Delivering Digital Infrastructure: Advancing the Internet Economy

Delivering Digital Infrastructure: Advancing the Internet Economy. World Economic Forum. April 28, 2014.

The report examines the current threats to digital infrastructure and suggests approaches and actions for addressing them before they affect the flow of information and services that serve the digital economy. Each chapter addresses a technological, commercial, policy or regional challenge that is of particular significance. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 52 pages, 6.18 MB].

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Bipartisan Support for Increased U.S. Sanctions against Russia

Bipartisan Support for Increased U.S. Sanctions against Russia. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. April 28, 2014.

As the Obama administration announces new economic measures against Russian officials and companies, the public supports increased U.S. economic and diplomatic sanctions by a 53% to 36% margin. But by roughly two-to-one (62% to 30%), Americans oppose sending arms and military supplies to the Ukrainian government. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 540.31 KB].

The EU Elections on Twitter

The EU Elections on Twitter. Pew Research Journalism Project. Katerina Eva Matsa and Mark Jurkowitz. May 22, 2014.

An analysis of the conversation on Twitter leading up to the European Parliament elections suggests mixed sentiment toward the European Union (EU) and a general lack of passion about the candidates seeking the European Commission presidency. More than 1.2 million tweets in English, French and German collected between May 1-14, a decidedly mixed view about the EU emerged. In English, 31% of the assertions on Twitter about the EU were positive toward the EU, compared with 39% that were negative and 30% that were neutral. The Twitter conversation in French broke down the same basic way, 33% positive, 39% negative and 28% neutral. And while the German language conversation about the EU on Twitter was much more positive (39%) than negative (5%), these views were embedded in a low intensity conversation that represented a mere fraction of the Twitter activity in French and English. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 500.29 KB].

NAFTA at 20: Overview and Trade Effects

NAFTA at 20: Overview and Trade Effects. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. M. Angeles Villarreal and Ian F. Fergusson. April 16, 2014.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force on January 1, 1994. The agreement was signed by President George H.W. Bush on December 17, 1992, and approved by Congress on November 20, 1993. The NAFTA Implementation Act was signed into law by President William J. Clinton on December 8, 1993 (P.L. 103-182). The overall economic impact of NAFTA is difficult to measure since trade and investment trends are influenced by numerous other economic variables, such as economic growth, inflation, and currency fluctuations. The agreement may have accelerated the trade liberalization that was already taking place, but many of these changes may have taken place with or without an agreement. Nevertheless, NAFTA is significant because it was the most comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) negotiated at the time and contained several groundbreaking provisions.

[PDF format, 34 pages, 484 KB].

Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country

Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country. Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. May 8, 2014.

A clear majority of Ukrainians agree that their country should remain a single, unified state, according to a pair of new surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center in Ukraine and Russia – after Crimea’s annexation by Russia, but prior to recent violence in Odessa and other cities. The survey in Ukraine also finds a clearly negative reaction to the role Russia is playing in the country. By contrast, the poll in Russia reveals a public that firmly backs Vladimir Putin and Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages, 538.72 KB].

A Fragile Rebound for EU Image on Eve of European Parliament Elections

A Fragile Rebound for EU Image on Eve of European Parliament Elections. Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. May 12, 2014.

Support for the European Union may be rebounding just in time for the European Parliament elections, according to the survey of seven EU nations by the Pew Research Center. After a dramatic decline in the wake of the euro crisis, EU favorability is now on the rise in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. And faith in one of the EU’s founding principles – that European economic integration is good for their own country – is up in the UK, Poland and Germany. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 51 pages, 538.38 KB].

Ukraine: Running out of Time

Ukraine: Running out of Time. International Crisis Group. May 14, 2014.

Ukraine’s provisional government faces an uphill struggle to make it to the May 25th presidential election. Shaken by separatist agitation and distracted by Russian troops on its borders, it has not asserted itself coherently and has lost control of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which have voted for independence in contentious referendums. It appears incapable of keeping order in much of the south east, where separatists, supported and encouraged by Moscow, threaten the state’s viability and unity. According to the report, Kyiv and the presidential candidates should reach out to the south east, explaining plans for local self-government and minority rights, and for Ukraine to be a bridge between Russia and Europe, not a geopolitical battleground. With relations between Moscow and the West deeply chilled, the U.S. and EU should continue tough sanctions to show Russia it will pay an increasing cost for destabilising or dismembering its neighbour, while pursuing parallel, vigorous diplomacy to reach understandings that avoid the worst and respect mutual interest. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 39 pages, 2.43 MB].