Analysis, interviews, and book reviews on ethics, globalization, and sustainability by Policy Innovations staff and partners.
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Wildlife Conservation Society 05/22/13
In this series, scientists from Wildlife Conservation Society explore what's driving the illegal animal trade, along with some of the tools and strategies deployed to combat it.
Project Syndicate 05/16/13
If GDP is an inaccurate indicator of growth in poor countries, how can we make good decisions about allocating development aid?
Tomas Sedlacek, Devin T. Stewart 03/28/13
Economists worship efficiency, profit, computability, numbers, growth, and wealth. But Tomas Sedlacek thinks the time of economists as priests is coming to an end.
Yale Environment 360 03/07/13
In this era of global warming and expanding human populations, not even the farthest reaches of Tibet can escape profound change.
Edward O. Wilson, Devin T. Stewart 02/28/13
Only through science-based pursuit of what humanity is, where we came from, can we start to think and act in terms of a global ethic, defining where we, as a species, want to go.
Ethics & International Affairs 02/15/13
Mining is the material basis for life, yet there is no international law governing mining projects. We are ready to discuss almost any other ethics before the ethics of mining.
Alliance for Responsible Mining 02/14/13
The Alliance for Responsible Mining is working to bring ethical gold to the retail jewelry market through a new Fairtrade and Fairmined Standard.
Union of Concerned Scientists 02/13/13
It took a broad group of actors to reduce Brazilian deforestation by 75 percent in seven years. Now, their success can be emulated in other tropical countries.
John Haffner 02/07/13
Author and energy analyst John Haffner will profile ten clean energy leaders who are driving green development in China in our new More Like This series.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Public Affairs 01/29/13
Hidden risks, agency problems, diffusion of responsibility, and excessive complexity were at the root of the financial crisis. Taleb proposes a simple remedy.
Calestous Juma 10/11/12
Historian Eric Hobsbawm understood the deep tensions between technology and the prevailing social order. Today's revolutions and movements still play out along this fault line.
Enrique Penalosa, Devin T. Stewart 09/19/12
Colombian urbanist Enrique Penalosa says there are four key aspects to global ethics: inequality, public access to land, leadership, and the end of the nation-state.
Steve Dorst, Evan O'Neil 08/15/12
A new film looks at American leadership during the ozone crisis and compares it to the situation with global warming today. The clock is ticking for the United States to step up to the plate this time around.
Richard Evanoff, Evan O'Neil 08/10/12
Bioregionalism proposes an alternative future in which overconsumption is drastically reduced, the natural environment is preserved, and proactive measures are taken to provide basic needs.
Richard Evanoff, Evan O'Neil 08/09/12
Through local governance, appropriate technologies, and the occasional confederation for solving big problems, bioregionalism promotes human flourishing along with natural sustainability.
Richard Evanoff, Evan O'Neil 08/03/12
The developed countries need to learn to live more sustainably within the confines of the local resources available to them rather than exploiting the resources of others, writes Richard Evanoff, author of Bioregionalism and Global Ethics.
International Institute for Environment and Development 07/20/12
There were some glimpses of a sustainable future at IIED's Fair Ideas conference in Rio, but local innovations still need to scale up and penetrate the mainstream.
South Centre 06/15/12
Was the real action at the Rio+20 summit outside the negotiating hall, where civil society could share ideas horizontally?
George Dvorsky 05/18/12
The future of experimental philosophy and neuroscience lies in finding a correlation between traditional ethics and actual cognitive functions. Will we then have a road map for enhancement?
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 04/20/12
These multimedia resources explore what it means to be sustainable; some practical solutions; the role of legislation; and finally, what we can learn from fictional visions of a climate-changed world.
Under the banner of solidarity diplomacy, Brazil is spreading its homegrown development innovations, including biofuel technologies.
Madeleine Lynn 03/08/12
This collection in honor of International Women's Day starts on a high note, with some inspiring stories of progress. But the struggle is not over. There is a long way to go before women enjoy equal rights, freedom of choice, and freedom from fear.
International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs) 03/02/12
Democratic instability in the Maldives bodes ill for the Arab uprisings. They share stratified economies, high food and fuel prices, and the rise of fundamentalist Islam.
Joel Rosenthal 02/29/12
Establishing the common good in the twenty-first century will depend on forging common interests around issues of global concern.
Evan O'Neil 12/06/11
Our top stories this year spanned the range of global issues, with particular focus on energy and climate, global poverty and hunger, and the role of business in society. Thank you again for your dedicated readership. We look forward to the next five years.
Adam Trexler 11/07/11
Ultimatums. Floods. Ecotage. More than 200 novels have been written that imagine life in a climate-changed world, and they point to some of the fundamental difficulties we have in articulating a just and sustainable future.
Mara Hvistendahl 09/30/11
Investing in the future of women would have been more expensive than providing methods for reducing their numbers, and it would have taken longer to yield results, but it would have been a good in itself.
The world population will hit 7 billion this year. Here are some facts about the world's people that you might not know.
Paul Steely White,
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 09/23/11
What is the most important thing a person can do to have a sustainable impact? From consumer purchases to political action, how should we prioritize solutions?
Eric Zencey 09/23/11
We need to maximize not GDP but the economy's sustainably delivered well-being. Before we can maximize it, we need to measure it.
Paul Steely White
Transportation Alternatives 09/23/11
With Washington under the sway of climate change deniers, it is easy to feel despondent. The cure is to focus on winning real results where you live.
Christopher Mims 09/23/11
Until we start acting like climate change is the actual emergency scientists tell us it is, nothing will get done. We need to kick into adaptation mode, now.
Mat McDermott 09/23/11
Changing our technologies is necessary, but without also changing our metaphysical relation to the planet, technological change will bring only superficial results.
Josh Lasky 09/23/11
There is a fundamental human virtue, often overlooked, that can unlock the immense potential to develop sustainable and satisfying systems.
David Biello 09/23/11
After auditing and reducing your personal energy consumption, the most important thing you can do to be sustainable is: Vote.
You simply can't make the math work to solve climate change one household at a time, or one campus, or one congregation, or one anything. You have to get organized.
Focusing on women's fertility diverts our attention from the role of industrial agriculture, extractive industries, luxury consumption, and militarism in causing environmental degradation.
The 1994 Cairo conference put reproductive choice in the hands of women, but women living in poverty need more than empty pledges so that they too can take part in saving the Earth.
Women's rights are key to achieving a sustainable population. Fertility rates remain high where women's status is low.
Experiments in the Matlab district of Bangladesh demonstrate that access to high-quality contraception and family planning is successful even in very traditional societies, bringing widespread benefit.
The answer to population and sustainability lies in allowing women the autonomy and the means to achieve their own reproductive intentions without external interference.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 09/19/11
According to UN projections, our world will be home to more than 9 billion people by 2050. What ethical standards should guide the debate about reproduction and sustainability?
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 09/08/11
Is sustainability the only, or even the most desirable framework for environmental issues? A roundtable of thinkers lends their machetes to cut through the intellectual thicket.
No longer willing to take part in unsustainable practices and institutions, and not satisfied with a purely individualistic and consumer response, activist groups are building a new materialism around everyday practices.
What the idea of sustainability offers, more than anything, is an opportunity to tell rich and compelling stories about our future.
