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  • Author: Matti Siemiatycki
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Infrastructure Canada is the national ministry of infrastructure rather than an independent government agency or advisory body. It designs and administers the national government's funding programs to infrastructure across a variety of sectors such as transportation, water, energy, and social infrastructure. Under the Canadian constitution, the national government actually has fairly limited jurisdiction over the ownership, planning and operations of infrastructure, which is primarily controlled at the provincial level. The country’s ten provinces and three territories then delegate considerable responsibility for infrastructure provision to the municipal governments. In 2016, only 2.1% of all public infrastructure in Canada was owned by the national government, compared with 58% owned by local governments, and 38.1% by the Provinces.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The politico-governance landscape in 20th century Lhasa oversaw a system of hierarchical government–one in which, the hierarchy was composed of both, clerical and lay departments, each consisting of an equal number of men. The 165 priests belonging to the higher ranks attending to the affairs of the State bore the title “Tse Dung.” The lay officials with corresponding rank and number held the title “Dung Khor.” The most visible distinguishing mark between the priests and laymen was that while the former shaved their hair and wore priestly robes, the latter did not.1 The priestly functionaries of higher ranks were subjected to control by four Grand Secretaries, bearing the title “Tung yk chen mo”, though the real powers were vested in the seniormost priest. Similarly, four “Shabpe” (Premiers) were appointed over the higher lay officials.2 Only one among the four “Shabpe” held precedence in wielding real power, while the other three were his councilors and advisers.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Government, Religion, Governance, Finance, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Tibet
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The protests in Lebanon have evolved into more than a fight against a failed and corrupt government. They constitute a rare demand for political and social structures that emphasize national rather than ethnic or sectarian religious identities in a world in which civilizational leaders who advocate some form of racial, ethnic, or religious supremacy govern the world’s major as well as key regional powers.
  • Topic: Government, Sectarianism, Protests
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Milan Nič, András Rácz
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: A few weeks after the European People’s Party (EPP) suspended the membership of Hungary’s ruling populist party, Fidesz, it looks unlikely that their relationship could be repaired. Seeing his leverage decreasing, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been paving the way for divorce. The EPP leaders seem to have made up their minds as well. A re-arrangement of the European party system is already taking shape ahead of the upcoming European elections (23–26 May 2019), not only afterwards.
  • Topic: Government, Regional Cooperation, Elections, European Union, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Europe, Hungary
  • Author: Randolph Mank
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada’s contemporary foreign policy has been shaped by deep integration with, and dependence on, the United States, offset by multilateral support for a rules-based international order. The Trump administration’s confrontational nationalism, combined with other global events and trends, has now disrupted Canada’s position and assumptions. This raises the question of whether or not it’s time for a Canadian foreign policy review. While the Trudeau government deserves credit for several initiatives, a series of discontinuities in Canada’s domestic and foreign policies suggests that our interests could be better served. The Canadian government has two main options: it can follow its current path of adjusting its policies in an ad hoc fashion, while waiting out the Trump administration and hoping for more favourable successors, or it can attempt to set Canada on a new path, in which case a foreign policy review would be warranted. The review option would only be useful if everything were on the table, including what to do about bilateral relations with the U.S., the future of our multilateral commitments, and domestic policies on such critical global issues as energy and the environment. The ultimate goal should be to advance Canada’s national interests through better aligned domestic and foreign policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Eugene Lang
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Two hundred and forty days. That is the average length of tenure – eight months – of the national security advisor to the U.S. president during the past two-and-a-half years. With the resignation or firing (depending on who you listen to) of John Bolton, Donald Trump is now on to his fifth assistant to the president for national security affairs, the official title of the job. It is an historic anomaly of epic proportions. Since the position was created during the Eisenhower administration in the early 1950s, on average national security advisors have served 32 months, exactly four times the average shelf life of Trump’s advisors (and Trump is only just over halfway through his first term of office).1 Revolving doors are of course a hallmark of the Trump administration, but does this one really matter?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, National Security, Politics, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ross Fetterly
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: At a time when even large, high-tech Silicon Valley corporations that operate as market disruptors are challenged to keep up with the pace of change, national Western governments need to ensure that defence funding is responsive to persistent, dramatic and non-linear shifts in the international strategic environment. The United States is experiencing a “deepening crisis of credibility in global affairs”,2 largely resulting from an America-first posture, rather than a multilateral approach with traditional allies. Some nations now view the U.S. as “undermining the international order”,3 and reliance on the U.S. as the leading democratic nation is less certain. Indeed, periods of great economic change “driven chiefly by economic and technological developments, which then impact on social structures, political systems, military power, and the position of individual states”,4 create a dynamic that shifts power, influence and trade among nations. Further, nations that can “develop, produce, and deploy technology the most effectively”5 can gain a comparative advantage in the current security environment, where the rate of technological change is accelerating. However, with adversaries advancing their military technology in increasingly shorter cycles, market dominance by Western defence firms has only fleeting or transitory advantage. The revolution in military technology has been a constant topic for analysts, but the changing military and defence department skill sets required in the future security environment are equally important, with the cyber-realm and space being two prominent examples.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Maureen Boyd, Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In response to increasing requests by foreign diplomats to explain our election process, we have written this primer. We are not partisans, although we consulted stakeholders from the different parties as well as experts on Canadian politics, polling and our elections in putting this piece together.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Elections, Primer
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Farzana Naheed Khan, M. Tariq Majeed
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The growing importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and egovernment has attracted the attention of policy makers who are committed to increase the GDP per capita of a country. Therefore, this study investigates the growth effects of ICT and egovernment for a sample of eight South Asian economies over the period 1980-2016. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical study, which examines the relationship between economic growth and ICT with a special emphasis on the role of ICT implementation in public sector. In particular, we use diverse indicators of ICT to assess the robustness of empirical findings. Moreover, the study employs instrumental estimation techniques 2SLS and GMM to deal with the possible problem of endogeneity. The empirical findings of our study indicate that growth effects of ICT as well as e-government are positive and significant in all models. Finally, our study concludes that the South Asia region can greatly benefit from the implementation of ICT infrastructure in general and in public sector in particular.
  • Topic: Government, Science and Technology, Internet, Political Science
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Punjab
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The decision taken by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, on December 30, 2018, to appoint the head of the judiciary, Sadeq Amoli Larijani, a head of the Expediency Council, to replace Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, who died about a week earlier, was not a surprise to the political forces and movements in Iran for several reasons. The most important of them are the regime’s commitments to rotate key positions over the past four decades, coupled with the changes in political power balances ensuing from the internal political crises, which are exacerbated by US sanctions and pressures. These are set to re-entrench the influence of the fundamentalist conservatives close to the Supreme Leader’s establishment, which suggests that the coming period may see further steps aimed at broadening the influence of this movement on the political decision-making process.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Hassan Rouhani
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Tehran
  • Author: Jack Kelly
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA)
  • Abstract: This IFPA National Security Update examines President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) on Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), the threat posed by EMPs, how the EO addresses that threat, and what other steps should be taken to counter both man-made and naturally-occurring EMP events. In early 2017, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis initiated an online series entitled National Security Update. Its purpose is to examine key foreign policy/defense issues and to set forth policy options. These updates are made available to the broad policy community within and outside government, including key policy makers in Washington, D.C.; members of Congress and their staffs; academic specialists; and other members of the private-sector security community. Future National Security Updates will address a range of topics in an effort to provide timely analyses and policy options.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, National Security, Science and Technology, Infrastructure, Space
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jack Kelly
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA)
  • Abstract: This IFPA National Security Update examines the status of the Trump Administration’s proposal to create a U.S. Space Force as a separate military service, deliberations on Capitol Hill, and the prospects for its passage by Congress. In early 2017, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis initiated an online series entitled National Security Update. Its purpose is to examine key foreign policy/defense issues and to set forth policy options. These updates are made available to the broad policy community within and outside government, including key policy makers in Washington, D.C.; members of Congress and their staffs; academic specialists; and other members of the private-sector security community. Future National Security Updates will address a range of topics in an effort to provide timely analyses and policy options.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, National Security, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Space Force
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Paul Rivlin
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In our latest issue of Iqtisadi, Paul Rivlin discusses the effects of sanctions on the Iranian economy, and on its currency and governmental institutions, in particular.
