Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts

13 December 2017

Global Militarization Index 2017

English (5.05 MB)

Compiled by BICC, the Global Militarization Index (gmi) presents on an annual basis the relative weight and importance of a country's military apparatus in relation to its society as a whole. The GMI 2017 covers 151 states and is based on the latest available figures (in most cases data for 2016). The index project is financially supported by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The ten countries that have the highest levels of militarization for the year 2016 are Israel, Singapore, Armenia, Russia, South Korea, Kuwait, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece and Brunei. These countries allocate particularly high levels of resources to the armed forces in comparison to other areas of society. For some countries that are included in the top 20 militarized countries in the world, the sharp decline in the price of oil has led to a reduction in military expenditures: Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia but also Azerbaijan.

12 December 2017

The Globalization of Our Discontent

JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ

Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US in recent years has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes. Fifteen years ago, I published Globalization and Its Discontents, a book that sought to explain why there was so much dissatisfaction with globalization within the developing countries. Quite simply, many believed that the system was “rigged” against them, and global trade agreements were singled out for being particularly unfair.

8 December 2017

The Global Oil War Rages On With OPEC Cut Deal Extension

By Catherine Putz

Last week, OPEC and non-OPEC major oil producers agreed to extend production cuts that have prompted the recovery in oil prices through the end of 2018. With the cuts in place, oil prices have risen to above $60 per barrel from early 2016’s low of below $30. But as oil prices rise, market watchers are concerned that U.S. shale production will again hit a stride capable of knocking the entire Saudi Arabian-led market off kilter.

6 December 2017

A Fractured 2017


A century has passed since President Woodrow Wilson, in his 14 Points speech of January 1918, set out an American plan for the world. He called for the removal of economic barriers to trade, an adjustment of colonial claims that respected “the interests of the populations concerned,” and the creation of a League of Nations to guarantee “political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states.” It was a program that announced America’s ordering intentions, and it was supposed to put an end to war. Wilson failed; Europe’s peace at the end of World War I would last but a generation. Still, having gotten into the global blueprint business, the United States, more powerful than ever by 1945, would not relinquish it — until 2017.

28 November 2017

Terrorism Spreading but Less Deadly

By Murray Ackman

The fifth edition of the Global Terrorism Index highlights that for the second consecutive year, deaths from terrorism have decreased. There were 22 per cent fewer deaths when compared to the peak of terror activity in 2014, with significant declines in terrorism in the epicentres of Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Collectively these four countries, which are among the five most impacted by terrorism, recorded 33 per cent fewer deaths. The annual Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) and provides a comprehensive summary of the key global terrorism trends in analysing the direct and indirect impact of terrorism in 163 countries.

25 November 2017

Terrorism Spreading but Less Deadly

By Murray Ackman

The fifth edition of the Global Terrorism Index highlights that for the second consecutive year, deaths from terrorism have decreased. There were 22 per cent fewer deaths when compared to the peak of terror activity in 2014, with significant declines in terrorism in the epicentres of Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Collectively these four countries, which are among the five most impacted by terrorism, recorded 33 per cent fewer deaths. The annual Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) and provides a comprehensive summary of the key global terrorism trends in analysing the direct and indirect impact of terrorism in 163 countries.

20 November 2017

Nudging the world

Some economists spend their professional lives in a cloud-cuckoo-land building abstract models of a rational economy that doesn’t exist, never existed, and never will exist. But Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago professor who just won the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics, is that rare academic whose ideas not only address real-world problems but have also been put into effect. In the United Kingdom, for example, a “nudge unit” (actually, the Behavioural Insights Team) inspired by his work aims to develop policies helping citizens make better choices. It got its nickname from the title of the book Thaler wrote with Harvard’s Cass Sunstein, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, about applying behavioral economics to the functions of government. As Thaler said in a 2011 McKinsey Quarterly interview, “My number-one mantra from Nudge is, ‘Make it easy’”—one of many principles that are no less applicable to business. Read “Nudging the world toward smarter public policy: An interview with Richard Thaler.”

10 November 2017

Health Security: The Global Context

By Ursula Jasper for Center for Security Studies (CSS)

Due to global mobility and the deeply interconnected nature of the contemporary world, national efforts do not suffice to keep infectious disease such as Ebola, SARS or H1N1 from spreading across borders. As a result, states must coordinate their efforts to identify and contain outbreaks as quickly as possible. To that aim, Ursula Jaspers contends, the international community must do more to improve the implementation of the WHO’s International Health Regulations.