The strength of sustainability as an umbrella concept is that it can be attached to almost any type of system or activity, and that it must always be operationalized in context.
When we refer to "sustainability" what we really mean is sustaining global human civilization. Disrupting ecosystem services, and thus the global human economy embedded within them, will lead to our collapse.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 09/07/11
What does sustainability mean to you: in your own life, in your local community, and in the greater world? Do you see conflicts of interest between these spheres?
Making It: Industry for Development, Nuffield Council on Bioethics 08/25/11
Drawing on moral values such as human rights, solidarity, sustainability, stewardship, and justice, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has set out six principles that policymakers can use to evaluate biofuel technologies.
Project Syndicate 08/22/11
Europe's consistent and rational clean-energy policies leave it well positioned to compete in the clean-energy sector.
World Resources Institute 06/28/11
Scaling up renewable energy in the developing world needs to happen today, and it needs to happen with the best possible technology at the lowest cost.
The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media 06/13/11
Policy experts say a growing awareness of the public health and climate linkage could be a key in breaking through political logjams impeding action on mitigation and adaptation.
Climate Central 06/09/11
Climate change is a major problem when it happens quickly: Scientists report that we are currently pumping CO2 into the atmosphere at ten times the average rate of a previous thermal maximum.
Evan O'Neil, Mathew Pokoik 06/01/11
Photographer and arts educator Mathew Pokoik has traveled the world crafting a unique vision of The Global City, from jumbled bazaars stacked with goods to simulated landscapes and advertising saturation.
Thomas W. Pogge,
Thomas Pogge probes the causes of world poverty and advocates for his latest initiative: a Health Impact Fund to provide the world's poor with better access to medicine.
Kei Hiruta 05/27/11
The new film ANPO: Art X War tells the story of U.S.-Japan relations through the lives of artists who were influenced by the 1960s protest movement.
Giana M. Eckhardt
Proponents of ethical consumerism want to believe that people's socially oriented choices are somehow different from their general product choices. This is a delusion.
Yuki Hanyu 03/18/11
Yuki Hanyu, a research scientist at Tohoku University in Sendai, wrote this report on the devastating earthquake in Japan, summarizing his situation in the immediate aftermath and giving us a rare glimpse of what it was like to be at the center of the disaster.
World Wide Fund for Nature 03/02/11
The right mix of technologies and policy tools is lining up to move the world off dirty energy by mid century, but it will take a consistent push on many fronts.
Project Syndicate 02/24/11
Cancer is an enormous, and growing, global public-health problem. We need action at the highest level to end the disparity in cancer survival rates between rich and poor countries.
Ellery Roberts Biddle 02/03/11
Internet access is politicized in Castro's Cuba and critical expression suppressed, but as technological savvy increases on the island many are able to connect through unofficial means.
Patrick Burns 02/01/11
The Obama administration has given passenger rail the strongest federal push since the days of Abraham Lincoln in hopes of spurring job growth and keeping pace with a rising China.
Project Syndicate 01/18/11
What we need are traffic rules for the global economy that help vehicles of varying size, shape, and speed navigate around each other, rather than imposing an identical car or a uniform speed limit.
Evan O'Neil 01/12/11
The most popular articles to run on Policy Innovations in 2010 speak to big themes: digital revolution, opportunity and education, clean energy innovation, urbanization, the free market, shifts in Asia, and the right to immigrate for a better life.
Wildlife Conservation Society 11/19/10
An additional $35 million per year for population monitoring, stronger law enforcement, and community organizing could enable tiger numbers to double in their last 42 strongholds.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 10/21/10
This collection features Carnegie Council multimedia from all our September sustainability programs on cities, transportation, military energy innovations, and responsible business.
Sartaz Ahmed, Larry Burns, Joan Krevlin, Thomas Stewart 10/20/10
This panel includes Sartaz Ahmed of Booz & Company on building sustainable cities; Larry Burns (formerly of GM) on clean vehicles; and architect Joan Krevlin on green buildings.
Mary Weatherbee 10/12/10
Access to sustainable, affordable, and clean energy sources underpins the ability to realize all the Millennium Development Goals.
G. Pascal Zachary 10/07/10
Ancient Peru is where all potatoes came from and hundreds of edible native varieties persist today, yet conservationists worry that market forces will encroach on Peru's food biodiversity.
Christina L. Madden 09/30/10
Shale gas reserves are being explored on nearly every continent, with the United States leading the way in the controversial drilling practice called hydrofracking.
Martin Searle 09/29/10
Successful state-building in Nepal may require the state to compromise in the short term with the morally arbitrary entities that provide services in the villages and districts.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 09/27/10
The need for adequate, affordable drinking and irrigation water is a growing international crisis. Carnegie Council presents a collection of materials on this essential natural resource.
Devin T. Stewart
Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media 09/20/10
Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media students interview editor Devin T. Stewart on how journalists can use social media for newsgathering, research, interviews, crowdsourcing, and publishing.
David Roberts of Grist interviews Daniel Kammen about his new position as Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the World Bank.
Jeff Kingston, Devin T. Stewart 09/14/10
In the wake of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan's victory over Ichiro Ozawa for control of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, is more inertia in store for economically stagnant Japan? Devin Stewart interviews Jeffrey Kingston on his new book Contemporary Japan.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 08/27/10
As students and teachers, you shape our future. How would you improve your school so that it prepares future leaders to protect the planet? The contest deadline is December 31, 2010.
Project Syndicate 08/16/10
Complete government transparency is utopian in a world where terrorists seek to commit atrocities, yet on the whole a more transparent community is likely to be a better one.
Elizabeth Robinson 08/12/10
The evidence on both sides of the genetic modification debate is inconclusive, but attentive regulation could ensure crop safety in developed and developing countries.
Sofia Karlsson 07/26/10
Independent Diplomat's goal of giving diplomatic assistance on a not-for-profit basis fills a niche in international politics and may broaden the understanding of diplomacy in the context of globalization.
Elizabeth Robinson 07/19/10
Brain scan data can be powerfully persuasive, but has the science behind it progressed far enough to warrant its use in the courtroom?
Jesuit Refugee Service Europe 06/30/10
Detention is costly in economic and human terms. If EU states wish to sustain their migration management policies, they will have to rely more on non-custodial alternatives.
Devin T. Stewart
Workshops for Ethics in Business 06/21/10
There is a fine line between self-esteem and self-absorption. It is hard to tell which side Generation Y is on, but the IBM Global Student Study indicates that they are thinking globally about ethics, the environment, and creativity.
YaleGlobal Online 06/17/10
American soft power, eroded through much of the last decade, has rebounded despite the economic crisis, Afghan escalation, and failure to take steps against climate change.
Applied Research Center 06/16/10
So much of America's economic activity takes place on faraway shores. Still, you'd think that making a baby would be one job that's hard to offshore.
Project Syndicate 06/15/10
Many are lining up to oppose the science of global warming. But the laws of physics don't surrender. CO2 levels are one-third higher now than at any time in the past million years, owing to our industrial emissions.
Elizabeth Robinson 06/07/10
The symptoms of science illiteracy are spread across the United States, and in many cases they're getting worse. The education system is overdue for a dose of innovation.
