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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.
Examining the Unexamined Goal
A generation ago little attention was focused on low-income homeownership. Today homeownership rates among under-served groups, including low-income households and minorities, have risen to record levels. These groups are no longer at the margin of the housing market; they have benefited from more flexible underwriting standards and greater access to credit. However, there is still a racial/ethnic gap and the homeownership rates of minority and low-income households are still well below the national average. This volume gathers the observations of housing experts on low-income homeownership and its effects on households and communities. The book is divided into five chapters which focus on the following subjects: homeownership trends in the 1990s; overcoming borrower constraints; financial returns to low-income homeowners; low-income loan performance; and the socioeconomic impact of homeownership.
New Partnerships for Real Change
Bringing change to our public school system is hard, and the current system of education governance creates barriers that can make that reform even harder. Here six authorities in public education discuss how local philanthropies can overcome them even if school districts cannot. Making School Reform Work identifies new institutions that can be created by foundations and civic groups to remedy deficiencies in local school governance, formulate bold reforms, and guarantee implementation. These institutions include incubators for starting new schools, independent data analysis centers, public-private partnerships for recruitment and training of school leaders, and new ways of funding and managing school facilities. The contributors are Sarah Brooks (Carleton College), Michael DeArmond (University of Washington), Marguerite Roza (University of Washington), and Abigail Winger (Milwaukee consultant).
Local Rigors of U.S. Environmental Regulation
Federal policies have made great progress protecting the environment. But the policies sometimes have imposed inordinate costs on local governments. Managing Green Mandates describes how various federal environmental directives do not suit diverse conditions at the local level, and compel local communities to spend their revenues on reducing relatively minor risks to the public health. While policymakers have thrown far-reaching requirements at the feet of local authorities, the federal government is providing them less aid to comply with the increasingly stringent standards. The burden of these underfunded mandates can further disadvantage many overtaxed municipalities. Pietro Nivola is a senior fellow in the Governmental Studies program at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of The Laws of the Landscape: How Politics Shape Cities in Europe and America (Brookings 1999). Jon Shields is a graduate student in the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.
India is now enmeshed in the deterrence game actively with its traditional adversary Pakistan, and potentially with China. At the same time it is finding easier access to fissile materials and strategic technologies. In order to deal with these developments safely and wisely, the nation needs a much more sophisticated and multidisciplinary understanding of the strategic, technological, operational, and cost issues involved in nuclear matters.
In this important book, Indian strategic analyst Verghese Koithara explains and evaluates India's nuclear force management, encouraging a broad public conversation that may act as a catalyst for positive change before the subcontinent experiences unthinkable carnage.
The defense management system of a nuclear power absolutely needs to be sound and thorough. In addition to the considerable demands of managing its nuclear forces, it also must control conventional forces in a manner that forestalls nuclear escalation of a conflict by either side. Expanding and upgrading nuclear forces without enhancing deterrence is dangerous and should be avoided. India's nuclear force management system is grafted onto a woefully inadequate overall system of defense management.
Koithara dissects all of these issues and suggests a way forward, drawing on recent developments in deterrence theory around the world.
Patents, Copyright, and Software
This lively and innovative book is about computer code and the legal controls and restrictions on those who write it. The widespread use of personal computers and the Internet have made it possible to release new data or tools instantaneously to virtually the entire world. However, while the digital revolution allows quick and extensive use of these intellectual properties, it also means that their developers face new challenges in retaining their rights as creators. Drawing on a host of examples, Ben Klemens describes and analyzes the intellectual property issues involved in the development of computer software. He focuses on software patents because of their powerful effect on the software market, but he also provides an extensive discussion of how traditional copyright laws can be applied to code. The book concludes with a discussion of recommendations to ease the constraints on software development. This is the first book to confront these problems with serious policy solutions. It is sure to become the standard reference for software developers, those concerned with intellectual property issues, and for policymakers seeking direction. It is critical that public policy on these issues facilitates progress rather than hindering it. There is too much at stake.
Religion in the 2004 Presidential Election
"Moral values" dominated the post-election headlines in 2004. Analysts pointed to exit polls, strong turnout among evangelicals, and controversy over gay marriage as evidence that the election had been decided along religious lines. Soon, however, this explanation was called into question. In A Matter of Faith, distinguished scholars go beyond the headlines to assess the role of religion in the 2004 election. Were issues such as stem cell research really more influential than the economy and Iraq? Did deeply religious Americans necessarily vote Republican? Was the morality factor really a dramatic new development? David E. Campbell and his colleagues examine the religious affiliations of voters and party elite and evaluate the claim that moral values were decisive in 2004. The authors analyze strategies used to mobilize religious conservatives and examine the voting behavior of a broad range of groups, including evangelicals, African-Americans, and the understudied religious left. This rich perspective on faith and politics is essential reading on a critical aspect of American politics. Contributors include John Green (University of Akron; Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life), James Guth (Furman University), Sunshine Hillygus (Harvard University), Laura Hussey (University of Baltimore), John Jackson (University of Southern Illinois), Scott Keeter (Pew Research Center for the People and the Press), Lyman Kellstedt (Wheaton College), Geoffrey Layman (University of Maryland), David Leal (University of Texas at Austin), David Leege (Notre Dame), Eric McDaniel (University of Texas at Austin),Quin Monson (Brigham Young University), Barbara Norrander (University of Arizona), Jan Norrander (University of Minnesota), Baxter Oliphant (Brigham Young University), Corwin Smidt (Calvin College), and Matthew Wilson (Southern Methodist University).
