as a victim of uncontrollable psychological and motivational forces that forced such extreme behavior. It is actually group dynamics that reinforces behavior within a Palestinian-Arab culture where suicide bombers are viewed as heroes whose faces are prominently displayed on public posters and where families of bombers are showered with both respect and financial reward.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Dan Diker
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: International news organizations covering the Arab-Israeli conflict frequently refer to international agreements and resolutions in ways that are prejudiced against Israel's legal rights and claims. Frequent references to Israel's legal obligation to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders are inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 242 and the Oslo Accords. Neither the Oslo Declaration of Principles of September 1993 nor the Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995 require either Palestinians or Israelis to refrain from the construction of settlements, neighborhoods, houses, roads, or any other similar building projects. References in the news media to “occupied Arab East Jerusalem” reflect an underlying assumption that eastern Jerusalem has always been an Arab city like Damascus or Baghdad, ignoring the fact that Jerusalem has had an overwhelmingly Jewish majority as far back as the mid-nineteenth century. Despite UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's announcement on 25 July 2000 that Israel had fully implemented UN Resolution 425 when it unilaterally withdrew from southern Lebanon, news organizations have continued to refer to the Shaaba Farms, located on Israel's side of the border with Lebanon, as “disputed.”
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Oslo
  • Author: Steven Windmueller
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Martin Buber wrote: "Each Jew represents the mirror image of the collective soul of the Jewish people." In recent times, we have described ourselves as a proud people, assured of our place in the modern world. But the events of September 11 left us numbed and confused as to its meaning and message. The tragic events of that day fused with the events that occurred a year earlier in Israel with the onset of the second intifada, and may have fundamentally transformed the Jewish experience in our times.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Scott B. Lasensky
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The collapse of the Oslo process and ever worsening Israeli-Palestinian violence demonstrate that certain long-held "truths" about the conflict need to be turned on their heads - none more so than the accepted wisdom that the Palestinian refugee problem, long a source of regional instability and a breeding ground for suicide terrorists, can only be addressed as part of a final settlement. Rather than follow a comprehensive agreement, ameliorating the Palestinian refugee problem increasingly looks like a necessary precondition for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian settlement. It might even be required for a meaningful resumption of negotiations.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Czech Republic
  • Author: David Raab
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Christian community in the areas administered by the Palestinian Authority (PA) is a small but symbolically important one. About 35,000 Christians live in the West Bank and 3,000 in Gaza, representing about 1.3 percent of Palestinians. In addition, 12,500 Christians reside in eastern Jerusalem. This population is rapidly dwindling, however, and not solely as a result of the difficult military and economic situation of the past two years. Rather, there are numerous indications that the Christian population is beleaguered due to its Christianity. Taken in context of the condition of Christians in other Middle Eastern countries, this picture is especially credible and troubling.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda Gerber
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: In just two years the Bush administration has squandered the sympathy our country received from the rest of the world in the wake of the September 11 attacks, when the French daily Le Monde declared "We are all Americans now." Without reducing the threat of international terrorism, the administration has pursued a bullying form of unilateral militarism, which has belittled the United Nations, lampooned traditional allies, and offended Muslims around the globe. These actions have made Americans less secure and the world a more dangerous place. In Iraq, the unauthorized invasion and ill-conceived occupation have broadened the recruitment base for extremist organizations, created a magnet for terrorist infiltration, and increased the risks of terrorist attack at home and abroad. U.S. troops face continuous attack there and in Afghanistan. The enormous military, economic, and political costs of occupying Iraq are depleting American power and global leadership.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, North America
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda Gerber
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: The failure of U.S. and British forces in Iraq to find evidence of weapons of mass destruction has sparked controversy on both sides of the Atlantic and in the wider international community. Two contending explanations have been offered for why the Bush administration made apparently questionable claims about weapons of mass destruction. The first alleges an intelligence failure. The best analysts in the CIA simply had no foolproof way of discerning what Saddam had. They gave the administration a wide-ranging set of estimates, from benign to worst-case, and, given the way bureaucracies behave, the president's advisors adopted the worse case scenario. The second claim, more odious in form and substance, is that the administration inflated and manipulated uncertain data, possibly even requesting that material sent to it be redone to fit preconceived notions. The Bush administration has gone to great pains to reassert that it stands by its previous pronouncements that prohibited weapons will be located in due time.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda Gerber
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: The Anglo-American proposal now before the Security Council calls for an immediate end to UN sanctions. The lifting of sanctions is necessary to clarify procedures for the resumption of Iraqi oil exports and to remove trade and investment barriers that impede Iraq's economic recovery. The stakes in this debate go far beyond the question of freeing trade, however. Fundamental issues of international law also hang in the balance. The verification of Iraq's disarmament, the UN role in Iraq's reconstruction and political transition, the prospects for restraining weapons proliferation in the region, and the fate of hundreds of billions of dollars of debt and compensation claims—all hinge on how sanctions are lifted.
