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  • Author: Dana Shell Smith
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Six months into my tenure as the United States Ambassador to the State of Qatar, I have learned a great deal about the complex identity of this small, proud nation. Qatar's leaders believe the best way to promote stability and stop the spread of violent extremism in the region is for governments to be responsive to the needs of their people. Although he commands one of the smallest militaries in the region, the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is overseeing one of the most ambitious and comprehensive military modernization programs in the world. Though culturally conserva­tive, Doha has welcomed branch campuses of six American universities with an eye toward blending its traditional heritage with the cutting edge practices of Western liberal arts and sciences. In only a few decades, Qatar has transformed from a developing nation to a financial powerhouse with the highest per capita income in the world.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Deborah R. Malac
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Liberia and the United States have a long history, but since the end of Liberia's bloody civil war in 2003, the relationship has been closer and warmer than ever. Over the past nearly dozen years, the United States has been the largest bilateral partner assisting Liberia in its efforts to rebuild and recover from conflict. We have invested heavily in Liberia's future, working principally through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Peace Corps to reestablish health care delivery, strengthen governance and institutions, educate thousands of children and train teachers, rebuild the armed forces and train police, and spur private sector-led economic growth. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been a strong partner in our mutual commitment to advance democratic values, stressing private sector-led growth and ensuring regional security. Indeed, as we entered the beginning of 2014, the future looked bright for Liberia as the fruits of our and others' investments were poised to show dividends; little did we know the shock that awaited us.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Rosa Whitaker
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Fifteen years ago, when President Bill Clinton signed the landmark African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) into law, the United States opened the door to a new way of engaging with Africa. The new trade initiative, which gave duty- and quota-free access to the $11 trillion US market for over 6,000 African products, represented an important paradigm shift in the relationship between the United States and Africa, from one based on charity and paternalism to one of respect and partnership. For the first time African leaders were at the table, working with members of the United States Congress on both sides of the aisle to craft a US policy initiative that gave African nations a powerful tool to seek sustainable, market-based solutions to the continent's seemingly intractable poverty.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Douglas Lute
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: At the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Wales on September 4-5, 2014, NATO leaders were clear about the security challenges on the Alliance's borders. In the East, Russia's actions threaten our vision of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. On the Alliance's southeastern border, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's campaign of terror poses a threat to the stability of the Middle East and beyond. To the south, across the Mediterranean, Libya is becoming increasingly unstable.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Libya
  • Author: Deborah A. McCarthy
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: January 13 is known as “Bloody Sunday” in Lithuania. Shortly after midnight on that date in 1991, Soviet tanks and infantry combat vehicles rolled in the darkness toward the Vilnius TV Tower. Tens of thousands of unarmed Lithuanians awaited them there, singing songs of defiance. After the troops encircled the crowd, loudspeakers falsely announced that the “separatist” Lithuanian government had been overthrown. “Go back to your parents and children,” the recorded voice urged. The crowd was incredulous. At 1:50 a.m., the soldiers opened fire and the tanks lurched forward. 14 civilians died and over 700 were wounded. Lithuanians sitting in front of televisions across the country can still recall with chilling clarity the final broadcasted images—a Soviet soldier knocking down a camera and the last words from the anchor desk. Then the televisions went dark.
  • Author: Susan M. Elliott
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When the Soviet Union collapsed over two decades ago, the United States was one of the first nations to recognize Tajikistan as an independent country. Shortly thereafter, a civil war began that lasted for five years and caused considerable death and destruction. Even as fighting diminished in the late 1990s, the suffering of the Tajik people continued. Hunger stalked the land. Damage to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure in some parts of the country was extensive. Economic prospects were bleak because the war had interfered with market development. The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other agencies, began humanitarian relief efforts to help provide basic nutrition to those hardest hit by the devastation of war. In the years since, US assistance programs have evolved from providing only humanitarian assistance to building human capacity and creating long-term, sustainable economic development.
