June 28, 2017

Rule of Law and Development in Africa

This event was postponed: more as soon as we know when it will happen.

How can fighting corruption contribute to economic growth in Africa?  What legal problems do firms run into when investing in Africa’s booming economies, and what can be changed?Emily Strauss

Emily Strauss, Special Counsel, Lawyers Without Borders, will address these and other questions of development.

Emily Strauss is originally from Boulder, Colorado, and studied both English literature and economics at the College of William and Mary. She then joined the Peace Corps, and served as an education volunteer in northern Cameroon for two years. She subsequently worked in a law firm, and then left to teach for a year in Changsha, China. She received her J.D. and M.A. in International Relations from Boston University, and accepted a position with Ropes & Gray. She is currently doing a yearlong fellowship with Lawyers Without Borders before beginning work at the firm.

Refreshments served. To RSVP (optional), visit our Facebook page.

INTERVIEW WITH DR. MOISES LINO E SILVA, PANELIST FOR BRAZIL’S BALANCING ACT

moisesDr. Moises Lino e Silva is an anthropologist who specializes in the question of freedom and its relationship to different pressing topics such as poverty, violence, sexuality, and development. Dr Lino e Silva has written on issues related to the impact of ecotourism on the life of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Forest and his current research is centered on issues of freedom as experienced by slum dwellers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He currently holds a shared appointment teaching in Anthropology and in International and Global Studies at Brandeis University. Recently, Dr Lino e Silva has been selected a World Social Science Fellow by the International Social Science Council (UNESCO).

What do you think are the main challenges for economic development and sustainability in Brazil?

So, while some advances have been made, there in still a lot of inequality in Brazil. A good question to ask is how will the new economy work for different people. For example, my own work as an anthropologist focused on favelas (urban shantytowns) in Rio de Janeiro and a big concern is how will Brazil deal with favela dwellers now that the country is richer. Some favelas have of course benefitted from social projects. But, for instance, with big international events in Brazil like the Olympic games and the World Soccer Cup there have been changes to the lives of the urban poor. One thing is the so-called “pacification” of favelas, during those events, where the state took over the territory from drug lords and a challenge is to see if those policies will be sustained in general and to see if Brazil’s growth can be sustained beyond what people would call a “bubble” and what will happen to the poor if this bubble bursts. The second thing is about how Brazil’s growth will impact the environment. Brazil has a lot of natural resources such as oil and minerals that have been traditionally what we exported. Part of Brazil’s growth can be explained by its relationship to China and the Chinese buying our commodities. So another question is how much of our development is dependent on exploiting natural resources for producing commodities? More specifically, how does industrial growth cause pollution in our cities and rivers? Like in Sao Paulo, it is appalling how polluted the river Tietê is. It is more like an open sewer and it smells really bad. So there are various questions of reconciling economic growth and protecting environmental resources. The last thing I will mention is the impact of the agricultural industry on our forests. People argue that they need more land for growing their crops and raising cattle but where does that land come from? From deforestation. We have been successful in slowing down deforestation but it is always an open-ended question and we need to see how this will play out in the future. [Read more…]

Brazil’s Balancing Act: Reconciling the Demands of Economic Development, Environmental Protection, and Indigenous Rights

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Time: 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Location: International Lounge, Usdan

Experts working in diverse fields – Brazilincluding economic development, international business, environmental protection, international law, and human and indigenous rights – will examine the intersecting interests and responsibilities of those working in sometimes conflicting sectors. The symposium will provide a forum for dialogue about how Brazil might best fulfill its local, national, and international obligations.

Panelists include Mr. Fernando Ribeiro Delgado, Lecturer, Harvard Law School; Professor Cristina Espinosa, The Heller School, Brandeis University; Dr. Daniel Luiz Gleizer, Vice President, Banco Itau BBA, Sao Paulo; Dr. Moises Lino e Silva, Lecturer, International and Global Studies and Anthropology, Brandeis University; and Dr. Biorn Maybury-Lewis, Executive Director, Cambridge Institute for Brazilian Studies (CIBS), Institute for International Urban Development, and University of Massachusetts, Boston. The event will be moderated by Dean Bruce Magid of the Brandeis International Business School.

Click here for panelists’ bios and photos, resources, and an agenda for the day.

This event is cosponsored by the Brandeis International Business School’s Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership and the Ethics Center, and is free and open to the public.

IGS Conversations, Nov. 16, Green Growth: Environmentally Smart Economic Development

Do we have to choose between the economy and the environment? Do emerging countries have to destroy their environments to thrive?

What if you could have “green growth?” What if you could eliminate the carbon emissions of 400,000 cars, cut a developing country’s international debt and, in the same deal, shift the economy toward more efficient agriculture?

It’s not fantasy. It’s forests. Fifteen percent of the world’s carbon emissions come from deforestation – more than all the world’s cars, airplanes and trains combined. Cut deforestation and you cut greenhouses gases – with minimal effect on economic growth.