  • Topic: Security, Political Economy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: David Cortright, Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda Gerber
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: The United States, the United Kingdom, and other nations claim that Iraq poses an imminent threat to international security because it has weapons of mass destruction and operational connections to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell asserted in his presentation to the Security Council on 5 February that Iraq has made no effort to disarm and is concealing efforts to redevelop weapons of mass destruction. Powell restated old allegations that the United States had made prior to the 8 November passage of Resolution 1441. He presented new intelligence about Iraqi efforts to conceal its weapons capabilities, and he reiterated previous information about the likely existence of chemical and biological agents from the 1990s, but he did not prove that there is a grave new threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Nor did he show a link between Iraq and September 11, or an operational connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
  • Topic: Terrorism, United Nations, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East
  • Author: Alistair Millar, George A. Lopez, Linda Gerber, David Cortwright
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: In their first two months of activity inspectors with the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have received unfettered access to Iraqi facilities and have been able to conduct more than 350 on-site inspections. To date no weapons of mass destruction have been discovered. UNMOVIC chairman Dr. Hans Blix told the Security Council on 9 January, "If we had found any 'smoking gun' we would have reported it to the Council . . . We have not submitted any such reports." IAEA director general Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei was more explicit in reporting that 'no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities has been detected.
  • Topic: United Nations, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Oleksiy Melnyk, Ian Anthony, Alyson J. K. Bailes
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: In 1989, the year when the death knell sounded for the Communist bloc in Europe and for the 'cold war' which it had pursued with the West, a total of 6–7.6 million personnel depending on the method of counting (2.5–3.7 million from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, and 3.5–3.9 million from the Warsaw Treaty Organization, WTO) stood in arms within the European theatre. This included some 915 000 forces stationed outside their national borders inter alia from Canada, the Soviet Union and the United States. In the same area there were 80 400 main battle tanks, 76 300 armoured combat vehicles (ACVs), 67 700 heavy artillery pieces, 11 160 combat aircraft and 2615 attack helicopters—as well as many millions of smaller and lighter weapons. Aimed at each other as part of the East–West strategic confrontation, the USA and the USSR in 1990 deployed 10 563 and 10 271 strategic nuclear warheads respectively, while the United Kingdom possessed 300 and France 621. In addition, significant proportions of European territory (especially in the 'front-line' states such as the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, GDR) were taken up by military bases, exercise areas and other facilities such as airfields and pipelines. Large sectors of industry and of scientific, technological, and research and development (R) work were devoted to the needs of military defence. The resources involved were shut out from peaceful, civilian use more emphatically than would normally be the case today, because the bitterness of the strategic confrontation—and the associated risks of espionage and subversion—imposed a degree of secrecy often creating a situation where the citizens of a given state did not know what was happening on their own territory.
