Social and Economic Geography (including Urban and Transportation Studies)
This textbook on political geography is devoted to a discipline concerned with the spatial dimensions of politics. This course is an introduction to the study of political science, international relations and area studies, providing a systemic approach to the spatial dimension of political processes at all levels. It covers their basic elements, including states, supranational unions, geopolitical systems, regions, borders, capitals, dependent, and internationally administered territories. Political geography develops fundamental theoretical approaches that give insight into the peculiarities of foreign and domestic policies. The ability to use spatial analysis techniques allows determining patterns and regularities of political phenomena both at the global and the regional and local levels.
The publication was carried out within the framework of a joint project of HSE University and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR / Russia and the Republic of Indonesia. The project heads are Dr. Evgeny Kanaev (HSE University) and Dr. Dmitry Mosyakov (IOS RAS).
The economies of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (CEECCA) grew at a varying pace in 2000–2019, with an average rate of 6.5 percent per annum (GDP, PPP). This economic progress was accompanied by some positive changes in environmental performance, but not in all areas and not in all countries in the region.
Understanding the connections between climate change policies and sustainable development is critically important for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Well-designed climate mitigation policy can lead to significant co-benefits for a range of development priorities, including enhanced energy security and safety and reduced indoor air pollution; however, if not properly managed, mitigation can also lead to trade-offs. Maximizing synergies and avoiding trade-offs thus requires an integrated strategy based on a new generation of technological and socio-economic pathways that includes climate-resilient adaptation strategies. Over the last four years, CD-LINKS brought together an international team of interdisciplinary researchers with both global and national expertise. Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, the project applied cutting-edge scientific tools and models to explore the linkages between climate policies and sustainable development. Major achievements of the project include the development of globally consistent national low-carbon development pathways, and the formation of a research network and capacity building platform to leverage knowledge exchange among institutions. The project also improved understanding of the linkages between climate change policies and multiple sustainable development objectives and greatly enhanced the existing evidence base on policy effectiveness. A particular asset of the project are the insights related to policy designs that adequately account for mitigation trade-offs across sectors, actors, and objectives. We invite you to learn more about this ground-breaking work in the pages that follow.
The paper provides findings of the research work and scientific discussions under the “Global Sustainability Strategy Forum” (GSSF) that aims to develop evidence-informed judgments on challenges and solutions. It views attaining sustainability as a set of closely-coupled societal and environmental challenges and opportunities that require integration of multiple disciplines, new research methods, and new knowledge sources with sensitivity to regional and cultural diversities. The project is designed to produce innovative insights and strategies to support effective governance of transitions to sustainability of our complex global social-ecological system within its inherent resource limitations, and to develop sustainable lifestyles that are practical and appealing in the different regions and cultures of the world.
The global climate change is one of the most dangerous threats to human society in the 21st Century. The dramatic losses have already been observed, and the risks are rising over time. CEECCA region experiences many negative impacts of global warming, which is faster and stronger than the world average. Numerous adaptation and resilience measures are required to protect people, but regional governments often underestimate and ignore the social implications of climate policies.This paper explores what are the priority challenges for CEECCA countries and how to address them effectively.
Urban population is growing worldwide. Our societies are facing grand challenges like climate change and growing inequalities between people. There is an increasing need to develop cities that are environmentally and socially sustainable, functional and supporting well-being of their inhabitants. When striving towards these goals, transportation and mobility play a crucial role. Easy and environmentally sustainable mobility options are called for in most cities. For these to attract users, they need to be safe and pleasant, providing positive experiences and well-being in addition to efficiency in time or cost.
NECTAR conference is organized with a title “Towards Human Scale Cities – Open and Happy” to reflect the new requirements of urban transportation. This 15th NECTAR conference, organized in Helsinki 5th - 7th June 2019, provides presentations by world-class keynotes Mikael Colville-Andersen and Professor Tim Schwanen, who approach human scale mobility from the viewpoints of a designer and a researcher. More than 140 scientific presentations explore advancements in the field of transport, communication and mobility, with a particular focus on good quality mobility options for people. The focus of the conference is urban transportation and the new possibilities that open data and digital technologies provide for mobility solutions and their research. Presentations provide food for thought concerning mobility choices and quality, new mobility solutions like MaaS, and policies that are implemented to support them.