  • Political Geography: United States, Tajikistan
  • Author: Robert Muse
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Hilary Clinton said in a recent interview that she would like to see the United States "move toward normalizing relations" with Cuba. This remarkable statement—from quite possibly the next president—came at the end of a critique of the current U.S. policy that insists on political and other reforms in Cuba as a precondition for modifying the current sanctions the U.S. imposes on that country.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alberto Bernal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: On July 20, 2010, President Juan Manuel Santos promised the 9 million voters who had just elected him to his first term that he would build on the foundation created “by a giant, our President Álvaro Uribe.” He declared that Colombia could now look to the future with hope, thanks to the multiple successes that Uribe had achieved during his eight years in power.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Juanita León
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: After three years of negotiations with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia (Revloutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has decided to go all-in on securing peace for his country. His political and personal commitment became clear earlier this year when he staked his entire campaign for his second term in office on being the candidate of peace. His inauguration, and inaugural speech, drew heavily on the rhetoric and symbols of peace, with multiple images of white doves, including dove lapel pins for the guests.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, Nelson Camilo Sanchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Ultimately, the success of any peace agreement between the Colombian government and the country's largest guerrilla group, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC), will hinge on reconciliation. A successful process of reconciliation requires finding the balance between defending the rights of victims and gaining the trust of former combatants—members of the armed forces and the FARC—that they are not being unfairly punished.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Jenny Manrique
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In August, the 27th round of negotiations between the Colombian government and delegates from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) took place in Havana. Since November 2012, both sides have been negotiating behind closed doors to search for ways to end the 50-year-old civil war that has killed more than 200,000 and displaced almost 6 million Colombians.
  • Topic: War
  • Author: Ramon Campos Iriarte
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The recent 50th anniversary of the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army—ELN) led journalist Ramón Campos Iriarte to the jungles of Colombia's western Chocó province, where open war between guerrillas, government forces and paramilitary groups has been escalating. The ELN—self-defined as a Marxist-Leninist organization influenced by liberation theology—was created on July 4, 1964, in the mountains of central Colombia by a group of students and clerics inspired by the Cuban Revolution.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Cuba
  • Author: Alejandro Eder Garcés
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Colombia finds itself at a watershed in the country's history. With the possible end to over half a century of violence, a new peaceful future beckons. But Colombia's much-desired peace will not just fall from the sky. It will have to be built by all Colombians through an arduous, perhaps decades-long process.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Ricardo Argüello
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Armed conflict and the presence of non-state armed actors harm both agricultural production and rural households' well-being, for at least two broad reasons. First, conflict disrupts economic activities by hampering access to critical inputs and markets. As a result, producers may reduce or curtail planting or harvesting. Second, rural producers face an unpredictable environment for making economic decisions. Armed actors may “tax” producers, coerce them into growing particular crops (licit and illicit) or require them to follow their rules regarding production and land use. In these cases, farmers grow what will produce the least risk to their quality of life and safety.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Marcela Prieto
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: From its very beginning, Colombia's peace process has aroused enormous expectations, not only within Colombian borders, but also in the international community. The negotiation is, in good measure, the result of the “Policy of Democratic Security” adopted by President Álvaro Uribe Vélez during his two terms (2002 to 2010), which helped limit the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC), weakened the group structurally and turned the dynamic of the armed confrontation back in the state's favor.
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Susan Segal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: For almost two decades, I have watched entrepreneurship explode across Latin America and the Caribbean, empowering citizens, transforming economies and changing lives. In sectors ranging from restaurants and small manufacturing to high tech, entrepreneurs are changing the economic and social landscape of the region. Perhaps most important, they are also generating jobs. Across the region, 60 percent of employees work for businesses with five or fewer employees. In Mexico, 72 percent of employment comes from micro-, small- and medium-size businesses. In Brazil, small enterprises create two out of every three jobs.
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, Mexico
  • Author: Richard E. Feinberg, Michael Voss, Collin Laverty, Fernando Sáez, Inés Aslan, Margaret Crahan, Maria Hinojosa
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: When Cuban President Raúl Castro appointed Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez as first vice president last year, little was known about the man who looks set to become the first Cuban leader in more than half a century who is not a Castro. He still maintains a low profile and is generally cautious in public pronouncements on domestic issues and foreign affairs.
  • Author: Yaima Doimeadios, Vilma Hidalgo
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: After nearly 20 years, the dual currency system enacted by Cuba to help mitigate the economic shock from the collapse of the Soviet Union is set to be retired. As part of the government's efforts to develop the country's socialist economy, the Cuban government recently announced that it would unify its complicated currency system.