  • Topic: NATO, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Jean Pascal Zanders, John Hart, Frida Kulah, Richard Guthrie
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Since the end of military action in Iraq and the formation of the Coalition Provisional Authority in May 2003, most debate on the future of Iraq has focused on the short-term problems of governance, internal security and economic reconstruction in that country. In addition to the immediate problems, there is also a need to address long-term issues, such as what role Iraq will play in multilateral bodies. Although some issues can only be resolved in the long term, others will require initial decisions to be taken in the near future. In the very long term (measured in terms of decades) there is no option other than for Iraq to be involved in multilateral controls on chemical weapons (CW). However, in the medium term (measured in years) it is unclear what the best method would be to take Iraq from its current situation—as an occupied state with, at the very least, a past CW programme of which knowledge is incomplete—to a new situation where an Iraqi Government commits Iraq to membership of and adherence to multilateral disarmament regimes.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Welfare, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arab Countries
  • Author: Siemon T. Wezeman
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: In December 1991, in Resolution 46/36 L, the United Nations General Assembly established the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA), a 'universal and non-discriminatory Register of Conventional Arms' to which nations were invited to report annually, on a voluntary basis, their imports and exports of certain types of conventional weapons during the previous calendar year. The main purpose of the Register was stated as being 'to prevent excessive and destabilizing accumulations of arms'. Resolution 46/36 L also mentioned as goals: (a) implementing new confidence-building measures, (b) the reduction of arms transfers (which by the mid-1980s had reached their highest level since 1950), (c) addressing the problem of the illicit and covert arms trade, including its effects on human rights, (d) reducing the burden placed by arms acquisitions on countries' economies, and (e) the reduction of military expenditures. In practical terms, nations were to start reporting in 1992 on weapons delivered in 1991, and the process was to be reviewed periodically by a group of government experts to consider the need for improvement.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Welfare, United Nations
  • Author: Zdzislaw Lachowski, Björn Hagelin, Sam Perlo-Freeman, Petter Stålenheim, Dmitri Trofimov, Alyson J. K. Bailes
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The international attention paid to the nations of the South Caucasus region and Central Asia—a group of post-Soviet states beyond Europe's conventional frontiers but included in the Conference on/Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE/OSCE)—has been fitful at best over the past decade. During the last years of the 20th and at the start of the 21st century, after the conflicts in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh became (at least partly) 'frozen', security concerns about the regions tended to decline and to become overshadowed both by 'oil diplomacy' and by concern about developments within Russia itself, in Chechnya and Dagestan. In 2002–2003 a constellation of changes in the outside world has started to reverse this pattern. Chechnya is no longer a regular topic of high-level political debate between Russia and the West, and President Vladimir Putin has played the anti-terrorist card with some success to secure his freedom to deal with it as an internal security matter. The factors prompting greater international attention to Russia's south-western and southern neighbours, by contrast, have the potential to undermine—perhaps for good—any Russian pretension to decisive influence or an exclusive droit de regard in these regions. At the time of writing, however, this latest shift could again be called in question by a new diversion of focus to the 'greater Middle East' following hostilities in Iraq.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus, Middle East, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Ekaterina Stepanova
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Since the tragic events of 11 September 2001, much has been said about potential links between the fight against terrorism and peace-building. In the meantime, the fight against terrorism and peace-building have, by and large, continued to be implemented separately and by different sets of actors. The events of 11 September might have led the world's leading states to reassess terrorism as a security threat, but could hardly fundamentally alter the nature of peace-building operations and tasks, from institution- and democracy-building to post-conflict recovery and reconstruction. It is not surprising that the way the threat of terrorism is addressed by actors involved in peace-building activities is often limited to its possible effect on the security environment for their operations. It is thus seen as a problem to be solved either by the security component of the mission, or by an ad hoc international security force, or by national security structures (if any). A certain reserve towards the fight against terrorism on the part of the peace-building community is not without foundation, and may be seen as a natural reaction to the declaration after 11 September 2001 of a global 'war on terrorism' which goes far beyond traditional anti-terrorist priorities and needs. In fact, many of the adverse effects of this global campaign stem precisely from a lack of clarity about its nature and operational goals.
