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The Poverty Impacts and Policy Implications of Liberalization
This thoughtful volume assesses the likely impact of reformed trade policies on the poorest of the poor those on the bottom economic rungs in developing nations. The focus on a spectrum of poor nations across different regions provides some helpful and hopeful guidelines regarding the likely impacts of a global trade reform, agreed upon under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, as well as the impact of such reforms on economic development. In order to facilitate lesson-drawing across different regions, each country study utilizes a similar methodology. They combine information on trade policy at the product level with income and consumption data at the household level, thus capturing effects both on the macro level and in individual households where development policies ideally should improve day-to-day life. This uniformity of research approach across the country studies allows for a deeper and more robust comparison of results.
Looking Beyond Kyoto
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reflects the growing international consensus that the earth's climate is being changed by anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. Evidence presented by the IPCC and others points to the potential for increasingly dangerous weather, new disease outbreaks, regional water shortages, the loss of habitat and species, and other disturbing developments that could have profound social and economic impacts. Opinions on what should be done, however, remain sharply divided within and among countries. Though monumental in its efforts, the Kyoto Protocol has left much to be agreed upon and achieved, with the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide the United States rejecting it. In G lobal Warming: Looking Beyond Kyoto , some of the best-known and respected authorities in climate policy provide a comprehensive agenda for global collective action. Representing both industrialized and developing nations, the contributors present a thought-provoking examination of the economic, social, and political context of climate policy within their countries. With Kyoto's emissions targets set to expire in 2012, these authors call for a multilateral approach that goes beyond the mitigation-focused Kyoto policies, balancing them with strategies for adaptation. They also stress the importance of generating policies that work within a time frame commensurate with that of climate change itself. Informed, insightful, and even-handed, this book gives a new impetus to the increasingly important global climate policy debate. Contributors include R.K. Pachauri (Energy Resources Institute and the IPCC), Richard S. Lindzen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Stefan Rahmstorf (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), Stephen H. Schneider and Thomas Heller (Stanford University), Robert Mendelsohn and William D. Nordhaus (Yale University), Gernot Klepper and Sonja Peterson (Kiel Institute for World Economics), Robert N. Stavins (Harvard University), Alexander Golub (Environmental Defense), Howard Dalton (U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), John Stone (Carleton University, Ottawa), Jyoti Parikh (Integrated Research and Action for Development), and Shen Longhai (China Energy Conservation Association)
How States, Nations, and Conflicts Are Shaping the 21st Century
This translation of the French bestseller Continuer l’Histoire brings the powerful, articulate message of Hubert Védrine to an even wider audience. With the astute analysis and acerbic wit for which he is famous, the former French foreign minister offers an overview of world politics since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Critical of both the United States and Europe, he calls for a return to a more realist foreign policy, rejecting the ideological notions of recent years. In story Strikes Back: How States, Nations, and Conflicts Are Shaping the 21st Century, , Védrine takes issue with idealists who believe that states are no longer necessary and that globalization and free markets will automatically make a better world for all. Far from having ended, history continues to present major challenges. When the Eastern bloc collapsed, the West was quick to believe that it had won the battle of history and that its values would prevail everywhere. The ensuing years have belied that faith, however. In dealing with a newly multipolar world, Americans have been too bellicose and Europeans naïve. Védrine shows why Westerners need to discard the illusions that have guided their international relations for more than twenty years. He presents a realistic vision for building a better world and spells out what Europeans expect from the U.S. administration to come. The United States and Europe must partner for a new form of “smart Realpolitik” to guide their relations with emerging powers, manage globalization, and deal with environmental challenges.
Over the past twenty years, many low- and middle-income countries have experimented with health insurance options. While their plans have varied widely in scale and ambition, their goals are the same: to make health services more affordable through the use of public subsidies while also moving care providers partially or fully into competitive markets.
Colombia embarked in 1993 on a fifteen-year effort to cover its entire population with insurance, in combination with greater freedom to choose among providers. A decade later Mexico followed suit with a program tailored to its federal system. Several African nations have introduced new programs in the past decade, and many are testing options for reform. For the past twenty years, Eastern Europe has been shifting from government-run care to insurance-based competitive systems, and both China and India have experimental programs to expand coverage. These nations are betting that insurance-based health care financing can increase the accessibility of services, increase providers' productivity, and change the population's health care use patterns, mirroring the development of health systems in most OECD countries.
Until now, however, we have known little about the actual effects of these dramatic policy changes. Understanding the impact of health insurancebased care is key to the public policy debate of whether to extend insurance to low-income populations and if so, how to do it or to serve them through other means.
