INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS RESEARCH JOURNAL, 2017 (1) en-us Copyright 2017 Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:26:51 +0300 Joint Universities as a Tool for Promoting the National Interests of Russia and China At present, the opening of joint educational institutions is one of the leading educational trends. It allows states to improve the quality of national human resources and the national education system. Thus, it is particularly important for transition economies in the context of an innovative model of development.Russia and China turned to this practice in 2010 after the launch of the SCO University, established by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Today joint educational institutions function not only multilaterally but also bilaterally. This article examines the Shenzhen MSU-BIT University, a joint Russian-Chinese university, as a tool to promote the national interests of the two countries.The author presents the basic history of Russian-Chinese cooperation in education in the second half of the 20th century. She argues that the Cultural Revolution and period the subsequent of difficult relations between the two countries had a negative impact on educational ties. Russia lost 17 years in China’s educational market, which was filled by other countries, primarily the United States.At the beginning of the 20th century, Russian-Chinese humanitarian cooperation was positive. The author relates the increase in the volume of Russian-Chinese educational exchange to the success of several events, including the large-scale projects of the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia, the Year of Chinese Language in Russia and Russian Language in China, the opening of the Russian Cultural Centre and the Chinese Cultural Centre, Russian centres and cabinets of the “Russian World” in China, and Confucius Institutes and classes in Russia.After analyzing the current situation, the author describes the new forms of cooperation, which include the opening of joint institutions. She assesses the interests and prospects of Russian and Chinese participation in the creation of the Shenzhen MSU-BIT University through the prism of national interests. Her methodology is based on the principles of integrated research and relies on sources, using problem-chronological and comparative methods, content analysis and event analysis.The author also refers to similar projects between China and the United States, Australia and several European countries. She stresses that joint institutions contribute to the competitiveness of educational services of the participating countries, and also serve as an effective tool for promoting national culture, language, values and lifestyles. The author demonstrates the advantages of this form of cooperation for Russia and China as a new mechanism of collective cooperation.The author concludes that Russia is interested in establishing joint educational institutions with China primarily as an instrument of soft power that can increase the competitiveness of Russian education, not only in China but throughout Asia, and can promote the Russian language. For China, it is important to get access to Russian intellectual resources for its further socioeconomic development. She ends with a proposal for the creation of a Russian-Chinese university that could contribute to the successful implementation of this project.  Education Systems and Multilateral Development Banks: International Practices and Perspectives This article examines the role of multilateral development banks (MDBs) in financing education development at the national level. It evaluates the share of national expenditures spent on education, analyzes loan structures by stage of education, and highlights key measures and instruments. In the context of the global economic slowdown, expected to continue for the long term, the most important objective is to identify new drivers of economic growth as traditional sources are exhausted. One of the main sources of economic growth is human capital, especially with regard to the gradual transition from an industrial economy to a service and knowledge economy. Human capital accumulation is particularly important in developing countries. Most developing countries face insuperable obstacles in building human capital accumulation particularly with regard to education development.The potential contribution of MDBs to human capital accumulation has been underestimated and there is a lack of empirical research on this issue. An evaluation of current experience will help identify opportunities for MDBs to increase their role in education performance, which in turn could have a positive impact on economic growth in developing countries.This article addresses this issue by studying MDBs’ financing of education projects in emerging economies. The authors collected a database that includes information on the volume and structure of financing with a breakdown by education stage. It was based on more than 500 projects funded by key MDBs. Sources included loan and grant agreements, project interim reports and project completion reports. The authors calculated an average annual ratio of MDB education financing to public expenditure for each country in the final selection.Results showed that the ratio of average annual MDBs allocations to average government expenditures on education is relatively low — between 1.5% and 4.0% for most countries. The largest share can be seen in relatively small countries, where government expenditures stay at low levels. Large developing countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico are lead in terms of absolute volumes of financing from MDBs. The authors also show that most projects during period researched aimed at reducing inequality, developing infrastructure, improving teacher qualifications and reforming the management of education system. The authors also give recommendations for the BRICS New Development Bank. Regional and Mega-Regional Trade Agreements: Agricultural Trade in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Mega-regional trade agreements (MRTAs) have appeared in response to the prolonged stagnation of the multilateral trading system ruled by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Although