Last year Greg Fishbein of The Nature Conservancy struck the deal I just described in Indonesia; he has arranged similar packages for Brazil, Costa Rica and is working on similar deals in Mexico and China. On Wednesday, November 16 he’s coming to Brandeis to join our next IGS Conversation: Green Growth: Environmentally Smart Economic Development

Wednesday Nov. 16, 7 PM (6:30 for pizza)
Mandel Center Reading Room (3rd Floor)

Featuring Greg Fishbein
Managing Director—Forest Carbon, The Nature Conservancy

Greg will be joined by Stephanie Karol, ’12 and Ben Rifkin, ’12, IGS seniors who will talk about what they learned about green growth while studying in Argentina and Madagascar respectively.

I hope you can join us!

IGS Conversations: The International Debt Crisis

This fall IGS will be hosting “IGS Conversations,” a series of panels on the hottest current world issues. Global leaders and IGS seniors will the share the stage as they analyze the pressing issues of our times.

Our first discussion panel is scheduled for Wednesday Oct. 26, 2011 at 7 pm and will focus on government debts and their effect on the faltering world economy.

Are the United States and Europe bankrupt?  What can be done about the international debt crisis?  What happens if the European Union can’t bail out Greece – or Italy, or Spain?  As the world economy teeters, should governments be cutting back or spending much more?  And what effect does fear itself have over faltering economies of the West?

We are honored that Mr. Kent Lucken, a managing director with Citigroup, will join us for this conversation.  As an international banker Mr. Lucken has extensive experience in global finance but he also knows European politics well.  In his past career as a U.S.diplomat Mr. Lucken served in several embassies in Europe and is familiar with the roots of the continent’s economic crisis.

Joining Mr. Lucken will be our own Craig Elman and Adina Weissman, both recently returned from studying abroad in Europe. Craig, a double Economics and IGS major, will speak briefly on the debt crisis in Spain, where he studied for a semester, while Adina, a double major in economics and psychology, will talk about the intersection of public perception and economics in the debt crisis in England.

It all happens next Wednesday, October 26th in the Mandel Humanities Center Reading Room, up on the third floor.  Come at 6:30 for pizza and informal conversation, then enjoy the panel and discussion from 7 pm on.

The “IGS Conversations” series is being managed by Joshua Cracraft, a PhD candidate in History who is also IGS’ Assistant Director for Academic Programming.  Please do get in touch with Joshua (cracraft@brandeis.edu) if you have ideas for future conversations.

Leadership Opportunity: Global Health and International Development work in Latin America

If you are interested in traveling to Latin America to gain hands-on experience in global health, international development work and the fight against global poverty, consider this opportunity from non-profit organization MEDLIFE. Please find below, the announcement posted by MEDLIFE.

MEDLIFE (www.medlifeweb.org) is a non-profit organization that works to improve access to Medicine, Education, and Development in impoverished regions of Latin America. We are currently looking for student leaders interested in starting a MEDLIFE chapter at Brandeis University and helping to send a Mobile Clinic to Latin America. [Read more…]

Spain after the economic crisis

by Craig Elman, writing from Madrid

Spain has been experiencing very rough after-shocks since the economic crisis, even worse than that which occurred in the United States.  The unemployment rate has spiked up to 20%, double its natural rate of unemployment (which happens to be equivalent to the U.S.’s current unemployed rate under the crisis).  I live in Madrid, and everywhere I go I see the effects of the crisis: people begging on the street, and even approaching people and pleading for a helping hand.  It’s a terrible site to see. 

The government has also decided to increase the age to receive pensions (from 65 to 67.5 I believe) in order to increase working hours and reduce the public debt.  Although balancing the budget is one of the most essential macroeconomic policies that a government should tackle during a recession, there are several potential adverse effects that could follow.  Social unrest and protests in Madrid have been occurring because the government is essentially cutting benefits for the next generation of elderly people. 

Spain has also become extremely energy conscious and green as a result of the crisis (which happens to be the one positive effect coming out of the crisis).  Spanish households have recently transitioned to more energy-efficient lighting, for example, and the government is trying to reduce motor vehicle emissions by cutting the costs of public transportation and making it more accommodating to the public.  Germany has offered a helping hand during Spain’s crisis, and German chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to help Spain’s economic advisors to the government.  She has also offered to employ Spanish engineer students in Germany who will be looking for work soon. 

While this helps to alleviate the problem of unemployment in Spain in the short run, this is, in my opinion, a poor choice for Spain in the long run.  Economic growth requires technological innovation, and without a new generation of engineers, Spain’s economy would suffer dire consequences. 

There have also been debates about whether or not Spain should forego the Euro and return to the peso, since the crisis has hit other European countries on the Euro as well.  However, abolishing the Euro would create fewer incentives for foreign investment within Spain (I’m not too clear on the Economics behind this, but I have been told that this is a possible adverse outcome).

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