Other Reports

Various reports from CFR, posted at the discretion of CFR's president and director of studies.

Fiscal Breakeven Oil Prices: Uses, Abuses, and Opportunities for Improvement

Authors: Blake Clayton and Michael A. Levi

Fiscal "breakeven" oil prices have become popular among analysts and decision-makers as indicators of oil-producing countries' economic and political stability, but there are limits to the insights that breakeven prices provide. Blake Clayton and Michael A. Levi assess the potential value and most important pitfalls involved in using fiscal breakeven oil prices.


See more in Global; Oil; Economics

Global Economics Monthly November 2015

Author: Robert Kahn

Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that the concerns driven by China's economic problems are modest compared to the 1997 Asian financial crisis or the Great Recession. However, there are reasons for concern: large financial imbalances, weak global growth, inadequate official resources, and political pressures. While a severe global financial crisis remains a tail risk, policymakers need to be prepared to respond. 

See more in Global; Economics

The United States leads the world in combining innovation quality and quantity, but the challenges are growing, particularly when it comes to scientific research. Addressing gaps in U.S. innovation policy could help ensure that the United States remains the leading innovation center for decades to come. 

See more in United States; Innovation; Competitiveness

Global Economics Monthly: October 2015

Author: Robert Kahn

Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that China's growth prospect lies somewhere between hard-landing and muddle-through scenarios. However, uncertainty remains and is already being felt strongly and likely to put increasing pressure on emerging markets through trade contraction and financial contagion. For the United States, fragility in emerging markets is the critical risk and will dominate economic decision-making for months if not years to come. 

See more in Global; Economics

Crisis Over Ukraine

Author: Steven Pifer

As a 2009 Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Contingency Planning Memorandum "Crisis Between Ukraine and Russia" argued, a major Ukraine-Russia confrontation has significant implications for the United States. Despite ongoing diplomatic efforts, few aspects of the Minks II agreement have been implemented and heavy fighting could resume, precipitating an even deeper crisis between Russia and the West. 

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment; Territorial Disputes

Rebuilding Economic and Political Stability in Ukraine

Ukraine faces two severe and immediate challenges: armed pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country and a sharp, nationwide economic deterioration stemming in no small part from that military threat.CFR convened a group of experts to discuss Ukraine’s economic challenges and identify possible ways for outside actors to support Ukrainian policymakers

See more in Ukraine; Territorial Disputes; Conflict Assessment

Reducing Deforestation to Fight Climate Change

Deforestation is a major man-made source of greenhouse gas emissions, and is especially significant in countries with large tropical forests. CFR hosted a workshop designed to draw lessons from Brazil’s recent success at limiting deforestation, understand why countries such as Indonesia have so far struggled, and identify ways to further reduce deforestation.

See more in Global; Climate Change; Forests and Land Management

Developing a Proportionate Response to a Cyber Incident

Author: Tobias Feakin

As offensive cyber activity becomes more prevalent, policymakers will be challenged to develop proportionate responses to disruptive or destructive attacks. Tobias Feakin outlines the variables that each state should consider in determining the appropriate response to a state-sponsored cyber incident.

See more in Global; Cybersecurity

Global Economics Monthly: August 2015

Author: Robert Kahn

Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that China’s request to include its currency, the renminbi (RMB), in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) currency basket, known as special drawing right (SDR), is political as much as economic in intent and effect. The inclusion would signal a milestone in China’s transition to a less-regulated economy. 

See more in China; Economics

Oil Prices, Low-Carbon Energy, and Climate Policy

For decades, oil prices have influenced the outlook for alternatives to oil and policies that support those alternatives. Expensive oil makes substitutes more appealing; cheap oil makes the economic case for alternatives that much more difficult. High prices in the 1970s kick-started clean energy, including the first modern electric vehicles, while the oil slump beginning in the 1980s pummeled sources like wind and solar power and undermined the push for more fuel-efficient cars.

See more in Global; Energy and Environment

New, Cheap, and Improved: Assessing the Promise of Reverse and Frugal Innovation to Address Noncommunicable Diseases

Author: Thomas J. Bollyky

In recent years, frugal and reverse innovation have gained attention as potential strategies for increasing the quality and accessibility of health care while slowing the growth in its costs. Thomas J. Bollyky arges that the demand for these types of innovation is increasing and outlines three practical questions for policymakers seeking real investments and results.

See more in Global; Diseases, Noncommunicable; Innovation

Middle-Power Korea

Authors: Colin I. Bradford, Toby Dalton, Brendan Howe, Jill Kosch O’Donnell, Andrew O’Neil, and Scott A. Snyder

South Korean opinion leaders have increasingly investigated the idea of the ROK as a middle power as a primary framework for evaluating the opportunities and constraints arising from its emerging international role. The essays commissioned in this volume provide an initial evaluation of South Korean efforts to make substantive contributions to the international agenda as a middle power.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Politics and Strategy

Countering Islamic State Exploitation of the Internet

Author: David P. Fidler

The use of social media and other Internet-enabled communications by the self-proclaimed Islamic State is pushing the United States and other democracies to react to the abuse of liberal freedoms by illiberal forces. CFR Visiting Fellow David P. Fidler outlines ways to counter the Islamic State's online onslaught through policies anchored in free speech, transparency, and accountability. 

See more in Syria; Iraq; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy

Libya’s Escalating Civil War

Author: Daniel P. Serwer

The potential chaos highlighted by a 2011 Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Contingency Planning Memorandum, "Post-Qaddafi Instability in Libya," has come to fruition. Daniel P. Serwer outlines the unfolding crisis and recommends steps the United States, Europe, and Arab countries can take to help mitigate the fallout.

See more in Libya; Conflict Prevention; Fragile or Failed States

Fuel Subsidy Reform

CFR convened roughly twenty experts for an all-day workshop in May 2015 to discuss fossil fuel subsidy reform. This report summarizes the highlights of that discussion.

See more in Global; Economics

2015 Report Card on International Cooperation

As countries around the world struggle to combat major global challenges from terrorism to climate change, a Council of Councils Report Card on International Cooperation finds that multilateral action on most of the critical transnational threats is sorely lacking.

See more in Global; Global Governance