CIGI has an active research program that includes partnerships with other universities and institutions on significant projects and publications. CIGI fellows and senior researchers present their research publications at international summits, conferences and other events.

 

The African Initiative: Uganda Student and Faculty Exchange Program & Uganda Congress on Climate Change

The African Initiative, a joint effort of CIGI and The Salama SHIELD Foundation, and in collaboration with Makerere University in Uganda, has embarked on two very exciting and ambitious initiatives that seek to transform the way climate change issues are discussed in Uganda.

In early September 2009, the African Initiative team welcomed its first group of seven students and faculty to Canada from Makerere University in Uganda to partake in the Uganda Student and Faculty Exchange Program.

This exceptional opportunity will allow seven promising African experts specializing in peace and conflict, food security, and mathematics to share indigenous knowledge about coping tactics that alleviate the impacts of climate change; explore how each area of study is affected by climate change; learn about innovative strategies of adaptation and mitigation; develop a masters curriculum; and complete their doctorate dissertations under the mentorship of Canadian climate change experts.

According to Professor Nelson K. Sewankambo, director of the African Initiative and principal of the College of Health Sciences at Makerere University, “We recognize that education is at the core of the solutions to the challenges facing Africa, which includes climate change. This program seeks to educate, empower and engage those serious about addressing the impacts of climate change. I am convinced this will enable them to make a lasting difference in Uganda.”

Complementing this capacity-building effort, the African Initiative is currently finalizing the logistics for a major awareness-raising conference focused on the theme of “Climate Change Vulnerabilities: Adaptation and Mitigation.” The Uganda Congress on Climate Change will host approximately 600 people on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kampala, Uganda, from November 1-4, 2009, at the Munyonyo Speke Resort and Conference Centre.

The congress will foster inclusive dialogue among a wide range of stakeholders from Ugandan government ministers and local district leaders to policy makers, academics, NGO leaders, private sector representatives and students from the East African community. Parallel sessions discussing Uganda’s current environmental situation to deliberations on Africa’s common negotiating position in preparation for COP15, in addition to a climate change national essay competition open to Ugandan students, this conference will be an engagement between various segments of society that all have a stake in addressing the impacts of climate change.


The Warwick Commission

CIGI is supporting the work of the Warwick Commission on International Financial Reform, which held its first North American meeting in Ottawa on June 9. Based in the UK, the commission is developing recommendations on how to forge an international consensus on implementing international financial reform in a way that is inclusive of both the OECD and emerging market economies in the post-crisis period. The commission consists of 12 leading economists, political scientists and lawyers from the scholarly and policy worlds. Eric Helleiner, CIGI chair in international governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, is one of the commissioners. 

Many members of the Warwick Commission took part in a workshop that CIGI organized on June 10 with senior officials of the Bank of Canada and the Canadian Department of Finance. The off-the-record session was also attended by CIGI’s Chair, Jim Balsilie, researchers from CIGI, and the research director of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. 

The discussion centered on lessons of the crisis for financial regulatory reform, and the discussion was divided into: presentation and discussions of the analysis of the crisis by the Warwick Commission, and preview of their recommendations; lessons for Canada of the policy reaction around the word so far; and lessons from Canada for global financial regulatory reform.  

The Commission’s chair, Avinash Persaud, and director of studies, Leonard Seabrooke, gave a preview of the Warwick Commission’s work. Its report will be publicly released in October.

 

CIGI Partner in new Centre on Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy

CIGI will be an active partner in a new Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) that is being established at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. The new centre will investigate how markets, institutions and public policies interact to create and sustain competitive advantage in the changing world economy.  

CIGI Distinguished Fellow John Whalley helped develop the proposal and is one of five prominent academic figures involved. According to Dr. Whalley, “The research is expected to produce path-breaking insights that will improve our understanding of the foundations and mechanics for economic prosperity and growth.” CIGI’s work will focus primarily on work on China.

