With global development aid budgets on the decline, impact investing offers a cost-effective alternative to financing international development without deficit spending. The U.S. Government recently became an active participant in this space, investing in new funds and taking steps to clarify the tax code, but can and should do more to expand the global impact economy.
This research paper considers the case of the recently founded “African Risk Capacity” (ARC), a new Specialized Agency of the African Union that will set up a risk-pooling insurance fund against drought in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper first describes how the envisaged mechanism will function and how it has evolved. Subsequently, it considers the role of ARC in the wider humanitarian response framework for food security in times of drought. Looking at its role in relation to changes in the drought resilience level of African farmers, it shows that ARC can contribute significantly to the overall protection level against drought and possibly revolutionize the way the humanitarian response system functions.
In an age of global uncertainty, allies and enemies must be scrutinized, and we must question why we choose to be in conflict. Iran, as it pursues a nuclear weapon as a security guarantee, is perhaps the most important case to re-examine. This paper argues that the United States should not only prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, it should try to make Iran an American ally. What this would look like in practice is difficult to say. This paper merely initiates discussion of a scenario long considered impossible, and shows that there is significant mutual interest in pursuing it. While shared trust cannot occur in the current situation, offers of cooperation from both sides offer the only recourse to a future without a prolonged nuclear standoff akin to that with North Korea. The scope of this paper is confined to laying the groundwork for establishing potential areas of cooperation and identifying the mutual benefits that would arise as a result.
As the European Union emerges from an economic crisis that caused deep internal tensions and at times threated to undermine its very existence, it is also growing in size and engaging with the international community in new capacities. During this period of rebuilding and transformation, Sir Michael Leigh, senior advisor at the German Marshall Fund, tells the Journal why he believes that EU cooperation will prevail in the coming years. Europe’s unity in the 21st century is a hard-won victory for a region that has a long history of conflict and division, he says, and the continuation of this peaceful partnership is crucial to the success of its member states and to the larger global community as well.
Due to Germany’s weight in the Eurozone, it has an outsized role in policy prescriptions for the region. It is imposing a reform package that it itself passed in the early 2000s, which is widely credited with turning around the German economy. However, these reforms are suited for the export-driven economy of Germany, not the demand-driven economy of Greece. In Greece, the reforms have led to a massive drop in GDP, high youth unemployment, and a rise in debt to GDP. Meanwhile, the Greek government is becoming less capable of enacting the reforms demanded of them. As a result, citizens are turning towards more extremist political parties that want to end austerity. All of this will make it harder for Greece to pay back its debt and remain in the Eurozone at an acceptable cost to society. If things do not change soon, the troika may be creating conditions for the same Greek exit that it has been trying to prevent.
The recent High Court case brought by three elderly Kenyans against the British government for abuses suffered under the colonial government’s suppression of the Mau Mau Rebellion has shone a light on the British concept of Empire. Following last year’s release of the Hanslope papers, revelations regarding the colonial administration’s culpability compel us to re-examine the notion of the British Imperialist. This essay looks at the process by which the British Imperialist self-image was shielded from the brutal realities of colonial rule and what the future holds for British Imperialism, specifically in its relations with Kenya.
The ILO revised its strategy in a meaningful way when the soft law-based Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work was introduced in 1998. In the same time frame, other spheres of international regulation, such as extractive industries, have accumulated a handful of regulatory successes and failure during the last decade. Extractive industry regulation is a salient example of soft law-based regulation where various private companies, such as firms and NGOs, have developed a form of non-centralized regulation with limited state authority and intervention that increasingly resembles the case of the ILO’s global labor regime. By analyzing these developments through the scope of rational choice theory, this paper examines the lessons the ILO global labor regime may learn from the practices of extractive industry regulation.
Latin America provides an interesting lesson about trade preferences and their complex link with economic development. This paper evaluates the claim that Latin America has adopted restrictive trade policies and highlights a double paradox. First, the region is particularly protectionist despite relatively high levels of GDP per capita and exports. Second, economic development and import dependence have little impact on trade openness in the region. The cross-country evidence for this paradox relies on a sample of industrialised and developing economies, including twelve Latin American states. The paper also identifies three factors that could explain protectionism in the region: political economy, recent economic history, and politics and ideology. It then briefly evaluates the impact of restrictive policies on recent economic performance. In particular, it demonstrates that high tariffs and economic growth can coexist.
Ever since the collapse of the central Somali state in 1991, the unrecognized northern state of Somalia, Somaliland, has operated under independent parallel institutions of governance. Upon achieving de facto independence, Somaliland faced the twin challenges of restoring peace and forming new political institutions. Development practitioners often point to the relative peace, stability and modest economic growth that Somaliland has enjoyed since this time as proof that democracy delivers. This paper, however, seeks to debunk the myth of a democratic Somaliland and contends that a closer analysis of the history of this transition and of Somaliland’s governing institutions reveals that the territory’s leaders prioritized peace over democracy. The composition and role of the Guurti or House of Elders, the continuing role of the clan system in politics, and the explicit limitation on the number of political parties constrict political space. However, they also encourage peace by giving all of the major political actors a stake in the territory’s governance. Somaliland’s recent political trajectory shows how to transform a politics of war into a politics of consensus, and suggests that power-sharing arrangements—rather than deep democratization—may play an important transitional role in post-conflict countries.