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  • Author: Stephen L. Magiera
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Foreign investors can lodge a complaint against a host country for alleged treaty violations under the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions of bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The complaints are arbitrated internationally outside the host country's domestic court, sometimes involve claims exceeding US$1 billion, and give rise to significant financial risk of international arbitration for host countries. Because of this, Indonesia has recently cancelled many of its BITs. But at the same time, Indonesia has agreed to ISDS under the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) and ASEAN's five agreements with Dialogue Partners. Furthermore, President Joko Widodo has expressed strong interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which contains provisions for ISDS. ASEAN's Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will also provide for ISDS. This note reviews the status of Indonesia's international obligations with respect to ISDS, evaluates some of the benefits and costs of ISDS, and reviews the extent to which Indonesia would be undertaking new ISDS obligations under TPP. The note concludes with a discussion of ways that Indonesia can reduce the risk of international arbitration through domestic regulatory reforms.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: William Chislett
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: Although some Spaniards joke that the country has got along fine with a caretaker government for 315 days, this year has been a lost one. There are some pressing issues that need to be tackled now that there is finally a functioning government. But the new Popular Party (PP) government no longer has an absolute majority. As a minority administration it will have to negotiate its laws and reforms in a deeply fragmented parliament, the result of the upending of the PP and the Socialist Party (PSOE) by two new parties, the far left Unidos Podemos (UP) and the centrist Ciudadanos (C’s). The government has a lot on its plate, including the following: (a) belatedly approving the budget for 2017 and meeting the EU’s threshold for the deficit (3% of GDP) in 2018 (a target imposed by Brussels that the PP persistently missed); (b) deciding what to do about the push for independence in Catalonia (the region’s government says it will hold a referendum on the issue in September 2017 regardless of whether the central government approves it or not); (c) cleaning up corruption in the political class; (d) making the judiciary more independent; (e) possibly deepening the labour market reforms in a bid to reduce the still very high unemployment rate (18.9%); (f) reforming an education system whose early school-leaving rate of 20% is close to double the EU average; (g) bolstering the ailing pension system hit by a sharp fall in the number of social security contributors and a rapidly ageing population; and (h) making its voice heard more in the post-Brexit debate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Spain, European Union
  • Author: Zsolt Darvas, Dirk Schoenmaker
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Integrated capital markets facilitate risk sharing across countries. Lower home bias in financial investments is an indicator of risk sharing. We highlight that existing indicators of equity home bias in the literature suffer from incomplete coverage because they consider only listed equities. We also consider unlisted equites and show that equity home bias is much higher than previous studies perceived. We also analyse home bias in debt securities holdings, and euro-area bias. We conclude that European Union membership may foster financial integration and reduce information barriers, which sometimes limit cross-country diversification. We calculate home bias indicators for the aggregate of the euro area as if the euro area was a single country and report remarkable similarity between the euro area and the United States in terms of equity home bias, while there is a higher level of debt home bias in the United States than in the euro area as a whole. We develop a new pension fund foreign investment restrictions index to control for the impact of prudential regulations on the ability of institutional investors to diversify geographically across borders. Our panel regression estimates for 25 advanced and emerging countries in 2001-14 provide strong support for the hypothesis that the larger the assets managed by institutional investors (defined as pension funds, insurance companies and investment funds), the smaller the home bias and thereby the greater the scope for risk sharing.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Economic structure, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Yakov Ben-Haim, Maria Demertzis, Jan Willem Van Den End
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This paper applies the info-gap approach to the unconventional monetary policy of the Eurosystem and so takes into account the fundamental uncertainty on inflation shocks and the transmission mechanism. The outcomes show that a more demanding monetary strategy, in terms of lower tolerance for output and inflation gaps, entails less robustness against uncertainty, particularly if financial variables are taken into account. Augmenting the Taylor rule with a financial variable leads to a smaller loss of robustness than taking into account the effect of financial imbalances on the economy. However, in some situations, the augmented model is more robust than the baseline model. A conclusion from our framework is that including financial imbalances in the monetary policy objective does not necessarily increase policy robustness, and may even decrease it
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Georgios Petropoulos
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This Policy Contribution tackles the definition and benefits of collaborative economy, as well as the distinction between professional and non-professional services, recommendations on safety and transparency for users, and the way to approach regulatory concerns.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Middle at ha een engulfed in chao. Longtanding authoritarian regime have een toppled; till other dictator have killed hundred of thouand and diplaced million in an effort to retain power. Iran’ hiite prox militia have pread throughout the region, fueling ectarianim and roadening the appeal of nihilitic unni Ilamit jihadit group. Meanwhile, audi Araia and gpt—two longtanding pillar of Wahington’ trategic architecture in the Middle at—have een haken  economic troule.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Jordan
  • Author: Milos Popovic, Sonja Stojanovic Gajic
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The latest Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) working study summarizes the key findings of a survey on relations towards major powers and their influence on Serbia and Serbia’s foreign policy. The research was conducted from 26 December 2016 until 14 January 2017 on reprezentative sample of 1,403 adult citizens of Serbia (excluding Kosovo).
