The regional situation in Eastern Europe changed significantly by the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Competitionbetween Russia and the European Union increased during the 2000s, while at the same time both actors were changing their approach to the six states of the former USSR that lie between Russia and the EU – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In order to widen and deepen their influence on those territories and to reduce uncertainty about their regional politics, Moscow and Brussels developed their own integration projects and demanded those post-Soviet states define their position in the EU-Russia competition. Russian and European scholars, when trying to analyze the future of the Post-Soviet Six states, mostly examine the attractiveness of the two integration projects. While important, such an approach is insufficient, as it ignores the individual internal environments. To assess the prospects for Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union and the EU’s Eastern Partnership, however, one must look inside the six states, which are so important for both Moscow and Brussels. This article explores the aspects of the European and Eurasian integration projects that may be attractive to the six states. Within this framework, it considers what and how elements of those states’ internal environment might influence their choice by examining and comparing both integration projects. It proposes focusing directly on the countries that are currently facing the dilemma of integration and are expected to choose. Despite a number of internal factors influencing the states’ integration behaviour, research has shown that in such circumstances, a choice (whether it is made) cannot be considered final, given the individual internal environments of the Six. Their further integration will require additional mechanisms of stimulation, which will need to be developed by the centres of integration — namely, Moscow and Brussels.
There is a significant probability that the world economy is about to stumble into a period of financial dislocation. Exacerbated by political tensions partly as a consequence of an untethered American foreign policy, the unwillingness and/or inability of the major economic powers to confront the imbalances that led to the financial crisis of 2007–8 have laid the basis for a historical repetition. The danger is that the confluence of slow real growth, low productivity increases, inflated asset prices (notably real estate) and higher public debt in some of the major Group of 20 (G20) economies cannot be sustained much longer. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), among others, has been expressing its concerns that collectively we have been unable to constrain the buildup of financial imbalances, leading to a progressive narrowing of policy options. Not only are debt levels higher but we have unwittingly helped to entrench the concentration and power of large banks, spurred the development of shadow banking, encouraged a massive misallocation of capital and exacerbated income inequality via financial repression and productivity-sapping bailouts to crippled firms, which have the side effect of perpetuating unsustainable asset bubbles. It hardly seems surprising that deglobalization has become a factor in the internal politics of too many countries. It could well be that in retrospect the past 10 years will seem like a lost opportunity to address serious crisis prevention. Despite efforts to strengthen global governance over these past 10 years, the economic foundation has little resilience.
This article examines the role of multilateral development banks (MDBs) in financing education development at the national level. It evaluates the share of national expenditures spent on education, analyzes loan structures by stage of education, and highlights key measures and instruments. In the context of the global economic slowdown, expected to continue for the long term, the most important objective is to identify new drivers of economic growth as traditional sources are exhausted. One of the main sources of economic growth is human capital, especially with regard to the gradual transition from an industrial economy to a service and knowledge economy. Human capital accumulation is particularly important in developing countries. Most developing countries face insuperable obstacles in building human capital accumulation particularly with regard to education development.
The potential contribution of MDBs to human capital accumulation has been underestimated and there is a lack of empirical research on this issue. An evaluation of current experience will help identify opportunities for MDBs to increase their role in education performance, which in turn could have a positive impact on economic growth in developing countries.
This article addresses this issue by studying MDBs’ financing of education projects in emerging economies. The authors collected a database that includes information on the volume and structure of financing with a breakdown by education stage. It was based on more than 500 projects funded by key MDBs. Sources included loan and grant agreements, project interim reports and project completion reports. The authors calculated an average annual ratio of MDB education financing to public expenditure for each country in the final selection.
Results showed that the ratio of average annual MDBs allocations to average government expenditures on education is relatively low — between 1.5% and 4.0% for most countries. The largest share can be seen in relatively small countries, where government expenditures stay at low levels. Large developing countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico are lead in terms of absolute volumes of financing from MDBs. The authors also show that most projects during period researched aimed at reducing inequality, developing infrastructure, improving teacher qualifications and reforming the management of education system. The authors also give recommendations for the BRICS New Development Bank.