Dr. Whalley, who divides his time between research for CIGI work and the University of Western Ontario, where he is the William G. Davies Professor of International Trade and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations, was recently named the recipient of the 2009 Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research, the university’s highest research honour. He holds a concurrent professorship at Warwick.

On March 6, 2009, the Warwick team and CIGI organized a session on the current state of international trade and the relatively large shifts in power that have occurred over the last few decades. The event further established CIGI’s connection to CAGE and will provide a firmer link to the wider European research community, which was well represented at the meeting. Participants included Daniel Bernhofen from the University of Nottingham; Paula Bustos from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and CREI; Peter Neary from Oxford; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud from Geneva and the LSE; Dennis Novy from the University of Warwick; as well as North American academics such as Dr. Whalley.

CAGE has received a commitment of 10-year funding from the UK government equivalent to CDN $8 million. The venture also has a relationship with the Centre for the Evolution of the Global Economy at the University of California, Davis. All three institutions will play a part in the research.

 

CIGI and Brookings Institution Launch Innovative Project on Global Leadership

The current global economic crisis has captured worldwide attention of global leaders and their citizens, the media and scholars. Within the sphere of global research, National Perspectives on Global Leadership (NPGL) is an innovative project.

NPGL is a joint effort by CIGI and the Brookings Institution. The two organizations partnered on this project to offer unique insight into what citizens expect of their leaders at summits, in terms of representing the respective countries’ interests and in implementing commitments made.

In total, 12 institutions are contributing to the project: CIGI; Brookings Institution; Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Argentina; Centro Brasiliero de Relacoes Internacionais (CEBRI) in Brazil; the Centre for Global Studies (CFGS), University of Victoria in Canada; the School Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University in China; Institute Francaise de Relations Internationales (IFRI) in France; the German Development Institute; the Centre for Policy Research in India; Mexico's Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internationales (COMEXI) in Mexico; the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA); the Centre for Policy Studies, Sabanci University in Turkey; and the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics, in the United Kingdom.

Over the course of the project, experts will explore the degree to which G20 leaders can rebuild public trust in the ability to collectively restore the world’s economy. Soundings, a series of commentaries, will be published online. The commentaries can shed light on ways to improve global economic governance.

 Each partner institution will publish its author’s own commentary, while the entire collection will be available on CIGI’s website. The first Soundings series was written after the London Summit in April, while the second was produced after the G8 Summit in l’Aquila. The next series will be published in conjunction with the G20 Summit that will take place in Pittsburgh in September.

Additional Soundings series will be developed as future "G" summits are held.

 

Nuclear Energy Futures Project Looks Ahead to Publication of Final Report

In September, the final report of CIGI’s Nuclear Energy Futures project will be launched in Ottawa, and promoted in Canada and abroad. The report caps three years of study in this unique project.

The report will assess the size and scope of the purported nuclear revival and its implications for global governance. It will also include recommendations for both Canada and the international community on how to strengthen nuclear safety, security and nonproliferation.

The report will be based on insights drawn from events — including conferences, workshops and consultations in Canada and internationally — and from published and yet-to-be published papers. Experts in the nuclear field have been commissioned to produce research papers. CIGI has published six papers thus far, including studies on the economics of nuclear power, nuclear energy in Russia and the UK, the economics of nuclear power, international law pertaining to nuclear safety and security, and uranium enrichment in Canada. Further papers are forthcoming, including country studies on the US, India, China and Japan, the proliferation potential of new nuclear energy programs, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), and national implementation of international nuclear law. All of these papers will be published online on CIGI's website.

The Nuclear Energy Futures project is headed by CIGI Distinguished Fellow Louise Fréchette and directed by CIGI Senior Fellow Trevor Findlay. It is a collaborative venture with the Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance at Carleton University in Ottawa, where a team of seven research assistants has provided administrative support and conducted in-house research, including the web-based Survey of Emerging Nuclear Energy States (SENES). This online publication tracks nuclear energy-related developments in countries working toward establishing a civilian nuclear power sector.