Helsinki offers an interesting environment for the 2019 NECTAR conference. It is the home of the busiest passenger harbor in Europe with a twin-city development with Tallinn across the bay, and a major air transportation hub between Europe and Asia. It is one of the fastest growing capital regions in Europe, with large densification developments taking place in old logistic centers: harbor areas of Jätkäsaari and Kalasatama and a train depot in Pasila. Public transportation is valued high by citizens, as well as politicians and planners making investment decisions for the future. First robotized buses are in operation and MaaS solutions are emerging. New bike sharing system is one of the most used in the world and has expanded to cover most of the city region. As everywhere in Europe, new forms of micromobility from electronic scooters to electric longboards are appearing on the streets making planners and police puzzled. The city has profiled itself as an open city: large amounts of open data about the region have been made available and the region of Helsinki is committed to open and transparent decision
and policy making. This supports also research in the major universities: University of Helsinki and Aalto University, the local organizers of the conference.
We anticipate that the conference days will forward our thinking on how to make cities more sustainable, functional and pleasant for people, and how to study them scientifically in a meaningful and transparent manner.
The Handbook of Research on International Collaboration, Economic Development, and Sustainability in the Arctic discusses the perspectives and major challenges of the investment collaboration and development and commercial use of trade routes in the Arctic. Featuring research on topics such as agricultural production, environmental resources, and investment collaboration, this book is ideally designed for policymakers, business leaders, and environmental researchers seeking coverage on new practices and solutions in the sphere of achieving sustainability in economic exploration of the Artic region
The forecast covers the period up to 2035. It describes dynamic trends that will shape the future of the world during the nearest 20 years. The aim of this study is to foresee the challenges awaiting the world and the forthcoming opportunities which can be used in the interests of the Russian state, ensuring its role as an active participant in the formation of the future world order. The book presents a general analysis of the main trends of world development, its spiritual culture, ideology, politics, innovation, economy, social sphere and interna tional security, the problems of globalization and regionalism. The final section of the book presents strategic recommendations for Russia. Prospective readers of this book include staff members of government institutions and management bodies, research, expert and business communities. It also may be recommended for student scholars of international affairs.
In order to understand a country as large and diverse as Russia, it is extremely important to consider spatial patterns of economic development. As Russia looks for new drivers of economic growth, it is important to understand the structural conditions that have defined economic development in Russia’s regions. This report uses the Economic Potential Index (EPI) methodology to identify the conditions that drive regional development. Economic potential is the level of productivity that is possible for a region to achieve given its structural endowments, which are characteristics that are hard to alter in the short run. The methodology used in this report combines quantitative analysis of drivers of productivity across regions with in-depth case studies that focus on the role of regional governments and institutions in converting endowments into economic outcomes. This methodology generates insights that are relevant for both national and regional governments. The first chapter of this report provides an overview of regional development in Russia over the last 25 years and identifies “Russia-specific” national structural conditions that may affect regional development. The second chapter discusses the results of an assessment of economic potential at the regional level and the factors that shape it in Russia. The third chapter focuses on the role of national and regional governance, policy, and institutions in promoting economic development of the regions. The final chapter proposes policy priorities for both regional and national authorities.