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union, Cuba
  • Author: Alana Tummino, Allie Fleder
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: A palpable energy is reinvigorating the once-stagnant Cuban economy. Entrepreneurial businesses—spanning all sectors and industries—are springing up across the island. Walking through the streets of Havana, Santa Clara or Camagüey, it's hard not to trip over construction sites for private restaurants, or see the storefronts offering manicures, haircuts, cell phone repairs, or colorful artwork.
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Island, Havana
  • Author: Richard E. Feinberg
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In the coming months, the United States is going to face a tough choice: either alter its policy toward Cuba or face the virtual collapse of its diplomacy in Latin America. The upcoming Summit of the Americas, the seventh meeting of democratically elected heads of state throughout the Americas, due to convene in April 2015 in Panama, will force the Barack Obama administration to choose between its instincts to reset Cuba policy to coincide more closely with hemispheric opinion and its fears of a domestic political backlash.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Cuba, Latin America, Panama
  • Author: Joydeep Mukherji
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Colombia has already had the foresight and wisdom to analyze the experience of other countries in bringing internal conflicts to an end—including South Africa, the Philippines and Northern Ireland. As I write, representatives of the conflicting parties in Northern Ireland have just finished meeting Colombian government and FARC negotiators.
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Philippines, Colombia, North Ireland
  • Author: Daniel H. Levine
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis aroused enthusiasm—and expectations—in Latin America. As the first pope of non-European origin in nearly 1,300 years, and the first ever from Latin America, he embodies both hopes and concerns for the future of the Catholic Church in this part of the world.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Sam Quiñones
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In 2014, a rumor spread through Central America that anyone who hoped to reunify with family members in the United States should leave immediately. The rumor, apparently picked up and relayed by one or more television reporters in Honduras, was unequivocal: it was now or never.
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America
  • Author: Eduardo Guerrero, Alejandro Hope
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Just look at the numbers; violence and murder are decreasing. When Mexican President Felipe Calderón left office in 2012, the nation's war on the drug cartels had already claimed 60,000 lives. Now, two years into the presidency of his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, security conditions are still far from praiseworthy, but have improved in several key areas.
  • Political Geography: Mexico
425. Innovators
  • Author: Kate Brick, Mari Hayman, Rebecca Bintrim
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Some of our hemisphere's emerging leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the arts.
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Katerina Valdivieso
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: As host of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, Peru has assumed a challenging burden. Ministers and high representatives of 195 countries and international organizations, along with roughly 15,000 visitors, will gather in Lima to mark the 20th annual session of the Conference of the Parties (known as COP 20)—the governing body of the international convention. The work plan is as challenging as the conference logistics: delegates are expected to draft a document that will serve as the basis of a multinational agreement on reducing global warming, to be signed in Paris in 2015.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: Paris, Peru
  • Author: Richard André
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico, Arizona
  • Author: Timothy J. Power, Marcos Troyjo
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Fresh, unique perspectives on recent books from across the hemisphere originally published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The Resilience of the Latin American Right Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global Power
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Wilda Escarfuller
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Our hemisphere produces some of the best (and best paid) athletes in the world. Unfortunately, many of our soccer (futbol) players go on to play in Europe, where the contracts and endorsements are better. For the same reason, two of those who top the list of baseball player salaries from Venezuela—Cabrera and Santana—playing in U.S. instead of their home country.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Venezuela
  • Author: Bashir Goth
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: True to these seminal lines of Yusuf Xaji Adan Qabile, Magool has blossomed ever since, destined to enthrall the Somali-speaking peoples of the Horn of Africa and beyond with her captivating voice over the next forty-plus years…never to be silenced as long as a person who speaks Somali lives on the face of the earth.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Ruth M. Smith
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: Dumarka Soomaaliyeed Voices Unveiled (DSVU) is a narrative participatory photography project that engaged young Somali women in photography and storytelling to create an exhibit exploring participants' experiences of being Muslim Somali women in the diaspora. This method was developed by participants throughout the course of the project and has roots in participatory action research methodology as well as other arts initiatives within the Somali diaspora. This article will define narrative participatory photography and offer a framework for future arts-based research initiatives within the diaspora. I will situate this project among other arts initiatives in the Somali diaspora as important sites for the research of Somali experiences of diasporic identity. Finally, a photo-essay of selected work from the exhibit offers an example of this methodology at work and presents the way in which this research study engages cultural and religious identity amongst young Somali women in the diaspora.