The paper analyses the process of establishment and development of the national system of international development assistance in Russia. The analysis covers the period starting from 2005 when key national priorities for international development assistance were defined and amounts of foreign aid were substantially increased on the threshold of Russia’s G8 Presidency preparations. The emerging structure of governance, the aid flows and amounts of allocated ODA, as well as the funding priorities in the sphere of development assistance are described on the basis of the analysis of official documents, statements and speeches of officials, reports of international institutions, and statistics available for public access. Russia’s participation in multilateral international organizations and institutions in the sphere of development cooperation is also considered. Drawing on the results of the analysis the author proposes recommendations for further development of the national system of international development assistance in Russia.
Central Asia is extremely important for the security of Russia, China and the Eurasian region, both historically and at the present stage of development. Unconventional security challenges, led by terrorism, extremism and separatism, which in the official Chinese rhetoric and official documents of the SCO are designated by the term "three forces", pose a serious challenge to the security of China, Russia, the countries of Central Asia and Eurasia in general. Over the 20 years of the SCO's history, proceeding from their "Shanghai spirit", the participating countries have created unique legislative and organizational mechanisms for a joint strike against the "three forces", as well as mechanisms for bilateral and multilateral anti-terrorist exercises. The most important of these is the ―Peace Mission‖ joint exercise, which has been regularly held since 2005. These mechanisms of cooperation within the SCO embody the spirit of solidarity, mutual trust and cooperation, reflect the ability of the members of the organization to jointly counter the "three forces" and respond to related problems, and also symbolize the SCO's determination to protect stability in the region and peace in the world. The organization has made a significant contribution to ensuring security in the region. Nevertheless, in the face of existing problems and new challenges, such as potential competition and disagreements within the organization, problems with new member states after the expansion of the membership, and also the ineffective functioning of some of the SCO security instruments, all SCO members need to strengthen their cooperation and open new ways for organizing the SCO to fulfill well its unique role to ensure security in the territory of the SCO member states, also in Eurasia as a whole. The new model of relations "Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction entering a new era", which underlies the SCO, gives the organization greater stability. The SCO is a unique organization on the territory of Eurasia and has implemented an important innovation in the theory and practice of international relations, opened a new model of regional cooperation. Therefore, it can be stated with a high degree of confidence that multilateral cooperation in the field of security will gradually deepen.
This is the first annual special issue of the International Organisations Research Journal published in English. It presents a collection of papers focused on the G8/G20 summitry performance, the division of labor emerging over the period of their co-existence, their comparative strengths and limitations, and how the future G8 – G20 partnership can be improved to the benefit of both, prosperity and well-being of their citizens, sustainable and balanced growth of world economy. Though the papers present the analysis and insights of the authors, they are the outcome of a collaborative research of the International Organisations Research Institute of the University Higher School of Economics and the Munk School of Global Affairs of the University of Toronto. The collection also draws on the wisdom of a network of international experts including analysts from the World Bank, Royal Institute for International Relations of Belgium, University of Ghent and Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. It opens with reflections from Dr. Vadim Lukov, Ambassador-at-Large, Deputy Representative of the President of Russia in the G8, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Coordinator for G20 and BRIC Affairs, which combine unique practical experience and analytical assessments. Most of the papers and research findings were debated in the international conference “Partnership for Progress. From the 2010 Muskoka – Toronto Summits to the Seoul Summit” organized by the International Organisations Research Institute of the University Higher School of Economics with support of Oxfam and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom.
