2974 Items
|
View1020
||

Some hope in the middle of chaos in Gaza?

01.05.2006
Even the most cynical of observers might not have imagined the situation in Gaza could have deteriorated as quickly and as badly as it has.¬† After the initial euphoria over the removal of the settlements and the handing over of control to the Palestinian Authority (PA), we then had the (seemingly)¬...

Private Sector as a Political Force in the Gulf

01.05.2006
Despite a ban on political parties in the Gulf region, in some countries, such as Kuwait and Bahrain, they are accepted and openly active, though legal restrictions force them to function as NGOs rather than political parties. For example, it is well known that the Association for National Democrati...

Debt Free?

01.04.2006
Argentina repaid its IMF debt today, digging into its Central Bank reserves to come up with the money.  A good review of news stories on this is available on the World Bank's website. There are conflicting opinions out there.  Some say this move is a signal that things are improving in Latin Amer...

On Nation-Building

01.03.2006
A new book on nation-building edited by Francis Fukuyama is coming out later this month.  This volume includes essays by Larry Diamond and Minxin Pei, among others.  A lot of work in post-conflict reconstruction concentrates on immediate physical rebuilding of countries (roads, buildings, etc.) ...

Oil Revenues and Economic Growth

01.03.2006
High oil prices (read high oil revenues) do not always mean economic growth.  Just look at the oil-rich Azerbaijan.  Some 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Teachers in the country earn only about $50 per month. And while the impact of the oil money can be seen in Baku - w...

Notes from the Field: Uzbekistan (Part 3 of 3)

12.30.2005
Part of the reason that small and medium enterprise is suffering so badly is the lack of clear channels of communication between businesspeople and the government. Uzbekistan's treatment of civil society groups makes it nearly impossible for NGOs and business associations to operate without official...

Combating Corruption: China’s Latest Initiative

12.29.2005
It seems that executions of public officials for taking bribes in China are doing little to deter corruption there.  As corruption remains rampant, the country continues to search for ways to get it under control.  The latest initiative - a public website, where citizens can expose corrupt gove...

The Effect of Organized Business on Democracy

12.29.2005
Ben Ross Schneider's book Business, Politics, and the State in Twentieth-Century Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2004) explores the linkages between business associations and democracy. Business associations, as an important part of civil society, have the ability to influence "the qualit...

Economic Solutions to the Mideast Crisis

12.28.2005
Today's WSJ features a front page story on the Mideast crisis and its economic underpinnings. The article talks about some of the economic impediments that people in Gaza and the West Bank face - mainly barriers to movement of goods and people - and the implications of these barriers. For example: A...

Critical Need for Civil Society-Building in Iraq

12.28.2005
Yesterday’s New York Times contained an op-ed by Andrew Erdmann, former National Security Council advisor on Iraq under President George W. Bush and previously a senior advisor to Iraq’s Ministry for Higher Education, on the need for comprehensive institutional engagement with Iraq. Rega...

Notes from the Field: Uzbekistan (Part 2 of 3)

12.28.2005
Reforms in Uzbekistan have largely failed to materialize, despite 4-5 presidential decrees on the economy. Part of the reason for this relates to coordination failures within government agencies related to the economy, and because laws seem to be implemented when convenient for the government and ot...

Armenia Gets $235 Million

12.27.2005
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) decided to give Armenia more than $230 million over the next 5 years. But the money comes with a set of conditions. Addressing reports of irregularities in the referendum on reforms to the Armenian constitution held in November, Ambassador Danilovich contin...

Privatization: Gradual or Rapid?

12.26.2005
An interesting story about privatization of the Afghan Telecom. The debate – jobs vs. efficiency – is not unique to Afghanistan; it is arguably applicable to any developing economy out there. Afghanistan has become a nation of state-owned industries that don’t make anything, bureau...

Solutions to Bad Governance

12.26.2005
Jeffrey Sachs talks about good governance in this op-ed that appeared in The Korea Herald. Elections, he argues, although important, are not enough to limit the abuse of power and hold governments accountable for their actions – a host of other mechanisms need to be put in place to improve gov...

NGO Bill Passed in Russia

12.23.2005
The bill which establishes tighter control over NGOs operating in Russia was passed today with an overwhelming majority (357-20-7) in the State Duma just before it left for the winter break. Before the law comes into force, it still has to be approved by the Federal Council and signed by the Preside...

Markets and Predictability

12.23.2005
Free markets work, was the message relayed by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan recently. "On average, world standards of living are rising in large part because of the widening embrace of competitive free markets, especially by populous and growing China and India," he said. and Open an...

Notes from the Field: Uzbekistan (Part 1 of 3)

12.22.2005
Driving around Tashkent, it is remarkable how slowly business has been developing. I arrived on the Constitution Day holiday, yet the commercial district was virtually deserted, unlike the main boulevards on holidays in Baku, Tbilisi, Chisinau, or Almaty. The bazaar was the exception, where people c...

Declining Trust and Russia’s “Miracle”

12.21.2005
Citizen's trust in governments, international institutions, and companies continues to decline, shows a new WEF survey conducted in 20 countries. Some interesting findings: Trust in companies is falling in developed countries, yet in some developing economies (China, Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, and...

Latest on WTO Talks

12.21.2005
The Economist takes a critical look at the recent WTO meeting in Hong Kong. The meeting's most notable accomplishment was that it did not collapse as previous gatherings had in Seattle, in 1999, and Canc√ļn, in 2003. The main new achievement was to agree on a date, the end of 2013, for the elimina...

Rights vs. Reality in Uzbekistan

12.21.2005
The Uzbek Constitution and its law "On Education" grant everyone the right to seek higher education. Educational establishments, according to the Law, can be public or private, provided that the organization is licensed. It is a surprisingly liberal policy for a government that has become increasing...
2974 Items
|
View1020
||