CIGI Papers Series

About the series

CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions. 

In the Series

China’s journey from being a technological backwater to a technological superpower was partly fuelled by the success of its venture capital sector in supporting start-ups. As of 2019, China produced more “unicorns” (privately held, rapidly growing, early-stage technology companies valued at US$1 billion or more) than the United States. This paper draws lessons from China’s experience that could be applied to policy making across countries at different stages of economic development.
For 22 years, World Trade Organization members have been discussing how to govern e-commerce and the data underpinning it. This paper’s authors analyze public comments on both the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce and the Joint Statement Initiative on Electronic Commerce and suggest three policy actions that could address the current divide among members.
By joining the Council of Europe’s Modernized Convention on Personal Data Protection (Convention 108+), which is based on the only binding international convention in this policy space, Canada would enhance its reputation both as a trusted jurisdiction for personal data and as a nation committed to international privacy rights.
The growth of digitalization and digital technology adoption in Africa holds the key to strengthening and diversifying economies across the continent. Although these developments offer potentially life-changing benefits for consumers, businesses and governments, the inherent flaws in the digital market mean these benefits are not guaranteed. As most gains from the digital economy are largely concentrated in the United States and China, the digital divide may widen the gap between the Global North and the Global South.
From commercials to movies to fashion, Indigenous artworks have been misused in ways that are offensive to the artists who created them and disrespectful of the cultures that inspired them. Using Indigenous traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) without acknowledging their sources or providing financial compensation to the artists undermines the TCEs' traditional value and amounts to cultural theft. This paper looks at protecting TCEs using copyright's moral rights approach, which provides intellectual property protection based on acknowledgement, respect and integrity. 
This is the third and final paper in a three-part series exploring the decision-making process in China. Xi’s style of highly concentrated power and full control over policy making has achieved a mixed result. It may have pushed through some difficult economic reforms but it created a variety of new problems and exacerbated the
existing bureaucratic problems in China’s political economy. These problems can have catastrophic consequences when facing an emergency situation such as a public health crisis, as the novel coronavirus epidemic beginning in January 2020 demonstrated.
From posting photos and videos to tracking physical activity, apps can do almost anything, but while they may seem like harmless fun, they may also pose a threat to personal data and national security. This paper compares the different responses of the United States, Canada and Germany to data risks posed by popular apps such as FaceApp, Facebook, Strava, TikTok and ToTok. These apps and many others store troves of personal data that can be hacked and misused, putting users (and the countries in which they live) at risk.
The rapid digital transformation occurring worldwide poses significant governance challenges. The authors organize the issues facing policy makers under the broad pillars of “economic value capture,” “sovereignty” in public choice and “national security,” and outline a conceptual framework with which policy makers can start to think about a coherent integration of the many reform efforts now under way, considering how policies adopted in these areas can be reconciled with commitments under a multilateral framework adapted for the digital age.