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In this interview, Executive Director of the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) Ann Bernstein discusses the development paths of India, Brazil, and South Africa and what the experiences of these countries tell us about whether a democratic market-based alternative to increasingly popular authoritarian approaches is emerging in the developing world. Bernstein also discusses the challenges facing these democracies and the reforms needed to strengthen them.Read more...
The Rose Revolution in Georgia was quickly hailed in the West as a democratic success story, inspiring a series of other “people-powered revolutions,” such as the ones in Ukraine, Lebanon, and Kyrgyzstan.
However, the euphoria surrounding the revolution has given way to the reality that democratic reforms are not progressing as they should. President Saakashvili has had a number of important successes, including police reform and development of market-based solutions to the social protection system. However, there have also been significant problems, including censorship in the media, constitutional changes that reduced the powers of the legislature and the judiciary, and government pressure on business. In many respects, Georgia is at a crossroads between a liberal democracy and the Russian model of so-called “managed democracy.”Read more...
In his interview with Alquds Daily Newspaper, CIPE Executive Director John D. Sullivan discusses issues of institutional governance and evaluates the path to economic recovery in Palestine. In strong economies, the private sector is the engine of economic growth, but in Palestine, various obstacles limit its ability to move the economy forward. In many cases, the business community is unable to assume a leadership role because the laws governing associations inhibit business organizations from becoming the “broad voice of Palestinian businesspeople.” In addition, other obstacles to economic recovery of the country include transportation restrictions, transaction costs, barriers to export, and lack of access to credit. These are the issues that must be resolved so that private enterprise in Palestine can become the driving force behind economic recovery.Read more...
Business associations play a crucial role in the economic development of every country. In post-conflict countries, however, associations have a heightened responsibility to facilitate the transition from war to reconstruction. Yet, it is important to note that there is no standard formula for initiating and sustaining the transition to a new system. In many post-conflict countries, circumstances beyond the private sector’s control often force business associations to adopt new approaches to economic development and, more importantly, develop a new paradigm of association management.
Associations must often take the lead in creating a new vision to address the needs of the business community while the government is occupied with rebuilding the political system and re-establishing order. The role of business associations in post-conflict countries is not only to facilitate the immediate renewal of the economy, but also the rebuilding of the country’s underlying economic, political, and social institutions.Read more...
In his interview with CIPE, Michael Novak discusses the universal features of the human desire for liberty and its connection to democracy in light of his recent book The Universal Hunger for Liberty: Why the Clash of Civilizations is not Inevitable. Mr. Novak explains that liberty is actually a tripartite system in which political liberty, economic liberty, and moral and cultural liberty must be blended together to form a balanced system. Free enterprise is an important component of this equation because entrepreneurs create jobs and add value so that others can become enfranchised and strive towards their own personal goals.
Mr. Novak also discusses the importance of religion and civil society in a democratic society. He presents Alexis de Tocqueville’s argument that religious values and active participation in civil society are needed for a democracy to grow and flourish. The strong connection between religion and the economy is also becoming more apparent, because religion instills the moral and cultural values essential to protect democracy and a dynamic economy.Read more...
Investment is all about managing risks. It has been the root of traditional analysis to focus on numbers, ratios, and capital. But as investors evaluate an opportunity and banks look at loans, a new factor is being injected into the analysis – the risk that the numbers do not reflect the operating performance of the enterprise. So today, a whole new risk assessment industry has sprung up, focusing on the internal workings of the corporate structure. This new industry is corporate governance.
While the numbers remain important, investors and bankers are increasingly focusing on how the various aspects of the corporation perform relative to its objectives and its shareholders. Whether one views this new trend as simply fashion or evolution, good corporate governance is of increasing importance for companies in developing countries as they compete for capital and investment. It is seen to help create more sustainable companies regardless of their size, geographic location, or industry.Read more...
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
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