  • Topic: Government, Sanctions, Economy, Currency
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Salim Brake
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: Dr. Salim Brake, in the current issue of Bayan, analyzes the considerations and voting patterns of the Druze in the Knesset elections. The Druze generally vote on utilitarian considerations, such as voting for parties expected to be included in the coalition and to influence government policy. Few of them vote for ideological motives. Social networks voiced fierce criticism following two legislative acts that have hurt Druze over the past year: Kaminitz Law and Nation State Law. Despite this, the Druze artificially separated their stance on these laws and voted for parties that supported those laws. The Blue-White party spoke against the Nation State Law in its current form, and as a result, drew significant support from the Druze community. However, Blue-White is only committed to amending the law and including a clause referencing equality within it, and not eliminating it as Druze hoped. The increase in support for the "Israel Beitenu" party is due to the fact that the Druze representatives in the Likud are not seen as representing the real interests of the Druze community. In addition, the Druze candidate in the "Israel Beitenu" party expressed opposition to the Nation State Law.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Minorities, Elections, Ethnicity, Druze
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Nadim El-Kak
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The latest Lebanese parliamentary elections took place a little over a year ago. In May 2018, eleven groups, comprised of 66 candidates (including 19 women) from independent and secular segments of civil society, formed a coalition called Kulluna Watani (we are all our nation) to challenge the hegemony of traditional political parties. Considering the increasing inefficiency and unaccountability of state institutions, and widespread public frustration with the performance of public institutions, one may have expected Lebanese voters to want to vote in a few fresh faces. Nonetheless, they overwhelmingly chose to re-elect the same parties and leaders. This paper examines why activists and progressive opposition groups who try to challenge entrenched sectarian politics have been failing. It analyses the institutional and repressive mechanisms, exercised by political elites, that determine patterns in voting behaviour and thwart the emergence of alternative forces. It also looks at shortcomings of political efforts by opposition groups and outlines recommendations for the future. The findings rely on fourteen original interviews with political activists conducted in December 2018 as well as a review of scholarship on sectarian politics.1
  • Topic: Government, Political Activism, Elections, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, Beirut
  • Author: Markus Loewe, Bernhard Trautner, Tina Zintl
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The social contract is a key concept in social science literature focusing on state–society relations. It refers to the “entirety of explicit or implicit agreements between all relevant societal groups and the sovereign (i.e. the government or any other actor in power), defining their rights and obligations towards each other” (Loewe & Zintl, forthcoming). The analysis of social contracts helps the understanding of: (i) why some societal groups are socially, politically or economically better off than others, (ii) why some revolt and demand a new social contract and, thus, (iii) why a country descends into violent conflict. In addition, the concept shows how foreign interventions and international co-operation may affect state–society relations by strengthening the position of the state or of specific societal groups. It illustrates that state fragility, displacement and migration can arise from social contracts becoming less inclusive. Nevertheless, the term “social contract” has so far been neither well defined nor operationalised – to the detriment of both research and of bi- and multilateral co-operation. Such a structured analytical approach to state–society relations is badly needed both in research and in politics, in particular but not exclusively for the analysis of MENA countries. This briefing paper sets the frame, suggesting a close analysis of (i) the scope of social contracts, (ii) their substance and (iii) their temporal dimension. After independence, MENA governments established a specific kind of social contract with citizens, mainly based on the redistribution of rents from natural resources, development aid and other forms of transfers. They provided subsidised food and energy, free public education and government jobs to citizens in compensation for the tacit recognition of political regimes’ legitimacy despite a lack of political participation. But with growing populations and declining state revenues, some governments lost their ability to fulfil their duties and focused spending on strategically important social groups, increasingly tying resource provision to political acquiescence. The uprisings that took place in many Arab countries in 2011 can be seen as an expression of deep dissatisfaction with social contracts that no longer provided either political participation or substantial social benefits (at least for large parts of the population). After the uprisings, MENA countries developed in different directions. While Tunisia is a fair way towards more inclusive development and political participation, Morocco and Jordan are trying to restore some parts of the former social contract, providing for paternalistic distribution without substantial participation. In Egypt’s emerging social contract, the government promises little more than individual and collective security, and that only under the condition of full political acquiescence. Libya, Yemen and Syria have fallen into civil wars with no countrywide new contract in sight, and Iraq has been struggling for one since 2003. In addition, flight and migration also affect the social contracts of neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon. All MENA countries are designing, or will need to design, new social contracts in order to reduce the current instability and enable physical reconstruction. This briefing paper informs on the status of conceptual considerations of social contract renegotiation in MENA countries and its meaning for international co-operation with them.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Legitimacy, Institutions, Services, Social Contract
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Hakkı Onur Arıner
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Turkey’s Law on Foreigners and International Protection (LFIP) was adopted on 4 April 2013 by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. In the five years that has passed since the coming into force of the LFIP in its entirety, it appears that the LFIP has been made to adapt to the conditions of Turkey, rather than the other way around, due to the sheer unexpected size of the phenomenon of immigration into Turkey, and the challenges encountered in establishing the institutional capacity and the inter- institutional cooperation necessary to deal with the inflows as required by the Law.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Migration, Refugee Issues, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Kakha Gogolashvili, Mikayel Hovhannisyan, Elkhan Mehtiyev, Andrei Yahorau, Valeriu Pasa, Viktor Ohiienko
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Georgian Foundation for Strategic International Studies -GFSIS
  • Abstract: The objective of the project, in the framework of which this policy paper was developed, is to promote the wider involvement of civil society in the policy area that can and should benefit from a multi-stakeholder approach through all stages of the policy cycle in the upcoming period in order to maximize the impact of joint actions and activities. The paper has an ambition to advise on how civil society should and could be involved in formulating, implementing and monitoring the future deliverables in the area of hybrid threats in the post-2020 Road Map for the EaP policy, including developing specific deliverables with concrete benchmarks for individual countries in a regional perspective. The paper feeds directly into the debate on the new EaP Road Map and structured consultation opened by the EU institutions, and builds directly on the recommendations from the EaP CSF policy paper "Advancing Eastern Partnership: 23 Civil Society Ideas for the Policy beyond 2020". It will be distributed to its target audience in Brussels, EU member states and EaP countries. Further advocacy and discussion with stakeholders in Brussels is planned during the 11th EaP CSF Annual Assembly on December 6, 2019. The paper is a result of the joint research conducted by a team of experts representing CSOs from all six EaP partner states. The team conducted desk research and held consultations with stakeholders and experts in their respective countries. Each of them contributed to country reports and proposed recommendations for the development of cooperation on prevention and countering hybrid threats throughout the EaP area. The findings of the study covered the comparative analysis of hybrid threats in EaP countries, the response of the governments, cooperation between EU and EaP countries on countering hybrid threats, civil society engagement and, finally, the suggestions on the development of cooperation between EU and EaP partner states. The research resulted in concrete recommendations for the governments of the respective countries, EU institutions and member states and for civil society, which is advised to intensify its engagement in countering hybrid threats and in developing a common response.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, European Union, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Caucasus, Georgia
  • Author: Ashwin Parulkar, Sunil Kumar
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In May 2017, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolished a Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) shelter located in an informal settlement in South Delhi’s Amir Khusro Park. DUSIB had built the shelter in response to a 2014 Delhi High Court Order. DDA demolished the same structure in cognizance of a 2015 Delhi High Court Order, issued in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a private citizen urging the state to remove illegal encroachments in the area. The demolition of the shelter led to the eviction of various groups of people in Khusro Park: families in self-constructed ‘jhuggis’; women in the DUSIB shelter managed by a local NGO; and various people in a temporary shelter not authorized by government agencies. Field visits revealed connections between these settlements. Women and children of some jhuggi families, for instance, lived in the shelter where food, nutrition, documentation, education and health services were provided by the managing NGO for shelter residents and joint and nuclear jhuggi families. In this context, the report raises and responds to two salient questions. What makes homeless shelters in Delhi vulnerable to government sanctioned demolition and eviction? What is the implication of the particular case of Amir Khusro Park on the fate of shelters in Delhi’s other numerous informal geographies? The authors examine events that preceded and unfolded during and after the demolition through ethnographic research in Khusro Park, interviews with government officials and NGO social workers, and legal analysis of both Supreme and High Court Orders and policies that assign powers to various federal, state and municipal land owning agencies. The report finds that Khusro Park residents’ Court-substantiated, though broadly defined, rights to live in shelters and urban informal settlements were violated by government agencies, such as DDA. Such government agencies are permitted to undermine general rights urban poor people have to city spaces and resettlement through the existence of specific provisions that categorize jhuggi and shelter residents on government land ‘encroachers’. The authors conclude that due process measures of DUSIB’s current resettlement policy – land surveys, provision of notice and rehousing – should be based on a thorough understanding of (a) types and nature of settlements along the informal urban housing continuum (b) infrastructure and services used by residents and (c) the nature of contracts between (i) state and federal agencies and (ii) government agencies and NGOs that authorize land use and service provision.
  • Topic: Government, Poverty, Public Policy, Resettlement, Urban, Informal Settlement, Homelessness
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Manju Menon
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In 2000, the central government declared Northeast India as India’s hydropower hub. Over 165 large dam projects were proposed to come up in the region. These projects were held as crucial to India’s energy and environmental security as well as the economic development of the country’s marginalised northeastern borderlands.However, nearly two decades on, this proposal to regulate the region's water resources remains unimplemented. In addition, the projects have generated a lot of public opposition in Arunachal Pradesh where most of these dams are supposed to be situated, and in the downstream Brahmaputra valley of Assam. This article will look into the government's hype and failure to construct hydropower dams in the Northeast region. It points to the need for a reflexive political decision on water resource management from the BJP-led governments in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and at the Centre.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Government, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Rani Mullen
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Since the turn of the century, India has continued to enlarge its development cooperation allocations and become a globally significant development cooperation partner. This brief analyzes India’s 2019-20 Union Budget for its development assistance allocations and, using IDCR’s development cooperation database, finds seven main trends in India’s development assistance allocations.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Foreign Aid, Budget, Banks
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Ritwik Shukla, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This brief reports on two maternity benefits schemes, offering conditional cash transfers to pregnant women and mothers: a) The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Government of India’s (GoI’s) scheme aimed at providing partial compensation for wage loss and improving health seeking behaviour of pregnant women and lactating mothers, and b) the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) aimed at incentivising institutional and safe delivery for reducing infant and maternal mortality. Using government data, this brief reports on: Trends in allocations, releases, and utilisation, Coverage and payments, and Outputs and outcomes.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Government, Health, Budget, Women, Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Meghna Paul
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is a flagship scheme of the Government of India (GoI) which aims to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year (FY) to every rural household that demands work. Using government reported data, this brief reports on: Trends in allocations and expenditures; Trends in employment provided and wages paid, and Physical assets created and status of work completion.
  • Topic: Government, Budget, Employment, Finance, Rural, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is the Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures; Component-wise trends; Human and physical resources; Coverage, and Outcome.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Health, Budget, Children
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Sanjana Malhotra
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM-U) is the Government of India’s (GoI) flagship programme targeting universal sanitation coverage in urban areas. Using government data, this brief reports on: Allocations, releases, and expenditures, State-wise and component wise trends in releases, Progress on toilets built, Progress on Solid Waste Management (SWM), and Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
  • Topic: Government, Infrastructure, Budget, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Navroz K. Dubash, Ashwini K. Swain
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India’s move to electrify every village and household in the country has been lauded as a success. Building on decades of targeted programmes and public investments by multiple governments, the country completed 100% village electrification in April 2018; a year after, it has electrified nearly all ‘willing’ households. Despite the time it took to get here, these achievements are important milestones in India’s development trajectory. But does connecting households to the electric grid resolve the electricity access challenge? The answer depends on whether electrons flow through the wires and whether all consumers are served equally and adequately.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Infrastructure, Investment, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The event was organised as a part of ‘Dialogues on Sanitation’ series and specifically focused on the legal and regulatory regime pertaining to urban sanitation. The event brought together senior policymakers, city and state level implementers, technocrats, members of the civil society and legal experts to brainstorm towards bettering the regulatory regime on urban sanitation. Several aspects such as the role of law and regulation in Faecal Sludge Management, rights of sanitary workers, and public-private participation in Urban Sanitation were discussed during the course of the workshop.