5 November 2017

Uncharted Waters : The New Economics of Water Scarcity and Variability


The 21st century will witness the collision of two powerful forces – burgeoning population growth, together with a changing climate. With population growth, water scarcity will proliferate to new areas across the globe. And with climate change, rainfall will become more fickle, with longer and deeper periods of droughts and deluges. This report presents new evidence to advance understanding on how rainfall shocks coupled with water scarcity, impacts farms, firms, and families. On farms, the largest consumers of water in the world, impacts are channeled from declining yields to changing landscapes. In cities, water extremes especially when combined with unreliable infrastructure can stall firm production, sales, and revenue. 

1 November 2017

Globalism in the Eyes of Two Beholders




The world over, the topic of globalism rarely fails to elicit a strongly held opinion. At its extreme in Europe, the march of globalization is accepted as a near-inevitability: In that view, it is no longer merely a path that should be taken, but the inexorable destination of humanity. As such, there is little room for assessing, much less understanding, alternative perceptions about the structure of the world, either internationally or domestically. Whether talking with a German economist, a British investor or an expatriate businessman in Spain, there is a near-bewilderment as to why anyone would want to pursue nationalism over globalism. As such, the bump in popularity for the Alternative for Germany party, the independence referendum in Catalonia and the Brexit are all seen as anti-historical trends. To them, the European Union remains the moral and political compass for the world, the guiding principle upon which the nation-state will be subsumed and a new global society will emerge.

28 October 2017

Globalism in the Eyes of Two Beholders

By Rodger Baker
Source Link


The world over, the topic of globalism rarely fails to elicit a strongly held opinion. At its extreme in Europe, the march of globalization is accepted as a near-inevitability: In that view, it is no longer merely a path that should be taken, but the inexorable destination of humanity. As such, there is little room for assessing, much less understanding, alternative perceptions about the structure of the world, either internationally or domestically. Whether talking with a German economist, a British investor or an expatriate businessman in Spain, there is a near-bewilderment as to why anyone would want to pursue nationalism over globalism. As such, the bump in popularity for the Alternative for Germany party, the independence referendum in Catalonia and the Brexit are all seen as anti-historical trends. To them, the European Union remains the moral and political compass for the world, the guiding principle upon which the nation-state will be subsumed and a new global society will emerge.

12 October 2017

From AIDS to Zika Brazilian Approaches to Protecting Health in Critical Contexts

October 10, 2017

In May 2017, a small team from the CSIS Global Health Policy Center visited Brazil to better understand the country’s approaches toward issues of global health security. This includes preventing and responding to infectious disease outbreaks, bolstering pandemic preparedness capacities in the region, strengthening Brazil’s national disease surveillance network, scientific and technical collaboration, and health preparations in advance of mass gatherings. Based on our conversations in Brazil and in the United States, the team concluded that the history of U.S.-Brazil engagement on health, as well as Brazil’s recent experiences addressing the 2015–2016 Zika outbreak and preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, offer important lessons for the U.S. government to consider, both as it rethinks its relationships on health with other middle-income countries and as it advances its health security agenda in the years to come.

16 September 2017

THIS LAND IS THEIR LAND

BY SUKETU MEHTA

Immigration is inevitable. When will the West learn that it promises salvation — not destruction?
On Oct. 1, 1977, my parents, my two sisters, and I boarded a Lufthansa plane in the dead of night in Bombay. We were dressed in new, heavy, uncomfortable clothes and had been seen off by our entire extended family, who had come to the airport with garlands and lamps; our foreheads were anointed with vermilion. We were going to America. 

To get the cheapest tickets, our travel agent had arranged a circuitous journey in which we disembarked in Frankfurt, then were to take an internal flight to Cologne, and onward to New York. In Frankfurt, the German border officer scrutinized the Indian passports for my father, my sisters, and me and stamped them. Then he held up my mother’s passport with distaste. “You are not allowed to enter Germany,” he said. 

It was a British passport, given to citizens of Indian origin who had been born in Kenya before independence from the British, like my mother. But in 1968 the Conservative Party parliamentarian Enoch Powell made his “Rivers of Blood” speech, warning against taking in brown- and black-skinned people, and Parliament passed an act summarily depriving hundreds of thousands of British passport holders in East Africa of their right to live in the country that conferred their nationality. The passport was literally not worth the paper it was printed on; it had become, in fact, a mark of Cain. The German officer decided that because of her uncertain status, my mother might somehow desert her husband and three small children to make a break for it and live in Germany by herself. 