this issue has stimulated research in international integration, the specifics of MRTAs have not yet been sufficiently investigated. This article therefore assesses the multilateralization potential of regional commitments using the example of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It includes commitments in market access liberalization made in regional trade agreements (RTAs) and in intraregional agricultural trade liberalization under the TPP.The central research problem is to identify the regional liberalization commitments that might be promoted to the level of the WTO. The authors use the methodology devised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for assessing the potential multilateralization. RTA and MRTA commitments are grouped in two policy areas: WTO-plus (going beyond the normal provisions of the WTO) and WTO-beyond (dealing with issues going beyond the WTO). The TTP is scrutinized in the context of intraregional agricultural trade liberalization.MRTAs can raise regional commitments to the global level because of their large membership, regulatory transparency and high levels of implementation. The multilateralization of regional agreements is expected in services and investments as well as in various aspects of technical regulation. The key features of implementing RTA’s WTO-plus and WTO-beyond commitments in intraregional agricultural trade are discussed. Most RTAs have liberalized tariffs beyond the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (WTO-plus), but only a few have strengthened disciplines in non-tariff barriers and implemented WTO-beyond commitments for export restrictions and export subsidies. The TPP parties are a diverse group in terms of involvement in global agricultural trade and applied tariffs on agriculture and food. The TPP provides the record in eliminating tariffs for agricultural products while keeping a number of exceptions for sensitive products and long implementation periods. Agricultural market liberalization under the TPP is achieved mostly through eliminating tariffs than by renewing non-tariff barriers. The TPP parties share the objective of implementing WTO commitments by supporting the global agricultural trade reform on export subsidies and export bans, and agree to incorporate WTO-plus and WTO-beyond obligations. Developing E-Governance in the Eurasian Economic Union: Progress, Challenges and Prospects The article provides an overview of e-governance development in the members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). There is a lack of integrated research on e-governance in the EEU countries, although given the strengthening of this regional bloc, new information and communication technologies (ICT) could serve as significant growth driver.Given the history and specifics of regional cooperation in the post-Soviet space and international best practices in ICT use in regional blocs, this article reviews the development of e-governance in the EEU membersThe research methodology was based on a three-stage concept of regionalism [Van Langenhov, Coste, 2005]. The study examines three key components: progress in developing e-governance, barriers to that development and future prospects. It used qualitative and quantitative methods. Data sources included the results of the United Nations E-Government rating, EEU countries’ regulations based on 3,200 documents and the authors’ expert survey, in which 18 experts (12 EEU representatives and six international experts) participated.The study revealed the progress made by EEU countries in improving technological development and reducing human capital development indicators. The survey identified key barriers to e-governance development in the EEU: low motivation and information technology skills among civil servants, and citizens’ low computer literacy.The analysis of EEU members’ national economic priorities revealed a common focus on ICT development. The authors concluded that prospects for e-governance in the EEU were associated with strengthening regional cooperation in standardizing information systems, implementing one-stop-shop services, managing electronic documents and expanding online services.The authors presented two areas for developing e-governance within the EEU. The first is external integration, which, if strengthened, would affect the economy positivelyand optimize business processes and customs operations. The second is regional cooperation, which would be improved by establishing joint working groups and developing common policies, strategies and standards. Interconnections among the United States, Russia and China: Does Kissinger’s American Leadership Formula Apply? The relationship in the United States-Russia-China triangle was one of the most important factors of international relations during the Cold War and remains so in the post-bipolar period. Its relevance has increased even more after the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential elections in the United States, who as a candidate repeatedly advocated closer relations with the Russian Federation and revised cooperation with China.This article appraises bilateral relations between these three countries in 2014 by conducting quantitative analysis of both flows (trade and investment, migration and others) and events (reciprocal visits), as well as cooperation in multilateral organizations (United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and in the format of the club diplomacy (the Group of 20; the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).The authors stared out using the Global Database of Events, Language and Tone to assess existing events according to the Goldstein scale. However, this event-analysis method could not estimate relations within the triangle accurately because of language factor (news in Russian and Chinese is underrepresented). Thus U.S.-Russia-China relations were examined through a quantitative analysis of specific series in four spheres — economic, political, humanitarian and military — in 2014. Each index was evaluated with points. Summaries reveal which countries in the triangle have the most successful connections and in which spheres.The study concluded that China and the United States had the most effective cooperation in 2014: the partnership developed more intensively in the economic and humanitarian spheres. Overall, U.S.