  • Topic: Government, Law, Regulation, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Aditya Bhol, Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anindita Mukherjee, Aastha Jain
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The aim of this white paper is to explore the nuances of the prevalence of on-site sanitation systems in large and dense villages of India. Villages which have a population of 1000 persons or more and a density of greater than or equal to 400 persons per square kilometre were classified as large and dense villages in an earlier research – Towards a New Research and Policy Paradigm: An Analysis of the Sanitation Situation in Large Dense Villages. Stimulated by the findings revealing a preferential pattern for selection of on-site sanitation systems in these settlements, a primary household survey was conducted in large and dense villages from five Indian states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The survey also included qualitative components – stakeholder interviews and transect walks. In this study the survey data has been canvassed to explore the preference patterns of households and the factors guiding them in their decision making for the construction and maintenance of on-site sanitation systems. We find that these large and dense villages exhibit a higher preference for septic tanks over pits in all states except West Bengal where pits are preferred. A majority of households have reported their toilets were private constructions. We find the preference patterns are manifested not only by the choices of building septic tanks or pits but also through the large variations in their design and sizes which are influenced by socio-economic, technical and behavioural factors. We also find specific trends in demand for desludging services by households which are influenced by internal factors such as their social status and economic well-being and by external factors such as availability of mechanised operators or continued reliance on manual cleaning and their costs which cumulatively constitute the supply side of sanitation services.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Infrastructure, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Maanav Kumar, Parag Mohanty
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This study looks at the development of legal and regulatory framework governing drinking water and sanitation services in South Africa, England and United States. Around 780 million worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and almost 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation according to data published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In such a situation, it becomes extremely important to study the legal and regulatory measures used internationally to control, manage and improve these resources. This study, covering South Africa, England and USA, sets out to identify, comprehend and analyze these legal frameworks and structures; examine the control exercised by national, state/provincial as well as municipal governments over water and sanitation-related questions; and the responsive measures being taken by them to preserve the water resources and their quality for future generations. The authors have observed that in presence of varying geographical, historical and social factors, while it would be impossible to compare each model against the other on the basis of merit, it becomes increasingly important for governments to balance the individual’s right to water with the planet’s ecological balance.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Natural Resources, Water, Law, Regulation, Legislation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Sahithya Venkatesan, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana - Gramin (PMAY - G) is Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship ‘Housing for All’ scheme. The scheme was launched in November 2016 and aims to provide monetary assistance for the construction of a pucca house with basic amenities to all rural houseless households and those living in dilapidated and kutcha houses. Using government data, this brief reports on trends in PMAY-G along the following parameters: Allocations and cost estimates; Releases and expenditures ; Beneficiary selection and target setting ; Target completion and physical progress of house construction ; Payments to Beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Government, Poverty, Budget, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report provides insights into building a gender sensitive climate smart agriculture while reducing the vulnerability of women, youth and refugees to the adversity impacted by climate change. It shows that successful mainstreaming of climate change in the agricultural sector and implementation of gender sensitive climate resilient agricultural policies, programmes and practices require strong and reliable climate information services and early warning systems, enhanced technical and institutional capacities, enabling legal framework, and strong monitoring and reporting mechanisms. A strong commitment to innovative climate financing and increasing budget allocation for climate change to the sectors especially Local Governments (LGs) is also essential.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Gender Issues, Government
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE)
  • Abstract: This report presents the proceedings of the National Conference on Decentralisation held at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda, on August 13, 2019. The theme of the conference was: Decentralisation: Trends, Gains, Challenges and the Future of Local Governments in Uganda. It was collaboratively held by the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), and the Governance, Accountability, Participation and Performance (GAPP) Program with support from USAID and UKAID. The Conference assessed the impact of decentralisation policies and trends on financing for local governments, and highlighted measures [that can be] put in place by relevant stakeholders to support and strengthen decentralisation as per Article 176 of Uganda’s 1995 Constitution. Uganda’s decentralisation experiment was hailed as exceptional in the developing world. Its scale, scope of transfer of powers (devolution), responsibilities given to subnational units, and powers granted to citizens, were unprecedented. However, challenges of limited capacity of local government authorities, financing gaps, inter-governmental relations, and new problems of maintaining sub-national cohesion, continue to hamper the effectiveness of this governance reform. Accordingly, the August 2019 Conference was informed by the findings of two recent studies that took stock of trends and progress and also examined financing challenges to local governments under Uganda’s devolution form of decentralisation. It attracted different stakeholders including: national legislators/ members of parliament and policy makers, local government political and technical leaders, researchers and academia, civil society, media and development partners. It was also broadcast live on television and channeled through social media, which created space for the public to interact and appreciate the proceedings.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Democracy, Local
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Ofer Israeli
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: After a century of an American world order established by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson at the end of the First World War, we are facing a shift in Washington’s global attitude. President Trump’s approach to world affairs is different. Although Obama, and to some extent Bush before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, was starting to withdraw from the U.S. historical position of key global superpower, President Trump’s approach to world affairs is a much more drastic acceleration of this move. Continuing in this direction means we may soon face a collapse of America’s century-long preeminence, and the creation of a new world order in which the U.S. is no longer leading the global power, but only first among sovereigns, if at all.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Government, World War I, World War II, Institutionalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union, United States of America
  • Author: Gilfred Asiamah, Awal Swallah, Kojo Asante, Samuel Baaye
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Ghana Center for Democratic Development
  • Abstract: The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) with funding support from the Department for International Development (DFID) under its Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) program has initiated a project to track the implementation of the government's flagship Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Program (IPEP).
  • Topic: Government, Poverty, Inequality, State Actors, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Vladimir Chlouba
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: Do African traditional leaders weaken state legitimacy at the local level? Past scholarship raises the possibility that unelected chiefs might undermine trust in national-level institutions. Relying on an original map of areas governed by chiefs and survey data from Namibia, this study examines whether respondents governed by traditional leaders are less likely to trust state institutions. I find that compared to individuals not living under traditional authority, chiefdom residents are more likely to trust government institutions. To partially alleviate the concern that chiefdom residence is endogenous to trust in national-level institutions, I use a genetic matching strategy to compare relatively similar individuals. I further find that the association between chiefdom residence and trust in state institutions is considerably weaker and less statistically significant for individuals who do not share ethnicity with their chief. This evidence suggests that traditional leaders’ ability to complement state institutions at the local level is compromised by ethnic diversity.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Leadership, Fragile States, Emerging States, Legitimacy, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Namibia
  • Author: Girish Bahal, Anand Shrivastava
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University
  • Abstract: Controlling for monetary policy, government transfers are potentially inflationary. This, however, may not be true when the economy is demandconstrained. Using a panel data of 17 Indian states over 30 years, we show that government transfers via welfare programs do not lead to inflation. For identification, we use a narrative shock series of transfer spending that is based on the introduction of new welfare programs. We then look at a specific program, NREGA, which has been shown to increase rural wages, and show that its implementation did not increase inflation.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Labor Issues, Monetary Policy, Employment, Inflation, Demand
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Rafat Al-Akhali, Osamah Al-Rawhani, Anthony Biswell
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Sana'a Center For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This policy brief offers recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of governance in post-conflict Yemen – whatever the composition or structure of the government. It presents three case studies on government models previously introduced in Yemen, Tunisia and Lebanon after periods of instability. These case studies offer useful lessons on the challenges, risks and opportunities of forming transitional governments in post-conflict contexts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Government, Peacekeeping, Transitional Justice, Conflict, Peace, Transition
  • Political Geography: Asia, Yemen, West Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Sana'a Center For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This policy brief outlines recommendations for the immediate priorities of the Government of Yemen, both to achieve quick wins and to prepare the ground for medium and long-term success. These recommendations are the outcomes of in-depth discussions held during the fourth Development Champions Forum convened on December 8-11, 2018, in Amman, Jordan. They are designed to offer Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed and his cabinet a set of practical measures to help the government build on the momentum and increased visibility it achieved in the final quarter of 2018. The immediate priorities recommended by the Development Champions include steps to support the stabilization of the local currency. an area in which tangible progress has already been made. The Champions also urge the government to regularize the payment of public sector salaries and pensions. Another immediate priority for the government should be to take steps to stabilize and transform Aden, the Champions suggest, based on the shared consensus that the southern coastal city could become a model for the rest of Yemen. The Champions emphasized that developing Aden would depend on improving the level of security across the governorate. While recognizing that the government faces immediate challenges that demand attention in Aden and across the country, the Development Champions urge the government to plan and implement procedures to prepare for the country’s medium and long-term future. These strategies should address the root causes of Yemen’s socio-economic instability, and not just its symptoms. Among the most important actions to prepare for long-term priorities is the expansion of the roles and responsibilities of local government authorities, the Champions concluded. During the conflict, decision-making authority has filtered down to the local level and become far more decentralized. The government should build on this new reality to reconfigure the state and its relationship with local government authorities.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Public Sector, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Yemen, West Asia
  • Author: Salman Ahmed, Karan Bhatia, Wendy Cutler, David Gordon, Jennifer Harris, Edward Hill, Douglas Lute, Daniel M. Price, William Shkurti, Christopher Smart, Fran Stewart, Jake Sullivan, Ashley J. Tellis, Tom Wyler
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: All U.S. administrations aim to conceive foreign policies that protect and enhance Americans’ safety, prosperity, and way of life. However, views now diverge considerably within and across political party lines about whether the U.S. role abroad is adequately advancing the economic well-being of the middle class at home. Today, even as the U.S. economy is growing and unemployment rates are falling, many households still struggle to sustain a middle-class standard of living. Meanwhile, America’s top earners accrue an increasing share of the nation’s income and wealth, and China and other economic competitors overseas reap increasing benefits from a global economy that U.S. security and leadership help underwrite. Policymakers need to explore ways to make U.S. foreign policy work better for America’s middle class, even if their economic fortunes depend largely on domestic factors and policies. However, before policymakers propose big foreign policy changes, they should first test their assumptions about who the middle class is, what economic problems they face, and how different aspects of U.S. foreign policy can cause or solve them. They need to examine how much issues like trade matter to these households’ economic fortunes relative to other foreign and domestic policies. They should acknowledge the trade-offs arising from policy changes that benefit some communities at the expense of others. And they should reach beyond the foreign policy establishment to hear from those in the nation’s heartland who have critical perspectives to offer, especially state and local officials, economic developers, small business owners, local labor representatives, community leaders, and working families. With these objectives in mind, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace launched a series of state-level case studies to determine whether significant changes to U.S. foreign policy are needed to better advance the economic well-being of America’s middle class. Ohio was chosen for the inaugural study because of its economic and political diversity and its well-known status as a bellwether state. Carnegie partnered with researchers at OSU to conduct the study and convened a bipartisan task force comprised of former senior policymakers to provide strategic guidance and shape the findings. Interviews were conducted in Cleveland, Columbus, Coshocton, Dayton, Lima, and Marion to solicit views in diverse conditions across the state.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, National Security, Politics, Class, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Geoffrey P. Macdonald, Luke Waggoner
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The October suicide bombing in the heart of Tunis demonstrated the continued need for Tunisia’s government to refine and bolster its efforts to combat violent extremism. Yet, instability within the ruling coalition threatens to undermine much-needed reforms to Tunisia’s countering violent extremism (CVE) and counterterrorism (CT) strategies, which fail to address the underlying drivers of radicalization. The public’s rising expectations for economic and social progress following Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, which deposed Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s authoritarian government, have not been met. This has fostered disillusionment regarding democracy’s efficacy and has fed the rise of anti-establishment ideologies such as Islamic extremism. Only a stable governing coalition can develop CVE/CT polices that more effectively obstruct the path to radicalization and redress the persistent governance failures that inspire violent extremism.