Russian and Chinese initiatives in Central Eurasia are neither separate nor mutually exclusive – in fact, Eurasian integration and the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) are complementary. The successful linkage or “conjunction” of these projects depends on the creation of mutual respect and political trust between Russia and China. Both states are equally interested in maintaining Central Asia as a stable, safe and non-competitive space for fruitful cooperation. However, systematic and consistent work between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and China is required to create stronger and more effective institutional foundations for cooperation. To develop these foundations, the power of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) must be enhanced and extended to new areas and a special institution for intergovernmental cooperation must be established to promote multilateral dialogue in the day-to-day work of decision-makers and experts at all levels. A strengthened EEC would also support the development of a common EEU position on China. Only on this basis will the EEU be able to develop the infrastructure and investment programmes necessary to strengthen trade with states in the SREB. The complexity of this agenda demands careful technical preparation and EEU members must be willing to compromise if they are to receive meaningful benefits
Despite widespread agreement among international organizations on the importance of healthy early childhood development, monitoring of national action on the provision of pre-primary education has been limited. This paper presents a quantitative approach to monitoring the worldʼs progress on the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal (SDG) target 4.2 to “ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education.” A rigorous approach was used to create a new quantitative globally comparable database of indicators for policies that mandate the provision of national pre-primary education for 86% of UN member states. This dataset was analyzed to examine global inequalities in the provision of universal pre-primary education and revealed that 45% of countries, and only 15% of lowincome countries, provide tuition-free pre-primary education. Just under 27% of countries offer tuition-free pre-primary education for two or more years. This contrasts sharply with primary education, which is provided tuition-free in 96% of countries. To illustrate how this data can contribute to the examination of the relationship between policy and outcome, it is used in a regression analysis. Additional global data collection on the quality of pre-primary education would further enhance efforts to monitor policies that play key roles in the fulfillment of target 4.2, and support the achievement of the United Nations sustainable development goal on education.
Historically, the central principles of international peacekeeping have been formulated by western powers due to their political and ideological domination in international institutions, including the United Nations (UN) family. It is only recently that emerging powers, among them Russia and China, have started to formulate their own policies of peacekeeping and to implement them in practice. While the general objectives of peacekeeping as understood by western nations and emerging powers are similar, there are differences of emphasis. Recent developments in Syria and the active involvement of Russia in these events have underscored the nuanced views these two approaches hold on peacekeeping in general and on outside involvement in peacekeeping operations.
For the United States and many European countries, the goal of peacekeeping and conflict resolution is to protect individual rights and freedoms and to accomplish a “democratic transition” by replacing authoritarian regimes with liberal-democratic alternatives. For Russia as well as many other emerging powers, the goal of conflict resolution and peacekeeping is to preserve and strengthen the local state structures so that they can support law and order on their territory and stabilize the situation in the country and the region. The western approach assumes that donor countries know better what to do with regard to local problems, while a “rising powers” approach is far less dogmatic and recognizes the right of actors to make mistakes along the way.
This article focuses on Russia’s approaches to peacekeeping as they are defined theoretically and practicall
The institutional aspect of post-crisis banking regulation reform (Basel III) remains unsettled, and as such undermines regulators’ efforts to shape a seamless platform for international financial intermediation. The lack of global acceptance of the Basel III standards amid the internationalization of banking activities is one of the main reasons for regulatory asymmetries which are difficult to handle at the national level. In this context, the efforts of governments and financial regulators are a central core of their policy in protecting banking sectors from systemic risks. It becomes imperative to bring together national mechanisms of banking regulation and to develop a regional system of regulatory institutions, as is evidenced by the single supervisory mechanism in the eurozone countries.
Strengthening stress-resilience of the national banking sectors in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the expansion of banking activities to the Eurasian economy will require a conceptual framework of the EAEU banking regulation system. However, different regulatory regimes in EAEU states along with the lack of supranational regulatory institutions may slow the progress of the Eurasian mechanism of banking regulation. This means that operationalization of the EAEU regulatory mechanism will depend on whether the mini-Basel III format as a methodological hub of regionalization and supranationalization will act as an enabler of a resolution to the regulatory trilemma of the feasibility, relevance and opportunities of supranationalization.
The institutional aspect of mini-Basel III is intrinsically linked to the integrity and consistency of the supranational authority for regulation of EAEU financial markets being an authority documented in the treaty on the EAEU; however, the costs of regulatory alignment may exceed the advantages of a single-institution regulatory architecture owing to the existent and tacit risks from the heterogeneity of the national regulatory models. Stemming from the complex financial sector environment that falls short of valid and reliable institutional fundamentals, this article proposes alternative scenarios for the EAEU regulatory mechanism that could be sought for optimization of regulatory logistics and algorithms of regulatory alignment. Based on systematization of the benefits and weaknesses of each of the scenarios as well as on a comparative analysis as to whether the proposed scenarios would ensure a continuum of financial intermediation and financial stability, this article concludes that currently there are no priority approaches to the design of a supranational institutional system in the EAEU. At the same time, the identical structure of national banking sectors together with the least expensive scenario approach could underpin the process of regulatory supranationalization; however, to secure the integrity of the EAEU supranational authority, it should be complemented with an authority that would be responsible for the coordination of EAEU-wide regulatory alignment.
