By Deepanshu Mohan (@prats1810), O.P. Jindal Global University
A United Nations tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention (UNC) on the Law of the Sea at Hague submitted its verdict recently on a unilateral arbitration instituted by Philippines on June 21st, 2013 questioning the validity of China’s “nine-dash line” claims in the South China Sea (SCS). In a fairly reasonable and comprehensive verdict, the Tribunal concluded, “to the extent China had historic rights to resources in the waters of the South China Sea, such rights were extinguished to the extent they were incompatible with the exclusive economic zone provided for in the Convention.” In other words, the verdict found that there was no legal basis for the People’s Republic of China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the “nine-dash line.”
China, in a quick rebuttal refused to either acknowledge or accept the UNC ruling while reaffirming its earlier view that the proceedings went against the international law (due to the unilateral nature of the complaint filed by Philippines). I am neither an expert in international maritime law nor can I comment on the likely consequences of the verdict on the future of China’s plan in the region, in establishing an Air Defense Identification Zone or (re)viewing the U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) in the SCS. Having said that, there seems to be a more apposite, underlying issue here that surfaces from the international institutional landscape of global justice today. Continue reading
By Philipp Trein, University of Lausanne
The image of smoking changed in recent decades. Instead of a well-deserved pleasure, cigarette consumption is considered to be above all a serious health hazard. In many countries, governments banned smoking in public places, increased cigarette taxes, and prohibited tobacco advertising and sponsoring of events by tobacco corporations. Limiting advertising and sponsoring is of particular importance to prevent minors from taking up smoking as role models – athletes, fashion models, or musicians – carry the image of tobacco brands to minors.
Similar to the United States, the member states of the Swiss Federation (cantons) possess some competences to regulate tobacco advertising. Unlike the US, where 46 States and the four largest tobacco manufacturers closed an agreement in 1998 (Master Settlement Agreement), according to which the tobacco corporations limited their advertising and sponsoring activities, only a few restrictions on tobacco advertising existed in Switzerland, before the 2000s. In 2000, the canton of Geneva banned tobacco advertising, and, two years later, the highest Swiss court confirmed the ban. Until 2010, 14 other cantons restricted tobacco advertising whereas the remaining subnational governments did not ban tobacco advertising. Only the canton of Obwalden introduced a regulation, in 2016. Continue reading
By Rod Hick (@rodhick), Cardiff University
Does measuring poverty multidimensionally make a difference in terms of who we identify as being poor? In recent years, a growing number of analysts have called for poverty measurement to go beyond a focus on income alone, to consider a wider range of deprivations a person may experience. The thinking behind such calls is typically that there are many ways that a person’s life can be impoverished, and that these need to be captured in poverty assessments.
Assessing poverty and deprivation multidimensionally proves to be more complex than just looking at household income, however. In quantitative analysis, we’re often limited by the information collected in major household surveys: you can’t count what isn’t measured. Then, the selection of which dimensions to include in the assessment often proves to be controversial, as the UK Government found when it mooted a suite of new child poverty measures that included ‘family stability’ amongst the dimensions for consideration. It can also be difficult to summarise performance on distinct dimensions – say, ill-health and housing deprivation, without appearing to add up ‘apples and oranges’. Continue reading
The September issue of JPP is free to download here and for the next two months. This issue includes the following:
Feel free to share far and wide.
By Ronald Fraser, PhD
Starting in the late 1800s, state and federal legislatures began delegating their sovereign eminent domain police powers to oil and gas pipeline companies. A growing nation needed a dependable supply of fossil fuels. Since then, even now as evidence mounts that burning fossil fuels is a threat to the well-being of the Earth itself, private property owners who do not want their land used for the construction of new oil or gas pipelines are routinely served court orders favoring the pipeline company’s demand for land. Continue reading
Illustration by: Brian Stauffer
By Colin Woodard
Cross-Post Originally Published 2013
In December 2012, when Adam Lanza stormed into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with a rifle and killed twenty children and six adult staff members, the United States found itself immersed in debates about gun control. Another flash point occurred in July 2013, when George Zimmerman, who saw himself as a guardian of his community, was exonerated in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida. That time, talk turned to stand-your-ground laws and the proper use of deadly force. The gun debate was refreshed in September 2013 by the shooting deaths of twelve people at the Washington Navy Yard, apparently at the hands of an IT contractor who was mentally ill.
Such episodes remind Americans that our country as a whole is marked by staggering levels of deadly violence. Our death rate from assault is many times higher than that of highly urbanized countries like the Netherlands or Germany, sparsely populated nations with plenty of forests and game hunters like Canada, Sweden, Finland, or New Zealand, and large, populous ones like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. State-sponsored violence, too—in the form of capital punishment—sets our country apart. Continue reading
By Vasil Stoynov, Free University Berlin
“I don’t need a drill. I need a hole in my wall.”
This is the slogan of the various new startups and enterprises that nowadays represent the concept of the “sharing economy.” One of the most successful and prominent examples of these new wave business models is the car-sharing service Uber, which has an expected value of $62.5 billion. Uber was enjoyed by thousands of travelers and locals in Europe’s big cities up until last year, when the regulatory claws snapped and the company was banned in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Spain despite the protesting voices of consumers but to the relief of the taxi operators. The example of Uber illustrates the heated discussion between consumers, competitors and authorities about the future of the sharing economy. In the beginning of June, the European Commission tried to clear the clouds on the horizon by presenting a guidance paper with a clear message of support for the new business models, but the practical challenges before the regulators remain. My position in this debate takes on the competition policy perspective and claims that banning companies like Uber or AirBnB is the worst strategic decision. The authorities should instead wisely open the windows to let some fresh air in the market. Continue reading
By Johannes Urpelainen (@jurpelai), Columbia University
Cross-post, Originally Published February 9, 2015
In environmental and energy policy, business interests often play an important role. Businesses have the resources to invest into lobbying for their preferred positions. Environmentalists often complain about the advantages that polluters enjoy in the political process due to their ability to “buy” policies with campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures.
In recent American environmental policy, the most important period of lobbying by business was undoubtedly the 2009 effort to enact a comprehensive federal climate policy. The Waxman-Markey bill (American Clean Energy and Security Act) would have imposed a cap on America’s greenhouse gas emissions and enabled emissions trading, along with a dizzying number of complementary policies. The legislation passed the House but failed in the Senate. Continue reading
The June issue of JPP is free to download now here and for the next two months. Feel free to share this hefty dose of public policy education far and wide. This issue includes the following:
By Shabu Varghese, University of Central Florida
Organized societies experienced dramatic changes in their methods of solving public problems since the mid-nineteenth century. The existing literature on different disciplines also supported the trend of changing methods for tackling those complex problems in different countries. Salamon (2002) described this movement or change as a “revolution” that has taken place in the United States and in other countries that has been going on for more than 50 years. During this period of change, the central focus of providing public services by addressing public problems shifted from governments to other adaptable modes and tools.
Different paradigms such as the government, the market, new public management, and participatory government dominated public management during the 1980s. According to Frahm & Martin (2009), in the United States the advent of and the shift from the government to the governance approach started in the 1990s. The tools and delivery systems that have developed during the change movement created new terms in public management. Direct government involvement decreased with the advancement of the new approach. Salamon (2002, p. 8) stated that the new approach, known as “new governance,” brought in and evolved new sets of public management and problem-solving methods including the institution of “third-party.” The governance approach brought in opportunities for dealing with complex problems, incorporating tools, third parties, and their expertise. Continue reading