  • Topic: Government, Reform, Violent Extremism, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: John Mukum Mbaku
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Certain characteristics and values have the power to make or break a democracy. The supremacy of law, for instance, is the foundation on which democracy is built; it is the heart and soul of a free society and the basis for peaceful coexistence. This holds particularly true in Kenya. To manage the conflicting interests of diverse subcultures, all citizens, regardless of their political, economic, and ethnocultural affiliation, must be subject to the law. Thus, a governing process undergirded by the rule of law is critical for a future of peace and development in Kenya.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Democracy, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Philip Alpers
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Thirteen mass shootings in 18 years, 112 victims shot dead. While this may seem to describe contemporary America, it actually describes a late 20th-century period in Australia. The country’s final slaughter occurred in Tasmania in 1996 – the Port Arthur massacre. A lone, “pathetic social misfit” – as described by the judge – killed 35 people. The first 29 bullets from this young man’s AR-15 rifle ended the lives of 20 innocents in just 90 seconds.
  • Topic: Government, Weapons , Legislation, Public Health, Mass Shootings
  • Political Geography: Australia, Australia/Pacific, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Bobo Lo
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Putin’s foreign policy will remain grounded in long-standing assumptions about Russia, the West, and international order. There will be broad continuity in Russian foreign policy over the course of Vladimir Putin’s current presidential term. Any policy changes will be stylistic, not transformative. The Kremlin is committed to asserting Russia as a global power, although it will be tactically flexible in pursuing this ambition. Putin will present different faces to the West: sometimes accommodating, at other times assertive and even confrontational. But there will be no compromise on core principles.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Grand Strategy, Vladimir Putin
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Rita Parker
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Potential drivers of unregulated population migration in the Pacific Islands require attention from regional governments including Australia. The challenges of unregulated population migration in the Pacific Islands region are the result of several push-pull factors and can lead to instability and insecurity in the region. Unregulated population migration in the Pacific Islands region has implications for more than one nation state and civil society and the balance of security and domestic stability can be disrupted. The challenge for policymakers is to recognise that drivers of unregulated population migration, including political or economic uncertainty, natural disasters, pandemics, climatic or environmental change, food or water scarcity, civil conflict, or organised crime, do not occur in isolation.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Migration, Natural Disasters, Immigration, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: James Curran
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: President Trump may be unwittingly preparing the United States for the end of American global hegemony. President Trump invokes neither the language nor history of the Pax Americana. His America First approach is only hardening, meaning allies will need to think about American power differently. The United States will not become a ‘normal nation’, but the distance between its sense of providential destiny and limited capacity to effect transformational change abroad will only grow.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Hegemony, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Australia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Manu Bhaskaran
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Without bold adjustments, Singapore’s extraordinary economic performance may prove difficult to sustain. The Singapore economy retains many strengths but is facing growing challenges, including to its key regional hub status. Singapore’s ability to adjust effectively to these challenges may have weakened compared to the past. The major reason for this diminished capacity is that the policy responses required to support a successful adjustment may not be evolving quickly enough. Moreover, the capacity for companies to make more spontaneous bottom-up adjustments seems to be lacking.
  • Topic: Government, Economy, Business , Economic growth, Economic Policy, Capacity
  • Political Geography: Singapore, Southeast Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Andrew Rosser
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Indonesia’s education system is low in quality and the underlying causes are political. Indonesia’s education system has been a high-volume, low-quality enterprise that has fallen well short of the country’s ambitions for an “internationally competitive” system. This outcome has reflected inadequate funding, human resource deficits, perverse incentive structures, and poor management but has most fundamentally been a matter of politics and power. The political causes of poor education performance include the continued dominance of political, bureaucratic, and corporate elites over the education system under the New Order and the role that progressive NGOs and parent, teacher, and student groups have had in education policymaking since the fall of the New Order, making reform difficult.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Politics, Children, Youth, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Matt Andrews
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Observers claim that public policies fail ‘often’. This paper asks, ‘how often’? It is an important question, because public policies absorb resources to address major social issues. We should know if policies are proving bad social investments; routinely failing to solve focal problems at high costs. Unfortunately, it is not easy to assess this. Many public policy organizations—governments in particular—do not provide accessible views onto overall success or failure. The World Bank does, however, provide such view—and it supports policy interventions one finds in governments across the world. The paper thus examines World Bank failure rates. It finds that there are different answers to the ‘how often’ question, depending on responses to a second question, ‘what is failure anyway?’ In studying both questions, the paper identifies a bias in the World Bank—and probably all organizations adopting rational ‘plan and control’ policy processes—to measuring ‘project and product success’ rather than a broader view of success as ‘problems are solved with development impact’. This means that policy organizations like the Bank judge success based on whether planned products are delivered through an efficient process; not whether policies solve the problems that warranted intervention in the first place, or whether the policies promoted development outcomes. Is this how citizens would want their public policy organizations to conceptualize success?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, World Bank, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Matt Andrews, Tim McNaught, Salimah Samji
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Governments across the world regularly pursue reforms that achieve less than was originally expected or is needed to make the state function better. The limits to reform success are often obvious in even the early days of reform, where gaps and weaknesses manifest. Many governments have no mechanisms built into their reform processes to see these gaps and weaknesses, however, and persist with predefined reform plans instead of adapting designs to close the gaps and address weaknesses. One antidote to this challenge is to create reflection points where reformers scrutinize their progress to identify weaknesses, reflect on these weaknesses, and adapt their next steps to address the weaknesses. In the spirit of John Kingdon’s work on ‘policy windows’, we call these reflection points ‘adaptation windows’—moments where reformers acknowledge problems in their reforms, adapt reforms to address such, and mobilize support for this adaptation. This paper discusses an effort to open an adaptation window for reformers to ‘see’ and then respond to public financial management (PFM) reform gaps and weaknesses in Mozambique. The paper details why and how this work was pursued, and also reflects on results of the government’s reflection at the adaptation window.
  • Topic: Government, Reform, International Development, State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: Dalibor Rohac
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: What distinguishes the governments of Hungary and Poland are not their views on immigration nor their defense of national sovereignty or Europe’s Judeo-Christian heritage. Rather, it is their distinctly authoritarian and anti-market features. With a new Fundamental Law, electoral reform, and other far-reaching changes adopted in Hungary on strictly partisan lines, as well as a politicization of the judiciary and attacks on free media and civil society in both countries, the Law and Justice Party (PiS) and Fidesz governments have sought to entrench themselves and prevent meaningful democratic contestation of their power. In both countries, key achievements of the post-1989 transition to the free enterprise system are being reversed. In Poland, for example, 40 percent of all banking-sector assets are now held by the government. Hungarian and Polish authoritarianism, as well as the rise of political kleptocracy in Hungary, pose a direct threat to the values on which the transatlantic alliance was built and America’s interest in the region. The United States cannot afford to become a cheerleader for either Fidesz or PiS, no matter how convincing their conservative bona fides might seem.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Poland, Hungary
  • Author: Tatiana Shakleina, Ryan Rogers
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Professor Tatiana Shakleina sat down with the Fletcher Security Review in November 2017 in conjunction with the Conference on U.S.-Russia Relations between The Fletcher School and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). In a detailed and engaging conversation that spanned over 25 years of history, Professor Shakleina traced the post-Cold War origins of the current tension between the United States and Russia. While personnel within the Trump Administration have moved on to new positions or left government altogether since the interview, Professor Shakleina’s rich historical overview of post-Cold War U.S.-Russia relations remains extremely relevant in understanding the recent trajectory and current state of the bilateral relationship. ​
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government, History, Bilateral Relations, Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Gibson
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Chris Gibson is a former Republican Congressman from upstate New York, and is currently the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College. Prior to his congressional service, Mr. Gibson had a 24-year career as an Army officer before retiring as a Colonel. His services included tours in the First Gulf War, the Balkans, multiple combat tours in Iraq and a humanitarian tour to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. His new book Rally Point addresses the current divisions within U.S. politics and the risks we face if they continue to inhibit the U.S. government from fulfilling its necessary functions.
  • Topic: Security, Government, National Security, Interview
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The final report of the National Defense Strategy Commission is a compilation of the assessments of the National Defense Strategy and recommendations based on its analysis related not just to defense strategy, but also to the larger geopolitical environment in which that strategy must be executed. They consulted with civilian and military leaders in the Department of Defense, representatives of other U.S. government departments and agencies, allied diplomats and military officials, and independent experts. This publication is the consensus report of the Commission. The Commission argues that America confronts a grave crisis of national security and national defense, as U.S. military advantages erode and the strategic landscape becomes steadily more threatening. If the United States does not show greater urgency and seriousness in responding to this crisis and does not take decisive steps to rebuild its military advantages now, the damage to American security and influence could be devastating.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government, National Security
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Neta C. Crawford
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: The United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $5.9 trillion (in current dollars) on the war on terror through Fiscal Year 2019, including direct war and war-related spending and obligations for future spending on post9/11 war veterans. This number differs substantially from the Pentagon’s estimates of the costs of the post-9/11 wars because it includes not only war appropriations made to the Department of Defense – spending in the war zones of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and in other places the government designates as sites of “overseas contingency operations,” – but also includes spending across the federal government that is a consequence of these wars. Specifically, this is war-related spending by the Department of State, past and obligated spending for war veterans’ care, interest on the debt incurred to pay for the wars, and the prevention of and response to terrorism by the Department of Homeland Security. If the US continues on its current path, war spending will continue to grow.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Military Affairs, Budget, Military Spending, War on Terror, Veterans
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Asia, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Steven Aftergood
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Public access to information about government spending is presumed – and required – by the US Constitution, which directs that “a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time” (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7). It is remarkable that, among all of the many categories of government information, budget information is singled out for publication in this way. The ability of the public to “follow the money” expended by its government is understood to be an essential prerequisite to self-rule. Budget data that are secret, unreliable, or otherwise unavailable are incompatible with constitutional democracy. In practice, however, public access to budget information is imperfect and incomplete. In the crucial area of national defense, the scale of spending alone makes it hard to grasp. Public understanding of the costs of war is further limited by secrecy, faulty accounting, and the deferral of current costs.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, National Security, Military Spending, Transparency
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Patrick Meagher, Ammar A. Malik, Edward Mohr, Yasemin Irvin-Erickson
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: The world is in the midst of an unprecedented refugee crisis, and Uganda’s response to the influx of asylum-seekers from South-Sudan is considered successful and is therefore a valuable target for study and replication. Uganda accepts refugees regardless of point of origin and gives them the rights of freedom of movement and the opportunity to seek employment. This case study examines the official government and humanitarian agency response to increased refugee numbers, both in terms of policies and resources. It also focuses on telecommunication access and humanitarian cash transfers, and it analyzes the partnership between Danish Church Aid and Airtel Uganda.
