By Michael Robbins, Former Research Fellow, The Dubai Initiative
Islamist organizations are generally considered to be the strongest and most credible opposition to incumbent regimes throughout the Arab world. Fear of Islamic takeovers has led regimes and other outside powers to justify not holding free elections, citing examples that include the Algerian election of 1991, the Iranian Revolution, the AKP victory in Turkey and the perceived popularity of Islamist opposition groups throughout much of the Arab world (Brumberg 2002). Yet, other analysts have questioned the actual strength of Islamist movements within the Arab world, noting that although Islamists may be the main challenger, few have actually been successful in taking power (Roy 1994).
By Stephen J. Ramos, Former Research Fellow, The Dubai Initiative
While oil discovery brought revenue to Dubai and would change the city's physiognomy, moving it beyond the initial three settlements along the creek, it is clear that Dubai's status as a dynamic entrepôt for international trade and transshipment, its foundational infrastructure projects, and its "free port" policies to attract merchant communities from throughout the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, along with licit and illicit trade for re-export to Persia/Iran and India, were solidly established before "black gold" was struck in Fateh field.
May 10, 2008
By Haroon Ullah, Former Research Fellow, The Dubai Initiative
DI Fellow Haroon Ullah recently published a working paper with DSG. Access it in full here.
"Labor Regulations and European Industrial Specialization: Evidence from Private Equity Investments"
European nations empirically substitute between employment protection regulations and labor market expenditures like unemployment insurance benefits in the provision of labor market insurance to workers. While perhaps substitutes from a worker's perspective, employment regulations more directly tax firms making frequent labor force adjustments. These labor adjustments are especially important for the portfolio companies of both venture capital and buy-out investors. European nations providing worker insurance through labor market expenditures developed stronger domestic private equity markets over the 1990-2004 period than those nations favoring employment protection. These patterns are further evident in US-sourced private equity investments into Europe. Moreover, tests for industry specialization suggest that countries with more flexible labor markets tend to specialize in sectors characterized by high labor volatility. These results are relevant to the literature examining the impact of labor market regulations on entrepreneurship and productivity growth due to reallocation across firms and sectors.
Click here for the full text.
April 17, 2008
By Marwa Farag, Former Research Fellow 2007-2009, The Dubai Initiative
The health sector in Egypt suffers from a severe shortage of qualified nurses (nurses with at least 2 years of post high school nursing education) and a much less apparent perceived/real shortage of all-type nurses. This paper examines the nurse labor market in Egypt for evidence of such shortages and explores potential reasons behind them. It was submitted as part of the Dubai School of Government's working paper series.
For the full text, click here.
This working paper, co-authored by DI Faculty Affiliate Asim Khwaja, argues that the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca increases observance of global Islamic practices while decreasing participation in localized practices and beliefs. The authors' evidence suggests that these changes are more a result of exposure to and interaction with Hajjis from around the world, rather than religious instruction or a changed social role of pilgrims upon return.
Down the full text for free here.
March 14, 2008
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 Xiaojun Li
Matthew Fuhrmann and co-author Xiaojun Li examine when and why states ratify regional nuclear weapons free zone (NWFZ) treaties.
February 2008 (Revised May 2008)
"Are insurgents affected by new information about the United States' sensitivity to costs? Using data on attacks and variation in access to international news across Iraqi provinces, we identify an "emboldenment" effect by comparing the rate of insurgent attacks in areas with higher and lower access to information about U.S. news after public statements critical of the war. We find that in periods after a spike in war-critical statements, insurgent attacks increases by 7–10 percent, but that this effect dissipates within a month. Additionally, we find that insurgents shift attacks from Iraqi civilian to U.S. military targets following new information about the United States' sensitivity to costs, resulting in more U.S. fatalities but fewer deaths overall. These results suggest that there is a small but measurable cost to open public debate in the form of higher attacks in the short-term, and that Iraqi insurgent organizations — even those motivated by religious or ideological goals — are strategic actors...."
Federal, state and local governments use a variety of incentives to induce consumer adoption of hybrid-electric vehicles. The authors study the relative efficacy of state sales tax waivers, income tax credits and non-tax incentives and find that the type of tax incentive offered is as important as the value of the tax incentive.
January 3, 2008
"Keeping an Eye on an Unruly Neighbor: Chinese Views of Economic Reform and Stability in North Korea"
"Beijing viewed North Korea's explosion of a nuclear device in October 2006 as not only an act of defiance to the international community and a threat to regional stability, but also an act of defiance toward China. Chinese officials admit that their toolbox for managing the North Korean nuclear weapons challenge must now include a combination of pressure and inducements."