  • Topic: Security, Peace Studies, Terrorism
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Democratic governments want policies that are in the best interest of their citizens. But how can they - and their voters - be sure they are making the right choices? One answer is by learning from the tried and tested experience of others. One of the OECD's core strengths is its ability to offer its 30 members a framework to examine and compare experiences and discuss "best practices" in a host of areas from economic policy to environmental protection or strategies to create jobs.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Past macroeconomic and structural reforms have been contributing to stronger growth for the last decade. The economy has also become more resilient, weathering the recent global slowdown well. Productivity growth has picked up, although not by enough to have yet moved New Zealand up the OECD income rankings. Its small size and remoteness may be factors, so encouraging global linkages is important, but more remains to be done to strengthen fundamentals. Recent economic performance has been encouraging: buoyant domestic demand has helped maintain output growth in spite of weak trading partner growth, an appreciating exchange rate and a fall in the terms of trade from recent high levels. Monetary policy will need to be vigilant, given that the economy is probably operating above potential and the housing market is strong. In considering fiscal policy options, the focus should be on those that contribute to the growth performance of the economy, whilst remaining firmly based on a prudent assessment of future revenues and of the long-term challenges connected to ageing. In its growth strategy the government appropriately emphasises fostering innovation, skills and talent, and developing global linkages, but it should maintain a level playing field and avoid sector-specific incentives. It should continue to remove regulatory obstacles to investment, particularly in the area of infrastructure, by improving and speeding up the environmental consent process. The decision to resume cutting tariffs is commendable and also furthers the objective of supporting development in poorer countries. Immigration helps to enlarge the pool of available skills and to develop global connections, both of which contribute to enhancing growth potential. Recent changes that focus admis- sions policy more toward skilled and more employ- able immigrants will help, though the temptation to link immigration policy too closely to manpower plan- ning should be resisted. The labour market functions reasonably well, but the government should avoid measures that would reduce flexibility and raise labour costs. The employment rates of marginal groups could be improved by strengthening incentives to move from welfare to work. In short, only through this whole range of efforts to boost productivity growth and improve labour market outcomes can the nation meet its income aspirations.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: New Zealand
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The current economic upturn does not diminish the urgency of continuing with fundamental reforms to lay the foundation for a robust and sustainable expansion strong enough to reverse the downward trend in Japanese living standards relative to other OECD countries and to restore price stability after nearly eight years of deflation. Given the negative implications of falling prices, the Bank of Japan should strengthen its quantitative easing policy by further expanding the range of assets it purchases. In addition, the effectiveness of monetary policy depends critically on resolving the problems in the banking and corporate sectors. The authorities should follow through on the objective of substantially reducing non-performing loans and revitalising the corporate sector, while ensuring that banks are adequately capitalised, using public money if necessary. Moreover, it is important to scale back the role of government financial institutions. Given the likely negative impact of accelerated bank and corporate-sector restructuring on activity and the need to ensure that the recovery is not ended prematurely, excessive fiscal policy tightening should be avoided, while any increase in revenue due to buoyant activity should be used to reduce the deficit. Achieving the moderate fiscal consolidation projected for 2004 is a key to building confidence in the longer-term sustainability of public finances, which also requires a credible consolidation plan for 2005 and the years beyond, including measures to limit spending and boost tax revenues. Moreover, it is essential to prevent increases in spending as a share of GDP, an objective that requires reform of pension and health care pro- grammes in the face of rapid population ageing. Given the constraints on macroeconomic policy, a successful programme to revitalise the economy will require a broad programme of structural reform, focused on strengthening competition to boost consumer welfare and improve the allocation of resources. To achieve such an outcome, competition policy should be improved by making the Fair Trade Commission stronger and more effective and by creating a framework conducive to competition in network industries that have been liberalised, such as telecommunications and energy. Expanded international trade, greater inflows of direct investment and removal of outdated regulations - accelerated through the recently created special zones - also have important roles to play in boosting competition. In sum, a broad-ranging programme of carefully designed macroeconomic policies and far-reaching structural reforms to enhance Japan's growth potential is needed.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Bribing public officials to obtain international business raises serious moral and political concerns, undermines good governance and economic development, and distorts international competitive conditions.