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Faduma Abukar Mursal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: The concept of diaspora has attracted much attention in the scholarly debate on migration, and has also entered into public discourse, even being appropriated by migrants themselves. For instance, the term diasborada is now part of the Somali vocabulary, referring not only to a named phenomenon integral to Somali realities but to a particular group of people. It refers specifically to Somali migrants who have mobilized themselves as a political formation under the label “diaspora” to negotiate their role as agents of social change. Further, claims of Somali migrants have gained recognition in Somalia, where people apply this social category to them. This process of claim making and recognition of the diaspora is pervaded with a seemingly universalist discourse which addresses all migrants outside a “homeland.” Yet, naming and claim making processes are situated within power relations, which involve ways of silencing some migrants and making them invisible and which, therefore, require careful attention. The statement quoted above, made by Hassan, a Somali refugee who has been living in Cairo for the last few years, is an example of voice who resist the discourse of “diaspora.” Although Hassan lives outside of Somalia, he denies being a member of the so-called diaspora, a term that he associates more specifically with Somali migrants living in the global North, that is, in “the other abroad.” Drawing on four months of ethnographic fieldwork among Somali forced migrants in Cairo in 2013, this paper illustrates one way in which the term of diaspora is used by forced migrants and analyzes the meaning it takes in a particular setting. The next section presents briefly ways in which the concept of diaspora has been framed in scholarly discussions, emphasizing the recent trend of conceptualizing the diaspora as a political project. In line with Kleist's (2008a) suggestion that diaspora is a “concept of a political nature that might be at once claimed by and attributed to different groups and subjects” (2008a:307, emphasis in original), this paper explores the construction of the category of diaspora from the perspective of forced migrants. Following that, a brief history of Somali migration to Egypt is provided as a backdrop for presenting varying profiles of Somali migrants living in Cairo today. In this old and densely populated city, the figure of the forced migrant is constructed as the opposite of the “Somali Westerner”—that is, the Somali who has acquired citizenship in a western country. The third section of the paper shows how Somali forced migrants in Cairo earns a living and which solidarity networks they are part of. This will help to explain why Somali forced migrants contrast the precarious conditions of their lives with those of Somali Westerners. The last section explores the ways in which my informants in Cairo, in their everyday practices and encounters with Somali Westerners, refuse to apply the term “diaspora” to themselves. Indeed, the informants established a distinction between them as Somali forced migrants and the diaspora, that are Somali Westerners who are associated with mobility, economic, and social agency. Disavowing any connection to the category of diaspora allows them to exclude themselves from public discourse mobilizing the “diaspora” as part of the country's economic development. Moreover, this distinction allows them to address the Somali state and present themselves as particular group of citizens who have particular needs, for example the improvement of life conditions in Egypt and the negotiation of the conditions for return.
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Somalia
  • Author: Mohamed Omar Hashi
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: From the 1940s to the 1970s, the world witnessed considerable and tumultuous change. This change was, on the one hand, based on the independence realized by the territories that European empires had controlled during the colonial era. On the other hand, just as the struggle against colonial rule ended, new conflicts erupted in many of these newly independent nations. In contrast to the colonial era, after the culmination of the Cold War, which reshaped the world order, the number of newly independent states unable to fulfill their obligations to their citizens increased. Such failures became apparent as states failed to provide a certain level of functions that would ensure both the security and the well-being of their respective populations. Although such crises of statehood are often depicted as mainly internal in nature, their roots and ramifications transcend the intrastate and are often ignored in the literature. While there was an increase in violence, some scholars attempted to identify the reasons underlying the failure of such states to perform key functions. In doing so, the debate was joined by a body of literature that offered the common assumption that these conflicts usually come under a state's failure. The “failed state” notion became prominent among people in diplomatic, political, and academic circles, as it gradually became rooted in the literature. While in the beginning it concentrated on states within Africa, the label was embraced as an international concern in the aftermath of the “9/11” terror attacks on Mohamed Omar Hashi 79 the twin towers in New York City. As a result, failed states were seen as a threat to international security since such states could potentially offer a safe haven to terrorist organizations. Although virtually no one disagrees that the majority of supposed failed states suffer many severe political, security, and socioeconomic challenges, the failed-state thesis has come up short in sufficiently elucidating the development of such obstacles. Furthermore, there is a lack of clarity and much disagreement, often governed by subjective interpretations, in the academic and policy discourse over how to define the concept and when and how it should be used. This brief essay acts as a beginning critique of the failed-states discourse and thought. The intention is to highlight the problems associated with the current debates. It is not the aim here to present a new approach. The essay will begin with a quick analysis of the theoretical- cum-policy debates underpinning state failure. Thereafter, observation will be made on the apparent growing international security and political interest in the state-failure thesis, with particular reference to the recently emerging pathology of terrorism and its implications for those countries labelled as failed.