  • Topic: Government, Humanitarian Aid, Science and Technology, Refugee Issues, Immigrants, International Development, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Jisung Yoo
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This study investigates the South Korean government’s role in the success of the Hallyu [Korean Wave] and the growing global interest in Korean popular culture by examining official news releases on Hallyu issued by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism from 2007 to 2017. The author argues that the domestic news releases had a supporting role for artists and cultural products in South Korea; they didn’t directly contribute to Korean industrial economic growth. In contrast, the international news releases tended to play a leading role in promoting Korea’s positive image; they contributed to Korea’s industrial economic growth by means of cultural diplomacy and soft power. Statistical analyses were conducted to determine whether a significant relationship exists between domestic news releases and industrial economic growth. To provide evidence of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism’s leading role in promoting artists and cultural products abroad, the author examined and qualitatively analyzed English, Chinese, and Japanese language news releases. The findings revealed that the number of releases had no significant relationship with increased annual economic growth, which seems to come from the power of Hallyu itself, not the government’s support. The qualitative analysis shows that international releases were used as a tool to achieve foreign policy goals and advance a positive national image. This study contributes to the growing literature on Hallyu by discussing the dual role of official news releases.
  • Topic: Government, Culture, Soft Power, popular culture, Cultural Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: South Korea, Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Hiroshi Komatsu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article explores the negotiations between Japan and Okinawa to clarify the latter’s role in this process. I focus on visits to Tokyo by Chobyo Yara, Chief Executive of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands, to meet with Japanese Government officials, including Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and Foreign Minister Kiichi Aichi. In particular, I consider ‘homeland level status’, a term used in these discussions to define the conditions for Okinawa’s reversion to Japan.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia-Pacific, Okinawa
  • Author: Kai Schulze
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: In recent years, Japan's foreign policy elite has started to increasingly securitize China in their security discourse. The harsher tone from Tokyo is widely evaluated as a direct reaction to China’s own assertive behavior since 2009/2010. Yet, the change in the Japanese government’s rhetoric had started changing before 2010. In order to close this gap, the present article sheds light on an alternative causal variable that has been overlooked in the literature: a change in Japan’s security institutions, more specifically, the upgrade of the Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense, in 2007. While utilizing discursive institutionalism and securitization-approaches, the present article demonstrates that a strong correlation indeed exists between the institutional shift and the change in Japan’s defense whitepapers in the 2007–10 period. It thus opens up a research avenue for the further scrutiny of the hitherto understudied but significant causal linkage in the study of contemporary Japanese security policy toward China
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Julie Baer
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: The world has experienced many shocks in recent years with instability and refugee crises intensifying globally. These events impact the mobility of international students in the United States and throughout the world. International student mobility in the United States creates an interconnected learning environment that prepares graduates to tackle the serious, shared threats to our world and accounts for $35.8 billion dollars in revenue according to the U.S. Department of Commerce (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2016). This report examines several of the hot topics impacting international student enrollment on U.S. campuses for the current 2016 academic year. With an emphasis on current events and issues impacting international student enrollment trends, this report covers international student enrollment; recruitment and outreach; governmental initiatives; the U.S. social and political climate; and students from conflict areas. The International Student Enrollment Hot Topics Survey was distributed by ten partnering higher education associations listed on page 11 to their member institutions around the United States. It is released jointly with and complements the Open Doors Report, which provides a comprehensive view of international student enrollment in the United States based on data from the previous academic year, 2015/16. This report is based on data submitted by 423 institutions in October 2016 and should not be viewed as comprehensive. A comprehensive view of 2016/17 enrollment figures will be released in the Open Doors 2017 Report in November 2017.
  • Topic: Government, Refugees, Conflict, Mobility, Higher Education, Survey
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Beth Baron, Judith Tucker
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) recognized early on that the “Muslim Ban”—so called for its banning of individuals from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States—posed specific threats to its mission and its commitments to academic freedom, intellectual exchange, and the fostering of scholarly research. As the current and past presidents of MESA, we take great pride in the fact that the association decided to take a clear and active stand against all iterations of this ban.
  • Topic: Government, Border Control, Courts, Trump, Borders, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Andrzej Dąbrowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Democratic Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the U.S. “midterm” elections, although the Republican Party retained its majority in the Senate. The Republicans’ defeat will weaken President Donald Trump, who will have to seek common ground with the Democrats, for example, on the budget. The Democrats will try to undermine Trump administration policy using the powers of Congressional oversight and by obstructing legislation sent to the House by the Republican majority in the Senate.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics, Elections, Domestic politics, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Erwin van Veen, Feike Fliervoet
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Militancy is a common method to exercise influence in a given political order. It has become a widespread tactic and necessity across the Levant, especially since 2011. While militancy is sometimes downright violent and destructive, it can also be a force for positive change and even emancipation. Much of the time it sits in between these extremes. But the use of confrontational methods almost always requires organisation and possession of coercive capabilities. This report examines the purpose, nature and development of five types of organisation through which coercion is exerted across the Levant - namely, governmental coercive organisations, quasi-governmental coercive organisations, hybrid coercive organisations, anti-regime coercive organisations and anti-state coercive organisations. The analysis focuses on hybrid coercive organisations because of their paradoxical tendency to work with and against the state at the same time. Consider Iraq's Peshmerga or Badr Corps, for example. The report makes a strong case for being more cautious with the near-automaticity of peacebuilding efforts to focus on coercive organisations representing 'the state'. More precisely, the evidence-base underpinning the report suggests that effective peacebuilding efforts should: Assess the demerits and merits of coercive organisations based on their interests, constituencies and behaviours in relation to the legitimacy of the political order they seek to realise. View the violence mobilised by coercive organisations as a manifestation rather than a cause of the breakdown of political order. Influence coercive organisations on the basis of their behavioural incentives. These incentives are grounded in the domestic political economy interests of coercive organisations, the nature and level of foreign support they receive, and the expectations of their social constituencies. Ensure that the aim of external interventions corresponds with the prevailing interaction dynamic between a particular hybrid coercive organisation and governmental coercive organisations (this point only pertains to hybrid coercive organisations). The report provides a range of basic ideas for how external parties might nudge the interaction between hybrid coercive organisations and the government in a direction that helps to reduce violence.
  • Topic: Government, Non State Actors, Violence
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Levant
  • Author: Yasir Kuoti
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: Years after toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, corruption remains one of the top concerns of Iraqi citizens. It has, thus, become a tradition for Iraqi governments to champion a resolve for ridding the country of this endemic. The government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is no exception. In his press briefing on 23 November 2017, al-Abadi announced his intention to launch a crosscutting anti-corruption campaign, promising an ultimate “triumph over corruption as Iraq did with Daesh.” While laudable, such efforts will prove substantially difficult and would require a national program that upsets how major aspects of Iraqi politics have been practiced since 2003.
