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- De facto states in the post-Soviet space lack international recognition and strong state structures, but survive in large part due to Russian aid, as Russia has a strategic interest in these regions.
- Any credible effort to reunify the de facto states with their parent states would require tackling pervasive corruption and criminal markets, and must also take into account ethnic and historical grievances that make reunification challenging.
- Economic relations and deeper trade ties, such as are emerging between Moldova and Transnistria, may offer hope for compromise, and could help formulate an approach to Ukraine’s relationship with Donbas.
The limited analysis of Afghanistan’s political economy has focused extensively on the illicit narcotics sector and has not sufficiently addressed informal sector issues. As a result, three important characteristics of the Afghan economy have been widely neglected: participation in the market is not open to all, benefits are spread unevenly among participants, and the country’s market structures in their current state undermine governance and state-building.
These factors have the potential to seriously impede both the democratic and economic development of Afghanistan. The key concern of policymakers has been to create a light regulatory state to promote private sector growth, hoping that competitive pricing and market efficiency will eventually arise out of the forces of supply and demand. It is imperative that policymakers consider the broad political implications of such growth, which may not necessarily be free and equitable, rather than simply assuming that the market will lead to a democratic and prosperous society.Read more...
Kosovo is one of the former Yugoslavia’s last regions to begin transitioning to a free-market democracy. While there has been some progress towards this goal, the process of change has been frustratingly slow. Many familiar with the region and its challenges would agree that a key barrier to reform is a weak and ineffective governance system, split among multiple agencies. This problem is manifested in an inefficient public sector that is burdened by a lack of transparency, accountability, and clearly defined roles for stakeholders. The absence of a governing principle for publicly owned enterprises (POEs) has contributed greatly to this confusion.Read more...
CIPE: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), or corporate citizenship, is becoming increasingly instrumental in defining the role of business in society. However, the debate over business’ responsibility is far from resolved. What are the main issues that companies face?
Mr. Young: My immediate response is that companies can sometimes sidestep the debate. Why should companies engage in the debate, as well as actively consider the implications of it, when making business decisions? This is a very important question and, unfortunately, often there are not many factors to which companies can relate from a business perspective. But, there are some.Read more...
One way to approach the complex challenges of post-conflict reconstruction is to view the process as a balancing act of providing sufficient humanitarian relief without compromising longer-term development objectives. These longer-term objectives include the development of institutions – both physical infrastructure and social structures and mechanisms – that allow free market democracy to take root. Ultimately, the success of countries in building democratic governance and providing economic opportunities will be the determining factor in achieving prosperity, peace, and sustainability.Read more...
Commenting on the 2002 World Championships in basketball, a Serbian sports journalist could not help but notice that the two finalists – the national teams of Argentina and FR Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) – had more in common than being the best teams in the competition. The journalist was quick to point out the irony that the two best teams in the world represented countries crippled by the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
The journalist may have been correct in highlighting similarities between these two countries in terms of the developmental challenges they face. The problem with his comment, however, was that it was based on perceptions, not on thorough analysis of economic and political institutions. In fact, he could have not been further away from the truth in blaming the World Bank and the IMF for the development challenges of the two countries.Read more...
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CIPE welcomes articles submitted by readers. Most articles run between 3-7 pages (1000-3000 words), but all submissions relevant to CIPE's mission of building accountable, democratic institutions through market-oriented reform will be considered based on merit. Economic Reform Feature Service articles are primarily geared toward an international, non-academic community of businesspeople, economic reformers, and policy-makers. Specific policy recommendations and articles based on direct experience are encouraged. In addition to articles, we are willing to adapt suitable lectures, speeches, research notes, and academic papers.
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