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Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy
Campaign 2012: Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy is an indispensable guide to the questions facing White House hopefuls in 2012, as well as the challenges awaiting the winner. It presents authoritative analyses of a dozen key policy issues currently testing the nation:
-domestic economic growth
-America's role in the world
-the budget deficit
-Afghanistan and Pakistan
-reforming government institutions
-the Middle East
This is truly Brookings at its best independent expert analysis, presented in an accessible manner and offering viable solutions.
Enhancing Productivity and Innovation in a Globalizing World
In recent years the Russian government, concerned about sustaining its economic performance, has sought to promote more diversified and broader economic growth beyond the profitable natural-resource sector. Economic officials would like to see something closer to a "knowledge-based economy." One of the areas in clear need of upgrading is the manufacturing sector. This book quantifies and benchmarks the relative strengths of that sector, identifying opportunities to increase Russian productivity and competitiveness. Drawing on original survey data from Russian firms of all sizes, the authors formulate proposals that aim to enhance the innovative potential of Russian firms, upgrade the skills of their workforce, and develop a business-friendly climate of lower administrative costs and greater policy certainty. This book examines the underlying firm-level determinants of knowledge absorption, competitiveness, and productivity, with an eye to improving workers' skill levels and improving the investment climate, which should in turn enhance the innovation needed to keep up in a globalized economy. The original research and analysis of Desai, Goldberg, and their colleagues will be of use to anyone interested in the problems of building manufacturing competitiveness, especially in Russia and the post-Soviet transition economies. It will also be of interest to organizations planning to do business with Russia or to invest in it.
The Challenge of Rationing Health Care
Over the past four decades, the share of income devoted to health care nearly tripled. If policy is unchanged, this trend is likely to continue. Should Americans decide to rein in the growth of health care spending, they will be forced to consider whether to ration care for the well-insured, a prospect that is odious and unthinkable to many. This book argues that sensible health care rationing can not only save money but improve general welfare and public health. It reviews the experience with health care rationing in Great Britain. The choices the British have made point up the nature of the options Americans will face if they wish to keep public health care budgets from driving taxes ever higher and private health care spending from crowding out increases in other forms of worker compensation and consumption. This book explains why serious consideration of health care rationing is inescapable. It also provides the information policymakers and concerned citizens need to think clearly about these difficult issues and engage in an informed debate.
A New Vision for Aid
Some may dispute the effectiveness of aid. But few would disagree that aid delivered to the right source and in the right way can help poor and fragile countries develop. It can be a catalyst, but not a driver of development. Aid now operates in an arena with new players, such as middle-income countries, private philanthropists, and the business community; new challenges presented by fragile states, capacity development, and climate change; and new approaches, including transparency, scaling up, and South-South cooperation. The next High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness must determine how to organize and deliver aid better in this environment.
Catalyzing Development proposes ten actionable game-changers to meet these challenges based on in-depth, scholarly research. It advocates for these to be included in a Busan Global Development Compact in order to guide the work of development partners in a flexible and differentiated manner in the years ahead.
Contributors: Kemal Dervis (Brookings Institution), Shunichiro Honda (JICA Research Institute), Akio Hosono (JICA Research Institute), Johannes F. Linn (Emerging Markets Forum and Brookings Institution), Ryutaro Murotani (JICA Research Institute), Jane Nelson (Harvard Kennedy School and Brookings Institution), Mai Ono (JICA Research Institute), Kang-ho Park (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Korea), Tony Pipa (U.S. Agency for International Development), Sarah Puritz Milsom (Brookings Institution), Hyunjoo Rhee (Korea International Cooperation Agency), Mine Sato (JICA Research Institute), Shinichi Takeuchi (JICA Research Institute), Keiichi Tsunekawa (JICA Research Institute), Ngaire Woods (University College, Oxford), Sam Worthington (InterAction)
A leading authority on Central Asia offers a sweeping review of the region's path from independence to the post-9/11 world. The first decade of Central Asian independence was disappointing for those who envisioned a straightforward transition from Soviet republics to independent states with market economies and democratic political systems. Leaders excused political failures by pointing to security risks, including the presence of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. The situation changed dramatically after 9/11, when the camps were largely destroyed and the United States introduced a military presence. More importantly the international community engaged with these states to give them a "second chance" to address social and economic problems. But neither the aid-givers nor the recipients were willing to approach problems in new ways. Now, terrorists groups are once again making their presence felt and some states may be becoming global security risks. This book explores how the region squandered its second chance and what might happen next.
