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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.) ...
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