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Serbia
  • Author: Milos Popovic, Sonja Stojanovic Gajic
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The latest BCSP working study summarizes the key findings of a survey on national security and responses to security threats. The research was conducted from 26 December 2016 until 14 January 2017 on reprezentative sample of 1,403 adult citizens of Serbia (excluding Kosovo).
  • Topic: International Security, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Serbia
  • Author: Ahmad Alili, Victoria Bittner
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: Azerbaijan’s membership in the EITI is considered a key asset to the country’s oil and natural gas economy. As a result of leaving the EITI, Azerbaijan might be regarded as ineligible for future loans by the World Bank and other international institutions for projects, such as the Southern Gas Corridor Project (TAP&TANAP). It is quite an important decision for the country, which was a founding member of the initiative, to leave it. It is going to have considerable effects on the economy and civil society in Azerbaijan. This article aims to shed light on the possible domestic developments of Azerbaijan’s suspension of the EITI.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Rashad Hasanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: The implementation of fixed exchange rate regime for 20 years (1994-2014) resulted in a formation of an insecure currency position for all interest groups, including the government and business. Although the pressures on manat have commenced to increase since the second half of 2014, the Central Bank and the government failed in comprehending the process. That is why, promising statements have been made to the general public. But the following events proved the underlying problem more severe and the implemented monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies ineffective in the long-term. Business, citizens, as well as state-owned enterprises faced serious financial losses. The country experienced serious threats with regard to its financial sustainability.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Monetary Policy, Finance
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Ahmed Alili
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: On 20th January, Donald John Trump, an American businessman and TV entertainer is going to be 45th President of the United States of America (US). This is a hard-to-be comprehended statement by the academic and research communities, who did not expect the result of the US presidential elections to turn out this way. The possibility of Trump’s victory was repeatedly denied by the major research centres, and each scandal encouraged researchers to re-state their predictions on the soon-to-be collapse of the Trump election campaign. Needless to say, these predictions were proven false by the final election results. Nevertheless, in the end, the academic and policy research communities have not produced research on what Trump’s presidency would look like. The same stands true for the foreign governments of the EU, Russia, China, and the rest of the world. In order to figure out who is the new US President and what he can do, the world has entered into a phase of intensive research on Trump. This paper is an attempt to puzzle out Trump’s foreign policy for the Caucasus and Azerbaijan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: America, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Rashad Hasanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: Without a doubt, 2016 is considered as one of the painful years for the economy of the country. That is to say, the economy of the country encountered nearly 4.0 % decline [during January-November 2016 GDP fell by 3.9% compared with the previous year, SSCRA1], the depreciation of national currency continued, as a result, manat lost its value by 12.5% during the year. The depreciation of national currency reached 57% from January, 2015 until December, 2016. Inflation rate increased to 12.1%, hitting a two-digit level first time since 2008 and consequently, real income of population shrank by 3.2%. The tight monetary and credit policies of the government led to weakening economic activity, lending level fell to the minimum, 11 banks were closed (one of them being systematically important). The state budget revenues and expenditures executed with respectively 16.1% and 10% decrease in 2016, compared with the January-November, 2015.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Finance
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan
  • Author: Baronia Nitisha
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of European Studies
  • Abstract: Due to economic, political, and cultural disparities between member states, the European Union (EU) has been unable to form a pan-European political and cultural identity. This has resulted in a long-term vote capturing opportunity for far-right political parties, which have brought Euroscepticism to the EU’s doorstep through election to the European Parliament (EP). Furthermore, because of their ability to emphasize these deeply rooted economic, political, and cultural disparities, far-right eurosceptic Members of European Parliament (MEPs) exacerbate Euroscepticism in a self-sustaining cycle that both internally and externally threatens EU legitimacy and, if left unaddressed, the very future of European integration.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alon Levkowitz
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: Kim Jung-un’s new year declaration that North Korea will test its new ICBM this year (2017) poses a further challenge to the incoming Trump administration. It is truly a “rogue state” – a country that conducts nuclear tests in defiance of the UN Security Council, and that is willing to sell conventional and non-conventional weapons to other rogue regimes, including Israel’s enemies. The nuclear cooperation between North Korea, Syria and Iran forces Israel into new alliances to counter this threat.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Garfinkle