  • Topic: Corruption, Government, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has replaced Total of France as a major operator in the development of phase 11 of the South Pars gas field. This is a substantial gain for the Iranian government, which strives to lure international investors to shore up its economy following the withdrawal of most foreign companies from the market due to US sanctions in last August and November. However, the project appears to hit many hurdles, including the Chinese company’s fears of heavy US fines or escalation of the US ongoing trade war against the county in the coming period.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Government, Oil, Sanctions, Gas, Trade Wars
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Middle East, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: With the second batch of US sanctions on Iran, coming into effect today, the government of President Hassan Rouhani is taking preemptive measures to strengthen its ability to confront sanctions. It seeks to exploit the sanctions to endorse its candidates for the four ministerial portfolios whose ministers were dismissed in the past months, following a no-confidence vote in the Consultative Assembly.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Sanctions, Donald Trump, Hassan Rouhani
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Peiyong Gao
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: The present paper describes the trajectory of China’s fiscal and tax reform in thepast 40 years, which can be summarized in five phases. The reform commenced with“decentralizing power and transferring benefits.” Then, under great fiscal pressure,institutional reform was instigated, which aimed to establish a new fiscal and tax system.To regulate the government revenue and expenditure beyond the fiscal and tax system,reforms were put in place to build an institutional framework for public finance. As thefiscal and tax reform had gradually entered the more sophisticated phases, China took aseries of measures to further improve the public finance system. Since 2012, based on theoverall plan of comprehensively deepening reform, China has embarked on establishinga modern public finance system. The present paper characterizes China’s fiscal and taxreform as gradually moving toward a system that aligns with the overall reform andcomplements the goal of marketization and modernization of state governance.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Finance, Economy, Tax Systems, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: David Straub
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: Shortly before his election as South Korea’s president in May 2017, candidate Moon Jaein issued his most detailed North Korea policy statement. As president, he declared, he would “inherit” the engagement-based, inducements-oriented Sunshine Policy approach of Korea’s only other progressive presidents, Kim Dae-jung (1998-2003) and Roh Moohyun (2003-2008)1. Moon judged the North Korea policies of his immediate predecessors a failure; Presidents Lee Myung-bak (2008-2013) and Park Geun-hye (2013-2017), both conservatives, had disagreed with key aspects of the Sunshine Policy and suspended the major inter-Korean projects undertaken by Kim and Roh. Moon’s emphasis on incentives to Pyongyang contrasted with United Nations Security Council resolutions adopted during the preceding decade; far from offering inducements, the UNSC had imposed increasingly stringent sanctions on the regime in response to its accelerating pursuit of a full-fledged nuclear weapons capability. Moon also struck quite a different tone than the new Trump administration in Washington, which had only recently concluded a North Korea policy review and characterized its approach as one of “maximum pressure and engagement. This chapter assesses Moon’s North Korea policy, its implementation during his initial year in office, and its prospects under difficult circumstances. It begins by reviewing the Sunshine Policy concept, its practice by previous progressive governments, and the significantly different approach of South Korea’s succeeding conservative administrations. It then argues that Moon and many progressives continue to believe in the basic Sunshine Policy approach, even though, unlike when the policy was first formulated, North Korea now already has a limited nuclear weapons capability and may soon be able to credibly threaten the United States homeland with nuclear attack. It reviews how Moon, as president, has attempted to salvage the policy and how North Korea and other concerned countries have responded. The chapter concludes by considering the prospects for Moon’s North Korea policy and offering recommendations to modify it to maximize the interests of both the ROK and the international community as a whole.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Governance, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: During his first year as president, Moon Jae-in faced a challenging strategic environment and divergent advice on how to manage it. He could cater to his progressive base and act in accord with his political lineage by renewing the Sunshine Policy toward North Korea. Alternatively, he could strive for consensus at home by reconciling the differences with conservatives in foreign policy. In diplomacy with the great powers, he also had important choices to make. He could double down on the U.S. alliance or, going further, he could agree to trilateralism with Japan. Yet, he also could be tempted by the option of balancing dependence on the United States with a closer relationship with China. Impacting all of his choices was the question of how Kim Jong-un would focus in 2018, shifting from provocations aimed at military leverage to diplomacy linked to his outlook on Moon’s policies. In the following five chapters authors explore each of these options. This introduction reviews some of their findings and points to linkages among them as part of an overall assessment of how Moon has navigated among the choices he was facing. The following chapters set forth the options that Moon Jae-in has before him. Chapter 1 by David Straub seeks to grasp the appeal of a renewed Sunshine Policy to Moon, while spelling out the implications of taking that route, warning of a breach in trust with the United States if not a temporary welcome from Donald Trump eager for a Nobel Peace Prize. Leif Eric-Easley’s analysis in Chapter 2 assesses the prospects of Moon doubling down on the ROK alliance with the United States and argues that, so far, trust between allies has been sustained, including in 2018 as diplomacy intensified with summitry on the agenda. In Chapter 3 John Delury examines the domestic political environment, pointing to the impact of the Candlelight movement, which offers opportunities for Moon as well as constraints on policies he might adopt. Chung Jae Ho in Chapter 4 explores Sino-ROK relations and the prospects of Moon drawing closer to China with consequences for relations with the United States. A fifth chapter by Sheila Smith focuses on Japan-ROK relations, newly strained by different approaches to diplomacy with Kim Jong-un. Each chapter views Moon’s policies and proclivities in the context of the dynamics of bilateral ties, while following closely what has been happening to those ties during the tumultuous course of Moon’s first year in office, notably in the first third of 2018 as diplomacy intensified.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Galip L. Yalman, Asuman Göksel
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article aims to provide an alternative critical reading of Turkey-European Union (EU) relations, by contending that Turkey’s EU accession process has been instrumental in changing the contours of the transformation of Turkish economy and its governance as part of its neoliberal restructuring. However, the “transformative power” attributed to the EU’s enlargement strategy by the EU Commission has been somewhat debatable since the 2008 global financial crisis as reflected in the slowdown of the accession process. With the rising authoritarian tendencies in its domestic governance, the protracted saga of Turkey’s quest for the EU membership is back to square one, as the proposal for the modernisation of the Customs Union underlines “respect for democracy and fundamental rights” as an indispensable basis for the future of the relations.
  • Topic: Government, History, Bilateral Relations, Authoritarianism, European Union, Neoliberalism, Global Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Mediterranean
  • Author: Balazs Romhanyi, Lukasz Janikowski
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Unsustainability and procyclicality of fiscal policy are problems that many developed countries face. The public debt crisis revealed that fiscal rules are a useful but insufficient instrument for mitigating them. A large and growing group of economists are calling for the creation of ‘fiscal policy councils’ – independent collegial bodies made up of experts whose role is to act as independent reviewers of government policy and advise the government and parliament on fiscal policy. Such councils currently exist in at least 40 countries. Poland is the only EU country that does not have a fiscal policy council. The aim of this paper is to address the issue of whether a fiscal policy council is needed in Poland and what kind of additional contribution such a council might make to the public debate on fiscal policy.
  • Topic: Debt, Government, Governance, Economy, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, European Union
  • Author: Amity Shlaes
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: In recent years, the consensus regarding the American past has slipped leftward, and then leftward again. No longer is American history a story of opportunity, or of military or domestic triumph. America’s has become, rather, a story of wrongs, racial and social. Today, any historical figure who failed at any time to support abolition, or, worse, took the Confederate side in the Civil War, must be expunged from history. Wrongs must be righted, and equality of result enforced. The equality campaign spills over into a less obvious field, one that might otherwise provide a useful check upon the non-empirical claims of the humanities: economics. In a discipline that once showcased the power of markets, an axiom is taking hold: equal incomes lead to general prosperity, and point toward utopia. Teachers, book club presidents, and especially professors withhold any evidence to the contrary. Universities lead the shift, and the population follows. Today, millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, outnumber baby boomers by the millions, and polls suggest that they support redistribution specifically, and government action generally, more than their predecessors. A 2014 Reason/Rupe poll found 48 percent of millennials agreeing that government should “do more” to solve problems, whereas 37 percent said that government was doing “too many things.” A full 58 percent of the youngest of millennials, those 18-24 when surveyed, held a “positive” view of socialism, in dramatic contrast with their parents: only 23 percent of those aged 55 to 64 viewed socialism positively.
  • Topic: Government, Markets, History, Economy, Economic growth, Tax Systems, Free Trade, Welfare
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ashwini K. Swain, Parth Bhatia, Navroz K. Dubash
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The proposed amendments to the Electricity Act 2003, released on 7th September 2018, are most critical among the set of planned reforms in the power sector. With significant changes, it seeks to provide an enabling framework for transformations in electricity market, pricing reforms, regulatory oversight, quality of supply and energy security. While we appreciate the endeavours and intent, in our comments we focus on some serious concerns the draft raises, vital gaps and issues that need serious consideration. These comments have been drafted based on an internal discussion at the Centre for Policy Research, and should not be considered an institutional position, as CPR does not take institutional positions on issues. Rather, these comments reflect the result of internal deliberations, aimed at understanding and reflecting on the draft amendments, with the aim of constructive feedback to the Ministry of Power.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government, Social Policy, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Persis Taraporevala
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The newly elected federal Government of India (GoI) launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015 with the stated purpose of improving the governance and infrastructural deficiencies that plague Indian cities. Missing, however, in the pageantry of the new programme is a cohesive understanding of a smart city. While the government documentation repeatedly implies infinite liberty for cities to self-define their understanding of ‘smartness’, the actions demonstrate that there is a larger idea of ‘smartness’ that the federal government seeks to implement. It is at this disjunction, between the rhetoric and practice of the Mission, that this paper finds its core research question – ‘What constitutes a smart city in India?’ Through a detailed reading of the government documentation of the top 99 cities, the paper argues that the there is a profound chasm between the professed objectives of the Mission and the strategies enacted to achieve these objectives.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Infrastructure, Social Policy, Urban
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Pranav Kuttaiah, Neelanjan Sircar
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Pranav Kuttaiah and Neelanjan Sircar discuss the complexities of the Karnataka election before vote counting the following day.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Ethnicity, Class, Caste
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, Karnataka
  • Author: Partha Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: It is now almost axiomatic that cities are the engines of growth. Historically, federal support programmes have focused on rural areas, but over the past fifteen years, the need to devise such programmes for urban local bodies has come to be recognised, with JNNURM in its various forms, being the most visible early manifestation. This trend has continued, even strengthened, in this government and among the menu of urban support programmes on offer from the Government of India, the vision of the city as the engine of growth is most clearly evident in the Smart City Mission, with its focus on area based development – like an engine within the city. Yet, even in the mainstream economics literature, while there is evidence for cities as places of higher productivity, there is less evidence for cities as drivers of growth – with learning being the primary driver and urban primacy being an important obstacle. The primary questions are whether cities are places of learning, whether there are identifiable mechanisms of such learning and the kind of city institutions – economic, social and political – that facilitate such learning. This paper will interrogate the empirical characteristics of such urban institutions in India in the context of the theoretical literature and learning mechanisms that emerge from international evidence. In particular, it will argue that the nature of the labour market, which is largely contractual, the transfer of rural fragmentation in social relations to cities and the absence of city-level political agency, all reduce the potential of the city as a location of learning economies. For cities to even have the possibility of being engines of growth, we need to ensure that drivers of these engines are in place and we have a mechanism to think about paths to follow.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Bhanu Joshi, Kanhu Charan Pradhan
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Financial incentives including government support grants for infrastructure creation, health and education development in many countries is contingent on where people live. In India, the allocation of critical government subsidies explicitly recognises urban population as a criterion for budgetary allocation. Yet, the fundamental question about what is an urban area and what does it entail to be recognised as an urban settlement in India remains understudied. This paper aims to understand the definitional paradigm of statutory towns in India. We create a novel dataset of all state laws in India on the constitution of urban local governments. We analyse the eligibility criteria that would qualify any area to become urban local bodies under the law in different states and find large variation among states. In our dataset, only fifteen of the twenty-seven states explicitly define and have laws on urban settlements. Within these fifteen states, we find that many small and transitional urban areas violate the eligibility criteria laid down by the state laws constituting them. We further find that states which do not provide statutory laws rely on executive fiat, i.e. it is the prerogative of the state government to declare the creation of a statutory town. What then becomes or “unbecomes” urban in these states is open to dispute. The full extent of this variation and reasons thereof can open up new avenues of scholarship.
  • Topic: Government, Infrastructure, Urbanization, Budget, Legislation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Arkaja Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Getting approvals under the various building regulations applicable to any particular jurisdiction is often the first step in construction and development. The Report ‘Building Regulations for Faecal Sludge Management: Review of Building Regulations from Indian States’ seeks to understand how these building regulations address on-site sanitation, what kind of standards do they impose on developers, and how well do they incorporate mechanisms to enforce these standards. In this report, we look at six states: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. We also look at other standards that are applicable to on-site containment of Faecal sludge, and the manner in which these standards get incorporated into the building regulations. We find that context-specific attention to On-Site Containment of Faecal Sludge is only given in very few states, at least within our sample size. Usually, Building Regulations seem to rely on already existing standards such as the National Building Code, 2016. Additionally, the inconsistencies within the bye-laws exhibit a lack of understanding on the issue of FSM, amongst the policy-makers. As Faecal Sludge Management is an issue at the interface of environment, sanitation, and public health, a lack of convergence between various departments of the government is also noticed.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Health, Regulation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Mridusmita Bordoloi, Varun Kapoor
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This study collates experiences of users of data at different levels to understand the bottlenecks and challenges to achieve transparency and accountability in India’s public education system. Detailed field surveys of parents and head teachers in government schools were conducted in three districts in three different states of India.