SENES charts the stages in each country’s trajectory, from a government’s first declaration of interest in developing nuclear energy to the eventual connection of a reactor to the grid. Thirty-nine countries, from Albania to Vietnam, are covered in the survey. The research is the first comprehensive effort of its kind, and the results are publicly available on CIGI’s website.

 

CIGI Creating Resources on Security Sector Reform in Fragile States

Security sector reform (SSR), a conceptual framework of principles and best practices for the reconstruction of the security architecture of the state, has come to be accepted as a central facet of stabilization and state-building processes in fragile, collapsed and post-conflict states. The concept is still immature and has a mixed success rate. The purpose of CIGI’s new project in this area is to deconstruct the SSR model, analyze its practical application in different contexts and offer advice on how to increase its effectiveness.

CIGI is creating a range of resources for researchers and analysts. In May, it launched the first edition of Security Sector Reform Monitor, a quarterly publication that tracks developments and trends in the ongoing SSR process of five post-conflict countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, East Timor, Haiti and South Sudan.  Each quarter there will be separate editions of the Monitor for each case study country.  The first was on Haiti and the second, on Afghanistan, is due out shortly. The launch of the other editions will be staggered over the next few months.

Also in May, CIGI hosted a web-based conference on “The Future of Security Sector Reform” that attracted the participation of more than 300 policy makers, practitioners, academics and analysts from 50 countries. The interactive conference sought to take stock of the evolution of the process of SSR – identifying successes, failures and challenges – and consider its future. The virtual platform for the event enabled unprecedented global participation across continents and disciplines.

The e-conference produced a range of multimedia resources, including original papers, audio interviews and video excerpts of  presentations.  There will also be a report highlighting the major themes and issues discussed, as well as conclusions and recommendations; an e-Book featuring papers presented at the conference along with several newly commissioned essays; and an online resource page to serve as a focal point for resources on security sector reform, a networking hub for SSR practitioners, observers and policy makers, and the location for CIGI’s original research on SSR.

Research for the quarterly SSR Monitor is field-based: a resident researcher in each case-study country leads data collection and analysis, with support from desk-based analysts at CIGI. All editions of the Monitor are subjected to an external peer-review process in addition to rigorous internal editorial review.

 

Blueprint for Sustainable Energy Partnership Launched at The Summit of the Americas

­­­­­­­­­­­­­CIGI used the occasion of the recent Summit of the Americas on April 17-19, 2009, in Trinidad, to promote its work on energy issues in the Americas. It distributed a report that recommended three major strategic opportunities for achieving a sustainable energy future in the Western Hemisphere to all the Ministers of Foreign Relations as well as the hemisphere's media. Its report, a Blueprint for a Sustainable Energy Partnership for the Americas, was developed in collaboration with the US Council on Foreign Relations, the Brazilian Center for International Relations and the Institute of International Relations at the West Indies.

The summit was the right place to launch this initiative. The eyes of the hemisphere, and indeed the world, turned to the Americas, and the presidents of the 34 countries that participate focused on future collaboration. The general ideas and tone of CIGI's proposal were mirrored in the US proposal to the region -- that of constructing a partnership that would deliver clean energy projects within a flexible and voluntary framework. The US suggested five areas of focus: energy efficiency; renewable energy; cleaner fossil fuels; energy infrastructure; and energy poverty. Further, the US announced the launching of a new program – the Clean Cities Initiatives at the follow up June 15-16, 2009 meeting organized by the US Energy Department with other partners in Lima, Peru. At this meeting, a number of other programs were proposed. Should progress be made in advancing these proposals, US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, committed to hosting a Ministerial meeting in Washington, DC, in November.

CIGI was invited to attend the meeting in Lima and encouraged to continue collaborating in building this initiative. Towards this end, Blueprint for a Sustainable Energy Partnership for the Americas has established a web presence – cigienergyblueprint.wordpress.com – which provides commentary and analysis on the evolution of the Energy and Environment Partnership for the Americas, as well as a host of related developments.

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.