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Europe Global Environment & Development The New South From G8 to G20 The Development Agenda UN Reform Global Finance Doha Final The Euro-zone in Crisis Eastern Europe

Issue 1/Jan-Feb 2011


* South-east Asia: Myanmar at a crossroads?
Myanmar is an enigma. Listed in international statistics as the poorest country in Asia and one of the poorest among the world’s 49 least developed countries (LDCs), and politically ostracised because of its continuous record of human rights violations, the self-imposed insulation and the externally created isolation of the country lead to many misconceptions. Gabriele Köhler reports.

Nationalist neo-liberalism: Orbán's risky gamble. On the eve of Hungary's European Presidency
Hungary’s centre-right government introduces a flat income tax of 16% and a very low taxation of small and medium enterprises. The government claims that this would kick-start economic growth. One would expect that the neo-liberal pundits are overjoyed that Hungary joins their camp. However, this is not the case. On the contrary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s budget plans are heavily criticized by international financial institutions and neo-liberal economists. Comment by Joachim Becker
>>> Free content

The shifting global poverty reduction agenda. Seven policy innovations of the year 2010
2010 has been a remarkable year. There is triumphalism around the perception of a quick recovery from the 2008/9 financial and economic crisis – a triumphalism which focuses blindly on GDP growth and is oblivious to the catastrophic levels of old and new unemployment. There are major policy regressions: many countries are reverting back to severe austerity programmes – or ‘fiscal consolidation’ as it is now called – pushing through massive cuts in social expenditures, especially in countries across Europe, and thus further increasing socio-economic divides. By Gabriele Köhler and Timo Voipio

* Persistent uncertainties in the global recovery. World economic outlook for 2011
The recovery of the world economy has started to lose momentum since the middle of 2010, and all indicators point at weaker global economic growth, according to an upcoming United Nations report, titled World Economic Situation and Prospects 2011. The UN expects that the world economy will expand by 3.1% in 2011 and 3.5% in 2012 – far from sufficient to enable recovering the jobs lost because of the crisis. A WDEV summary

* Making the case for progressive universalism. The ILO's World Social Security Report 2010/2011
“Social security is a human right as well as a social and economic necessity.” That is the programmatic opening sentence of the ILO’s World Social Security Report (see reference). The Report conceptualises social security as a factor in alleviating poverty, in helping cope with risks, and in adapting to changing economic, political, demographic and societal circumstances. It emphasises the role of social security for income equality. And it advocates explicitly for national-level social protection floors. Gabriele Köhler reviews the Report.

* Seperately (as free content): The European Civil Society Round-Up

WDEV 1/Jan-Feb 2011 as PDF file for subscribers >>> HERE

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