Using recent household data, this book presents evidence of the impact of insurance programs in China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Indonesia, Namibia, and Peru. The contributors also discuss potential design improvements that could increase impact. They provide innovative insights on improving the evaluation of health insurance reforms and on building a robust knowledge base to guide policy as other countries tackle the health insurance challenge.
Striving for the Rule of Law in China
Of all the issues presented by China's ongoing economic and sociopolitical transformation, none may ultimately prove as consequential as the development of the Chinese legal system. Even as public demand for the rule of law grows, the Chinese Communist Party still interferes in legal affairs and continues in its harsh treatment of human rights lawyers and activists. Both the frequent occurrences of social unrest in recent years and the growing tension between China's various interest groups underline the urgency of developing a sound and sustainable legal system.
As one of China's most influential law professors, He Weifang has been at the forefront of the country's treacherous path toward justice and judicial independence for over a decade. Among his many remarkable endeavors was a successful petition in 2003 that abolished China's controversial regulations permitting the internment and deportation of urban "vagrants," bringing to an end two decades of legal discrimination against migrant workers. His bold remarks at the famous New Western Hills Symposium in 2006, including his assertion that "China's party-state structure violates the PRC Constitution," are considered a watershed moment in the century-long movement for a constitutional China. With In the Name of Justice, He presents his critical assessment of the state of Chinese legal reform.
In addition to a selection of his academic writings, this unique book also includes many of He Weifang's public speeches, media interviews, and open letters, providing additional insight into his dual roles as thinker and practitioner in the Chinese legal world. Among the topics covered are judicial independence, judicial review, legal education, capital punishment, and the legal protection of free speech and human rights. The volume also offers a historical review of the evolution of Chinese traditional legal thought, enhanced by cross-country comparisons.
A proponent of reform rather than revolution, He believes only true constitutionalism can guarantee social justice and enduring stability for China.
"He Weifang has argued for two decades that rule of law, however inconvenient at times to some of those who govern, must be embraced because it is ultimately the most reliable protector of the interests of the country, of the average citizen, and, in fact, even of those who govern."--from the Foreword by John L. Thornton, chairman, Brookings Institution Board of Trustees and Professor and Director of Global Leadership at Tsinghua University
"What struck me--and shocked me as a foreign visitor--was not only that the entire discussion was explicitly critical of the Chinese Communist Party for its resistance to any meaningful judicial reform, but also that the atmosphere was calm, reasonable, and marked by a sense of humor and sophistication in the expression of ideas."--from the Introduction by Cheng Li, director of research and senior fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings
Court Testimony on the New Reforms
In 2002 Congress enacted the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), the first major revision of federal campaign finance law in a generation. In March 2001, after a fiercely contested and highly divisive seven-year partisan legislative battle, the Senate passed S. 27, known as the McCain-Feingold legislation. The House responded by passing H.R. 2356, companion legislation known as Shays-Meehan, in February 2002. The Senate then approved the House-passed version, and President George W. Bush signed BCRA into law on March 27, 2002, stating that the bill had "flaws" but overall "improves the current system of financing for federal campaigns." The Reform Act was taken to court within hours of the President's signature. Dozens of interest groups and lawmakers who had opposed passage of the Act in Congress lodged complaints that challenged the constitutionality of virtually every aspect of the new law. Following review by a special three-judge panel, the case is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003. This litigation constitutes the most important campaign finance case since the Supreme Court issued its decision in Buckley v. Valeo more than twenty-five years ago. The testimony, submitted by some of the country's most knowledgeable political scientists and most experienced politicians, constitutes an invaluable body of knowledge about the complexities of campaign finance and the role of money in our political system. Unfortunately, only the lawyers, political scientists, and practitioners actually involved in the litigation have seen most of this writing until now. Ins ide the Campaign Finance Battle makes key testimony in this historic case available to a general readership, in the process shedding new light on campaign finance practices central to the congressional debate on the reform act and to the landmark litigation challenging its constitutionality.