Global warming is recognized as one of the most urgent challenges for human society in the 21st century. The international community has agreed to undertake necessary actions to prevent dangerous anthropogenic impacts on the climatic system. Based on the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014), the UNFCCC Parties adopted the Paris Agreement aimed at limiting the global mean surface temperature rise by “well below 2 degrees Celsius”. Such an ambitious “climatic” target requires unprecedented efforts to reduce carbon emissions to almost zero worldwide this century. Moreover, in order to keep the warming below 1.5°C, the global total emissions must be reduced by 50% or more by 2050 (compared to current levels) and reach net-zero levels afterwards. In practical terms, it means that most of the countries should deeply decarbonize their economies, energy systems, industries, transport, buildings, products and services, while continuing growth of GDP and the standard of living of the population. The developed countries agreed to take the lead in climate change mitigation under the UNFCCC; however, the largest developing countries and emerging economies have started playing substantial roles in carbon emissions nowadays. In this decade, China became the world No.1 CO2 emitter overcoming the United States. The Northeast Asian (NEA) region, including China, Japan, Mongolia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation, is responsible for annual emissions of over 12.4 billion tonnes of CO2 or approximately 40% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. These countries are huge contributors to global warming today and may increase their share further. The traditional way of combusting the huge fossil fuels reserves (coal, gas, and oil) available in the Northeast Asian region would emit greenhouse gases substantially exceeding the amounts that would warm the planet by 2°C. On the other hand, plentiful sources of renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro, tidal, and biomass, etc.) in combination with advanced technologies, investments, and land infrastructure developments can transform the Northeast Asian countries into decarbonized, climate- and environment-friendly economies with sustainable growth and development, fully consistent with the goals and commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. Delays with the deep decarbonization of the Northeast Asian economies will impose higher risks for communities and life-supporting ecosystems, more losses and stranded assets for businesses, and slower technological progress worldwide. The analysis of challenges and opportunities in deep decarbonization pathways for the Northeast Asian region as a whole is presented in this publication. We raise many questions, and yet have not so many answers. By publishing this text, we want to invite all interested and concerned parties to start thinking about and debating these new, but very up-to-date issues of deep transformation of our economies, industries, consumer behavior, and ways of living in climate-neutral patterns, in order that we can urgently meet the need to save our planet and keep it in good shape for the generations to come.
The set of problems relating to the South China Sea – a vast maritime area forming the strategic heartland of Southeast Asia – has traditionally loomed large in foreign policy priorities of the key powers shaping the regional geopolitical landscape. Currently, there are strong reasons for arguing that the South China Sea issue is very likely to increase its rank in the key priorities of the US, China and ASEAN.
The territorial dispute in the South China Sea (SCS) affecting China and several ASEAN countries has already resulted in drawn-out political tensions in the region. However, one aspect of the dispute is rarely discussed: its influence on Sino-Russian relations and its possible role as a case study in analysing the character of these relations. While Russia moves closer to China in the dispute it still refrains from support of its territorial claims and develops close relations with some of China’s regional opponents such as Vietnam and India. This article describes most recent Russian economic and political activity in the region involving these countries with the aim of clarifying whether the Russian approach to problems in the SCS can be understood as an attempt to balance, bandwagon or hedge against growing Chinese influence, or whether Moscow’s approach is guided by different considerations. This article concludes that Russia’s approach towards the South China Sea dispute is determined mostly by Moscow’s economic interests and cannot be seen as a case of either balancing or bandwagoning China or hedging against it.
Smart city strategies developed by cities around the world provide a useful resource for insights into the future of smart development. This study examines such strategies to identify plans for the explicit deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. A total of 12 case studies emerged from an online keyword search representing cities of various sizes globally. The search was based on the keywords of “artificial intelligence” (or “AI”), and “robot,” representing robotics and associated terminology. Based on the findings, it is evident that the more concentrated deployment of AI and robotics in smart city development is currently in the Global North, although countries in the Global South are also increasingly represented. Multiple cities in Australia and Canada actively seek to develop AI and robotics, and Moscow has one of the most in-depth elaborations for this deployment. The ramifications of these plans are discussed as part of cyber–physical systems alongside consideration given to the social and ethical implications.