Project Syndicate 06/02/10
Bluefin tuna is heading for commercial, if not outright, extinction, as are a host of other economically and ecologically important marine species. They are swimming in the last-chance lagoon.
Project Syndicate 05/10/10
Brazil's experience at promoting renewable fuels, beginning in the 1970s, is directly relevant to polarized views of industrial policy today.
Amy Lieberman 03/30/10
An international framework for ethical organ transplantation could enable countries to coordinate shared information and interdiction strategies for curbing the illegal transplant tourism market.
Negar Rachel Treister 03/26/10
With nuclear diplomacy at a standstill, the U.S. government has been expanding its sanctions against Iran to include refined petroleum products and insurers.
Sofia Karlsson 03/17/10
The connection between xenophobic sentiments and national identity calls into question the legitimacy of nations in an era of increasing migration and multiculturalism.
South Centre 03/12/10
Mitigating overly rigorous intellectual property rights lies at the core of any meaningful international mechanism for facilitating sustainable technology transfer to developing countries.
Debbie Chung 03/12/10
Promising results from a pilot program in Namibia indicate that basic income grants may help poor regions jolt the poverty cycle with jobs and education.
Marie O'Reilly 02/11/10
As the world attempts to solve the growth in climate migrants and refugees, accurate and legally justifiable definitions will be a crucial first step.
Project Syndicate 02/10/10
Let us put aside the myth that the science of climate change is holed below the water line and sinking fast on a sea of falsehoods. Overwhelming evidence now indicates that greenhouse-gas emissions need to peak within the decade.
Florian Coulmas, James Farrer, John Haffner, Hiroshi Kimizuka, Gracia Liu-Farrer, Midori Okabe, Mark Raper, Mathias Risse, Devin T. Stewart, Michele Wucker, Kosaku Yoshino 01/22/10
A collection of essays from our joint Sophia University-Carnegie Council conference exploring the ethics of an international right to migration.
Jomo K. S.
Project Syndicate 01/19/10
The mixed record of poverty reduction calls into question the efficacy of conventional approaches. Governments need to play a developmental role to reduce inequality and promote social justice, complemented by appropriate industrial investment and technology policies.
Michael Shtender-Auerbach 01/14/10
When the state of the economy is precarious, companies may be tempted to play tough and cut corners without considering that short-sighted strategies can lead to serious reputation and operational risks.
James Farrer, Devin T. Stewart 01/06/10
Beyond the practical and cultural arguments for immigration reform, the strongest case for an internationally recognized right to move may arise out of the "worst-case scenarios" of global climate change.
Project Syndicate 01/05/10
A resolution is an attempt to overcome the problem of maintaining an intention when we expect that, at some future time, we will face inclinations contrary to our intention.
Policy Innovations 12/18/09
Our most popular articles of 2009 point to key themes: ethics and economics, foreign policy fault lines, and low-hanging fruit for clean energy and climate.
Marie O'Reilly 12/17/09
A Tobin Tax on financial transactions could generate significant funds for climate change adaptation in vulnerable island states while also helping to stabilize the global financial system.
Betty Cremmins 12/08/09
If New York's Greener, Greater Buildings Plan becomes law this week it will be a significant step toward urban environmental sustainability. Can the policies transfer to cities around the world?
United Nations Development Programme 12/08/09
Any concerted effort to tackle climate change in Africa must focus primarily on poverty reduction, but we must also assess how African countries can contribute to the solution.
Harris Gleckman 11/25/09
Can nation-states, global corporations, and civil society alliances stabilize in a new form of effective global governance?
Value News Network, A Glimmer of Hope Foundation 11/04/09
Social entrepreneur Philip Berber experiments with a new model for development aid by covering overhead costs through his A Glimmer of Hope Foundation so that donations go directly to recipients.
Evan O'Neil 11/03/09
By not being a global leader on climate change over the past decade America has blown a major opportunity to engage in Green Diplomacy -- the strategic use of clean energy projects to boost development and security in poor countries.
Foreign Policy In Focus 10/23/09
What can it tell us about our system of business ethics when two pranksters emulate corporations acting at their worst and best?
Debbie Chung 10/22/09
Two-thirds of beauty salons have recently instituted green and sustainable practices to protect staff health, but in an industry attractive to immigrants there is a need for workers to speak out about labor rights.
Project Syndicate 10/14/09
The recent death of Norman Borlaug provides an opportune moment to reflect on basic values and our economic system. Does wealth and compensation motivate society more than conviction and passion?
David Kinley, Devin T. Stewart 10/06/09
Policy Innovations interviews human rights expert David Kinley on his new book Civilising Globalisation: Human Rights and the Global Economy. Kinley explains his strategy for "principled engagement" with problematic states, a middle ground between the orthodoxies of ostracism and engagement.
Carol Holding, Lucille Pilling 10/01/09
Integrating CSR and brand development can be daunting without a road map. This analysis identifies six models that companies can readily replicate in their own situation.
China Reform Forum, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 09/29/09
The Carnegie Council (USA) and the China Reform Forum (PRC) propose five business-oriented steps their nations could take together to combat climate change while meeting energy needs.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 09/01/09
Remedies to global challenges such as environmental degradation are today less about romantic dreams to improve the world and more about pragmatism and sustainability. The pragmatic and ethical thing to do is to recognize that our interests are tied up with the interests of others in new and potentially creative ways.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 07/29/09
As Americans in a globalized world, how can we define our moral responsibilities to humanity? Carnegie Council President Joel Rosenthal recommends a "cosmopolitan patriotism," rooted in enlightened self-interest and aware of its limits.
Joel Rosenthal 07/23/09
If we accept leadership as goal-driven and compromise-ridden, then we see that ethics should not be a peripheral to any public policy curriculum or program of leadership development. Ethics is neither a luxury nor a hurdle to be cleared. It is central to decision-making and leadership itself.
YaleGlobal Online 07/17/09
As the global economic crisis unfolds, it is clear that the patterns of migration and remittances are more complex than was previously imagined. The gender and sectoral dimensions of immigrant labor must be taken into account.
Political Economy Research Institute 07/17/09
This statement was given by Prof. James K. Boyce to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on May 7, 2009, detailing the ethics, economics, and effectiveness of auctioning permits under an emissions cap and trade system.
Berkman Center for Internet and Society 07/16/09
How does what happens online translate into pressure on leadership, and influence policy outcomes? This summer's major elections in India, Iran, and Indonesia show that we need to understand the relationship between search trending, social network perspectives, and political behavior.
Mikaela Bradbury 06/30/09
A new war is being waged on Mozambique's environment. The forests are being destroyed by slash and burn agriculture, firewood and charcoal production, and over-harvesting of hardwoods by Chinese timber companies to feed the world's appetite for cheap furniture.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 06/19/09
These resources on world poverty look at our moral obligations; root causes and possible solutions; the problems of aid; development through trade; and the effects of the financial crisis.
Where do we draw the political and ecological lines on climate change? How much carbon will the atmosphere take? Policy Innovations Managing Editor Evan O'Neil talks with Phil Aroneanu, director of creative media for 350.org, an international campaign to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Mikaela Bradbury 06/09/09
Building mini-consensuses before the Consensus is the best way anything will get done at the December climate negotiations in Copenhagen. Here is a quick glance at five areas with friction and promise.
