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Globalization & Sustainable Development Program

March 2015 Newsletter

GDAE Paper a “Game-Changer” in TTIP Debate


GDAE Research Fellow Jeronim Capaldo’s working paper, “The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: European Disintegration, Unemployment and Instability,” continues to make waves across the Atlantic. Capaldo’s findings, from alternative economic modeling, show Europeans far worse off economically if the US-EU trade agreement goes into effect. Labor is particularly hard hit. Since the paper’s release in October, Capaldo has been briefing policy-makers, presenting in parliaments, giving interviews and debating with economists whose work he critiques. The paper, available in four languages and with an executive summary in twelve languages, has been covered widely in the press, including outlets such as The Guardian and the BBC (see the press coverage here).
 

Jeronim Capaldo at the EU Parliament

In Brussels, Capaldo participated in an EU Parliament Workshop on TTIP's benefits and costs (watch here) where he debated with economists of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm. In the Netherlands, Capaldo briefed the Dutch Minister for Trade and Development, Lilianne Ploumen, and members of the Dutch National Parliament. Capaldo also presented to the public, giving talks hosted by the development organization War on Want in London and Manchester, UK. He also wrote articles on TTIP for the Government Gazette, Queries, and Italianieuropei, publications widely distributed to the Members of the EU Parliament.

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The top EU trade official, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malström commented on the paper, once in a written statement, upon request by a member of the EU Parliament, once in a TV interview (here). Member of the European Parliament Anne-Marie Mineur put Capaldo’s impact best, noting that “without serious arguments coming from thorough research, it is far too easy for politicians to wave off” the public’s concerns. She went on to say, “your study has provided us with a firm theoretical basis under our arguments…Your contribution may well prove to be a game changer.”
 
Capaldo’s upcoming speaking engagements include an event in Amsterdam hosted by the Trans-National Institute, "Would you Like a Cup of TTIP", and workshops in Germany, Poland, and the Hungarian Parliament (as a keynote speaker). The TTIP work is part of Capaldo's larger project on Modeling Policy Reform, which will soon present an analysis of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Right to Food: Land grabs, biofuels, and GM food


As part of his research on "A Rights Based Approach to the Global Food Crisis," Timothy A. Wise traveled to Mozambique in December to research the ProSavana Project, a Brazilian-Japanese agricultural development project that is one of the largest in Africa. Denounced as a “land-grab” by some, the project is embraced by others as an innovative extension of Brazil’s own success as one of the world’s biggest agro-exporters. Wise authored articles for Food Tank and Dollars & Sense on the project.
 
Wise has also continued researching the issue of high versus low-input agriculture. He met in Seattle with representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to discuss their Agricultural Development Program. Wise’s widely circulated (and commented) article, “The War on Genetically-Modified-Food Critics: Et tu, National Geographic?” for FoodTank looks at the campaign, funded partly by the Gates Foundation, to liken GM food critics to climate deniers and to creationists who dismiss evolution. He also published a follow-up, “World Health Organization: GM-crop herbicide a probable carcinogen.”
 
ActionAid publication coverIn February, Wise and co-author Emily Cole released the working paper "Mandating Hunger: The Impacts of Global Biofuel Mandates and Targets" in conjunction with an ActionAid policy report. To discuss thesis findings, GDAE, ActionAid, and the non-profit Pivot Point hosted a workshop at Tufts with international biofuels experts. The GDAE working paper was the primary research used for an ActionAid USA policy recommendation to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on strict guidelines on land-use changes due to biofuels production. Earlier, Wise gave a presentation at the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass Amherst, on "Food, Fuel and Financial Markets: The Unhealthy Links for Food Security." An interview with Wise was also featured on Tufts Now, the university’s online publication.

China in Latin America: Working Group Report


China in Latin America: Lessons for South-South Cooperation and Sustainable Development On April 16, the Working Group on “China in Latin America: Environmental and Developmental Dimensions” will release its much anticipated policy report and country studies in a series of events in Washington. A collaborative project between Boston University, Tufts, the Center for Transformation Research (Argentina), and the University of the Pacific (Peru), the working group has carried out detailed studies of the social and environmental impacts of rising Chinese trade, investment, and development finance in Latin America. After closed-door meetings with key policy-makers, project leader Kevin Gallagher and other working group researchers Cynthia Sanborn from the University of the Pacific and Rebecca Ray from Boston University will present the project’s key findings at the Woodrow Wilson Center April 16. The next day they will participate in an all-day civil society roundtable at World Resources Institute. The project includes case studies on Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.


BU’s Gallagher and his colleagues at the InterAmerican Dialogue also provided their annual update of the “China-Latin America Finance Database,” based on research Gallagher developed while at GDAE. The interactive database is an excellent tool for tracking Chinese projects in the region.

Leontief Prize Awarded to Foley & Taylor


On March 23, GDAE awarded the 2015 Leontief Economics Prize to influential scholars Duncan Foley and Lance Taylor for their critical work with economic models, which they have also applied to climate change. The day after the event, The Boston Globe ran a profile of the award winners. Foley and Taylor’s path-breaking research on valid alternatives to the neoliberal economic paradigm has inspired generations of critical economist and GDAE’s project Modeling Policy Research. Video footage of the prizewinner’s lectures on “Macroeconomics in the Age of Climate Change” and additional interviews will be released shortly.

Program Updates:


"In Their Own Hands" book coverGDAE Research Fellow Jeff Ashe has written several op-eds, including “Second Chances in Global Development: How savings and lending groups can achieve what microcredit hasn’t” on Next Billion. An opinion piece in the New York Times reviewed his book, â€œIn Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development.” Additionally, Ashe gave a presentation on the book at Oxfam America in November and spoke on the KEXP radio program Mind Over Matters in December.
 
In January, GDAE Research Fellow Shaun Paul gave a presentation at Tufts University on “Investing in sustainable well-being” (watch video). Paul was featured in the November Tufts Now article "Riding a Food Fad to an Opportunity" about the growing interest in nutrient-dense chia seeds. He discussed how chia could help small farmers diversify in Latin America.
 
GDAE hosted an event on Sustainable Development in Asia on December 5. Authors Nathan Perry and Sara Hsu discussed their recent book series examining data on sustainable development in three pairs of countries in Asia: Indonesia & Malaysia, China & Taiwan, and Japan & South Korea.

In the News:

Triple Crisis Blog:


GDAE is a co-sponsor of the Triple Crisis Blog, focusing on the crises in development, finance, and the environment. Some recent posts include:

Recent Publications:

Coming Soon:

  • “Brazil’s Development Cooperation in Mozambique: Support for land grabbing or family farmers?” Mariana Santarelli and Timothy A. Wise
  • “Trade Rules and Land Grabs,” Jeronim Capaldo and Rachel Denae Thrasher, GDAE Working Paper
  • “Scenarios of Chinese economic slowdown: international effects,” Jeronim Capaldo, GDAE Working Paper
  •  â€œUncertain Gains from Trade: The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement,” Jeronim Capaldo, GDAE Working Paper
  • “Two Roads Diverged in the Food Crisis: Global policy takes the one more traveled,” Timothy A. Wise, Canadian Food Studies, Special Issue, Summer 2015
The Globalization and Sustainable Development Program examines the economic, social and environmental impacts of economic integration in developing countries. The goal of the program is to identify policies and international agreements that promote sustainable development.
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