The article analyzes the internal and external connectivity of passenger transport systems in Russian regions with vast peripheral areas based on a case study of three key regions with average and low development levels—Krasnoyarsk krai, the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), and Magadan oblast. These regions differ from each other by their position in the country’s transport system and are characterized by significant intraregional differences in the level and nature of transport connectivity. To solve this problem, the authors use an integrated methodology to analyze transport connectivity and isolation. This approach includes not only analysis of statistics on transport networks, frequency, time expenditures, and fares for all modes of passenger transport in regions, but also qualitative sociological methods: in-depth interviews with passengers and employees of transport terminals. Differences in the accessibility of the main regional settlements are determined, and transport areas differing from each other in terms of transport reliability are distinguished. The public transport systems of the studied regions are notable for the low regularity of connections, the absence of alternatives along many routes, occasional and insufficient reliability of transportation due to the pronounced seasonal nature, as well as the important role of implicit (shadow) transport services
This paper builds a theory of deregulation and roll-out of on-road competition in the public transport sector. Focusing on the dimensions of competition, ownership and authorisation, we identify five distinct regulatory regimes: public monopoly, regulated monopoly, unregulated monopoly, outsourcing to private monopoly and competition in the market. Our generalised theoretical framework allows for the direct comparison in the social welfare terms of the monopolies' outcomes and the fragmented market structure after deregulation. We formulate a set of parameter restrictions that make competition in the market preferable to public monopoly and competition for the market in the form of outsourcing. We also show the theoretical possibility of a ‘revised’ regulatory cycle forming a sequential transition between these identified regulatory regimes. Our model predicts possible policy reversals and the bypassing of certain phases of the cycle, that can occur due to technological advances, changes in fiscal constraints and institutional capacity improvements
National neighbourhood have a significant influence on the life of people living along the state borders. They shape human interactions across borders and border residents’ attitude towards neighbours. Many concepts like ‘neighbourhood’, ‘proximity’, ‘trust’, ‘(un)familiarity’, and ‘otherness’ are usually used to explain this processes in border studies. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the comparing of perceptions, life strategies and everyday life of borderland population depends on neighbouring policy, border regime and neighbourship. Here we focus on different Russian borders with Ukraine (the new contested border in Crimea), Kazakhstan (the EAEU`s internal border), and China (old international and contact border) using different sources of information, including expert interviews as well as field observations and focus groups conducted with locals. We find that people differentiate between the neighbors they know and the neighbouring state they do not trust. Significant differences between neighbouring territories, unfamiliarity, and otherness are not allowed to get in the way of contact, because it is this contact that allows local residents to make a living. In conclusion, our results suggest that while the objective differences between the various sections of Russian borders serve to diversify the neighbourhood situations, their subjective perceptions and social representations serve to unite them.
Though the agreement on ceasefire between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops in Nagorno-Karabakh was concluded more than 25 years ago, there is no progress in the negotiations between the sides. The conflict is intrinsically related to the partition of territory between the areas de facto controlled by the non-recognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, boundaries of which do not match the administrative borders of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region in the Soviet period, and Azerbaijan. This paper considers the geopolitical situation of Nagorno-Karabakh through the lenses of its cross-border interactions and bordering. This notion widely used in contemporary border studies means not only border delimitation and management, but also the constant process of change in their functions, regime, and social importance. Such change can result, for instance, from the transformation of political strategies, shifts on the international arena and bilateral relations, currency exchange rates and global market prices, as well as in the course of the everyday practice and interactions. The authors analyzed first the existing pattern of borders in the context of security. Then they characterized de-bordering and interactions between Nagorno-Karabakh and its patron state, Armenia, describing the adaptation of the Karabakhi population and economy to the lack of international recognition. The demarcation line with Azerbaijan remains one of the rare cases of a completely closed border. One of the main and potentially long-term obstacles in finding a solution is the cultivation of the «image of the enemy» on both sides of this border.
Spatial inequality can lead to unexpected consequences, especially in large countries like Russia. State officials’ attempts to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic led to a national lockdown, which was supposed to dramatically reduce the daily mobility of people and therefore the likelihood of infection. At the same time, the Russian government did not introduce an emergency regime, and the measures to support the population and business were criticized by experts as insufficient. Using daily data on mobility in 308 municipalities in Russia, we examined the unevenness of the decline in the level of mobility depending on the level of wages. The results show that the poorer the municipality, the smaller was the mobility decline, that is, the poorer areas were more vulnerable to the pandemic risks. The work also illustrates the larger amplitude of mobility in rich versus poor areas during the period of exiting from the lockdown.
Background Achieving universal health coverage (UHC) involves all people receiving the health services they need, of high quality, without experiencing financial hardship. Making progress towards UHC is a policy priority for both countries and global institutions, as highlighted by the agenda of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13). Measuring effective coverage at the health-system level is important for understanding whether health servicesare aligned with countries’ health profiles and are of sufficient quality to produce health gains for populations of all ages.