  • Political Geography: New York, Europe
  • Author: Abdirahaman dan Mohamoud
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: Every year, a series of graduation ceremonies are organized at the local institutions of higher learning in Somaliland, where hundreds of new graduates emerge from the local universities. The main fields of study at the universities often overlap. Business administration, management, education, law, economics, ICT, and, to a lesser extent, medicine and engineering are the largest concentration areas.
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Nick Thieberger, Nadia Faragaab
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: New technologies offer access to unprecedented amounts of information and, while the equitable cost of access has been a major problem for distribution of such information, which is now changing. Mobile devices are becoming cheaper so more people from a wider range of backgrounds and speaking a wider range of languages are using the Internet. Support for the many less commonly spoken languages of the world has become a focus in the academic discipline of linguistics. This includes developing a presence for these languages on the web and in mobile devices. This brief report discusses one such example: the Somali-English Dictionary application (app), released in June 2014 by a Melbourne, Australia, team headed by the Somali artist Nadia Faragaab.
  • Political Geography: Australia, Somalia, Melbourne
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: I begin this brief note by wishing all of our readers a new year that brings great blessings to all! The contents of this volume range from an arresting and commemorative essay on the life of one of the most mag- nificent of all Somali fannaaniin , Halimo Khalif (Magool), to women in the diaspora, to specific recommendations for addressing the wor- risome issue of job creation for the many young graduates from the universities in Somaliland—the latter a phenomenon so conspicu- ously observable among the Somali youth in every part of the Horn of Africa.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Brian Dodwell, Marielle Ness
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Captain Robert A. Newson, U.S. Navy, is a Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) officer who most recently led strategy and concept development for the Naval Special Warfare Command. Previously, he commanded Special Operations Command (Forward) in Yemen and Naval Special Warfare Support Activity, a cross-functional intelligence operations command, and served as director of the Joint Interagency Task Force – Counter Terrorism. Captain Newson is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the Naval Postgraduate School with distinction. He is a PhD candidate at the University of San Diego.
  • Political Geography: United States, Yemen
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: Relationships between entities form an important element of warfare. In the current conflict in Iraq and Syria, the military alignment (or lack thereof) of states will likely be a key determinant in the eventual outcome. However, states are not the only actors within Iraq-Syria that are forming and evolving in their relationships with others. Over the past several months, one interesting facet in regards to relationships between actors involved in the conflict has been how the Islamic State has received and accepted a number of pledges from other organizations and groups in its quest to establish and expand its caliphate.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: I can think of no 'happy ending' scenario to this unfolding saga: like malaria, it is a malaise that has nested since British accession back in 1973, and erupts from time to time, though the current eruption is potentially of fatal proportions.
  • Author: Jan Klabbers
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article discusses the ongoing transformation of international organizations law. It first provides an overview (an anatomy) of the paradigmatic theory concerning the law of international organizations: the theory of functionalism. Subsequently, it investigates how functionalism came about and how, from the 1960s onwards, its flaws increasingly became visible. The argument, in a nutshell, is that functionalism, as a theory concerned with relations between international organizations and their member states, has little or nothing to say about the effects of international organizations on third parties – non-member states, individuals and others. Moreover, it is often applied to entities that can hardly be deemed 'functional' in accordance with the theory. All of this is increasingly viewed as problematic and forces functionalism to adapt. Whether it can do so is questionable, though, since some of its problems are structural rather than contingent. Things are illustrated by the invocation of the United Nations's possible responsibility for causing (or failing to prevent) the outbreak of cholera in Haiti.
