Freshwater challenge has become an integral part of international political agenda since the last decade of the XX century. Huge amount of people who suffer from different types of water stress (over 1,1 bln.) brought global community to include Improved access to water and sanitation as one of 4 major components of Sustainable environment Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) of United Nations. On July 28, 2010, UN General Assembly added a right for water in the list of basic human rights. Evolution of life standards in developed countries, rising concerns of poverty and inequality lead to rethinking of a wide range of global challenges, which were mostly ignored by world community before. Aggravation of water access problem, regional contradictions over water allocation and rising demand for higher life standards reflect both continuous escalation of water stress and higher ethics of global civil society towards lifestyle and inequality problems.
Before early 2000s, economic experts did not pay enough attention to water issues besides national water facilities, irrigation, hydro energy and urbanization problems. Beyond national frontiers water discourse resolved to draughts and deserts monitoring. All attention was concentrated on local measures aimed to prevent floods and droughts or manage sophisticated problems of allocation of scarce water resource in transboundary basins. As it seems today, water deficit has become a structural factor influencing world economic development. Access to clean water is in the focus of Sustainable development policy, water deficit becomes a constraint for economic growth in both developed and developing countries. At the same time world expenses for R&D in water management, investments in droughts and flood security are steadily growing. Energy efficiency in cities and especially megacities arises more heavily, state programs on modernization of irrigation systems multiply each year and arid regions in Asia, Europe and North America invest more and more in new desalination plants.
Crisis as a phase of an economic cycle is of most interest. Study of crises in historical retrospective is necessary for understanding of the main mechanisms, regularities and causes of crisis phenomena. The article deals with the history of the world economic crises and classification of their causes.
The article represents the results of the monitoring Russia's compliance with commitments, made at the G8 Aquila summit in 2009. The monitoring was made by International organizations Research Institute of the State University - Higher School of Economics (HSE IORI) with G8 Research Group of the University of Toronto. The full version of the G8 Aquila Summit Compliance Report is available at the web site of HSE IORI www.iori.hse.ru and at the web site of the Research Center for International Cooperation and Development www.rcicd.org . The article provides comparative analysis of the measures undertaken by the Russian Federation during compliance period in 5 major spheres of collective actions. It also provides recommendations on how to raise the compliance level and improve the efficiency of accountability on commitments made.
The analysis of long economic cycles allows us to understand long-term world-system dynamics, to develop forecasts, to explain crises of the past, as well as the current global economic crisis. The article offers a historical sketch of research on K-waves; it analyzes the nature of Kondratieff waves that are considered as a special form of cyclical dynamics that emerged in the industrial period of the World System history. It offers a historical and theoretical analysis of K-wave dynamics in the World System framework; in particular, it studies the influence of the long wave dynamics on the changes of the world GDP growth rates during the last two centuries. Special attention is paid to the interaction between Kondratieff waves and Juglar cycles. The article is based on substantial statistical data, it extensively employs quantitative analysis, contains numerous tables and diagrams. On the basis of the proposed analysis it offers some forecasts of the world economic development in the next two decades.
The article concludes with a section that presents a hypothesis that the change of K-wave upswing and downswing phases correlates significantly with the phases of fluctuations in the relationships between the World-System Core and Periphery, as well as with the World System Core changes.
This book directly confronts uncomfortable questions that many prefer to brush aside: if economists and other scholars, politicians, and business professionals understand the causes of economic crises, as they claim, then why do such damaging crises continue to occur? Can we trust business and intellectual elites who advocate the principles of Realpolitik and claim the "public good" as their priority, yet consistently favor maximization of profit over ethical issues?
Former deputy prime minister of Russia Grigory Yavlinsky, an internationally respected free-market economist, makes a powerful case that the often-cited causes of global economic instability—institutional failings, wrong decisions by regulators, insufficient or incorrect information, and the like—are only secondary to a far more significant underlying cause: the failure to understand that universal social norms are essential to thriving businesses and social and economic progress. Yavlinsky explores the widespread disregard for moral values in business decisions and calls for restoration of principled behavior in politics and economic practices. The unwelcome alternative, he warns, will be a twenty-first-century global economy in the grip of unending crises.
Grigory Yavlinsky is a Russian economist and founder and member of the Russian United Democratic Party (YABLOKO). As deputy prime minister of Russia in 1990, he wrote the first Russian economic program for transition to a free-market economy, 500 Days. He lives in Moscow.
“Grigory Yavlinsky’s book is an important contribution to understanding the interplay between social norms and modern economy. The current global crisis makes his analysis especially relevant.”—George Soros
“Reading Grigory Yavlinsky's remarkable book, I was reminded of Adam Smith, also a moral philosopher concerned with the correlation between individual aspirations and the enlightened evolution of society. It is invaluable to have the perspective of an intellectual such as Yavlinsky writing in the shadow of swiftly moving events on the global stage. He explains how market mechanisms influence international developments ranging from instability in European markets to the recent ‘Great Recession’ in the United States.”—Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York
“Yavlinsky provides a new and in-depth interpretation of the events leading to the current recession and broader interpretations of how to avoid future ones. Realeconomik has my enthusiastic endorsement.”—Michael D. Intriligator, University of California, Los Angeles
“With clarity and eloquence, Yavlinsky argues that the deepest cause of the global recession was the erosion of the world economy’s moral dimensions. As a professional economist who has long been a leader of the Russian opposition, he knows how to splice politics and economics. As a politician who has repeatedly declined high office on grounds of principle, he lends the book additional authority. Realeconomik is a work that will, I believe, help to spark a public debate on issues of profound importance for humankind.”—Peter Reddaway, George Washington University