Reports & Papers

21 Items

People stand in a line outside a bank in Beirut, Lebanon, amid a financial crisis and a lockdown imposed by the government to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Lebanon, March 28, 2020.

AP Photo/Zeina Karam

Paper

Reform Chatter and Democracy

    Authors:
  • Simeon Djankov
  • Ha Nguyen
  • Ivan Yotzov
| March 2021

This paper explores the dynamics of media chatter about economic reforms using text analysis from about a billion newspaper articles in 28 languages. The paper shows that the intensity of reform chatter increases during economic downturns. This increase is more significant in democracies. Using instrumental variable techniques, the analysis finds the relationship to be causal. The paper also documents that reform chatter is followed by actual reforms, suggesting that democracies benefit from a “self-correcting” mechanism stemming from changing popular attitudes toward reform. 

Tractors on Westminster bridge

AP/Matt Dunham

Paper - Institut für Sicherheitspolitik

The Global Order After COVID-19

| 2020

Despite the far-reaching effects of the current pandemic,  the essential nature of world politics will not be transformed. The territorial state will remain the basic building-block of international affairs, nationalism will remain a powerful political force, and the major powers will continue to compete for influence in myriad ways. Global institutions, transnational networks, and assorted non-state actors will still play important roles, of course, but the present crisis will not produce a dramatic and enduring increase in global governance or significantly higher levels of international cooperation. In short, the post-COVID-19 world will be less open, less free, less prosperous, and more competitive than the world many people expected to emerge only a few years ago.

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

kees torn/Flickr

Paper - National Bureau of Asian Research

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

This essay examines Russia’s growing role in Asia’s energy markets, assesses the implications for the U.S., and examines the claim that closer Sino-Russian energy ties are adding new incentives for a broader strategic alignment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on as he delivers his annual New Year address to the nation in Moscow, Russia, December 31, 2015.

Reuters

Paper - Harvard Business School

Russia: Tribulations and Toska

| March 28, 2016

Putin's third presidential term started in May of 2012. He had already served two consecutive terms in 2000-2008, switching places with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in 2008-2012. Putin's first two terms composed a period of sustained growth, which provided empirical ammunition against criticism of his model. The freshman year of Medvedev's presidency coincided with the onset of a global economic crisis that exposed Putin's model to its first serious test.

Report - Middle East Initiative, Belfer Center

The Crisis of the Arab State

August 11, 2015

During the spring 2015 semester, Professor Michael C. Hudson assembled eight leading Middle East scholars under the auspices of the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to participate in a study group titled Rethinking the Arab State: the Collapse of Legitimacy in Arab Politics. Over the course of the semester these experts used a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to  analyze the crisis of legitimacy of the Arab state in the wake of the 2011 uprisings.

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Paper

Institutions and Policies for Managing Sovereign Wealth

April 2015

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are playing an increasingly important role in the management of government windfalls and income surpluses from a variety of sources. The rise of SWFs is evident from two major developments. First, there has been a significant increase in the size of assets under their collective management (now estimated at over $5 trillion globally), making them one of the largest – and fastest growing – pools of institutional capital in the world. Second, SWFs are gaining in popularity, as a large number of new funds have been established over the past decade and many more are anticipated in countries and regions with recent resource discoveries and other government surpluses.

Report

Challenges to U.S. Global Leadership

In a Harvard Kennedy School IDEASpHERE session titled "Challenges to US Global Leadership," Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, David Gergen, David Ignatius, and Meghan O’Sullivan discussed challenges as well as opportunities facing the United States. Burns moderated the session.

Challenges include the rise of China and the future of the U.S.-China relationship, the crises taking place around the world, and the reputation of the U.S. worldwide. An unexpected opportunity is the increase in available energy sources in the United States.

Winning the Peace

Photo by Martha Stewart

Report

Winning the Peace

May 16, 2014

The last seven decades without war among the great powers – what historians describe as “the long peace” – is a remarkable achievement. “This is a rare and unusual fact if you look at the last few thousand years of history,” said Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center and moderator of the IDEASpHERE panel “Winning the Peace.” “Furthermore, it is no accident. Wise choices by statesmen have contributed to ‘the long peace,’ which has allowed many generations to live their lives.”

An Iraqi police officer casts his vote at a polling center in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 28, 2014.

AP Images

Paper

Choosing an Electoral System

| April 29, 2014

As the drama of the Middle East’s democratic upheaval unfolds, the design of electoral systems is a crucial but underreported part of the story. Our original analysis of Iraqi elections in 2005 and 2010 demonstrate that small changes in how votes become seats can have a major impact on who governs. As such, they offer critical lessons for those shaping the contours of the democracies struggling to emerge in the Middle East today.