There are crises and crises. Some come and go without leaving any lasting trace but others signal a break with the past. You do not need to be much of a prophet to predict that the current global economic shock will go down in the history books as the end of an era.
An important addition to the growing international dialogue about the commons can be found in the new anthology, Genes, Bytes and Emissions: To Whom Does the World Belong? The essays in this book are now available online in English.
We are getting ready for Seoul where the next G20 summit is taking place. The core issues there are expected to be development and financial markets regulation. Some of our contributors argue that addressing development helps closing the G20's legitimacy gap, while others worry that yet another development actor will only make the development field more messy and the G20 less focussed. Instead, the G20 should narrow its agenda to financial issues like the latest Basel rules.
This trade-off between legitimacy and focus could be solved by establishing issue-oriented, ministerial-led G20s: one that focuses on finance, one on development, one on climate change, and so forth.
Ahead of the G20 summit in Seoul, we present the ins and outs of food speculation which is expected to be one of the main topics of the summit in Seoul. We explain how food speculation works, analyze how it drives world hunger and propose what individual states and the G20 should do to limit food speculation.
This paper recommends that the World Bank distribute its assistance to Africa in more equitable ways. On August 16, 2010, it was presented to the African Caucus of Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, and World Bank and IMF Executive Directors in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The Caucus established a Task Force to advocate that the World Bank implement the recommendations.
The World Trade Organization is negotiating “disciplines” on domestic regulation, one of which requires regulations to be “pre-established.” Established before what? If this means, before government can apply regulations to an existing financial institution, the discipline would limit the government’s authority to change “too big to fail” policies or increase developmental lending mandates to serve businesses that are rural, small, or owned by women.
The World Trade Organization is negotiating “disciplines” on domestic regulation that could be more powerful than negotiators realize. They could transform the GATS, the General Agreement on Trade in Services, into the first trade agreement that foreign investors enforce through claims against governments for hundreds of millions of dollars. If so, the magnitude of disputes could change the course of development for a small state or a vulnerable economy.
The World Trade Organization is negotiating “disciplines” on domestic regulation, one of which requires regulations to be “pre-established.” Established before what? If this means, before a development permit is sought, the discipline would limit the government’s authority to change environmental or community impact standards before a permit is issued. If so, this discipline could constrain changes in climate policy or environmental regulation of existing extraction industries.
The World Trade Organization is negotiating “disciplines” on domestic regulation, which is essential for both development and environmental protection. Often ambiguous, some of the draft disciplines can be interpreted as a radical departure from the practice of most nations. They could change the course of regulation and development, particularly within federal systems and in small and vulnerable economies, where government systems are changing.
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the changes that are taking place in the international normative framework on investment through surveying the European Union and United States’ Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with developing countries.
The World Bank’s Investment Lending Reforms (ILR) will significantly shift the way in which the institution operates. This re-issued paper contains updated information on the reforms and the implications of these reforms for people and the environment in recipient countries.
In 2009, the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) released an unprecedented 700-page evaluation which found evidence that the institution is failing to adequately address the risks of fraud and corruption in its assistance programs.
Between January 2007 and June 2009, the IMF claims that it was more flexible in terms of providing greater policy space to low-income countries to boost spending in the face of fuel, food and financing crises. To examine this claim, scholars at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) examined the empirical evidence in 13 countries. Learn about their findings in this report.
According to an estimate of the U.S. Congressional Research Service, the global financial crisis destroyed 40% of the world’s GDP. Since then, stock indices show a significant recovery of the lost wealth; however, analyses are likely to show that, on the whole, the response to the crisis (government stimulus packages and especially bank bail-outs of worldwide estimated $14 trillion) redistributed wealth upward. In the U.S., unemployment has exceeded the 10% mark and one out of every nine people receives food stamps.
As with many of the other WTO negotiating areas, talks on “trade in services” present serious challenges to developing countries. One challenge is the fact that – whereas tariffs are a primary barrier to trade in goods – domestic laws and regulations are the primary barrier to trade in services. Hence, when governments make commitments to liberalize services in different sectors such as, energy, environment, basic services, domestic laws and regulations governing these services need to be re-examined to ensure that they do not conflict with WTO rules.
With its gigantic domestic market, its allure to foreign investors, and the world’s largest currency reserve, China should be better prepared to weather the financial crisis than other emerging markets. Yet China’s exports account for 40 percent of its GDP and it has thus been deeply impacted by the worldwide recession, especially by the drop in U.S. demand