Lessons Learned, Challenges Ahead
The global financial crisis is largely behind us, but the challenges it poses to the future stability of the world's economic system affects everyone from American families to Main Street businesses to Wall Street financial powerhouses. It has provoked controversy over the best way to reduce the risk of a repeat of what proved to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. To describe those challenges and the lessons learned the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings turned to frontline policymakers and some of their most prominent critics. Central Banking after the Great Recession contains the resulting research, leading off with a telling interview between Ben Bernanke, then in his final weeks as Federal Reserve chairman, and Liaquat Ahamed, author of the Pulitzer Prizewinning Lords of Finance. Insightful chapters by John Williams of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, Paul Tucker of Harvard University, and Donald Kohn of Brookings discuss unconventional monetary policy, financial regulation, the impact of the crisis on the independence of the Federal Reserve. Each chapter is followed by a lively debate.
Bipartisanship in a Partisan World
In 1995, the budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans forced the federal government to shut down. Two years later, the parties joined forces to pass the first balanced budget in a generation. In The Challenge of Legislation, John Hilley, the Clinton administration's chief liaison to the Republican-controlled Congress, tells the inside story of this dramatic turnaround. Hilley weaves together a detailed narrative and vivid portraits of the key players including then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, and President Bill Clinton in this comprehensive account of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Equally at home with the complexities of the legislative process and the realities of political combat, he offers unique insight into the highly charged relationship between party leaders and their rank-and-file, the interplay between elected officials and their professional staff, the delicate art of partisan negotiations, and the role of uncertainty and surprise. The result is a compelling look at how public policy is made, rich in enduring lessons for both policymakers and students of legislative politics. Ten years ago, bipartisanship triumphed against daunting odds. The Challenge of Legislation shows how it happened and what it will take for bipartisanship to succeed again.
Russia's Dilemma and the West's Response
The world is still coping with the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Two decades later, the West has yet to adjust to the post-Soviet reality and Russia has not settled on its relationship with the rest of the world.
In Change or Decay, two of the most respected scholars on Russia analyze how relations are shifting between Russia and the world. In a series of lively and candid conversations, Lilia Shevtsova and Andrew Wood discuss how the Russia of Putin and Medvedev emerged from the ashes of the Soviet Union and the trajectory of Russia's relations with the West.
Using Research to Improve Policy and Practice
The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) is the first nationally representative study of children who have been reported to authorities as suspected victims of abuse or neglect and the public programs that protect them. Child Protection is the first book that reports the results of NSCAW, interprets the findings, and puts them into a broader policy context.
The authors, all experts in child welfare issues, address a range of issues made apparent by the survey results, including which types of personal and familial problems the programs are meant to address, the range of services and interventions that the child protection system can make available, and an assessment of these programs. Each chapter discusses the survey's implications and suggests new alternatives for designing and implementing future programs that not only protect at-risk children from further harm but also provide them with security and support. The practical lessons included in this volume make it an essential reference for all professionals working in the child protection field as well as anyone studying in the field of child welfare.
A New Type of Superpower
The rapid pace and grand scale of China's rise have produced a heady mixture of wonder and consternation in the West. Is China on track to become a superpower? What would that mean for the rest of the world? Economist Hu Angang approaches these questions through analysis of three major dimensions of China's rise: its overall economic and social development; advances in education, science, and technology (including alternative energy); and the likely complications posed by resource scarcity, environmental degradation, and climate change.
After three decades of unprecedented economic growth, China is now home to the world's second-largest economy. It is the world's largest exporter and its second-largest consumer of energy (as well as number one in carbon emissions). Extrapolating from these seismic changes, Hu forecasts that by 2020 China will become a "mature, responsible, and attractive superpower" that will contribute, alongside the European Union, to the "end of the unipolar era dominated by the United States."
China in 2020 presents a native Chinese perspective on the challenges and opportunities that Beijing will face as its global footprint expands. Through a meticulous examination of China's development trajectory, Hu Angang explains how his nation as the world's largest emerging market will impact global economic growth, foreign direct investment flows, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions. He proposes a comprehensive strategic framework to guide the next stage of China's rise, seeking to maximize the country's positive impact on the world and minimize the negative externalities of its meteoric development.