So we had to leave directly from Frankfurt. Seven hours and many airsickness bags later, we stepped out into the international arrivals lounge at John F. Kennedy Airport. A graceful orange-and-black-and-yellow Alexander Calder mobile twirled above us against the backdrop of a huge American flag, and multicolored helium balloons dotted the ceiling, souvenirs of past greetings. As each arrival was welcomed to the new land, the balloons rose to the ceiling to make way for the newer ones. They provided hope to the newcomers: Look, in a few years, with luck and hard work, you, too, can rise here. All the way to the ceiling. 

13 September 2017

The False Prophecy of Hyperconnection How to Survive the Networked Age


It is a truth universally acknowledged that the world is connected as never before. Once upon a time, it was believed that there were six degrees of separation between each individual and any other person on the planet (including Kevin Bacon). For Facebook users today, the average degree of separation is 3.57. But perhaps that is not entirely a good thing. As Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter, told The New York Times in May 2017, “I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place. I was wrong about that.”

Speaking at Harvard’s commencement that same month, Facebook’s chair and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, looked back on his undergraduate ambition to “connect the whole world.” “This idea was so clear to us,” he recalled, “that all people want to connect. . . . My hope was never to build a company, but to make an impact.” Zuckerberg has certainly done that, but it is doubtful that it was the impact he dreamed of in his dorm room. In his address, Zuckerberg identified a series of challenges facing his generation, among them: “tens of millions of jobs [being] replaced by automation,” inequality (“there is something wrong with our system when I can leave here and make billions of dollars in ten years while millions of students can’t afford to pay off their loans”), and “the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism, and nationalism,” which oppose “the flow of knowledge, trade, and immigration.” What he omitted to mention was the substantial contributions that his company and its peers in Silicon Valley have made to all three of these problems.

8 September 2017

There's No Such Thing as 'the' Liberal World Order

Michael Lind

The new system that emerges from today’s domestic and geopolitical turmoil is likely to be an updated version of liberal world order, not its negation.

Is the liberal world order collapsing? In response to the wave of nationalism and populism that has produced Brexit and the election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States, it has become fashionable to claim that “the liberal world order” is being replaced by a catastrophic spiral of protectionism, rising authoritarianism and great-power conflict that bring to mind the 1930s. Often this argument is accompanied by the claim that there existed a bipartisan consensus in favor of “the liberal world order” from 1945 until the populist wave of the last few years. For example, the Brookings scholar Robert Kagan warns, “The liberal world order established in the aftermath of World War II may be coming to an end, challenged by forces both without and within. . . . With the election of Donald Trump, a majority of Americans have signaled their unwillingness to continue upholding the world order.”

This may be effective antipopulist propaganda among elites, but it is poor history. The truth is that since 1945 there has not been just one fixed liberal world order, but several successive versions of liberal world order, each lasting only a couple of decades before giving way to a somewhat different system that can still be described as liberal. The new system that emerges from today’s domestic and geopolitical turmoil is likely to be an updated version of liberal world order, not its negation.

31 August 2017

*** The Patterns in Global Terrorism: 1970-2016

By Anthony Cordesman

Terrorism has become one of the dominating national security threats of the 21st century. It is also one of the most complex — mixing the actions of states, extremists, and other non-state actors in a wide range of threats and types of conflicts. Terrorists range from individuals carrying out scattered terrorist acts, to international terrorist networks of non-state actors, to state terrorism including the use of conventional forces and poison gas to terrorize portions of a civil population. Terrorism has also become a key aspect of civil war, insurgency/counterinsurgency, and asymmetric warfare, as well as ideological, ethnic, and religious warfare.

There is no easy way to categorize the resulting patterns of violence, to measure their rise, or to set national security priorities. For more than a decade, the U.S. has focused on the threat of terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it has dealt increasingly with the expansion of the threat into North Africa, other parts of the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world. Key warfighting threats like the Islamic State and its affiliates, and the Taliban and Haqqani Network, are only a comparatively small part of the rising threat in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.

It is clear from the current trends in other regions that the threat of religious extremism may soon expand rapidly into the rest of Asia, and there are many other causes of terrorism in Africa, Europe, Latin America, the United States. Terrorism is often heavily driven by ideology, but it also is often a reaction to major shifts in population, ethnic and sectarian tensions, failed and corrupt governance, and the failure to broadly develop a given economy and offer employment and a future. No area is immune to the threat, and internal instability can drive terrorism anywhere in the world.