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play a key role in development and poverty reduction. ICTs can help promote economic growth, expand economic and social opportunity, make institutions and markets more efficient and responsive, and make it easier for the poor to obtain access to resources and services. It can also make it easier to make the voices of the poor heard in the decisions that shape their lives.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: A stable institutional framework in Chile has provided the foundations for growth and confidence of international markets. While a comprehensive social agenda is putting pressure on resources under the recent economic slow-down, the Chilean government should be praised for having maintained a sound fiscal and monetary stance and building on its unique institutional framework based on the freedom of choice. The current challenges are to strengthen the coherence of this development policy agenda with a vision to long-term growth and broader social consensus. Chile is a small open economy, for which international competitiveness is the cornerstone for sustainable growth. The latter is the outcome of the multiple policy synergies discussed above. The first important link is to continue preserving a sound macroeconomic framework avoiding distortions that may produce excessive real exchange rate appreciation, which could hinder the incentives to invest and expand employment in the tradable sector. The deepening of financial intermediation and development of risk capital are needed to support the emergence of new and more innovative firms. A better functioning of the labour market is critical to the development of the enterprise sector. In particular increased female labour participation would support the development of light industries and services. Investment in human capital, in particular education and workers' training, is needed to develop products with a higher technological content. The administrative conditions and regulation of product markets should also be improved, notably by reducing administrative barriers to enterprise creation and removing distortions in the tax treatment of cross-border interenterprise financial flows. These policy link-ages would help increase product variety and intra-industry trade that could contribute to reduce the vulnerabilities associated with an excessive reliance on natural resources and export concentration. In all these areas of reform, Chile is now in a position to emulate and converge towards the more advanced benchmark of OECD countries.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Chile
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Trade and investment, coupled with transfers of knowledge and technology and an appropriate institutional framework, have been major engines of global economic growth in developed and developing countries over the past 50 years. From the mid-1980s, the pace of global economic integration and growth accelerated significantly. Sustaining global economic growth and achieving a better sharing of its benefits will further the interests of all countries, developing and developed alike. Recognising this, the international community has committed itself to specific Millennium Development Goals and to ways of achieving them.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Fiscal rectitude, progress towards macroeconomic stabilisation, and past structural reforms have been necessary and desirable, but have not yet been sufficient to raise potential growth to rates that would allow closing the gap in living standards with other OECD countries. Prolonged cyclical weakness, with no unambiguous signs yet of a vigorous upturn, has depressed private investment, which is also hampered by legal and regulatory obstacles in key sectors, electricity in particular. Mexico's catching-up is further hindered by low human capital accumulation. The administration has insufficiently solid and stable revenue to finance necessary social spending and public infrastructure investment on the required scale. Policies should therefore give priority to broadening the tax base and creating conditions - economic, financial and legal - in which a competitive private sector has the ability and incentives to invest more. It is also important to spend more productively in areas such as education; efforts there should concentrate on making the existing school system, and the teaching body, more effective, and on allocating more resources to the training of adults. Although the large informal sector provides a kind of safety valve for many of the low-skilled, the formal sector must become a more attractive place in the longer term in which to work and to employ. Emigration also provides a safety valve, and remittances lift many households out of acute poverty. A migration agreement between the United States and Mexico would bring benefits to both. Levels of water and air pollution are unacceptably high in Mexican urban areas, and though policies are addressing this, the (implicit or explicit) pricing of natural resources and of polluting activities is far from optimal. Overall, Mexico needs to move ahead with comprehensive structural reforms, including most immediately approval of the tax, electricity and labour reforms, so as to fully release the country's growth potential and provide resources to deal with important issues of human capital and poverty relief.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Violent conflict undoubtedly affects West Africa's prospects for economic development and integration. However, the nature of these effects is still poorly understood. As part of the SWAC regional programme on conflict and stability, the SWAC Secretariat undertook a literature review and an electronic consultation of southern and northern agencies and specialists in summer 2003. This aimed to assess the economic consequences of violent conflict at multiple levels; identify operational lessons on how best to deal with these effects; and highlight key areas for further work where the SWAC can add value. The core findings of the review are presented in this note.