-China and China-Russia relations are comparable to each other — the Russia-U.S. partnership cannot rival them. The U.S.-China and China-Russia couples cooperate the most effectively in two spheres. According to Henry Kissinger, cooperation between the United States and its partners must be more effective than the partners’ relations with each other. The United States thus remains stay the leader in international relations. The authors conclude that this the U.S. leadership formula applies, because the value of U.S.-China and U.S.-Russia bilateral relations in sum is more powerful than the partnership of China and Russia. New and Traditional Multilateral Development Banks: Current and Potential Cooperation Most experts on multilateral development banks (MDBs) mention the possibility of large-scale co-financing in their forecasts concerning their future operations. However, interaction between MDBs and other actors, including co-financing, is rarely considered as a research problem for analytical and scientific papers. Yet this type of cooperation is one of the most important factors of effectiveness for the entire system of MDB financing. Thus, working in partnership with governmental institutions (development assistance agencies, export credit agencies, etc.), MDBs help attract additional financial resources and expertise in the countries where they are active. Working on state, regional and global levels, multilateral banks cooperate not only with governmental institutions, but also with private sector and civil society representatives. Such cooperation benefits both parties. In addition to mobilizing additional financial resources, it improves project preparation and implementation, taking into account national peculiarities, while partner institutions get a chance to use their experience and expertise. Given the recent establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), they are unlikely to achieve their main goal of narrowing the infrastructure financing deficit in developing countries without active cooperation with other institutions.This article discusses the results and examines the prospects of the NDB and AIIB cooperating with traditional MDBs. It also focuses on the new banks’ engagement with other financial institutions, including commercial banks and national development banks.The author analyzes interbank memorandums and agreements as a formal basis for cooperation between various institutions, and examines in detail the examples of co-financing infrastructure projects by the new and traditional MDBs, as well as new multilateral cooperation mechanisms established by development banks.The author concludes that the new banks’ strategies differ from those of other institutions, and each has its own advantages. The AIIB seeks to establish cooperation primarily with large institutions to use their considerable experience and explore co-financing opportunities for large-scale projects. The NDB, with limited membership and geographical representation, focuses on, inter alia, cooperation with MDBs with a small number of participants, national development banks and commercial banks, which allows it to adopt the best international practices and gain experience in specific countries, receive consultative support for issuing bonds and improve financial management. G20 Priorities and Decisions under Turkey’s 2015 Presidency: Implementation, Inclusiveness and Investment for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth Turkey held the presidency of the G20 (Group of 20) from December 2014 to November 2015. During this period geopolitical tensions started to spread beyond the borders of the regions involved. Turkey went through a challenging time, with a slowing economy, two elections in 2015, revived political confrontations, two million refugees and frustrations in securing its borders and handling terrorism. Turkey defined three priorities for its presidency: inclusiveness, implementation and investment for growth. To combat inequality and ensure inclusive growth, it aimed to address the issues of small and medium-sized enterprises, such as access to finance, skills and global value chains, employment for youth and women, and support to the development of low-income countries. Inclusiveness was also explicit in G20 engagement with social partners. Implementation was emphasized, particularly related to the imperative to deliver on the G20 members’ commitments regarding growth strategies made at the 2014 Brisbane Summit.This article assesses the G20’s performance under the Turkey presidency within a functional paradigm focusing on the three main objectives of plurilateral summitry institutions: strengthening capacity for political leadership to launch new ideas and overcome deadlocks, reconciling domestic and international pressures, and consolidating collective management. To attain those objectives, institutions are expected to demonstrate leadership, solidarity, sustainability, acceptability, consistency and continuity. Efficiency is perceived as G20 performance on a combination of the criteria. Given the G20’s ultimate mission to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, all the issues on Turkey’s G20 agenda were grouped according to these four growth pillars.G20 performance on each of the issue areas was assessed on six criteria using a three-point scale: high (1), medium (0) and low (−1) degree of performance. The overall assessment of G20 performance efficiency was estimated as the total of the average scores in each issue area divided by 11 (the number of policy areas on the agenda). Recognizing that implementation is crucial to G20 legitimacy, leadership and solidarity, Turkey made it one of its presidency’s priorities. Thus, the quality of accountability and level of compliance are considered within each policy area. The quality of engagement is included in the assessment of the acceptability of G20 decisions within respective policy areas, with the format of G20 engagement with outreach, including social partners, international institutions and non-G20 countries, explored in a separate section.The analysis showed that the G20 under the Turkish presidency attained a high level of consistency and continuity in all issues, ensuring the consistency of