  • Topic: Education, Government, Children, Youth, Accountability, Transparency
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anju Dwivedi, Ambarish Karunanithi, Swati Dhiman, Deepti Raj, Neha Agarwal
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Odisha, while being among the relatively less urbanized states in the country, has registered a significantly high decadal urban growth rate of 27%, with the urban population growing from 37 million to 42 million during the decade 2001-2011. With the addition of small towns in the Census, the Government of Odisha has committed itself to address the challenges of poor sanitation and inadequate infrastructure related to sanitation in urban areas. The Government of Odisha has undertaken significant efforts towards improving urban sanitation in Odisha. As part of this effort, large-scale underground sewerage projects are being implemented in major cities. Keeping in view the challenges in executing underground sewerage projects and the high cost implications, over the last two years Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha with support of Scaling City Institutions for India: Sanitation (SCI-FI) team at the Centre for Policy Research have engaged in finding appropriate lower-cost, more easily implementable solutions for city-wide environmental sanitation in two small towns (Angul and Dhenkanal) and AMRUT Cities. The Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy and the Odisha Urban Sanitation Strategy released in late 2016 supported by Scaling City Institutions for India: Sanitation (SCI-FI) team at the Centre for Policy Research lay out the state strategy for sanitation emphasizing alternative solutions. This strategy is under active implementation currently and will ensure improved sanitation across our secondary and smaller cities. The ‘Training Manual for Non-Sewered Urban Sanitation’ was developed by the Scaling City Institutions for India: Sanitation (SCI-FI) team at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, with the able support of the Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha. This training manual is an essential instrument for furthering the goals of the Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy. It adapts most recent developments from across the globe, translating the lessons to make the training modules relevant in the context of Odisha. The subsections include: Module 1: Sanitation and Its Relevance; Module 2: Sanitation Flow Diagram; Module 3: Institutional and Policy Framework for Waste Water Management; Module 4: Urban Waste Water Management Systems; Module 5: Introduction to Faecal Sludge Management; Module 6: Containment and Handling of Faecal Sludge; Module 7: Treatment and Re-use/ Disposal of Faecal Sludge; Module 8: Operation and Maintenance of Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant; Module 9: Financial Management; Module 10: Community Engagement in Faecal Sludge Management; Module 11: Planning of Faecal Sludge Management System. This manual shall be a good resource to train all officials and other stakeholders involved in local service delivery to achieve the Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy targets.
  • Topic: Government, Training, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Arkaja Singh, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Rural areas in India are experiencing significant gains in toilet coverage under the public funded programmes. Given the rate of ‘in-situ urbanization’ in a growing urban paradigm,the rural areas, in many parts, seems to emulate urban infrastructural preferences for their toilets. This may remain annulled due to non-availability of urban like service facilities in the rural context. The first part of the report focusses on establishes the urbanising characteristics of the Large and Dense Villages (LDVs) in India for usage of a specific typology of Sanitation Infrastructure which in turn links to the gaps in terms of service availability across the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) value chain. In this context, in the second half of the report, the authors examine the various environmental and municipal laws applicable to Sanitation in rural areas. The report also sheds light on how the capacities of various institutions and legal instruments may be leveraged for graded interventions, ensuring safe and sustainable sanitation in rural areas in India.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Sanitation, Services
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashwathy Anand, Ajai Sreevatsan, Persis Taraporevala
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The newly elected federal Government of India (GoI) launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015 with the stated purpose of improving the governance and infrastructural deficiencies that plague Indian cities. The Mission categorically states that there is no one definition of a 'smart city' and implies infinite liberty for cities to self-define their understanding of 'smartness'. Towards demystifying the Mission, the researchers utilised government documentation from the 99 cities to answer one question-What constitutes a smart city in India.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Anthony C. E. Quainton
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: These days Generals are thick on the ground in Washington. Not only is the Secretary of Defense a general, but so too are the current and former National Security Advisors to the President and so is the White House Chief of Staff. Military discipline would seem to be the order of the day. Their culture of discipline may seem particularly ironic in one of the most disorganized administrations that we Americans have ever seen. It is nonetheless real.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, National Security, Military Affairs, Trump
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Beatrice Camp
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Celebrating the bicentennial birthday of our 16th president seemed like a fairly safe event for our Shanghai consulate to undertake, considering that Abraham Lincoln was popular in China and former President Jiang Zemin was well known for quoting from the Gettysburg Address. And, of course, Lincoln provided us an opening to talk about “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Sometime after we decided on the program, the State Department announced that Hillary Clinton would travel to Beijing on her first trip as Secretary of State to highlight the importance of the U.S.-China relationship for the new administration. Shanghai wasn’t on her itinerary and yet, somehow, our consulate preparations to hold a 200th birthday party for Abraham Lincoln in February 2009 almost threw a wrench into this important SecState visit.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Government, Memoir
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: David C. Powell
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy
  • Institution: Institute of Governmental Studies, UC Berkeley
  • Abstract: On July 9, 2002, Governor Gray Davis signed the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) into law. The intent of the CVRA was to build upon the voting rights protections embodied in the Federal Voting Rights Act (FVRA) by enhancing the influence of minority populations in local government elections. The CVRA has led to multiple legal challenges of at-large electoral systems in dozens of governments in California. This paper explores the impacts of the CVRA on local governments as well as potential impacts of recent changes to the CVRA.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Democracy, Voting, voting rights
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Sarah J. Lockwood, Matthias Krönke
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: This paper asks whether a country’s choice of electoral system affects the methods citizens use to try to hold their government accountable. A large body of literature suggests that electoral system type has an impact on voting behaviour, but little work has been done on its effects on other strategies for democratic accountability, such as contacting an elected representative and protesting. Using data from 36 African countries, we find that the type of electoral system has a significant relationship with these forms of participation. Citizens in proportional representation (PR) systems are significantly more likely to protest than those in majoritarian ones, while those in majoritarian systems are more likely to contact their elected representatives. We argue that this is because the connection between citizens and representatives in majoritarian systems is clearer, closer, and more responsive, making contact an effective strategy and providing an efficient "safety valve" when citizens want to hold their government to account. The lack of a similar connection in most PR systems, in contrast, leads citizens to turn to protest with greater regularity.
  • Topic: Government, Elections, Democracy, Accountability
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Sana'a Center For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Corruption, or the abuse of power for private gain, has been deeply entrenched in the Yemeni political economy for decades. Over the course of the ongoing conflict, however, as the war has fragmented and regionalized the country, state capture in Yemen has become far more complex. In the war economy, patronage networks are now emerging among previously marginal or unknown figures. The financial involvement of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has extended patronage across national borders. Alleged collusion between Houthi-affiliated importers and officials allied with the internationally recognized Yemeni government indicates patronage networks that potentially cross the frontlines of the war themselves. As greater numbers and a wider variety of actors profit from illicit activity in the war economy, vested economic interests in continued conflict become more entrenched. If state capture is among the main drivers of Yemen’s war economy, then post-conflict recovery must include a strong anti-corruption agenda. Policymakers must begin planning to address corruption as a part of a potential post-conflict strategy. Given the multi-faceted pervasiveness of corruption in Yemen, any anti-corruption agenda must aim to understand the complex configuration of patronage networks in Yemen, to be introduced gradually, and to get the buy-in of as wide a group of Yemenis as possible. Without these basic building blocks, more specific policy changes such as encouraging transparency or reducing conflicts of interest may founder. Corruption has become deeply entrenched in Yemen; any post-conflict anti-corruption agenda must be great in scope and long-term in vision.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government, War, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Yemen, West Asia
  • Author: Bal Kama
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Papua New Guinea entered its 2017 National Election after a tumultuous period in the country's politics and economy, and there remains much uncertainty about the election process, with significant implications for the country's future. In the last ten years key political, bureaucratic, and regulatory institutions have struggled and in some cases, failed. These struggles have been more profound under the O'Neill government despite some tangible advances in the country's ambitious Vision 2050 roadmap. There is a widespread desire across the country for robust and independent institutions to ensure economic gains are transparently and sustainably managed. The ultimate question for many voters in the 2017 general elections was not who would form the next government, but who would be the most credible leader. [3] With elections now over, and the O'Neill government returning for a second term, what does Papua New Guinea expect of the new government and those in power? This analysis attempts to address how key trends in PNG's politics will impact upon both the bureaucracy and regulatory environment. It will identify some of the key actors and how they are likely to change. It will discuss current political trends, their impact on the regulatory and legislative environments and how likely they are to continue in the future. Finally, it assesses the prospects of continuing dysfunction in PNG politics, the further marginalisation and deterioration of the bureaucracy, and how this destructive course might be avoided.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Elections, Regulation, Economy, Institutions, Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: AustralAsia, Papua New Guinea
  • Author: Jenny Hayward- Jones
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The new O'Neill government faces a rapidly changing external environment as it struggles to manage a significant domestic economic downturn and unprecedented pressures on the national budget. Australia remains Papua New Guinea's closest foreign partner; by far its largest bilateral aid partner, trading partner and foreign investor, but its influence is diminishing as that of other actors is growing. China is an increasingly important player - as a trade partner, investor in infrastructure and source of foreign loans, as well as in the small to medium business sector. Relations with other Asian nations are expanding. Large foreign companies are exerting more influence on government policy than most nation state development and trade partners of Papua New Guinea can hope to exercise. These relationships are likely to come into sharper focus over the next year, as the PNG government prepares to host APEC in 2018. It is not clear that the new PNG government has the capacity to pursue the national interest abroad while it is preoccupied with a complex set of challenges at home.