Influencing Armed Forces Worldwide to Support Democratic Transitions
The response of an autocratic nation's armed forces is crucial to the outcome of democratization movements throughout the world. But how can military officers and defense officials in democratic nations persuade their counterparts in autocratic regimes to favor democratic transitions? Here, Admiral Dennis Blair confronts this hard-edged challenge with a primer on the factors that affect military behavior during democratic transitions.
Military Engagement makes the strong case for why the armed forces of any country should favor democracy and why, contrary to conventional wisdom, many military leaders have supported democratic transitions in different regions of the world. Further, it explains why military support, active or tacit, is essential to the success of any demo cratic transition. Blair provides incisive commentary on civil-military relations and outlines the foundational elements of armed forces in a democratic country. He presents sound advice to defense officials and military leaders in established democracies that can be put into practice when interacting with colleagues in both autocratic regimes and those that have made the break with dictatorship.
This succinct handbook analyzes democratic transitions in five major regions and surveys the internal power dynamics in countries such as Iran and North Korea, dictatorships that are hostile toward and fearful of democratic influences. Blair juxtaposes the roles, values, and objectives of military leaders in autocratic nations with those in democracies. In turn, Military Engagement highlights how crossnetworking with international military delegations can put external pressure on autocratic countries and persuade them that democracies are best not only for the country itself, but also for the armed forces. Volume one of this two-volume project provides the educational foundation necessary so that military officers from established democracies can raise their game in achieving effective dialogue on democratic development.
Influencing Armed Forces Worldwide to Support Democratic Transitions
The response of an autocratic nation's armed forces is crucial to the outcome of democratization movements throughout the world. But what exact internal conditions have led to real-world democratic transitions, and have external forces helped or hurt? Here, experts with military and policy backgrounds, some of whom have played a role in democratic transitions, present instructive case studies of democratic movements. Focusing on the specific domestic context and the many influences that have contributed to successful transitions, the authors write about democratic civil-military relations in fourteen countries and five world regions. The cases include Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Syria, and Thailand, augmented by regional overviews of Asia, Europe, Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Contributors: Richard Akum (Council for the Development of Social Sciences in Africa), Ecoma Alaga (African Security Sector Network), Muthiah Alagappa (Institute of Security and International Studies, Malaysia), Suchit Bunbongkarn (Institute of Security and International Studies, Thailand), Juan Emilio Cheyre (Center for International Studies, Catholic University of Chile), Biram Diop (Partners for Democratic Change African Institute for Security Sector Transformation, Dakar), Raymundo B. Ferrer (Nickel Asia Corporation), Humberto Corado Figueroa (Ministry of Defense, El Salvador), Vilmos Hamikus (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hungary), Julio Hang (Argentine Council for International Relations), Marton Harsanyi (Stockholm University), Carolina G. Hernandez (University of the Philippines; Institute for Strategic and Development Studies), Raymond Maalouf (Defense expert, Lebanon), Tannous Mouawad (Middle East Studies, Lebanon), Matthew Rhodes (George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies), Martin Rupiya (African Public Policy and Research Institute), Juan C. Salgado Brocal (Academic and Consultant Council for Military Research and Studies, Chile), Narcís Serra (Barcelona Institute of International Studies), Rizal Sukma (Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta).
Africa is working toward the goal of creating a common currency that would serve as a symbol of African unity. The advantages of a common currency include lower transaction costs, increased stability, and greater insulation of central banks from pressures to provide monetary financing. Disadvantages relate to asymmetries among countries, especially in their terms of trade and in the degree of fiscal discipline. More disciplined countries will not want to form a union with countries whose excessive spending puts upward pressure on the central bank's monetary expansion. In T he Monetary Geography of Africa, Paul Masson and Catherine Pattillo review the history of monetary arrangements on the continent and analyze the current situation and prospects for further integration. They apply lessons from both experience and theory that lead to a number of conclusions. To begin with, West Africa faces a major problem because Nigeria has both asymmetric terms of trade it is a large oil exporter while its potential partners are oil importers and most important, large fiscal imbalances. Secondly, a monetary union among all eastern or southern African countries seems infeasible at this stage, since a number of countries suffer from the effects of civil conflicts and drought and are far from achieving the macroeconomic stability of South Africa. Lastly, the plan by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to create a common currency seems to be generally compatible with other initiatives that could contribute to greater regional solidarity. However, economic gains would likely favor Kenya, which, unlike the other two countries, has substantial exports to its neighbors, and this may constrain the political will needed to proceed. A more promising strategy for monetary integration would be to build on existing monetary unions the CFA franc zone in western and central Africa and the Common Monetary Area in southern Africa. Masson and Pattillo argue that the goal of a creating a single African currency is probably beyond reach. Economic realities suggest that grand new projects for African monetary unions are unlikely to be successful. More important for Africa's economic well-being will be to attack the more fundamental problems of corruption and governance.