decisions across policy areas and their compatibility with the agenda of previous presidencies and G20 core agenda. Sustainability and acceptability were also quite high, as the G20 ensured the longevity of collectively produced solutions and got the endorsement of the decisions by other governments, international institutions and social partners. However, the Turkish presidency lacked leadership, showing not enough capacity to exercise political authority and overcome deadlocks, which could be partly explained by the challenges of the internal situation in Turkey. The lowest level was registered for solidarity as some G20 members did not fully commit to certain decisions and parts of the programs and documents were perceived as voluntary. The G20 displayed many of the features of plurilateral summitry institutions in all the areas under the goal of balanced growth and almost all with regard to the goal of inclusive growth. On sustainable growth, the performance was mixed on both energy and climate change. With a relatively high average for strong growth, the outcomes by issue were uneven: relatively high on macroeconomic cooperation and investment, and rather low on trade. The trade agenda was the only one with negative scores for leadership and solidarity, proving to be one of the most persistent challenges for the G20. From Goa to Xiamen. On Some Aspects of Political Cooperation within BRICS International relations system under contemporary conditions does not presuppose existence of a universal, generally accepted world order model. Concepts of the modern global order can stand in marked contrast to each other: the idea of a unipolar world led by the U.S. and the North Atlantic Community is opposed to the notion of a multipolar world with several equatable force poles. One of the phenomena illustrating the polycentrical world narrative is the emergence of BRIC group in the 2000s and its further evolution as BRICS in the 2010s. This explains the relevance of the chosen problem.            The article considers major tracks of political cooperation within BRICS. The author analyses final documents of the latest BRICS summits, namely, in Fortaleza (2014), Ufa (2015) and Goa (2016) in terms of extension of the political agenda, also defining its reasons. Points of view expressed by both leading Russian and foreign experts, civic leaders and policymakers are taken into account. The work touches upon the problem of potential enlargement of BRICS, its functioning in the outreach format, as well as possibilities of institutionalisation of the grouping. At the same time, we also bear in mind the difference in approaches of the BRICS countries towards the inclusion of political issues to the agenda.            In this piece, we utilise holistic approach to the chosen topic: various fields of activity within BRICS are scrutinised in their inextricable connection, as they determine one another. Thanks to the application of content analysis as a scientific method and the results obtained, it became possible to define the correlation between the attitude of the summit host country to the issues of political cooperation and reflection of the political agenda in the final declaration of the event.            As for the conclusions of the research paper, the author presumes that common ideologemes and principles defining BRICS performance (such as supremacy of international law, pursuance of multipolar world, adherence to equal and mutually beneficial cooperation etc.) served as a prerequisite for actual work of the group: creation of the financial institutions, holding multiple meetings at different levels, expansion of bilateral and multilateral exchange. Along with that, not only is the economic vector compatible with the political track but it also becomes the catalyst for the expansion of the agenda. This can be confirmed through consistent increase of the number of political aspects of interaction among the BRICS countries in recent years. Royal-Dutch Shell in Russia and Western Sanctions This article reports on research based on three crucial aspects of the current global economic situation. First is the role of transnational corporations (TNCs) in establishing and constructing international cooperation at the supranational level. Second is the policy of sanctions against Russia in connection with the situation in Ukraine. And third is the cooperation of Royal Dutch Shell with Russia’s Gazprom despite the political, economic and technological sanctions imposed on Russian companies and economic sectors.Analyzing Shell’s policy on the Russian energy market should reveal some kind of the managing  principle that not only Shell but most TNCs follow in taking the political atmosphere into consideration, while striving to avoid any related restrictions.The research methodology uses analytical, ultimate analysis and functional methods. The analytical method helped to lay the theoretical foundation of the research. Modern TNCs are deeply engaged in the process of economic globalization. To expand their influence, such companies create economic conditions for organizing international production with local markets and for international markets for capital, labour, and scientific and consulting services. The ultimate analysis method revealed the following pattern: in struggling for the global market, TNCs raise the level of competition, which creates a permanent need for technical innovations and scientific progress. The functional analysis method demonstrated a casual relationship in modern economic development: by assisting capital turnover and labour and transport mobility, TNCs contribute significantly to economic growth and development.The first part of the article focuses on the history and methodology of the genesis and development of TNCs as actors in global economic relations. It also reviews the current role of TNCs in the global economy. The second part of the article examines the cooperation between Shell and Gazprom embodied in their joint realization of the Sakhalin-2 project and the prospects for the Sakhalin-3 project.The final section of the article contains analytical conclusions and theoretical recommendations. The authors came to two main conclusions. First, only transparent cooperation based on fair principles can guarantee stable economic