Matthew Hennessey, Michela Wrong 06/09/09
Policy Innovations Contributing Editor Matthew Hennessey discusses Africa, aid, and politics with journalist Michela Wrong, author of the new book It's Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower.
Elizabeth Cole, Madeleine Lynn 06/05/09
What has changed in China since 1989, and what are Chinese looking for from their government today? Health and safety issues are paramount for many, especially for their children.
Amanda Williams 05/22/09
Historians of mass incarceration in the United States have long argued for an assessment of the U.S. criminal justice system in terms of human rights violations. Yet only recently has this suggestion picked up traction, as punitiveness and government funding for the corrections system have reached all-time highs.
Mikaela Bradbury 05/06/09
Loyalty to the ANC remains strong, despite corruption charges that surrounded presidential candidate Jacob Zuma until recently and cynicism over what the party has been able to deliver. Will the ANC "liberation debt" eventually pay a good governance dividend?
Drew Levin 05/01/09
Given the small overall number of confirmed swine flu cases, the current situation warrants the caution associated with a normal flu season. But domestic and international health care inequities are an underlying pandemic risk factor in a world of global travel.
Drew Levin 04/20/09
Europe's WTO complaint has re-raised the issue of gambling legalization and regulation in the United States -- a topic that should arouse the interest of politicians looking for extra revenue in a time of tight budgets.
Robert Dujarric, Takekuni Kurosawa, Devin T. Stewart, Jemelyn Tayco, Yukie Yoshikawa 04/08/09
This memo aims to give U.S. President Barack Obama an overview of Japan and of the U.S.-Japan alliance, and to suggest policy options on security, base location, technology, the rise of China, and economy, currency, and trade.
James Marshall 04/06/09
Haiti may serve as a role model for other fragile states if the integration of development with security and state-building can attract international funds.
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 03/23/09
Strategist Thomas Barnett argues in this Public Affairs Program that America's empire is the first in human history to actually empower and enrich individuals, and that it was built with a very conscious grand strategy. Where can this globalization go in the 21st century, vis-a-vis China, security, climate, connectivity, censorship, and religious freedom?
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development 03/10/09
Global warming has the potential to wreck island jobs that rely on tourism, wildlife, and agriculture. But tourism itself is energy intensive, making subtle policy solutions a necessity.
Christina L. Madden 02/19/09
The economic stimulus bill signed this week by President Obama includes billions for water projects in the United States, but this is just a drop in the bucket when compared to the need for global water management.
Journalists and editors in Europe and North America are worried about the future of their industry as newspapers trim budgets and shed staff, but there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the African press.
Devin T. Stewart, Warren Wilczewski 02/03/09
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso pushed for concrete carbon reductions at Davos this year, three decades after oil shocks propelled Japan toward "efficiency superpower" status. Will the Obama administration apply Japan's lessons to create a green economy at home and globally?
Siddharth Kara 01/27/09
"The exploitation of sex slaves for commercial sex generated profits of $35.7 billion in 2007," says Siddharth Kara. "This makes slavery second only to drug trafficking in terms of global illicit enterprises."
Devin T. Stewart 01/26/09
In this Workshop for Ethics in Business, Ian Bremmer presents his top political risks for 2009, Michele Wucker analyzes them from the perspective of global ethics, and Art Kleiner advises managers on ethical decision-making in difficult situations.
James Marshall 01/22/09
Carbon Trust has shaped the future marketing war over environmental sustainability by developing a carbon reduction label for consumer goods and services.
Prahlad Singh Shekhawat attended the fourth Gross National Happiness conference in Bhutan this past November. He reports on the conference proceedings for us and shares some of his thoughts on the growing constellation of efforts to calculate alternative measurements of well-being.
Sheila Oviedo 01/14/09
As cases from Indonesia to India have demonstrated, affordable drugs are often unavailable to the people who need them at the times they need them most. What are drug companies, governments, and activists doing about it?
Policy Innovations 12/22/08
Democracy topped our list of popular articles for 2008 due to the historic election of Barack Obama, but the rest of the list indicates globalization in discord: rising powers with competing visions, recession anxiety, and the intersection of new energy and the automobile.
Matthew Hennessey 12/18/08
As vital as it has become to modern life, keeping track of Coordinated Universal Time is no mean feat.
Warren Wilczewski 12/10/08
Predictions that Germany will be left dangling in the wind once its nuclear power plants are shut down may be premature. Pro-renewables policies have thus far pushed Germany to the top of the league in carbon-free energy.
Rebecca Laks 12/09/08
Faced with scarce firewood, humanitarian organizations are introducing efficient alternative-fuel stoves to Darfur and other refugee camps worldwide.
Matthew Hennessey 12/01/08
The sudden emergence of a challenger to the electoral dominance of the African National Congress could put stress on South Africa's young democracy.
John Ruggie 11/20/08
UN Special Representative John Ruggie outlines why businesses must respect human rights, why states must protect them, and why victims must have access to remedies. His future work will focus on how these various stakeholders can bridge the governance gaps in the international system.
Sheila Oviedo 11/18/08
The Philippine passenger jeepney has started to shed its image as a smoke-belching, eardrum-busting public utility vehicle. Originally fashioned out of WWII American military jeeps, these colorful "kings of the road" are going green.
Matthew Hennessey 11/18/08
Armed with automatic weapons and confident in their ability to extort millions of dollars from shipping companies, pirates are once again trolling the high seas in search of booty.
Raymond Fisman 11/17/08
Raymond Fisman untangles the economic incentives that drive corruption and inhibit development, looking at factors that influence cheating and trade-offs between efficiency and equity.
Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, Devin T. Stewart 11/10/08
Author Laurent Cohen-Tanugi describes the economic rise to power of non-Western states and the threats from radical Islam that have been facilitated by a globalization that is at once fragmentary and homogenizing.
Steve A. Rochlin,
Devin T. Stewart,
Workshops for Ethics in Business 11/04/08
This Workshop for Ethics in Business panel analyzes how corporate exposure to and use of new media technologies can influence responsible business practices. (Transcript with embedded YouTube clips)
Children usually don costumes on Halloween to collect candy, but this year households will find a dark surprise when they open their doors: thousands of kids handing out fair trade chocolate.
Chris Janiec 10/29/08
Was it auspicious timing or a bad omen that Somali pirates hijacked a Ukrainian arms shipment the day before the U.S. military launched AFRICOM, a new interagency effort combining diplomacy, development, and defense?
Christina L. Madden 10/27/08
Medical tourism has started to globalize an industry long considered immune to outsourcing, increasing the need to reform public health programs.
Young international couples find the strict Danish immigration policies rotten, but a new ruling from the European Union could ease cross-border marriages.
Sheila Oviedo 10/22/08
A small-but-growing number of private humanitarian efforts, some using rats and robots, are helping to address the global problem of landmines.
Heather Grady, Norine Kennedy, Jill Kubit, Peter Poschen, Michael Renner, Devin T. Stewart, Sean Sweeney 10/17/08
The authors of a new ILO-UNEP report discuss the trends, obstacles, and opportunities for using "green jobs" to solve climate change and poverty problems simultaneously.
Sheila Oviedo 10/15/08
Jobs will be created by the transition from a high-carbon economy to an energy-efficient one, but the transformation will have to be rapid and global to make an impact on climate change along with poverty and employment patterns.
Matthew Hennessey 10/14/08
A weak dollar, a flattening globe, and resurgent inflation are decreasing financial transfers from overseas workers, commonly known as remittances.
Christina L. Madden 10/02/08
Ecuador is the first country to constitutionally enact ecosystem rights, expanding the mandate of environmental protection beyond personal injury and corporate license to pollute.
Warren Wilczewski 09/26/08
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative could give northeastern states an advantage over other states if a nationwide cap-and-trade system emerges.
Jesse Loper 09/23/08
Recent developments in the case law of Mexico and the United States suggest that labor standards between these trading partners may actually be converging.
Matthew Hennessey 09/19/08
The worldwide popularity of yoga proves that globalization is flowing in every direction, and has been for a while.
Sheila Oviedo 09/12/08
Government and NGO efforts have helped to rehabilitate East Timor's martial arts youth gangs in the wake of election violence and the 2006 riots.
Abigail Paris 09/05/08
Policymakers have two main concerns when it comes to ethanol: the effect of demand on food prices, and the environmental benefits. While families were sharing corn at barbecues this summer, both issues perked up ears across the globe.
Abigail Paris 08/28/08
There are those who argue that basic human rights are bestowed by some form of deity or god. But others are making the case that sometimes basic human rights are denied to the deities themselves, in this case child goddesses. In Nepal, the young girls who are worshiped as living goddesses are now awarded basic human rights by the state.
Jon Templeman 08/11/08
Humanitarian aid is often viewed as a political commodity, no matter how well intentioned the donors may be. As swelling urban centers make disasters deadlier, this poses a crucial policy problem for international relief and diplomacy.
Matthew Hennessey 07/23/08
The rising price of jet fuel has the global airline industry struggling to cut costs and stay aloft, but it also incentivizes the development of alternative power sources and experimental planes.
Matthew Hennessey 07/18/08
Nearly twenty-five years of Irish economic growth came to an end in June. Now policymakers must scramble to prevent a return to the hopeless, stagnant era of the 1980s.
Hip hop star Emmanuel Jal raps a new story of gunfire and oppression. At the age of seven he was conscripted into the Sudan People's Liberation Army.
Nikolas K. Gvosdev,
Devin T. Stewart
Workshops for Ethics in Business 07/14/08
The transcript with embedded video clips from our July 1 Workshop for Ethics in Business illuminates the international relations and energy policy implications of the shifting global balance of power.
Matthew Hennessey 07/08/08
President George W. Bush is fighting to preserve his controversial AIDS relief initiative, which has supported life-saving antiretroviral treatments for more than 1.7 million people since 2004.
Abigail Paris 07/01/08
Once reserved for St. Patrick's Day, green beer is now available year round in the form of more ecologically sound beers. Companies across the globe have found innovative ways to consume less power, conserve water, and utilize brewing byproducts.
Christina L. Madden 06/25/08
The South Korean metropolis of New Songdo is slated to be the world's largest "ubiquitous city," with tracking devices everywhere. The entrenchment of social surveillance presents a challenge for democratic integrity and personal privacy.
Matthew Hennessey 06/24/08
More than one country that is about to host a prestigious sporting event is facing international criticism over human rights and diplomacy.
David Denoon, Devin T. Stewart 06/23/08
Although China's rise has received much attention, much less has been given to the relative decline of the Pacific Rim states or the rapid rise of India's economic and strategic position.
Matthew Hennessey 06/20/08
Many beer lovers fear that industry consolidation will lead to homogenization -- a process some deride as "lagerization."
Matthew Hennessey, Patrick Bond 06/11/08
Matthew Hennessey interviews Patrick Bond, director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, on post-election unrest in Zimbabwe and the displeasure of South Africans at their government's policy toward Mugabe.
Chris Janiec 06/11/08
Balancing development and security in outer space will be an important international challenge in coming decades as rising powers force realignment here on Earth.
David Singh Grewal, Devin T. Stewart 06/04/08
A globalized world isn't flat, it's networked, says David Grewal. This underlying social dynamic leads to shared standards as well as social exclusion.
Stephanie K. Kim 06/02/08
Ivy League brand names are leading the globalization of higher education as increasing numbers of highly competitive applicants come from Asia.
Christina L. Madden
Workshops for Ethics in Business 05/27/08
This event summary from our Workshops for Ethics in Business series looks at how international and corporate engagement during the Beijing Olympics will affect China's pre-Games promises on human rights and the environment.
Abigail Paris 05/22/08
As a growing world population demands more calories, new food technologies may help alleviate some of the hunger, cruelty, and environmental problems associated with industrial livestock farming.
Christina L. Madden 05/21/08
Sovereign wealth funds could face a backlash if they fail to allay concerns over transparency.
Alexandra Harney, Devin T. Stewart 05/15/08
Devin Stewart interviews Alexandra Harney, author of The China Price: The True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage, on how China is coping with the recent earthquake as it also prepares for the Summer Olympics.
Abigail Paris 04/28/08
Despite our ability to land a man on the moon, one-third of humanity lives without basic water and sanitation services.
Christina L. Madden 04/22/08
With the threat of recession, the emphasis on green in business is shifting from the environment back to dollars.
Warren Wilczewski 04/17/08
As Europe moves to burn cleaner energy, Russia is switching to coal for its domestic market.
Evan O'Neil 04/10/08
Deforestation accounts for about 20 percent of global warming emissions, making innovative conservation a key factor in any climate strategy.
Workshops for Ethics in Business 04/09/08
The Internet presents a paradigm shift in the domain of human communication, with special consequences for media and publishing.
Christina L. Madden 04/04/08
Just as China is using the Olympic Games to improve its image, some companies are using the Games to improve their corporate responsibility profiles.
Matthew Hennessey 04/03/08
He has reverent followers around the world, but inside China the Dalai Lama is not universally loved. I sat down recently with a number of young Chinese-American students to investigate these attitudes.
Abigail Paris 04/02/08
Sports fans train in cheering and manners to help China shine during the Summer Olympics.
Sacha Tessier-Stall, Nin-Hai Tseng 04/01/08
With violence in Darfur and Tibet, competition at the Olympics this summer will be political as well as athletic.
Christina L. Madden 03/27/08
The East African Submarine Cable System promises to bring Internet connectivity to millions of people, but old-fashioned radio is still a practical choice for local politics.
Sacha Tessier-Stall 03/19/08
Former UN official Michael Doyle thinks it's unfair to scapegoat globalization for the world's problems, but the world needs to tackle health, fair trade, and immigration to make globalization fairer.
Abigail Paris 03/18/08
A growing movement is using the Internet to expose government problems and protect rights and privacy.
Peter Tillman 03/12/08
Rich countries have taken frequent advantage of the broad definition of dumping to impose antidumping duties.
Edward J. Lincoln 03/06/08
New York University Economics Professor Edward J. Lincoln discusses the U.S. subprime loan crisis in comparison with the Japanese experience in this event transcript.
Matthew Hennessey 03/03/08
Have the Democratic candidates pandered to voter perceptions with their calls to renegotiate NAFTA?
Abigail Paris 02/21/08
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened in Norway this week, but genetically modified organisms are not allowed. As global warming pushes wine grapes away from the equator, a natural French Chardonnay could become passe.
Matthew Hennessey 02/21/08
When people think of chess, they usually think of Russia. But chess excellence has now gone global: The current World Champion is from India, and the current World Junior Champion is an Egyptian.
Sacha Tessier-Stall 02/20/08
Two recent energy deals are the latest moves in the Great Game for energy security, with the world's main powers jockeying for access to resources and markets.
Abigail Paris 02/14/08
The traditional flower market is a thing of the past. Flowers are now imported from all over the world, creating trade-offs for the ethical consumer.
Abigail Paris 02/13/08
With nearly all recent growth in the Middle East reliant on high oil prices, the production potential of this region is low given its lack of infrastructure and weak link to the outside world. Reversing the region's brain drain could help combat this problem.
Christina L. Madden 02/05/08
Like many tools of globalization, the power of the Internet can cut both ways. What then is the solution to extremism on the Internet? Paradoxically, it might be more Internet use.
Abigail Paris 02/01/08
As Fashion Week gets underway in New York City, it is worth asking where models' standards of beauty come from.
Nin-Hai Tseng 01/30/08
The blame game for toxic toys and bad loans makes big headlines. But international scrutiny can also promote accountability.
Peter Tillman 01/23/08
U.S. trade policy has become increasingly partisan, but progress on trade issues during an election year is unlikely.
Abigail Paris 01/23/08
The global growth of Internet use and online role-playing games has spawned a public health crackdown on addictive and antisocial behaviors.
California Newsreel 01/22/08
The Debt of Dictators by filmmaker Erling Borgen is a good introduction to the central questions of Third World debt: Whose debt is it, and who is going to pay?
Matthew Hennessey 01/09/08
Since taking power in a 1999 military coup, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has struggled with the same question as his predecessors: How to keep a tangled patchwork of provinces from breaking apart?
Devin T. Stewart
California Newsreel 12/23/07
What is the human price of industrialization and globalization? Maquilapolis: City of Factories highlights what happens when capital comes to town and when it flies elsewhere.
Devin T. Stewart
California Newsreel 12/22/07
Why can't Africa access trade as a tool to generate wealth? Black Gold delves into the international coffee supply chain to find out where the system is broken.
The list of our most popular articles of 2007 reveals three themes: China, trade, and food. These issues intersected in the Chinese product safety scandals, one of the biggest globalization stories of the year. Our most popular search terms are also listed.
Devin T. Stewart 11/30/07
All sins are a variation of theft, according to the father character in Khaled Hosseini's novel The Kite Runner. Corruption is theft of public trust in institutions.
Anja Boenicke 11/30/07
Globalization increases the flexibility of labor markets, but increased mobility goes hand in hand with increased economic uncertainty, especially among young professionals. Their romantic lifestyles are adapting to the new pressures.
Matthew Hennessey 11/19/07
What's the difference between taxing carbon emissions and a market-based system of cap and trade? Which approach will more effectively reduce emissions? Which is fairer?
Sacha Tessier-Stall 11/16/07
When the traditional tasks of national militaries are delegated to private military firms, civil authorities enter into two contracts with them: commercial and moral. If leaders aren't adamant about enforcing both, the results are potentially destabilizing.
Christina L. Madden 11/13/07
The rapporteur's summary from our third Workshop for Ethics in Business features discussion of the social aspiration gap, personal carbon trading, building megacommunities to solve collective problems, fair negotiating with developing countries, and a carbon price for the financial sector.
Christina L. Madden 11/09/07
Despite the best efforts of central bankers everywhere, inflation is making a comeback, and everyone's feeling the pinch of rising food and fuel prices.
Manuel F. Montes, Evan O'Neil 10/30/07
Evan O'Neil talks with Dr. Manuel "Butch" Montes of the UN's Financing for Development Office about well-being, trade negotiations, and social change in the Asian economies.
Adam Dean 10/25/07
Food policy based on think global, buy local may create contradictory choices when it comes to helping the environment and poor-country farmers.
Matthew Hennessey 10/24/07
As astonishing as it seems, globalization is playing better in Pretoria than in Peoria. Two recent surveys show Western attitudes toward global trade hardening even as the developing world is eager for more.
David M. Schilling
Workshops for Ethics in Business, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre 10/16/07
The transcript from our first workshop for ethics in business, "Taking Stock of Business & Human Rights: Policies and Practices," includes remarks from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, BP, and the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility.
Christina L. Madden 10/10/07
Pakistan, whose constitution requires that all laws be brought in conformity with sharia, is transitioning to a completely interest-free economy. Islamic finance is booming in general, and the global economy is now realizing that non-Muslims can also take advantage of the sector.
Anja Boenicke 10/05/07
Conceptual artist Hasan Elahi documents his every move online with hundreds of pictures. He photographs the toilets he uses, the food he eats, the places he sees. He even posts copies of his banking statements. Why has Hasan Elahi become his own Big Brother?
Bill Baue 09/27/07
Empirical research conducted by John Ruggie and the International Finance Corporation examines if foreign investment contract clauses enable human rights violations.
Center for Reproductive Rights 09/26/07
Evan O'Neil interviews Aya Fujimura-Fanselow of the Center for Reproductive Rights on the impact of a contraception ban in Manila.
Steve A. Rochlin,
Workshops for Ethics in Business 09/24/07
The rapporteur's summary from our second Workshop for Ethics and Business is now available. The speakers include representatives from AccountAbility, GE, Lockheed Martin, and the World Bank.
Matthew Hennessey 09/21/07
Policy Innovations talks with Professor Matthew Slaughter of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business about his New Deal for globalization.
Devin T. Stewart
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre 09/20/07
Devin Stewart interviews Annabel Short of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre about the recent redesign of their website. The Centre tracks the positive and negative impact of more than 3,600 businesses in more than 180 countries.
Alexandra Reihing 09/18/07
Sustainable economic growth has been a major goal of reconstruction efforts in post-invasion Iraq and Afghanistan. Trade and investment will go a long way toward improving citizens' lives, though without governance reforms and an end to violence these economies will struggle.
Alexandra Reihing 09/14/07
Your definition of energy security might just depend on where you live. For consumer countries, energy security means reliable sources of supply. For producer states, it equates to high prices and stability in global markets.
Evan O'Neil talks with Brian Allenby of Reverb about the carbon offset market and how musicians are reducing their environmental footprint.
Devin T. Stewart,
Policy Innovations 09/06/07
Policy Innovations celebrates its one-year anniversary with a recap of popular and groundbreaking articles on fair trade, health, culture, corporate social responsibility, education, and more.
Saul Gomez 08/24/07
More and more, wealthy individuals and companies are offsetting their carbon consumption out of a sincere concern for the environment, for good public relations, and for economic value.
Alexandra Reihing 08/17/07
The space race may be over, but the war for control of vast Arctic energy resources got a little colder this month when a Russian mini-submarine planted its flag on the seafloor at the North Pole. The Kremlin's grand gesture reminded the world of the Putin administration's quest to reassert state control over Russia's natural resources.
Christina L. Madden 08/15/07
Although China's civil society is stifled, the Chinese environmental movement has taken great strides and made great progress in combating the harms of rapid development.
Devin T. Stewart
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, RSA 08/10/07
Representatives from the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and the Royal Society for Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) met yesterday in New York for a presentation and discussion on the ethical issues stemming from climate change.
Matthew Hennessey 08/07/07
There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come, mused French novelist Victor Hugo. He might have added that some ideas come a longer way than others. Policymakers have recently opened up to the idea of policy transfer—borrowing successful innovations from abroad for use at home.
Alexandra Reihing 07/31/07
Thanks to the human love of commentary and information, blogs have created more connections among people and helped propel citizen journalism and democratic change. As the medium matures, will a code of ethics be necessary?
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, Globalization101.org, Foreign Policy, OneWorld, Global Envision 07/26/07
This event was the second roundtable discussion on web design for nonprofits hosted by members of the Policy Innovations Core Network. Topics covered include online advertising, video, fundraising, social networking, and building strong communities.
Matthew Hennessey 07/25/07
The global cosmetics industry is booming and the organic market is the next frontier. But in a sector built on a foundation of eternal youth, can the claims of organic content be trusted?
Kyle Valenti 07/23/07
Banks and cell phone companies are taking advantage of new handset technology and the expansion of cell phone use in developing economies to extend financial services to roughly 2 billion people.
Matthew Hennessey 07/17/07
"Brain drain" has emerged as a significant policy challenge for developing countries undergoing globalization. The lure of wealth and opportunity elsewhere leaves labor-exporting economies in a self-reinforcing bind: How to develop when the best and brightest routinely set out in search of greener pastures?
Alexandra Reihing 07/11/07
The G8 reaffirmed its commitment to fighting malaria in Africa, where 90 percent of malaria deaths occur. Freedom from malaria should not be denied to sub-Saharan Africa when it is possible to achieve.
Saul Gomez 07/11/07
Climate change is rising on the agenda in many world capitals due in part to the emergence of market-based mechanisms and their embrace by both industry and environmental advocates.
Kyle Valenti 06/27/07
Cellulosic ethanol, or "treethanol," is a promising new energy source with the potential to mitigate high gas prices, national security concerns, and global climate change. But anything that requires cutting down trees while purporting to save the environment should attract a reasonable dose of skepticism.
Alexandra Reihing 06/20/07
Poverty and insecurity have prevented generations of Afghans from becoming educated, thrusting children into the labor market. If education is the key to breaking out of the cycle of poverty, then child labor threatens economic growth and human development.
Alexandra Reihing 06/11/07
Land reform projects are designed to empower the poorest elements of society, but often go awry when implemented for political purposes. The negative impacts on agricultural output and soaring inflation in Zimbabwe and Venezuela highlight the difficulty of making such postcolonial repairs.
Kyle Valenti 06/07/07
There is a window of political opportunity in U.S. immigration policy: The House has passed a version of immigration reform and the Senate is currently debating its own. So far, the only consensus seems to be that something should be done.
Alexandra Reihing 06/05/07
Interest in low-emission nuclear energy has mushroomed alongside rising energy prices and fear of climate change. But the picture of a green future is clouded by security concerns over weapons proliferation and stubborn states like Iran, which has so far refused to stop enriching uranium.
Saul Gomez 05/31/07
The innovation gap is especially troubling in the pharmaceutical industry, where only a small portion of funding goes toward the diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries. The World Health Organization responded to this problem with the creation of a working group to promote innovations in needs-driven medical R&D.
Saul Gomez 05/09/07
Democracy's positive contributions to quality of life have caused some to elevate it to the status of a universal value. But universal value does not equal universal application. When it comes to developing strategies for democracy promotion, treating democracy as a universal value can be a stumbling block.
Alexandra Reihing 04/30/07
Presidential elections were held in Nigeria on April 21st amid electoral chaos and mild violence. For the first time since the nation's independence from Great Britain in 1960, power was passed from one civilian government to another, but instability fueled by oil wealth and corruption threatens the sustainability of democracy in the country.
Matthew Hennessey 04/25/07
If you care about the hotly contested issues of trade and immigration, then you should know something about comparative advantage, the 200-year-old economic theory that describes the benefits of specialization. These three ideas are inextricably linked, yet not much attention is paid to the implications.
Alexandra Reihing 04/17/07
The United States and South Korea arrived at a free trade agreementearlier this month. KORUS FTA is the largest deal the United States has signed since the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico's growth rate was a moribund 1 percent in the 10 years following NAFTA, and its income gap with the United States actually increased by 10.6 percent. Was a better bargain struck this time around?
Adam Dean 04/04/07
Importing Brazilian ethanol made from sugar could reduce America's gasoline consumption and environmental footprint. Increased U.S. consumption of the biofuel would lead to a higher price for sugar, potentially lifting Brazilian cane farmers out of poverty. A tariff of 54 cents per gallon, however, currently distorts the market.
Alexandra Reihing 04/03/07
Despite the death of an estimated 200,000 people and the displacement of millions in the Darfur conflict, Sudan has enjoyed record economic growth due largely to Chinese development of the oil sector. Sudan in turn uses much of its oil revenue to support its military and buy weapons from China. China has been shifting from an attitude of noninterference in Darfur to a soft power posture, acknowledging its risk as Sudan's most important stakeholder. But as the U.S. embargo has not proved decisive, an even greater share of international responsibility shifts toward Beijing.
Devin T. Stewart, Evan O'Neil 03/01/07
Policy Innovations recently launched Fairer Globalization, a new blog for expanded coverage of the ideas that inspire our work. We hope you will use it to participate in the dialogue sparked by the articles we publish here in the magazine. We invite you to join us: http://fairerglobalization.blogspot.com/
Matthew Hennessey 02/16/07
As a general rule, it pays to be skeptical of someone looking to sell something they can’t possibly own. The human genetic code would appear to fit into this category. Yet, a new bill before the U.S. Congress seeks to end the practice of patenting human genes. You read that right. Since the mid-1990s, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been granting patents for the genetic material that we all share. And they've been doing it at an alarming rate.
Diana Constantinescu 02/06/07
Microsoft may have made a public relations gaffe, or publicity killing, by asking Rick Jelliffe to modify a Wikipedia article for them. But the fact that Microsoft encouraged Jelliffe to disclose their deal, and reassured him that Microsoft would not ask to approve the Wikipedia edits before they were made, shows that things are not black and white. Nothing was hidden, but the Wikipedia policy was nevertheless violated. This story reminds us that a community like Wikipedia's editors is vulnerable to manipulation by commercial interests—and that information is power.
Matthew Hennessey 02/05/07
If you could peek inside their corporate playbooks, you would find that most sports franchises are searching for ways to globalize their brands.
Matthew Hennessey 01/31/07
Is globalization over, or just stuck in a gyre? From Russia to Venezuela, governments appear to be turning their backs on open markets, economic liberalization, and foreign investment, causing many thinkers to sound the SOS. The "rising tide" has not lifted all boats, but the current era of globalization has also seen unprecedented leaps in living standards and human communication. Is it time to recalibrate the moral compass, or put the world economy in drydock?
Matthew Hennessey 01/16/07
If you haven't given much thought to the bird flu in the past year, you aren't alone. While the spread of the dreaded H5N1 virus across Southeast Asia garnered much press coverage in 2005, the topic seemed to slip off the radar in 2006. Rest assured, however, the bird flu has not gone away. In fact, there were more cases reported in 2006 than in any previous year.
Negar Rachel Treister 12/28/06
None of China’s choices for energy imports are simple. China has a natural abundance of coal, but it burns inefficiently and greatly contributes to China’s greenhouse gas emissions. China is also toying with the idea of liquefying its coal, though this too would have drastic environmental consequences. China needs to import. But with that said, China is the world’s fastest-growing economy and it needs to examine whether it plans on being a responsible stakeholder in the world economy.
Shiyang Li 12/25/06
Migrants and foreign workers are sending money earned abroad to their home countries at increasing rates. The value of these financial transfers—known as remittances—has skyrocketed in recent years as technological advances have made it easier to wire mom and dad a few bucks. While a lot of money is changing hands, it’s unclear whether the effect of remittances in the recipient country is a net positive or negative.
Shiyang Li 12/20/06
The Kyoto Protocol took effect on February 16, 2005, as the first legally binding environmental treaty committed to reducing greenhouse emissions. But the United States, the world's largest polluter, continues to boycott the agreement. Parties to the convention recently started debating how the system will be extended after it expires in 2012. President Bush has said he does not intend to submit the treaty for ratification because of the exemptions granted to developing countries such as China, the world's second biggest emitter of atmospheric carbon.
Rushaine McKenzie 12/18/06
South Africa recently legalized same-sex marriage in a move demonstrating further progress from a past fraught with inequality and discrimination. South Africa is the first African country to make this leap and the fifth worldwide, joining ranks with the Netherlands, Spain, Canada, and Belgium in a trend that may help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Matthew Hennessey 12/15/06
Given that cinema is a cultural tastemaker, Blood Diamond has a chance of damaging the global diamond trade, one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most profitable industries. But it is clear that players on all sides of the issue would like to avoid that outcome. At the very least the movie will inspire some lovers to think hard about the engagement rings they consider.
Oxfam International 12/12/06
Starbucks Coffee is sending a blended message on fair trade: The company established Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices, but it is also resisting Ethiopia's efforts to trademark several local coffee varietals. Trademarks of this sort could help Ethiopian farmers reap a greater share of the premium prices that their coffees command in international markets. Oxfam International considers this Starbucks policy grounds for hitting the corporation where it hurts -- in the reputation. Once partners in improving farmers' lives, the two organizations are currently waging a public dispute over agriculture and fair trade policy.
Matthew Hennessey 12/01/06
Over the last three decades, the popularity of microfinance has steadily increased. And now, with Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank winning the Nobel Peace Prize, microfinance has hit the front page. Many in the West tout microfinance as a pivotal innovation in the fight against poverty in the developing world. Organizations such as ACCION International, FINCA, and Trickle Up finance millions of micro-entrepreneurs in dozens of countries.
Rushaine McKenzie 11/21/06
Irish rocker Bono announced in January the launch of Product RED, a venture designed to raise money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Since its launch, RED has become the new black, attracting media attention and other celebrities to its ad campaigns. Bono's initiative is also part of a new trend in world trade—ethical clothing—with implications for the textile industry in Africa and developing countries around the world.
Matthew Hennessey 11/14/06
The problem of corruption has long bedeviled those tasked with promoting and sustaining development in the world’s poorest countries. By stifling growth and discouraging investment, corruption has made it difficult for developing countries to escape the cycle of poverty. Corruption also demoralizes communities by advertising the successes of the criminal, unethical, and often violent individuals that are able to capture positions of power and influence.
China’s government news agency Xinhua issued regulations in September that would make it the gatekeeper and the revenue collector for reports from all news agencies sold in China. The move appears designed to further restrict the information that media, including news-oriented websites and financial, cultural and sports publications, can receive and broadcast to the Chinese public.
But Internet usage in China has increased steadily over the past 15 years, and has led to more freedom of speech for Chinese citizens. The information revolution is making it difficult for the Chinese government to dictate the media's role in serving the public interest, and the rapid spread of the Internet will likely accelerate movement in the direction of greater openness and social justice.
Matthew Hennessey 10/12/06
As a solution that derives from local knowledge and is adapted to the native climate, camel-milk harvesting presents an opportunity to alleviate hunger while establishing sustainable industry in Africa and the Middle East.
Matthew Hennessey 10/12/06
Interview with Nancy Abeiderrahmane, founder of a camel milk dairy in Mauritania that is using local knowledge and resources to spur economic development and fight hunger.
Rapporteur's summary of the presentations and discussions at Strategic Communications and the Web, an event designed to explore new ways that nonprofits can use the internet to better collaborate and promote their messages and materials.
Matthew Hennessey 09/18/06
The manipulation of the genetic material of plants is, for some, a reckless enterprise that could quickly spiral out of scientists’ control. Yet for others, the potential gains from nutrient-rich and pesticide-free genetically modified (GM) crops far outweigh any perceived risks. The recent discovery of U.S.-produced GM rice in a batch sold into the European market has revived some thorny ethical questions.
Negar Rachel Treister 08/23/06
Forty-seventh Street in Manhattan is a global port in its own right. Home to New York City’s diamond district, more than 90 percent of the diamonds that enter the United States first pass this bustling thoroughfare near Times Square before heading to their final destinations in wedding rings and necklaces throughout the country. By the time the stones reach the New York City shops, most have made an arduous journey from large dirt pits in Africa, passing through the hands of local miners, international corporations, politicians, and even rebel groups on occasion—a multifaceted clash over the economics and politics of resource extraction, technology transfer and sustainable development.
Negar Rachel Treister 07/28/06
The 1979 Islamic revolution and subsequent takeover of the U.S embassy in Tehran isolated Iran from many countries politically and economically, but government censorship of the press and the arts cut off Iran socially as well.
The UN World Food Programme is running a pilot initiative wherein it has taken out an insurance policy on the chances of drought in Ethiopia during the 2006 agricultural season.
Negar Rachel Treister 07/07/06
The boom in international trade and travel over the past 50 years has helped make local diseases, and the responses to them, global health concerns.
Negar Rachel Treister 06/22/06
In a region where governments have long tried to curb Western influences, the women of the Middle East increasingly use fashion to make a political statement—blending Western concepts with distinctively Islamic elements.
Martin Feldstein 06/07/06
Harvard economist Martin Feldstein recommends a system of tradeable gasoline rights (TGRs) as a way of capping U.S. gasoline consumption.
The basic idea of an Employment Guarantee Act (EGA) is very simple: it provides a legal guarantee of employment on a public works project to any adult who is willing to perform casual manual labor at the statutory minimum wage.
Some countries are working to establish basic income grants to help the poorest segments of their society survive. Basic income grants (BIGs) are a standardized amount of money to which all citizens of a country are entitled, without testing or work requirements.
Sony Kapoor 07/08/05
Synopsis of Sony Kapoor's article on how selling IMF gold can help finance debt cancellation and development.
Mountains of debt, in some cases accrued under past dictatorships, represent a stranglehold on many developing countries. These debts soak up a large percentage of annual country budgets, leaving fewer resources for governments to invest in the key social and productive sectors that are critical to long-term growth.
Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, Global Fairness Initiative 04/28/05
Over fifty intellectual, political, and civil society leaders convened at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs to debate the links between poverty, democracy, security and globalization. Participants were challenged to explore the role that the United States and other G8 countries can and should play with regard to promoting human rights and development.