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Democracy in Development: Rio+20’s Unheralded Achievements

by Isobel Coleman Friday, June 29, 2012
A woman takes a picture of an image of Guanabara Bay made of recycled trash, part of an installation by Brazilian plastic artist Vik Muniz, during the Rio+20 Conference on June 22, 2012 (Nacho Doce/Courtesy Reuters). A woman takes a picture of an image of Guanabara Bay made of recycled trash, part of an installation by Brazilian plastic artist Vik Muniz, during the Rio+20 Conference on June 22, 2012 (Nacho Doce/Courtesy Reuters).

Yesterday on my blog, Democracy in Development, I discussed how Rio+20, despite its shortcomings, put a spotlight on several important issues. As I conclude: Read more »

Property Rights, Growth, and Conflict

by Terra Lawson-Remer Friday, June 29, 2012
The process plant of a gold mine on Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea (Courtesy Reuters). The process plant of a gold mine on Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea (Courtesy Reuters).

The conventional wisdom has long held secure private property rights to be a critical ingredient of economic growth. At a micro level, secure property rights generate growth by incentivizing efficient levels of investment and ensuring that land and other resources are neither over- nor under-utilized; reducing transaction costs and allowing the reallocation of resources to more efficient users; and facilitating access to credit and the conversion of dead assets into investment capital. At a macro level, secure private property rights—as an essential pillar of individual liberty—create political accountability, which in turn leads to economic policies that are broadly growth-enhancing rather than narrowly beneficial to powerful, rent-seeking elites.

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New from CFR: Stewart Patrick on Crime and Development

by Development Channel Staff Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A policeman watches as confiscated cocaine and marijuana are incinerated in Paramaribo, Suriname on April 19, 2011. Suriname is a transit point for drugs headed to Europe, Africa, and the United States (Ranu Abhelakh/Courtesy Reuters). A policeman watches as confiscated cocaine and marijuana are incinerated in Paramaribo, Suriname on April 19, 2011. Suriname is a transit point for drugs headed to Europe, Africa, and the United States (Ranu Abhelakh/Courtesy Reuters).

Stewart Patrick, CFR Senior Fellow and Director of the Program on International Institutions and Global Governance, yesterday published a post on his blog about the impact of crime on economic development and how to combat it. In the post, which summarizes Patrick’s recent remarks to the UN General Assembly, he argues that both transnational organized crime and local malfeasance are enormous drains on development. As he notes: Read more »

Emerging Voices: Nicole Hassoun on Fair Trade for Health

by Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman Monday, June 25, 2012
A boy is vaccinated against measles as part of a vaccination programme in Dodowa, Ghana on April 25, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters). A boy is vaccinated against measles as part of a vaccination programme in Dodowa, Ghana on April 25, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Nicole Hassoun, assistant professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. Hassoun outlines a proposal from her new book, Globalization and Global Justice: Shrinking Distance, Expanding Obligations, to create a Fair Trade Health label as an incentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest in medicines needed by the global poor. Read more »

New from CFR: Thomas Bollyky on the Rio+20 Conference

by Development Channel Staff Friday, June 22, 2012
Brazil's Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, speaks at a seminar on green and inclusive economies at the Rio+20 Conference on June 21, 2012 (Ueslei Marcelino/Courtesy Reuters). Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega speaks at a seminar on green and inclusive economies at the Rio+20 Conference on June 21, 2012 (Ueslei Marcelino/Courtesy Reuters).

In an interview today on CFR.org, CFR Senior Fellow Thomas Bollyky discusses the environmental and development issues on the table at the Rio+20 Conference. Bollyky suggests that the conference’s ultimate legacy is uncertain, saying: Read more »

New from CFR: Julia Sweig on the Rio+20 Conference

by Development Channel Staff Thursday, June 21, 2012
A demonstrator wears a costume that represents the Amazon rainforest during a march at the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil (Courtesy Reuters). A demonstrator wears a costume that represents the Amazon rainforest during a march at the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil (Courtesy Reuters).

In an op-ed in yesterday’s Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), CFR Senior Fellow Julia Sweig discusses how to measure the success of the ongoing Rio+20 Conference. Sweig characterizes the size and scope of the meeting as “too big to succeed,” arguing that: Read more »

Democracy in Development: Improving Governance Through Technology

by Isobel Coleman Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Students use Aakash, a low-cost tablet computer, in New Delhi, India on October 5, 2011 (Parivartan Sharma/Courtesy Reuters). Students use Aakash, a low-cost tablet computer, in New Delhi, India on October 5, 2011 (Parivartan Sharma/Courtesy Reuters).

Yesterday, I posted a piece on my blog, Democracy in Development, about a meeting I hosted at CFR on the potential for technology to improve governance. The piece focuses on Information and Communication Technology for Governance (ICT4Gov), a program of the World Bank Institute. Here’s a brief excerpt: Read more »