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: West Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Health is higher on the international agenda than ever before and improving the health of poor people is a central issue in development. Poor people suffer worse health and die younger. They have higher than average child and maternal mortality, higher levels of disease, and more limited access to healthcare and social protection. But health is also a crucially important economic asset, particularly for poor people. Their livelihoods depend on it. When poor people become ill or injured, their entire household can become trapped in a downward spiral of lost income and high healthcare costs.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: To raise Austria's growth potential, significant changes in the institutional set-up will be necessary in order to achieve sound public finances, higher labour force participation - in particular among older workers - and to open up the sheltered sectors of the economy to healthy competition. Although the government's emphasis on structural spending reductions to achieve eventual budget balance while also creating room for tax cuts is appropriate, earlier fiscal easing means that under current plans budget balance will be restored only after 2007. Such a deficit path is not appropriate given Austria's high debt-to-GDP ratio. Stronger spending restraint will be necessary in order to create room for the major tax reform that the authorities are committed to. Public expenditure reform is focused on reducing public sector employment, but the cost savings are eroded by the generous early retirement programmes used to achieve these employment reductions. Comprehensive public sector reform has to address the complicated -federal fiscal relationships and make sure that tasks are allocated to the most appropriate private or public agent. More cost-benefit analysis and output performance budgeting would help to improve the efficiency with which public resources are used. The pension reform undertaken by the government marks considerable progress in moving to sustainable old-age income replacement through measures designed to increase further the labour force participation rate of older workers and women and lengthen working lives considerably. Further necessary action includes measures to improve the employability of older workers, in particular the elimination of excessive seniority wage components, and a more stringent revision of the remaining age-specific employment protection regulation. The large differences in economic performance between manufacturing, which is fully exposed to international competition, and services points to considerable scope for increasing competition by reducing entry barriers and facilitating the operations of the newly established competition authority. Proceeding along these lines will help Austria to realise the positive potential associated with Eastern enlargement while at the same time becoming more resilient to adverse supply side shocks.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Austria
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: In many respects, France fares well among OECD countries in terms of indicators of the health status of its population and resources allocated to its health care system. The French population (and particularly French women) enjoys a relatively high life expectancy compared with the average across OECD countries. The French have a free choice of doctor, and can approach relatively easily both generalists and specialists. Also, the French health system has not generally experienced the problems of long waiting lists for certain treatments, as has been the case in several other OECD countries. The health care system in France is predominantly funded through public sources, but with services delivered by both the public and private sector. Universal access is provided to doctors and hospital services, with some co-payments for patients which vary depending on the type of services. Since the introduction of the Universal Health Coverage Law (Loi de la Couverture médicale universelle or CMU) in 2000, people with low income who are not covered by complementary insurance have access to doctors and hospitals free of charge. Overall, public satisfaction with the health care system in France has traditionally been much higher than in most other countries. However, health spending in France is relatively high in comparison with the OECD average.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: France
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The prospects for lower growth in the medium-long term will require far-reaching fiscal and structural adjustment. The authorities have made a start in reducing public expenditure growth in line with these more subdued prospects but more restraint will be necessary to meet their medium-term objectives. Adjustments to the general public pension scheme, preferably by reducing the high replacement rates, will be needed to make the scheme sustainable in the long term. The authorities have begun to tackle the early retirement problem, which will help to reduce the scale of the required adjustments to make the general public pension scheme sustainable, but more needs to be done. The reforms to the disability pension, which is one of the major routes to premature withdrawal from the labour force, should be complemented by reducing the earlyretirement pension on an actuarial basis in relation to a pension taken at the official retirement age and by reducing the ease with which imputed contributions can be obtained. Lower growth will also diminish the buffering role of cross- border employment on the national labour market, increasing the risk that adverse shocks increase structural unemployment. To counter this risk, the authorities should reduce the high replacement rates for unemployment and related benefits and ease employment protection regulation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Luxembourg