  • Author: Janina Dill
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article introduces three ways in which a state at war can attempt to accommodate the often contradictory demands of military necessity and humanitarianism – three 'logics' of waging war. The logics of sufficiency, efficiency and moral liability differently distribute the harm and destruction that waging war inevitably causes. International law demands belligerents follow the logic of sufficiency. Contemporary strategic imperatives, to the contrary, put a premium on waging war efficiently. Cross-culturally shared expectations of proper state conduct, however, mean killing in war ought to fit the logic of moral liability. The latter proves entirely impracticable. Hence, a belligerent faces a choice: (i) renounce the right and capacity to use large-scale collective force in order to meet public expectations of morally appropriate state conduct (logic of liability); (ii) defy those expectations as well as international law and follow strategic imperatives (logic of efficiency) and (iii) follow international law (logic of sufficiency), which is inefficient and will be perceived as illegitimate. This is the 21st-century belligerent's trilemma.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Amanda Alexander
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article questions the conventional histories of international humanitarian law, which view international humanitarian law as the heir to a long continuum of codes of warfare. It demonstrates instead that the term international humanitarian law first appeared in the 1970s, as the product of work done by various actors pursuing different ends. The new idea of an international humanitarian law was codified in the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. Nevertheless, many of the provisions of the Protocols remained vague and contested, and their status, together with the humanitarian vision of the law they outlined, was uncertain for some time. It was only at the end of the 20th century that international lawyers, following the lead of human rights organizations, declared Additional Protocol I to be authoritative and the law of war to be truly humanitarian. As such, this article concludes that international humanitarian law is not simply an ahistorical code, managed by states and promoted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Rather, it is a relatively new and historically contingent field that has been created, shaped and dramatically reinterpreted by a variety of actors, both traditional and unconventional.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Geneva
  • Author: Bart L. Smit Duijzentkunst
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: When a peace process involves contention over land boundaries, parties may consent to resolve their dispute through arbitration. Yet while tribunals resolve disputes on paper, their awards often fail to bring peace in practice. Initial consent to arbitration does not guarantee a successful outcome: once granted, consent can wax and wane, it can be delivered under duress and it can be withdrawn as fast as it is given. This article explores the consent management dynamics that shape – and are shaped by – the arbitral process. Drawing on scholarship from peacekeeping and relational contract theory, it develops a model that explains why consent to arbitration differs from consent to a peace process. It then applies the model to examine strategies that tribunals have used to bridge this gap. Case studies involving the Brčko District in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Eritrea–Ethiopia Boundary Commission and the Abyei arbitration demonstrate how arbitrators manipulate procedural and substantive law to maintain consent. The three cases also offer insights into the varying success of consent management strategies. The article plots these cases onto the model to draw lessons for future arbitrations on the basis of one simple but crucial question: 'Who should consent to what?'
  • Political Geography: Ethiopia
  • Author: Ulf Linderfalk
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Although treaty interpretation is undoubtedly an activity governed by international law, and by Articles 31–33 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) in particular, some commentators continue repeating the pre-Vienna adage that treaty interpretation is a matter of art and not science, the implication of which is that no understanding of a treaty provision can ever be explained rationally. As the present article argues, this idea of interpretation must be rejected. While, sometimes, an assumed meaning of a treaty cannot be justified based on international law simpliciter, many times it can still be explained based on the structural framework of Articles 31–33 of the VCLT. Consequently, any characterization of treaty interpretation in the abstract as either art or science is misplaced. Whether treaty interpretation is an art or a science remains a question of fact inextricably tied to the approach taken by each and every law-applying agent in particular cases.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: We deal in EJIL with the world we live in – often with its worst and most violent pathologies, often with its most promising signs of hope for a better world. But, inevitably, since our vehicle is scholarship, we reify this world.