20 August 2017

A Global Fish War is Coming


Nearly two decades into the 21st Century, it has become clear the world has limited resources and the last area of expansion is the oceans. Battles over politics and ideologies may be supplanted by fights over resources as nations struggle for economic and food security. These new conflicts already have begun—over fish.

Hungry World

The demand for fish as a protein source is increasing. The global population today is 7.5 billion people, and is expected to be 9.7 billion by 2050, with the largest growth coming in Africa and Asia. Fish consumption has increased from an average of 9.9 kilograms per person in the 1960s to 19.7 kilograms in 2013 with estimates for 2014 and 2015 above 20 kilograms. The ten most productive species are fully fished and demand continues to rise in regions generally with little governance and many disputed boundaries.

In 2014, there were 4.6 million fishing vessels on the world’s oceans: 75 percent were in Asia and 15 percent in Africa. High seas fishing capacity has grown significantly, and there are now 64,000 fishing vessels with lengths in excess of 24 meters, and Asia’s distant water fishing nations continue to add newer and larger ships.

The wild marine fish harvest remains steady at 80 million metric tons (MMT) while aquaculture or farmed fish now equals 73.8 MMT, with China responsible for farming 62 percent of that total. 1 Farmed fish is predicted to exceed wild capture as early as 2018, but the inputs to these farming operations require massive amounts of fish meal. 2 As a result, fishing vessels will scour the oceans going deeper and farther than ever before to try to feed the world.

6 August 2017

*** Chaos and order in a changing world

By Dr Henry Kissinger

Lady Thatcher was one of the most significant leaders of our period. Decisive, effervescent, courageous, loyal, she was dedicated to shaping the future rather than following the recommendations of focus groups.

I first met her in the early 1970s, when she was serving as Minister of Education in the Cabinet of Edward Heath. At our first meeting, Mrs Thatcher conveyed her disdain for the then conventional wisdom that political contests were about winning the centre. For her, leadership was the task of moving the political centre towards defined principles rather than the other way around.

In implementing this philosophy, she generated over a long career a new political direction in her society. She did so by a combination of character and courage: character because the seminal choices demanded by the political process are usually taken in a very narrow passage; and courage to go forward on a road not travelled before.

Margaret Thatcher displayed these attributes articulately in the Findley address at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the site of Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech 50 years earlier. She put forward challenges which, in their essence, are even more urgent today: 

29 July 2017

The Immense, Eternal Footprint Humanity Leaves on Earth: Plastics

By TATIANA SCHLOSSBERG

Scientists have estimated that between 5 million and 13 million metric tons of plastic are put into the ocean each year. CreditGuillermo Cervera

If human civilization were to be destroyed and its cities wiped off the map, there would be an easy way for future intelligent life-forms to know when the mid-20th century began: plastic.

From the 1950s to today, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced, with around half of it made since 2004. And since plastic does not naturally degrade, the billions of tons sitting in landfills, floating in the oceans or piling up on city streets will provide a marker if later civilizations ever want to classify our era. Perhaps they will call this time on Earth the Plastocene Epoch.

A new study in Science Advances published Wednesday offered the first analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever manufactured: how much has been made, what kind and what happens to the material once it has outlived its use.

Roland Geyer, the lead author of the study, said, “My mantra is that you can’t manage what you don’t measure, and without good numbers, you don’t know if we have a real problem.”

24 July 2017

Earth Is Choking on 8.3 Billion Metric Tons of Plastic Waste

BRYSON MASSE

For the first time, scientists have calculated how much plastic we've produced, and its fate. It isn't pretty.

If you think about it, plastics should be considered one of the defining technologies of the 20th century. Their flexibility, cheap manufacturing costs, and resistance to degradation has meant the use of plastics outpaced most other man-made materials. Today, many of us can't remember a world without plastic, which went into large-scale production in the 1950s. But we're now learning the costs of this wonder material—oceans full of indestructible micro-particles that are harming sea life and polluting waterways. We have no idea how to get rid of them.

With a study published on Wednesday in Science Advances, we know how much plastic we've created, and where most of it has gone. This represents the first global analysis of all the plastics ever made on the planet, and big surprise, it isn't pretty.

As of 2015, it finds, humanity has produced over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. Of that, 6.3 billion metric tons has become waste. With just over 7 billion peopleon the Earth as of 2015, this would represent more than one metric ton per human being. Most plastics don't really biodegrade, and can hang around for hundreds or thousands of years.