This article considers the opportunities for Russia presented by the launch of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. This initiative is a comprehensive project for the rapid development of Central Asian countries, and not limited only to trans- port and logistics to guarantee the supply of Chinese goods to Europe. It is also China’s response to economic and political processes both within the country and in the Asia-Pacific region: the economic slowdown and transformation of its social and economic model, diverging income levels, the growing presence of the United States in Asia, and the new divisions of labour within the region. The Silk Road initiative is based on China’s intention to create strong regional value chains, to outsource labour-intensive and environmentally harmful production, to foster the development of northwest China including securing political stability in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, and to guarantee the use of Chinese construction firms’ capac- ity. Goods transit is a secondary priority and justified not by commercial benefits from using land routes, but by the need to diversify export risks, arising due to the deteriorating military and political situation in the South China Sea. The 2015 Joint Statement on Cooperation on the Construction of Joint Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt projects resolves the issue of allegedly competitive goals of these complementary projects. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) provides an institutional base for cooperation while the Silk Road initiative provide investments for their development. Russia may benefit from participating in the Silk Road initiative. First, it would help integrate its transportation system into the region’s logistics network and provide additional opportunities for transit and associated logistical services as well as access to growing regional markets. Second, the Silk Road initiative offers opportunities to strengthen industrial co- operation among neighbouring countries to develop new economic clusters. Third, the EEU and the Silk Road may become the basis for more ambitious cooperation in greater Eurasia, which may transform into a new centre of economic develop- ment at the global level.
The article presents the assessment of the efficiency and results of the G20 Seul summit 2010. The author eveluates the decisions fixed in the documents and the real actions of G20 countries, perticullarly the USA role in the change of global economy in XX century and its role in global finance system today.
The article discusses crucial issues of regional economic integration with the participation of the Russian Federation. A wide variety of sources: relevant documents, newspapers articles, experts opinions, policymakers speeches were studied by authors to conduct the analysis. The authors interlink the Eurasian integration and Russia-EU strategic partnership and analyze prospects for relations between the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (Customs Union (CU)) and the European Union. Both Russia and the CU members, as well as the EU are interested in building up common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Drivers and obstacles to the common economic space between the two regional blocs are identified. Russia’s membership in WTO is the foundation for a success of measures aimed at connecting the integration processes. Nevertheless, the CU accession to the WTO remains an issue of great importance. The authors assert that Russia’s accession to WTO overall has positive impact on Russia’s development and integration processes in the European and CIS areas. The paper concludes that Russia should facilitate Kazakhstan’s and Belarus’s WTO accession and act as a link between European and post-Soviet integration. Otherwise the cooperation between Russia and European Union will stagnate. Joint transcontinental infrastructure and transport projects development will provide new opportunities for integration processes.
The article analyses effectiveness of budgeting system in European Union on the basis of OECD guidelines on designing and developing budget systems that use performance information. On the basis of analysis author identifies main strengths and weaknesses of budgeting systems in the integrated units by the example of the European Union. In conclusion author makes recommendations for increasing efficiency of budgeting in regional units with a participation of Russian Federation
The paper presents results of the OECD research project on recognition of non-formal and informal education (NIE) policy in OECD countries, implemented by the OECD Committee on Education Policy in 2006-2008 for 22 OECD member states and partner countries. Author analyses national policy practices on recognition of NIE adopted by project participating countries, compares achievements and challenges emerged in different economic, social and political contexts to implement this policy area at the national level. It elucidates the role and interests of different national stakeholders in this process, in particular the role of institutions of formal education. In conclusion the author suggests the typology of prevailing NIE models of recognition across different OECD member states and partner countries.