The Value of Controlled Anonymity (CIGI)

As China’s influence and role in the development of technology continues to grow, democratic societies must ask whether the power of technology that’s developed in China — and often used to survey or track — can be appropriated for democratic purposes.

Jesse Hirsh

The Shifting Definition of Platform Governance (CIGI)

In the past few years, several catchwords have emerged to describe the technology policy issues surrounding the intersection of user-generated content, online intermediaries for that content, and the host of legal and political frameworks that shape the relationships between them. Policy makers and journalists working in the area have had to sift through a host of similar-sounding concepts often used interchangeably — three common ones being platform governance, platform responsibility and platform regulation.


Where Facebook’s Oversight Board Falls Short (CIGI)

Facebook is facing pressure from all directions to take more responsibility for what happens on its platform. Governments are debating regulation, advertisers are upset about false metrics and users are frustrated with arbitrary content enforcement. And, by all appearances, the company is working to improve the way it manages content produced by more than two billion users. However, its recent efforts are little more than smoke and mirrors; Facebook’s newly announced oversight board will neither democratize Facebook nor provide users with more agency or decision-making power.


International Transfer of Clean Technologies: Mitigating Legal Obstacles (CIGI)

This paper is intended to help exporters identify and anticipate potential issues arising from the international transfer of clean technologies. It seeks to analyze the main legal obstacles faced by exporters in the trade of clean technologies. Identifying barriers and risks can provide predictability in the complex realm of international trade and can help ensure that export transactions are conducted efficiently and are commercially viable. Along with categorizing the various barriers to technology transfer, this paper’s main objective is to propose multiple avenues that exporters can use to mitigate and remove barriers to trade.

The Way Forward for WTO Dispute Settlement after the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (CIGI)

In December 2017, trade ministers met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), against the backdrop of crisis in the WTO dispute settlement system. After the meeting achieved only modest outcomes, and none related to dispute settlement, the Centre for International Governance Innovation convened a group of experts in Ottawa for a round table discussion of the way forward to restoring and improving the dispute settlement system.


CIGI Expert Consultation on WTO Reform (CIGI)

The Centre for International Governance Innovation conducted consultations in the spring of 2019 with trade experts and stakeholders about options for modernizing the trade rules and strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO). The consultations focused on the three themes of improving the WTO through monitoring of existing rules, strengthening and safeguarding the dispute settlement function, and modernizing the trade rules for the twenty-first century. This report synthesizes the results of the consultations.


The Belt and Road Initiative: Motivations, Financing, Expansion and Challenges of Xi’s Ever-expanding Strategy (CIGI)

This paper argues that with more objectives added since its inception in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has evolved into a much more expansive grand strategy that includes a package of themes and goals. It examines the policy-making process of the BRI by exploring the motivations behind the plan President Xi Jinping proposed and how the initial Silk Road projects have developed into China’s package of strategies over the past few years. The priorities and performance of China’s investments in the BRI are discussed from the angle of geographical distribution, routes and projects, priority sectors and the connection between the BRI and the previous “going out” strategy China started at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The model and the specific ways China finances and invests in BRI projects, to a great extent, decided the nature of the China-led global infrastructure investment plan. BRI financing is reviewed in detail. Based on the geopolitical and geo-economic analysis of the BRI in the previous parts, the implications of the BRI for global governance as it goes beyond the ambitious infrastructure investment plan are revealed. The risks and problems facing the BRI and the controversy and criticism it has encountered are also addressed. Finally, the paper summarizes the BRI’s ever-expanding themes and the problems and risks it faces, and their implications for the future of the BRI.

Why Social Platforms Are Taking Some Responsibility for Content (CIGI)

While the possibility of new regulation looms over the technology industry, an increasing number of social media platforms are taking measures to demonstrate their responsibility. But tech companies’ new embrace of responsibility could fuel — rather than diminish — calls for regulation.