  • Topic: Government, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics, Development Aid
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, AustralAsia, Papua New Guinea
  • Author: Aaron L. Connelly
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Donald Trump has put US policy in East Asia on autopilot. But that could leave the United States far off course — and in a crisis, Trump will be required to fly the plane. Despite President Donald Trump’s promise to adopt an America First foreign policy, US policies in East Asia — on issues from trade, to diplomatic engagement, to the North Korean nuclear crisis — now more closely resemble those of Trump’s predecessors than his campaign vision. There are few advisers around President Trump with the necessary expertise, experience, and inclination to implement an America First foreign policy in Asia. Most principals hold conventional Republican views, and lead institutions that have advanced conventional policies. As a result, US policy in East Asia is on autopilot. The greatest risks are not a deliberate crash, but that of a crisis, in which the autopilot will disengage and President Trump will be required to fly the plane; or that the United States will drift far off course before a qualified pilot can retake control.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Shireen Al-Adeim
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This is the first of a three-part series of essays on Yemen highlighting the magnitude and impact of the civil war on Yemenis. Yemen continues to suffer in silence as the world turns away from its ongoing misery. Despite over two and a half years of war, the average American seems oblivious to the United States’ role in fueling the conflict in Yemen. While wealthy Arab states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates bombard the Middle East’s poorest country, pushing the country toward famine and an unprecedented cholera outbreak, the US government (beginning with the Obama administration and continuing with Trump) has continued to fully support the Saudi-led coalition through the sale of weapons, mid-air refueling, targeting intelligence, and other logistical support.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, War, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United States of America
  • Author: Zeinab Abdul-Magd
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Egypt's army portrays itself as a faithful guardian "saving the nation." Yet saving the nation has meant militarizing it. Zeinab Abul-Magd examines both the visible and often invisible efforts by Egypt's semi-autonomous military to hegemonize the country's politics, economy, and society over the past six decades. The Egyptian army has adapted to and benefited from crucial moments of change. It weathered the transition to socialism in the 1960s, market consumerism in the 1980s, and neoliberalism from the 1990s onward, all while enhancing its political supremacy and expanding a mammoth business empire. Most recently, the military has fought back two popular uprisings, retained full power in the wake of the Arab Spring, and increased its wealth. While adjusting to these shifts, military officers have successfully transformed urban milieus into ever-expanding military camps. These spaces now host a permanent armed presence that exercises continuous surveillance over everyday life. Egypt's military business enterprises have tapped into the consumer habits of the rich and poor alike, reaping unaccountable profits and optimizing social command. Using both a political economy approach and a Foucauldian perspective, Militarizing the Nation traces the genealogy of the Egyptian military for those eager to know how such a controversial power gains and maintains control.
  • Topic: Government, Military Affairs, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231542807
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Robert Pulwer, Hans Binnendijk
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Hans Binnendijk is Vice Chairman of the Fletcher School Board. He has served in senior positions at the National Security Council, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the State Department. He has directed think tanks at Georgetown University, the National Defense University, and in Europe. He writes frequently on national security policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government, Politics, Partnerships, Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel W. Drezner, Daniel W. Drezner
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: A possible subtitle for Dan Drezner’s forthcoming book, The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas is “Pathologies of Places I’ve Worked At, and How It’s Getting Worse.” I mean this as both a compliment and a criticism. Drezner is a rare scholar whose public policy impact is every bit as great as his scholarly one. As such, he is ideally placed to assess the transformation of what he calls the “Ideas Industry,” a general term for the network of institutions producing new (or repackaged) foreign policy ideas.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Education, Government, Book Review
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Otto H. Van Maerssen
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In a fairly humid, subtropical section of the United States, there is a site where sporadic gunfire sometimes rattles the windows of buildings nearby. At times, plaintive howls can be heard through those windows: the wails of wounded officers lying on neatly trimmed fields under the bright sun, waving their arms desperately to attract the attention of medics converging on a nearby field ambulance. Meanwhile, scores of military officers, civilian officials and law enforcement personnel inside the buildings barely notice, and all resist the presumably well-ingrained temptation to spring into action. Ignoring the noise outside is certainly understandable, for the sounds are from just some of many training exercises on the Army’s sprawling military base at Fort Benning, Georgia. The military officers, civilian officials and law enforcement personnel are students at one of the base’s facilities, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), and are deadly serious about their studies – on countering transnational threats, UN peacekeeping operations, and intelligence analysis of transnational operations, among other courses offered. But, there is one notable feature that distinguishes the educational exercises at this building from any other, and which unites the students in this particular facility: every student in every course begins studies with classes on human rights and democracy, as delineated by the U.S. experience.
  • Topic: Security, Education, Government, Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Military Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: South America, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ryan J. Vogel
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: President Donald Trump has made clear his intent to utilize wartime detention in the fight against al-Qaeda and ISIS. As former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy, William Lietzau, and I have argued elsewhere, this could be a positive development in the United States’ evolving approach to the war against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their associates, so long as it is coupled with a commitment to continuing key detention policies and humane treatment standards developed over the past fifteen years. In recent years, the United States has largely avoided adding to the detainee population at Guantanamo (GTMO) – mainly in reaction to some of the more infamous excesses from the first couple of years after the attacks on September 11, 2001. But failing to capture new enemy fighters has come with an operational and humanitarian cost. The United States should take the opportunity that comes with political transition to re-embrace the wartime detention mission.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Law, Prisons/Penal Systems, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Global Focus, United States of America, Guantanamo
  • Author: Jana Urbanovská
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017 the Czech-German relations were marked by the anniversaries of the Czech-German Declaration (1997) and the Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation (1992). Their dynamics in that year were under the considerable influence of the parliamentary elections in both the Czech Republic and Germany. This led to a decline in the development of their bilateral relations at the top political level, both before the elections due to their focusses on their respective domestic political agendas, and after the elections, owing to the demanding post-election negotiations. Nevertheless, their sectoral, practically-oriented co-operation continued intensively at a lower level. It was substantial especially in the areas of defence policy, science and research, and transport infrastructure. In the field of economic co-operation there was the ongoing, exceptionally favourable trend of the growing Czech-German foreign trade. However, the dependency of the Czech economy on the German economy had increased, and the income gap between their respective citizens had not become narrower. In the context of European policy, there was an undesirable rift between the Czech and German standpoints in regard to a number of points on the Union agenda. As regards the issues of the past, there was a continuing trend of normalising the mutual relations and a subsiding of the politicisation of these issues.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Bilateral Relations, Elections
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Czech Republic
  • Author: Gabriel Jonsson
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the United Nations Development Programme’s role in South and North Korea’s economic development. The UNDP is not only the UN’s lead agency for economic and social development, it is one of the few UN organizations to have worked with both countries in traditional bilateral arrangements, as well as a in multilateral initiative. Operating in South Korea from 1963 to 2009, the UNDP contributed to the nation’s economic development by complimenting the government’s policies. However, its role was minor compared to the government’s own actions. Nonetheless, South Korea has served on the UNDP board four times since its UN admission in 1991, raising the country’s diplomatic standing. After North Korea joined the UNDP in 1979, the organization’s work in the country focused on improving food production and supporting industrial development. These activities helped improve the economic crisis since the 1990s. In the 1990s, the UNDP provided humanitarian assistance and scholarships to develop human resources. Pyongyang officials restricted the UNDP’s work throughout the time it was active in North Korea. These violations led the UNDP to suspend operations in 2007. Since the early 1990s, the UNDP has supported the Tumen River Area Development Program, the only initiative that involved the two Koreas, as well as China, Russia and Mongolia. Although the UNDP facilitated initial contacts, it was unable to overcome longstanding animosities and disagreements. The successor Greater Tumen Initiative continues to languish.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, United Nations, United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United Nations
  • Author: Julie Baer
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: Over the past year, U.S. higher education institutions have spread the message #YouAreWelcomeHere globally through videos and social media. However, with policy shifts and public debates on immigration, questions abound regarding the United States’ ability to continue attracting and educating the brightest talent from around the world: “Will the number of international students in the United States decline?”; “Are changes at my institution reflected at other colleges and universities?”; “Do international students still want to come to the United States?”; “Are other countries attracting international students away from the United States?” This report explores these complex questions through findings from the Fall 2017 International Student Enrollment Hot Topics Survey. A national survey of U.S. higher education institutions conducted annually since 2005, this report provides the international education field with a snapshot of current patterns and trending topics in international student enrollments. This year’s survey focused on understanding Fall 2017 new international student enrollment, institutional recruiting and outreach priorities, and how the current U.S. social and political climate is impacting U.S. colleges and universities. The report is released jointly with and complements the Open Doors Report, which provides a comprehensive view of international student enrollment in the United States based on data from the previous academic year, 2016/17. However, it should be noted that because this report reflects just a snapshot from 522 institutions, the full picture for 2017 fall enrollments will be reflected in Open Doors 2018, available in November 2018. The results of this survey are designed to provide insight into how U.S. higher education institutions are impacted by the shifting U.S. landscape. Additionally, the findings provide information for colleges and universities to benchmark their own enrollment patterns and to inform ongoing outreach and recruitment strategies.
  • Topic: Government, Immigration, Higher Education, Survey
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Andrés Cañizález
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: When Venezuelan opposition leader Jesús Torrealba held a much anticipated rally in September 2016, only one television channel, Globovisión, was willing to broadcast it. By then, the 24-hour news channel stood alone as the one major broadcaster daring enough to air critical coverage of the government. he speech was particularly newsworthy because Torrealba that day was planning to call for nation-wide protests in favor of a referendum on President Nicolás Maduro. The Venezuelan constitution allows for what is essentially a recall by plebiscite if citizens can marshal enough signatures in favor of one, but the country’s electoral commission, Torrealba alleged, was stonewalling the process in spite of the opposition’s success at collecting the signatures. He had hoped his speech could provoke demonstrations of irrefutable public support for the referendum. After only a few minutes at the podium, however, the transmission of his speech was interrupted without warning.1 President Maduro had ordered a blanket broadcast across all radio and television stations–what is known in Spanish as a cadena nacional. These presidential broadcasts resemble a US Oval Office address in style, but in Venezuela the law obliges both state‑owned and private media to carry the transmissions, which have lasted as long as eight hours. When Maduro invoked this law to interrupt Torrealba’s speech, Venezuelans had no choice but to listen to Maduro or simply switch off their TVs and radios. This is not an isolated event. The abuse of presidential broadcast laws, which was first witnessed in Venezuela under Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, has become a source of concern in several countries in the region, including in Argentina and Ecuador.2 This report looks at how obligatory presidential broadcasts have risen with a wave of populist authoritarian governments in Latin America, and how the abuse of such transmissions, coupled with other efforts to suppress independent press, has been a significant detriment to democratic deliberation. By looking at legal restrictions on this practice in the region, the report also provides some insight into how the abuse of obligatory presidential transmissions could be curtailed.
  • Topic: Government, Media, Propaganda, The Press
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America, Venezuela, Ecuador