ties between countries or any kind of global companies. Second, the accumulated experience in any field of cooperation provides quick and efficient payback of even the largest project. And even if the restrictions may correct (or try to correct) only in the short term but lay a foundation for long-term regress in relations, even one successful project, based on mutual trust and respect, can lead to a breakthrough in both economic and political relations between the countries. Case study: The Transnationalization of Russian Oil and Gas Companies The value of multinational enterprises (MNEs) as the main players in the global economy is constantly increasing. More and more companies from developing and transition economies are starting to do business beyond their national borders. Not all of them strictly belong to the category of MNEs, as is the case for Russia’s largest companies.This article analyzes the international activities of Russian MNEs. The authors study the place of MNEs in the modern world and examine the transformation of the concept of an MNE in the international practice. They identify the internationally accepted criteria that classify a company as an MNE. They analyze the international activities of the largest Russian companies in the oil and gas sector (Gazprom, Rosneft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, Novatek) and their possible classification as MNEs. The article also assesses the influence of the economic and political sanctions on the international activities of Russian MNEs in the oil and gas sector.The methodological basis for the study is the dialectical method of investigating phenomena and processes in the modern world as the most effective way to achieve goals. The authors pay particular attention to the practical application of comparative economic analysis, classification and empirical generalization of original data.The authors came to seven conclusions. First, there is no single approach to defining the essence of MNEs. Second, the indicators that classify a company as an MNE can be divided into qualitative and quantitative criteria. Third, not all the large companies in Russia engaged in expanding into foreign markets can be classified as MNEs by the formal criteria. Fourth, most Russian MNEs have an unstable position in international ratings of MNEs, with the exception of Lukoil. Fifth, the main problems of Russian MNEs include the inefficiency of foreign assets, the lack of experience in managing international holdings and the longstanding crisis of the Russian economy. Sixth, political and economic sanctions severely restrict the business relationship between Russian companies (particularly oil and gas companies) and key international partners, which leads to decreased investment, disrupted implementation of many major projects plans and the decline of companies’ financial performance. Seventh, the current situation should spur Russian companies to adapt their economic policies to the new economic realities, to restore full technological and financial chains via expanding business relationships with companies in developing countries, using private sector resources and government support. The Global Governance of Renewable Energy: International Trends and Russia Recent years have seen an unprecedented explosive growth of renewable energy. The demand for global governance in this sphere has also increased. Existing energy institutes proved to be unable to take lead in global governance not only in renewables, but also in the whole energy sector. Therefore, the last 10 to 15 years have been marked by attempts to solve renewable (as well as traditional) energy problems at the informal level, or within the framework of Group of Seven/Eight, the Group of 20 and the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Moreover, authoritative organizations wholly devoted to renewable energy (such as the International Renewable Energy Agency) have emerged.This article studies the structure and trends of the modern global governance of renewable energy. The authors analyze the role and functions of traditional and new energy institutions and informal groupings, and draw parallels with global governance of the whole energy sector. They pay special attention to Russia’s participation in international renewable energy incentives.Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are applied. The article contains multiple examples of analytical research methods and a content analysis of international documents. The authors provide a quantitative analysis of Russia’s results in complying with the renewable energy commitments of informal groups.The authors conclude that traditional international energy organizations sustain a passive position toward renewable energy. The only exclusion is the International Energy Agency, which has transformed its agenda to include renewable energy. The role of informal groups has been limited (because they have broad agendas and because they were created for other tasks than promoting renewable energy). However, their efforts have a positive influence on the harmonization and development of governance in renewable energy. The article argues that on most sensitive energy-related issues (in renewables and climate change), soft governance or governance based on aims and commitments formulated by countries themselves and not by international organizations becomes most efficient; the best results are demonstrated by new agencies dedicated to renewable energy only.According to the authors, although Russia has taken part in all major relevant initiatives, the results of its efforts have been rather poor, except for the creation and implementation of the legal framework for renewable energy. Russia’s efforts have been mostly declarative in nature. The main reason for this poor performance is the low level of renewable energy development in Russia (except for large hydro), underpinned by the prevailing inertial development model of the energy sector and the whole economy. However, the rapid diffusion of renewable energy technologies in global markets may affect Russia’s oil and gas sectors negatively. Therefore, Russia should increase and improve its participation in global renewable energy governance in order to provide national energy and economic security in the long run.