Soft Money and Issue Advocacy in the 2002 Congressional Elections
The 2002 midterm elections were noteworthy U.S. congressional campaigns for many reasons. They marked the last national contests before implementation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) and thus were expected by many to be the "last hurrah" for soft money. These midterm campaigns provided a window on the activity of parties, interest groups, and political consultants on the eve of BCRA, as they prepared to enter a new era of American elections. The results of Campaign 2002 were remarkable. As the party in power, the Republicans defied history by gaining seats in both houses of Congress, giving them a majority in the Senate. To some degree this resulted from the GOP's new emphasis on "ground war" voter mobilization. Another key was the unusually aggressive support of the sitting president, who leveraged his popularity to advance his party's candidates for Congress. Th e Last Hurrah? analyzes the role of soft money and issue advocacy in the 2002 battle for Congress. Having been granted access to a number of campaign operations across a broad array of groups, David Magleby, Quin Monson, and their colleagues monitored and documented a number of competitive races, including the key South Dakota and Missouri Senate contests. Each case study breaks down the campaign communication in a particular race, including devices such as advertising, get-out-the-vote drives, "soft money" expenditures, and the increasingly influential role of the national parties on local races. They also discuss the overall trends of the midterm election of 2002, paying particular attention to the impact of President Bush and his political operation in candidate recruitment, fundraising, and campaign visits. Magleby and Monson consider an important question typically overlooked. How do voters caught in the middle of a hotly contested race deal with and react to a barrage of television and radio ads, direct mail, unsolicited phone calls, and other campaign communications? They conclude with a look to the future, using the trends in 2002 to understand just how candidates, political parties, and interest groups might respond to the new campaign environment of BCRA.
New Steps in U.S.-Cuba Relations
Today the United States has little leverage to promote change in Cuba. Indeed, Cuba enjoys normal relations with virtually every country in the world, and American attempts to isolate the Cuban government have served only to elevate its symbolic predicament as an "underdog" in the international arena. A new policy of engagement toward Cuba is long overdue. From the Introduction
As longtime U.S. diplomats Vicki Huddleston and Carlos Pascual make painfully clear in their introduction, the United States is long overdue in rethinking its policy toward Cuba. This is a propitious time for such an undertaking the combination of change within Cuba and in the Cuban American community creates the most significant opening for a reassessment of U.S. policy since Fidel Castro took control in 1959. To that end, Huddleston and Pascual convened opinion leaders in the Cuban American community, leading scholars, and international diplomats from diverse backgrounds and political orientations to seek common ground on U.S. policy toward Cuba. This pithy yet authoritative analysis is the result.
In the quest for ideas that would support the emergence of a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Cuba one in which the Cuban people shape their political and economic future the authors conducted a series of simulations to identify the critical factors that the U.S. government should consider as it reformulates its Cuba policies. The advisers' wide-ranging expertise was applied to a series of hypothetical scenarios in which participants tested how different U.S. policy responses would affect a political transition in Cuba.
By modeling and analyzing the decisionmaking processes of the various strategic actors and stakeholders, the simulations identified factors that might influence the success or failure of specific policy options. They then projected how key actors such as the Cuban hierarchy, civil society, and the international and Cuban American communities might act and react to internal and external events that would logically be expected to occur in the near future.
The lessons drawn from these simulations led to the unanimous conclusion that the United States should adopt a proactive policy of critical and constructive engagement toward Cuba.
What International Assessments Tell Us about Math Achievement
Standards for education achievement are under scrutiny throughout the industrial world. In this technological age, student performance in mathematics is seen as being particularly important. For more than four decades, international assessments conducted by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) have measured how well students are learning mathematics in different countries. The latest round of mathematics testing of the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) takes place in 2007. Beyond the horse race the rankings that compare nations what have we learned from the wealth of data collected in these assessments? How do US math curriculums compare to those used overseas? Is the effect of technology in the classroom uniform across nations? How do popular math reforms fare abroad? Those are some of the critical issues tackled in this important book. The authors use the database to address several pressing questions about school policy and educational research. For example, Ina Mullis and Michael Martin review the major lessons learned over the history of TIMSS testing. William Schmidt and Richard T. Houang examine whether curricular breadth affects student achievement. Jeremy Kilpatrick, Vilma Mesa, and Finbarr Sloane evaluate American performance in algebra relative to other nations and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in American students' learning of algebra.
Improving Accountability for Public Spending in Developing Countries
Because of its potential impact, and, in some cases, the harm it has brought, foreign aid is under the microscope. Donor countries, who don't want simply to give money away; recipient nations, who need to make the most of what they have and get; and analysts, policymakers, and writers are all scrutinizing how much is spent and where it goes. Perhaps more important, aid is only a small part of what developing country governments spend. Their own resources finance 80 percent or more of health and education spending except in the most aid-dependent countries. Lives in the Balance investigates a vital aspect of this landscape how best to ensure that public spending, including aid money, gets to the right destination.
The development of democratic institutions and the spread of cheap communications technology in developing countries make it possible for the "demand-side" citizens and civil society institutions to advocate for improved transparency, stronger accountability, better priorities, reduced corruption, and more emphasis on helping the poor. Securing real reform will depend not only on knowledge of how the recipient government operates, but also how to work with partner entities the media, the private sector, other organizations, and legislators to raise awareness and compel change.