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Most OECD countries have been actively reforming their public sectors for two decades. Initially the problem seemed to be a relatively straightforward one of improving efficiency, reforming management practices, and divesting public involvement in commercial enterprises. These reforms have indeed had a major impact but they have also given rise to some unexpected problems of their own. Even a seemingly straightforward action such as simplifying a welfare benefit form and cutting the time taken to process it may, for example, encourage more people to apply for the benefit, increasing the workload and making it more difficult to cut waiting time. While more efficient government is certainly desirable, efficiency alone is not a guarantee of better government.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Since the late 1990s, Finland has been a leader in exploiting information and communication technology (ICT) to renew its economy and to reform its public administration. Its reputation for successfully providing proactive electronic government services and information has brought officials from around the world to learn from its experience.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: E-government is more about government than about "e". As a tool to achieve better government, e-government offers potential solutions to leaders across the whole of government: IT managers, programme managers, agency heads, government-wide e-government planners and co-ordinators, and politicians all have a role to play. Yet the roles of these leaders differ, and even the role of an individual leader changes as e-government develops in a given country. At the beginning there may be an immediate need to foster innovation and diffusion of technology, whereas organisational change becomes more important once IT applications are in place. Certain key e-government principles are common to all leaders, though their relative importance will differ. While the elements in this policy brief may be applicable to leaders at various levels, they are especially relevant to leaders with broad responsibilities and a strategic vision of e-government.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Foreign investment has played an important role in China's economic development for almost a quarter of a century and is vital for that development to continue. But while China has been highly successful in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) so far, and has made significant progress in improving its FDI policy framework, it has not fully exploited its potential to attract investment from OECD countries. To make the most of the potential benefits of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to increase FDI inflows while enhancing their contribution to domestic development China will need to persevere with efforts to bring its laws and regulations into harmony with internationally recognised standards and to ensure they are fully and consistently implemented at local level.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Canada's economy has done comparatively well over the past two years, demonstrating a noticeably improved resilience to unfavourable shocks. Over the medium term the economy is poised to achieve growth rates that compare favourably with past performance, but that will not be enough to eliminate the per capita income gap with the United States. The fundamental challenge is to make Canada an even more attractive place to live, work and invest. While past reforms have begun to pay off, there is still unfinished business. To boost the employment rate further the government should reduce disincentive effects arising from the tax and benefit systems by, for example, making greater use of in-work benefits and reintroducing experience rating of Employment Insurance users. Faster productivity gains are more likely to be achieved in an economic environment conducive to innovation. A key to greater dynamism is strengthening competition by eliminating remaining foreign ownership limits and barriers to internal and external trade and continuing electricity deregulation. Investing in skills should also remain a priority, with a particular emphasis on adult education. The nation has benefited by importing human capital from abroad through immigration but needs to intensify its efforts to remove the obstacles that prevent immigrants from having their skills fully utilised in the labour market. Having introduced a sound fiscal framework and reformed its public pension system Canada is in a better position than most other countries in facing ageing-related fiscal challenges, but the trend rise in health-care costs remains a risk. With the recent budget the government chose to address the short-term needs of the existing system. But, ultimately, ways to control the rise in budgetary costs - whether through incentives to raise efficiency or through cost sharing - will need to be explored, otherwise the resources needed to finance the future burden should be set aside in advance, for example by setting a bolder debt reduction target. Finally, environmental sustainability will be enhanced with least cost to the economy if the ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction is achieved through market-oriented instruments rather than command and control measures or voluntary agreements.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The OECD recognises the valuable contribution that civil society can make to the public policy-making process, and attaches great importance to the Organisation's own consultation and dialogue with civil society organisations (CSOs). This continuing dialogue builds trust in public institutions and promotes public understanding of the benefits and challenges of global economic and social change.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy