1085 Items

Ambassador Nicholas Burns gives remarks.

BTI Project / YouTube

Analysis & Opinions

How to Dismantle Democracy: Authoritarian Trends from A(merica) to Z(ambia)

| June 25, 2020

Authoritarian modes of governing have steadily increased over the past 10 years. A number of autocracies have intensified their repressive tactics, while several democracies – many of which were once classified as consolidated – have tampered with fundamental rights and the rule of law. Despite a few developments to the contrary, the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) 2020 highlights the ongoing decline of democracy around the globe.

The presentation of BTI results focused on the resembling patterns of dismantling democracy in (highly) defective democracies such as Hungary, Moldova, the Philippines, Serbia or Zambia and regimes in which this process has been so pronounced that they are now categorized as autocracies in the BTI, such as Bangladesh, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Turkey or Uganda. It looked at the typical sequence to an authoritarian deconstruction of democratic institutions from within, from the purposeful undermining of oversight institutions, attacking the media and civil society to manipulating the electoral system, in order to examine the resonance of these trends in the United States. The goal of the discussion is to identify the features and underlying causes of this erosion, and to suggest promising counter-strategies.

Coronavirus

U.S. Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Kennedy School

How COVID-19 has changed public policy

| June 24, 2020

For months, the coronavirus has crawled across the globe. One person at a time, it has passed through millions, reaching every corner of the earth. And it has not only infected people, but every aspect of our human cultures. Policymakers and the public sector face their biggest test in generations—some say ever—as lives and livelihoods hang in a terrible, delicate balance. Facing health crises, economic collapse, social and political disruption, we try to take stock of what the pandemic has done and will do. We asked Harvard Kennedy School faculty, in fields ranging from climate change to international development, from democracy to big power relations, to tell us how this epochal event has changed the world.

Kinnaur Kailash, Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, India

Saurav Kundu/Unsplash

Policy Brief

Should Regulators Make Electric Utilities Pay Customers for Poor Reliability?

| June 09, 2020

This policy brief describes the persistent challenge of poor electricity reliability in India and how it interacts with key regulatory policies, analyzes Delhi’s experience with outage compensation since 2017, and highlights areas for additional economic and policy research on this topic.

President of the Republic of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro during a videoconference with Governors of the Southeast

Wikimedia CC/Palácio do Planalto

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Why Developing Countries Should Build Computational Modelling Capacity for Policy Analytics

| June 04, 2020

Kaveri Iychettira and Afreen Siddiqi explain why computational modelling is a useful tool, especially when stakes are high and resources are constrained, and detail why developing countries should build capacity for it. 

Rupiah coins in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Binsar Bakkara/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Global Policy

Closing the Equity Financing Gap during the COVID-19 Crisis: The Emergence of Sovereign Wealth Funds with Expiration Dates

| May 29, 2020

Juergen Braunstein and Sachin Silva argue that sovereign wealth funds may be central to governments' efforts to balance public responsibility with private interests in post-pandemic economies.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Postponement of the NPT Review Conference. Antagonisms, Conflicts and Nuclear Risks after the Pandemic

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has published a document from the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs concerning nuclear problems and tensions in the time of COVID-19. The document has been co-signed by a large number of Pugwash colleagues and personalities.

Dr. Justin Jacob runs a sample COVID-19 test inside a mobile testing lab unit that will begin testing in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Washington.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

What Caused the COVID-19 Testing Deficit?

| Apr. 30, 2020

As the divergent experiences of the US and South Korea show, testing can be the difference between disease containment and catastrophe. Rather than relying on national governments to ensure the rapid development, production, and deployment of diagnostics during outbreaks, the world needs a global coordinating platform.

Sun sets behind idle pump jack near Karnes City, Texas.

Eric Gay/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

Oil's Collapse Is a Geopolitical Reset In Disguise

| Apr. 29, 2020

The world is on the cusp of a geopolitical reset. The global pandemic could well undermine international institutions, reinforce nationalism and spur de-globalization. But far-sighted leadership could also rekindle cooperation, glimmers of which appeared in the G-20’s offer of debt relief for some of the world’s poorest countries, a joint plea from more than 200 former national leaders for a more coordinated pandemic response and an unprecedented multinational pact to arrest the crash in oil markets.