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: By now the world knows that U.S. military forces for the first time since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011 have attacked regime targets. Plenty of the basic facts are known about what transpired about 18 hours ago, but a few important ones are not—at least not in the public domain. For example, we have only a very general Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) report. This matters because Tomahawk cruise missiles are very accurate if “lite” weapons. Knowing what the four dozen or so missiles hit and missed, deliberately and otherwise, could tell us a lot about why the President, presumably with Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ guidance and concurrence, chose the lesser of three options presented at what has been described as a meeting of considerable length. That, in turn, could tell us if the intention ultimately is to coerce the Russians into coercing the Syrians to stop doing monstrous things to their own people, and possibly coercing them to support a compromise political settlement to the war; or if it’s just an Eff-You gesture designed only to relieve the sudden pressure of moral unction that unexpectedly came upon our new Commander-in Chief—who seemed to lurch from coldblooded Randian to “Godtalk” invoker of the American Civil Religion in the wink of an eye. In other words, knowing more about the target set would tell us whether there is any political strategy attached to the use of force, or not. Probably not.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: This manifesto contains 39 recommendations to address corruption in our country and the UK’s role in facilitating corruption globally. These five priority actions, building on past government announcements, deserve cross-party support, and could be introduced swiftly.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Steve Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: It is well established that companies based in the UK’s Overseas Territories (OTs) and Crown Dependencies are widely used in money laundering and grand corruption cases.1 The absence of any public information about them allows corrupt beneficial owners to buy luxury goods and property with anonymity and enjoy their ill-gotten gains with impunity. Journalists, citizen investigators and businesses looking to find out who’s behind these anonymous corporate entities hit a brick wall whenever they encounter them, and rely almost entirely on periodic leaks like the Panama Papers to unveil who really owns them.2 Their use is so problematic that the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has openly cited their opacity as a strategic risk to the UK.3
  • Topic: Corruption, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Patrick Martin
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: ISIS is waging a renewed offensive campaign in recaptured areas that could exploit vulnerabilities in the Iraqi Government’s ability to respond amidst accelerating political competition before upcoming elections.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Els de Graauw, Irene Bloemraad
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Supporting and investing in the integration of immigrants and their children is critically important to US society. Successful integration contributes to the nation’s economic vitality, its civic and political health, and its cultural diversity. But although the United States has a good track record on immigrant integration, outcomes could be better. A national, coherent immigrant integration policy infrastructure is needed. This infrastructure can build on long-standing partnerships between civil society and US public institutions. Such partnerships, advanced under Republican- and Democratic-led administrations, were initially established to facilitate European immigrants’ integration in large American cities, and later extended to help refugees fleeing religious persecution and war. In the twenty-first century, we must expand this foundation by drawing on the growing activism by cities and states, new civil society initiatives, and public-private partnerships that span the country.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert Warren, Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The Trump administration has made the construction of an “impregnable” 2,000-mile wall across the length of the US-Mexico border a centerpiece of its executive orders on immigration and its broader immigration enforcement strategy. This initiative has been broadly criticized based on: • Escalating cost projections: an internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study recently set the cost at $21.6 billion over three and a half years; • Its necessity given the many other enforcement tools — video surveillance, drones, ground sensors, and radar technologies — and Border Patrol personnel, that cover the US-Mexico border: former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and other experts have argued that a wall does not add enforcement value except in heavy crossing areas near towns, highways, or other “vanishing points” (Kerwin 2016); • Its cost-effectiveness given diminished Border Patrol apprehensions (to roughly one-fourth the level of historic highs) and reduced illegal entries (to roughly one-tenth the 2005 level according to an internal DHS study) (Martinez 2016); • Its efficacy as an enforcement tool: between FY 2010 and FY 2015, the current 654-mile pedestrian wall was breached 9,287 times (GAO 2017, 22); • Its inability to meet the administration’s goal of securing “operational control” of the border, defined as “the prevention of all unlawful entries to the United States” (White House 2017); • Its deleterious impact on bi-national border communities, the environment, and property rights (Heyman 2013).
  • Topic: Immigration, Post Truth Politics
  • Political Geography: America