Economics & Global Affairs

175 Items

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

Democratic Transitions and Conflict Zones: The Impact on Policy-Making in Africa

| Mar. 28, 2024

On March 26, the study group met for the first time to examine recent democratic progress and backsliding in African countries. The session focused on ongoing conflicts in different regions of Africa and examined their political underpinnings. Participants also discussed the role of third-party actors in supporting and facilitating conflict mediation and peacebuilding efforts in the continent. The study group counted with the presence of external expert guest Dr. Antje Herrberg, Chief of Staff of the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Niger (EUCAP Sahel Niger). Dr. Herrberg brings more than two decades of professional and personal experience in transition and conflict resolution, intractable conflict, and terrorism with a deep interest to alleviate the suffering of people. Furthermore, Florian Dirmayer, Master in Public Policy Candidate at Harvard Kennedy School, delivered a memo briefing on European Union Security Cooperation with Niger After the 2023 Military Coup.

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf during a press conference during the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting being held in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

AP Photo/Amr Nabil

Paper - Middle East Initiative, Belfer Center

From #Hashtags to Legislation

  • Oussama Belmejdoub
  • Bilal Diab
  • Samira Kalla
  • Ha Nguyen
  • Abdulla Saif
  • Ivan Yotzov
| February 2023

Ownership of reforms by citizens is often presented as important for success. This paper explores media engagement and support for economic reforms in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries using text analysis techniques on publicly available sources. Results show that while reform efforts have intensified in recent years in the GCC, these efforts tend to focus on stronger rather than weaker policy areas, potentially limiting the growth-enhancing effect of reforms. Social media analysis using Twitter shows that the population’s support for reforms has been declining. The analysis of traditional
news media points to more engagement by international than by local media. However, sentiment from international media is less positive about economic reforms in the GCC. Sentiment in international media and social media matters, as evidenced by its positive and strong correlation with FDI inflows into the GCC.

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Analysis & Opinions - Economic Research Forum

Access to finance for Egypt’s private sector during the pandemic

| May 11, 2021

In response to the global pandemic, public authorities in Egypt responded with a comprehensive package aimed at tackling the health emergency and supporting economic activity. This column examines how private sector firms perceived ease of access to finance before and after the emergence of Covid-19 in 2020.

    Clouds over forest

    Boris Misevic via Unsplash

    Policy Brief

    The Future of Carbon Offset Markets

    | Oct. 22, 2020

    Corporations, organizations, and even governments are purchasing offsets to reduce their carbon footprint. This policy brief provides an overview of the offset process – who buys them, who produces them, and who certifies them; describes the emerging challenges facing this market; and makes recommendations for the future.

    Shanghai, China

    Li Yang / Unsplash


    Is China's Hydrogen Economy Coming?

    | July 28, 2020

    This paper focuses on China and the potential role of renewable hydrogen in accelerating its transition to a low-carbon economy. Our research goal is to provide policymakers and other stakeholders the means to make informed decisions on technology innovation, policy instruments, and long-term investments in enabling infrastructure.

    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.

    A photo of electrolysis in action. (Flickr: ca_heckler)

    Flickr: ca_heckler / CC by-nc-nd 2.0


    Geopolitical and Market Implications of Renewable Hydrogen: New Dependencies in a Low-Carbon Energy World

    | March 2020

    To accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon economy, all energy systems and sectors must be actively decarbonized. While hydrogen has been a staple in the energy and chemical industries for decades, renewable hydrogen is drawing increased attention today as a versatile and sustainable energy carrier with the potential to play an important piece in the carbon-free energy puzzle. Countries around the world are piloting new projects and policies, yet adopting hydrogen at scale will require innovating along the value chains; scaling technologies while significantly reducing costs; deploying enabling infrastructure; and defining appropriate national and international policies and market structures.

    What are the general principles of how renewable hydrogen may reshape the structure of global energy markets? What are the likely geopolitical consequences such changes would cause? A deeper understanding of these nascent dynamics will allow policy makers and corporate investors to better navigate the challenges and maximize the opportunities that decarbonization will bring, without falling into the inefficient behaviors of the past.