GW-CIBER Initiatives Focus


In carrying out our mandate, the GW-CIBER focuses on research, teaching, and outreach in five substantive areas under the unifying theme of Institutions, Policies, and Development in International Business, which leverages GW’s campus-wide faculty expertise in these topics and its location in Washington, DC. Institutions are the rules and norms that govern and shape the interactions of individuals around the globe. Policies indicate a course of action for individuals toward identified goals. Development is the broad concept encompassing growth and progress in both economic and human dimensions.


Focal Areas

Trade, Investment, and Employment Issues

International trade, international investment, and cross-border capital flows are at the heart of US competitiveness and IB. Free flows of goods, services, capital, and labor have the ability to enhance world welfare by putting resources where they are most productive, but are often impeded by policies that make crossing national borders difficult or impossible. US competitiveness is often embodied in its ability to export manufactured goods, but in reality encompasses many other elements including trade in services (including financial services); attracting capital from abroad that, in turn, improves employment opportunities in the US; and performance of US investment abroad in generating income and employment back in the US.

Under the GW-CIBER theme, patterns of flows between the US and the emerging and developing markets are of prime interest in this focal area.

Coordinators: Michael Moore & Susan Sell

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Leveraging Diaspora Populations

Diasporans – migrants and their descendants living outside their countries of origin – are prevalent throughout the US, and today these groups are able to connect with their home countries in ways not achievable in the past. As a result, diasporans have emerged as important changemakers, influencing both institutions and policies, in both their home and host countries, and improving both civil society and the commercial environment. Diaspora communities facilitate commerce by encouraging US exports and investment through improved information flows and contract enforcement in international transactions with their home countries, and diaspora entrepreneurs often enjoy preferential access to their country-of-origin markets. Thus, they can play a key role in opening and expanding US business opportunities in those countries through entrepreneurship and playing leading roles in US multinational operations there.

Coordinators: Liesl Riddle & Jennifer Brinkerhoff

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Energy, Land Management, and Environmental Sustainability

Oil continues to be the global economy’s most highly traded commodity, and concerns about its extraction and environmental sustainability are escalating. Land-management controversies have also expanded beyond energy and other extractive industries to include agricultural land uses and impacts on the environment; real property (and improvements) and sustainability; and ownership (including foreign ownership) and resource rights. US competitiveness in the global economy will depend on deep understanding of this focal area.

Coordinators: Robert Weiner & Michael Moore

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The Intersection of Business, Government, and Civil Society

Corporate pursuit of profits increasingly gives rise to issues involving government and the public, and US competitiveness depends on a thorough understanding of these issues around the world. Relationships between business and government have become complicated as they have become deeper, and simultaneously more contentious, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Businesses and their industry associations now recognize that presence in the world’s capitals is a requirement. In development, more public infrastructure projects are being financed and managed by the private sector, and more government functions are being privatized. Thus, the intersection of business and government is continuously being reconstructed. Similarly, the intersection of business and civil society has changed throughout the world, and businesses feel more pressure to develop programs on corporate social responsibility. GWSB has long been recognized as an innovative business school that provides students with a deep understanding of how the private, public, and NGO sectors interact.

Coordinators: Robert Weiner & Jennifer Brinkerhoff

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Innovation and Property Rights

Innovation is perhaps the single greatest determinant of the competitiveness of a firm, as well as the driving force behind national economic growth. Institutions and policies related to innovation and property rights affect US firms’ incentives to make investments in training, develop new knowledge, and invent new technologies. They also help determine firms’ best strategies for competing internationally, gaining access to resources while managing institutional weaknesses. Globally, more needs to be done to protect intellectual property, especially insofar as it affects inventiveness and human progress (e.g., in the pharmaceutical industry).

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Coordinators: Anupama Phene & Susan Sell