By David Ekbladh, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2009–2010
With the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the "War on Terror" that followed, development aid was shoved back into the spotlight. Many ideas and institutions that had lain dormant in international affairs, insinuated their return into U.S. strategy and the agenda of the international community. "Nation building" in Afghanistan and Iraq along with a hope that development would stifle the appeal of extremist ideologies and the movements that they stirred has returned development to a prominent place in U.S. grand strategy.
April 14, 2010
The Dominican Republic is well positioned to benefit from the development of an ethanol industry. It has adequate land resources and, under favorable market conditions, can produce ethanol cost-competitively for both domestic consumption and export. The circumstances of the Dominican Republic are common to many developing nations considering biofuels development. The framework approach used in this paper and its conclusions may be applicable to biofuels initiatives in other developing nations.
Different international regimes are built from legal instruments that vary in terms of whether they are multilateral or bilateral. We investigate the reasons for such variation. The choice between multilateralism and bilateralism is a function of the trade-off between each instrument's relative flaw-multilateralism is wasteful in incentives whereas bilateralism multiplies transaction costs. We illustrate some of these propositions by looking at four regimes: foreign direct investment, human rights, climate change, and international trade.
"Rail Transportation of Toxic Inhalation Hazards: Policy Responses to the Safety and Security Externality"
By Lewis M. Branscomb, Director Emeritus of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program; Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Corporate Management, Mark Fagan, Philip Auerswald, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Ryan N. Ellis and Raphael Barcham
Toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) chemicals such as chlorine gas and anhydrous ammonia are among the most dangerous of hazardous materials. Rail transportation of TIH creates risk that is not adequately reflected in the costs, creating a TIH safety and security externality. This paper describes and evaluates policy alternatives that might effectively mitigate the dangers of TIH transportation by rail. After describing the nature of TIH risk and defining the TIH externality, general policy approaches to externalities from other arenas are examined. Potential risk reduction strategies and approaches for each segment of the supply chain are reviewed. The paper concludes by summarizing policy options and assessing some of the most promising means to reduce the risks of transportation of toxic inhalation hazards. Four policy approaches are recommended: internalizing external costs through creation of a fund for liability and claims, improving supply chain operations, enhancing emergency response and focusing regulatory authority. It is further suggested that the Department of Transportation convene a discussion among stakeholder representatives to evaluate policy alternatives.
There is no integrated, comprehensive regime governing efforts to limit the extent of climate change. Instead, there is a regime complex: a loosely coupled set of specific regimes. We describe the regime complex for climate change and seek to explain it, using functional, strategic, and organizational arguments. It is likely that such a regime complex will persist: efforts to build an effective, legitimate, and adaptable comprehensive regime are unlikely to succeed. Building on this analysis, we argue that a climate change regime complex, if it meets specified criteria, has advantages over any politically feasible comprehensive regime, particularly with respect to adaptability and flexibility. These characteristics are particularly important in an environment of high uncertainty, such as in the case of climate change where the most demanding international commitments are interdependent yet governments vary widely in their interest and ability to implement such commitments.
January 13, 2010
In a discussion paper released by Harvard University's Sustainability Science Program and the Belfer Center's Environment and Natural Resources Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, Ricardo Hausmann and Rodrigo Wagner lay out five organizing principles for maximizing the development impact of a global biofuel market.
A disproportionately large amount of the world's agronomic potential for the production of bio-ethanol is concentrated in a subset of developing countries. To develop that potential, countries need both the existence of an appropriate local business ecosystem and reliable global demand. The creation of a global market for green biofuels, however, is affected by a constellation of diverse and sometimes conflicting policy goals, which tend to complicate policy discussion. In this paper we compile a set of principles to guide the design of a global market for green biofuels.
By Kelly Sims Gallagher, Senior Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group
A "deal" is proposed in this paper, whereby all major-emitting countries, including the United States and China, agree to reduce emissions through implementation of significant, mutually agreeable, domestic emission-reduction policies. To resolve the competitiveness and equity concerns, a proposed Carbon Mitigation Fund would be created. This proposed fund is contrasted with other existing and proposed mitigation funds and finance mechanisms.
By Melissa Hathaway, Senior Advisor, Explorations in Cyber International Relations
The internet is an interconnected series of networks--where it is difficult to determine where private security threats end and public ones begin. These networks deliver power and water to our households and businesses, enable us to access our bank accounts from almost any city in the world, and transform the way our doctors provide healthcare. For all of these reasons, we need a safe Internet with a strong network infrastructure.
The São Paulo Proposal is designed to create a stable, long-term, universal regime based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Such a regime is required to encourage the technological change and structural shifts necessary to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations. Richer countries adopt binding targets that become more stringent over time. Financial and institutional provisions to enhance developing country implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions are strengthened.
By Matthew Fuhrmann, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, January–August 2009; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2008–December 2009 and Sarah Kreps, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2007–2008
When do states attack or consider attacking nuclear infrastructure in nonnuclear weapons states? Despite the importance of this question, relatively few scholarly articles have attempted to identify the factors that lead a state to attack another state's nuclear facilities. This paper conducts the first large-n analysis on when states use force as a way to control proliferation.
This paper challenges existing arguments that states are deterred from attacking nuclear programs by the prospect of a military retaliation from the proliferating state or concerns about international condemnation. Instead, it finds that states are more likely to attack nuclear programs when they believe that the proliferating state might use nuclear weapons or engage in other offensive behavior. States are willing to accept substantial costs in attacking if they believe that a particular country's acquisition of nuclear weapons poses a significant threat to their security.