Methods Based on the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019, we assessed UHC effective coverage for 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2019. Drawing from a measurement framework developed through WHO’s GPW13 consultation, we mapped 23 effective coverage indicators to a matrix representing health service types (eg, promotion, prevention, and treatment) and five population-age groups spanning from reproductiveand newborn to older adults (≥65 years). Effective coverage indicators were based on intervention coverage or outcome-based measures such as mortality-to-incidence ratios to approximate access to quality care; outcome-based measures were transformed to values on a scale of 0–100 based on the 2·5th and 97·5th percentile of location-year values. We constructed the UHC effective coverage index by weighting each effective coverage indicator relative to its associated potential health gains, as measured by disability-adjusted life-years for each location-year and population-age group. For three tests of validity (content, known-groups, and convergent), UHC effective coverage index performance was generally better than that of other UHC service coverage indices from WHO (ie, the current metric for SDG indicator 3.8.1on UHC service coverage), the World Bank, and GBD 2017. We quantified frontiers of UHC effective coverage performance on the basis of pooled health spending per capita, representing UHC effective coverage index levels achieved in 2019 relative to country-level government health spending, prepaid private expenditures, and development assistance for health. To assess current trajectories towards the GPW13 UHC billion target—1 billion more people benefiting from UHC by 2023—we estimated additional population equivalents with UHC effective coverage from 2018 to 2023.
Findings Globally, performance on the UHC effective coverage index improved from 45·8 (95% uncertainty interval 44·2–47·5) in 1990 to 60·3 (58·7–61·9) in 2019, yet country-level UHC effective coverage in 2019 still spanned from 95 or higher in Japan and Iceland to lower than 25 in Somalia and the Central African Republic. Since 2010, sub-Saharan Africa showed accelerated gains on the UHC effective coverage index (at an average increase of 2·6% [1·9–3·3] per year up to 2019); by contrast, most other GBD super-regions had slowed rates of progress in 2010–2019 relative to 1990–2010. Many countries showed lagging performance on effective coverage indicators for non-communicable diseases relative to those for communicable diseases and maternal and child health, despite noncommunicable diseases accounting for a greater proportion of potential health gains in2019, suggesting that many health systems are not keeping pace with the rising non-communicable disease burden and associated population health needs. In 2019, the UHC effective coverage index was associated with pooled health spending per capita (r=0·79), although countries across the development spectrum had much lower UHC effective coverage than is potentially achievable relative to their health spending. Under maximum efficiency of translating health spending into UHC effective coverage performance, countries would need to reach $1398 pooled health spending per capita (US$ adjusted for purchasing power parity) in order to achieve 80 onthe UHC effective coverage index. From 2018 to 2023, an estimated 388·9 million (358·6–421·3) more population equivalents would have UHC effective coverage, falling well short of the GPW13 target of 1 billion more people benefiting from UHC during this time. Current projections point to an estimated 3·1 billion (3·0–3·2) population equivalents still lacking UHC effective coverage in 2023, with nearly a third (968·1 million [903·5–1040·3]) residing in south Asia.
Interpretation The present study demonstrates the utility of measuring effective coverage and its role in supporting improved health outcomes for all people—the ultimate goal of UHC and its achievement. Global ambitions to accelerate progress on UHC service coverage are increasingly unlikely unless concerted action on non-communicable diseases occurs and countries can better translate health spending into improved performance. Focusing on effective coverage and accounting for the world’s evolving health needs lays the groundwork for better understanding how close—or how far—all populations are in benefiting from UH
This text is, above all, a grateful testament to a local saint’s continued liveliness. It is a new hagiography, a story of a woman who gave away everything—her house, her money, her possessions, and even her name—who wandered homeless, and who has helped people resolve desperate situations ever since. Retelling the fragmented stories of how people asked for her intervention, and of how, through their actions, new mycelia of power grew on the ruins of the Soviet socialist state, I hope that this essay helps opens a loophole: a space between naïve faith and sociological faithlessness in which we might understand today’s miracles without crushing them by the secular objectivist gaze. Looking through this loophole, this essay retells some of stories I heard about the Soviet collapse and about how people survived it: about gleaning the planned economy’s rubble, chance connections, personal ties, Divine Providence, fast fortunes, and the enclosure of fields.