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  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Dealing with North Korea resembles the board game Snakes Ladders (known in the U.S. as Chutes Ladders). The first half of this year was an especially long snake/chute. Pyongyang's missile and nuclear tests, and its general bellicosity, not only undid last year's slight gains in the Six-Party Talks (6PT), but were a strange way to greet an incoming U.S. president avowedly committed to exploring engagement with Washington's traditional foes. But what goes down must, eventually, come up, even if each time some may fear it is a case of – to change the spatial metaphor – one step forward, two steps back. As of autumn, things on the peninsula are looking up somewhat – at least relatively, if not in any absolute sense.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Graeme Dobell
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Australia's government swung from the right to the left of the political spectrum in 2007. The U.S. did the same in 2008. Yet, not much changed in the fundamentals of the 57-year-old U.S.-Australia alliance. The assertion of alliance continuity, however, comes with a major caveat: the tectonic effects being exerted by China's rise. As with the rest of the Asia-Pacific, Australia is adjusting significant aspects of its foreign and security policy to the magnetic pull of China, which was dramatized for Canberra through the middle of 2009 by an outburst of Chinese official anger directed at Australia. Other important influences to consider include the so-called “Kevin Rudd” effect, the global economic crisis, and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Australia
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Australia
  • Author: David H. Shinn
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The United States and China are the two most important bilateral, external actors in Africa today. While the United States wields more influence in most of Africa's fifty-three countries, China has surpassed it in a number of states and is challenging it in others. Both countries look to Africa as an increasingly significant source of raw materials, especially oil. China, more than the United States, views Africa from a long-term strategic perspective. Both countries seek political and economic support in international forums from African countries, which constitute more than a quarter of the membership of the United Nations. The interests of the United States and China in Africa are more similar than dissimilar. There will inevitably be some competition over access to African natural resources and political support, but there are even greater opportunities for cooperation that can benefit African nations.
  • Topic: Oil, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China
  • Author: James Kraska, Brian Wilson
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: More than 200 years ago, just as the United States was developing into a nation, corsair piracy challenged the ability of the country to conduct international trade throughout the Mediterranean Sea. While the Barbary threat was defeated, piracy continues to thrive and has become a feature of the contemporary age. Now, pirates operating off the Somali coast represent a destabilizing force in the region, and their attacks wreak havoc on world shipping markets at the very time the industry is suffering from economic collapse. Although piracy in the Horn of Africa has picked up throughout the past five years, 2008 was an especially remarkable year. In 2008, Somali pirates attacked more than one hundred vessels in the Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean. The audacity and scope of this piracy campaign is unprecedented in the modern age. Twenty thousand ships transit the Gulf of Aden annually and in 2007 about 6,500 tankers, carrying 12 percent of the world's daily oil supply, used the route. This strategic area links trade between the east and west through the neighboring Strait of Bab el-Mandeb and into the Suez Canal. Piracy also occurs in Southeast Asia, off the African west coast and in the Caribbean, but the explosion in the number and scope of incidents in the Horn of Africa has galvanized world attention. Increasingly, Somali pirates seize and hold for ransom seafarers and valuable cargo. Among the take are thirty three Russian armored tanks, 2 million barrels of crude oil valued at $100 million and tankers full of bulk chemicals.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, Southeast Asia, East Africa
  • Author: Princeton N. Lyman, Kathryn A. Robinette
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: T he election of Barack Obama as president of the United States has aroused expectations around the world, but nowhere as much as in Africa. Obama inherits a record of achievement on the continent from George W. Bush that w ill be hard to match, if not exceed. He will also be far more heavily engaged elsewhere in the world than in Africa, with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the nuclear threat from Iran, problems encompassing Russia and the worldwide economic crisis. Yet, Obama has singular potential to make his mark on Africa as neither his immediate nor earlier predecessors were able to do—that is, to carry his message of personal and political responsibility, which was emphasized in his inaugural address to African leaders. In addition, he can help empower the institutions of Africa's governments and civil society that can demand accountability, service and democracy where Africa has lagged and been held back. These steps will make American aid and trade programs—on which he can draw from an impressive Bush legacy, and which he must still improve—all the more effective.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Russia, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Katherine J. Almquist
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Since 2001, the United States has dramatically increased its commitment to development in Africa and has transformed the way it is implemented. In the last eight years, U.S. foreign assistance to sub-Saharan Africa managed by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has increased by $5.5 billion, or 340 percent. An additional $3.8 billion has been provided through Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) compacts, ten of which have been signed with sub-Saharan African countries since 2004. The United States is currently on track to meet its 2005 G-8 commitment to double aid to Africa again by 2010. This commitment of financial resources by the United States represents former President George W. Bush's vision of using America's power to help Africans improve their own lives, build their own nations and transform their own future.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Patrick Awuah is the founder and president of Ashesi University, a private liberal arts college located in Accra, Ghana. He was born in Ghana but left in the mid-1980s to pursue an education in the United States, earning a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and a master of business administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He later earned an honorary doctorate from Swarthmore College. After eight years working as a program manager and engineer for the Microsoft Corporation in Seattle, Awuah returned to his home country to found Ashesi University, currently the sole accredited coeducational liberal arts college in West Africa. Awuah solicited massive financial support from the private sector, particularly American corporate donors, like Microsoft. Beginning with a pilot class of thirty students in 2002, Ashesi University now has 352 students, 87 percent of whom are Ghanaian, and 50 percent of whom receive financial aid. Awuah has earned international acclaim for his commitment to creating a model for quality private education in Africa. He spoke to Emily Gouillart of the Journal of International Affairs about the experience of founding and building Ashesi University, the future of education in Africa and the importance of ethics in curriculum building.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: James Cohen
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Security Sector Management
  • Institution: Centre for Security Sector Management
  • Abstract: The goal of this paper is to propose principal-agent theory (PAT), a methodology adapted from economics to analyse the relations of a buyer and a seller, as a possible tool for an SSR practitioners' assessment toolbox. The added value of PAT is its capacity to analyse the relationships between actors of the security sector based on observable, measurable and tangible mechanisms that the actors utilise in controlling, resisting, and allying with other actors. This capacity to analyse these relations has been sought out in both academic critiques of SSR and from practitioners themselves. This paper is an initial proposal on the added value of PAT, in addition to demonstrating how it could be used, gaps are also identified on how to potentially take this tool forward to aid the SSR community.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert Muggah, Nat J. Colletta
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Security Sector Management
  • Institution: Centre for Security Sector Management
  • Abstract: The intensity and complexity of post-war violence routinely exceeds expectations. Many development and security specialists fear that, if left unchecked, mutating violence can potentially tip 'fragile' societies back into war. An array of 'conventional' security promotion activities are regularly advanced to prevent this from happening, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and other forms of security sector reform (SSR). Meanwhile, a host of less widely recognised examples of security promotion activities are emerging that deviate from – and also potentially reinforce – DDR and SSR. Innovation and experimentation by mediators and practitioners has yielded a range of promising activities designed to mitigate the risks and symptoms of post-war violence including interim stabilisation measures and second generation security promotion interventions. Drawing on original evidence, this article considers a number of critical determinants of post-war violence that potentially shape the character and effectiveness of security promotion on the ground. It then issues a typology of security promotion practices occurring before, during and after more conventional interventions such as DDR and SSR. Taken together, the identification of alternative approaches to security promotion implies a challenging new research agenda for the growing field of security and development.
  • Topic: Security, Development, War, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States