  • Political Geography: France
  • Author: Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Building on the heightened attention that the optic of judicial selection receives in the world of international courts, this article focuses its attention on one particular criterion that is gaining in importance in that respect: gender. By choosing the European Court of Human Rights as a case in point, the article provides a unique analysis of the history of the 2004 Resolution of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly that formulated a rule of gender balance on the list of candidates presented by states for the post of judge at the Court. It first unearths the dynamics that allowed the adoption of the rule as well as all of the fierce opposition it triggered as well as the ways in which counter-mobilization eventually prevailed and watered down the initial rule, with the help of states, the Committee of Ministers and the Court itself (which delivered its first advisory opinion on the topic in 2008). It then looks beyond the static analysis of the rule as a mere constraint and addresses in a more dynamic fashion the multiple interpretations, strategies and, ultimately, politics it opens up. By providing a unique qualitative, comparative and exhaustive analysis of the curriculum vitae of all the 120-odd women who were ever listed as candidates to the Strasbourg judicial bench (1959–2012), the article delivers original data and analyses both the features that women candidates put forth when listed for the job and the strategies of states with regard to the gender criterion. It concludes that while there is a strong proportion of candidates that support the notion that states do not differentiate according to gender or require different qualities from men and women candidates, there is a comparable proposition that contrarily indicates that the world of international judicial appointments is far from gender neutral.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Françoise Tulkens
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Having spent almost 14 years as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, the author responds to and shares the critical view expressed by Hennette Vauchez in her article on the presence of women judges at the European Court of Human Rights. Some steps forward have admittedly been made through the voluntary action of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, but there has also been resistance in the implementation of these new rules. The gains are fragile and there are risks of regression. This situation confirms Kenney's analysis: women's progress is not natural, inevitable nor irreversible. A reaction is all the more necessary and urgent since, in the coming months of 2015 and subsequently, many elections of judges to the Court will take place, due in particular to the non-renewable nine-year term of office of judges introduced by Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article responds to a thoughtful intervention by Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez documenting the selection process for women seeking judicial appointment to the European Court of Human Rights. Written in the context of the author's experience as candidate for appointment to the Court, the analysis concentrates on the gendered dimensions of international institutional cultures, habits and practices that frame selection to judicial office as much as any formally applicable rules. I explore the ways in which ostensible access to international judicial bodies conceals the manifold ways in which Courts are coded masculine, and how female candidacy requires careful deliberation on performance, presentation and identity. Drawing on 'new institutionalism' theory, I underscore that female presence alone rarely undoes embedded institutional practices. Rather, transforming institutional practices and values must parallel female presence, thereby redefining the institution and the forms of power it exercises. The article concludes by reflecting on the importance of feminist judging, and argues that it is precisely the transformative political and legal changes sought by self-defined feminists that may stand the best chance of undoing the structures, habits and practices that continue to exclude women from being appointed and from engaging on terms of full equality when they arrive.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paolo Lobba
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Litigation concerning domestic restrictions on Holocaust denial has produced a 30-year-long jurisprudence of the European Court and European Commission of Human Rights. In spite of solemnly declared principles on free speech, the Strasbourg organs have progressively developed an exceptional regime in this regard based on the 'abuse clause' envisaged under Article 17. Had this detrimental treatment remained confined to its original sphere, it could have perhaps been considered as a negligible issue. However, the scope of the abuse clause was extended to encompass a growing class of utterances, including the denial of historical facts other than the Nazi genocide. This piece begins by examining the Strasbourg case law on Holocaust denial, with a view to enucleating the effects, scope and conditions of applicability of the special regime based upon Article 17. Once the shortcomings implied by this detrimental discipline have been exposed, it shall be argued that all expressions should be dealt with under the ordinary necessity test, in which the abuse clause ought to operate as an interpretative principle. In the alternative, and as a minimum, the Court should pay due regard to the political and social context of the country where restrictions on free speech were enforced, setting aside the uniquely harsh treatment reserved for Holocaust denial.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Helmut Philipp Aust
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Cities are beginning to assert themselves as internationally relevant actors. This is particularly noticeable in the climate change context. This development has so far not been accorded a great deal of attention by international lawyers. The review essay discusses four new books by political scientists which offer us a closer look at the political dimension of 'global cities', a term originally coined by sociologist Saskia Sassen. The four books under review as well as this essay pay particular attention to the C40 association – a movement of self-styled city leaders in climate change governance. This group of cities has developed numerous ties with international organizations and private corporations. The review essay analyses how cooperative endeavours such as C40 challenge our understanding of the relationship between the city and the state and assesses how international law as a discipline could come to terms with these developments. It is argued that international law should fulfil two functions in this regard: recognition and contestation. Whereas cities may not yet be recognized subjects of international law, they are moving closer to this illustrious circle. In any case, their law-making processes are beginning to have a significant impact on processes of global governance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Law, Governance
  • Author: Jochen von Bernstorff
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Global economic justice as a topic of moral philosophy and international law is back on the intellectual agenda and figures prominently in feuilletons, blogs and academic publications. A wave of recent studies by both international lawyers and moral philosophers on the dark side of economic globalization and the role of international law in this context is as such a remarkable phenomenon. The essay engages with diverging scholarly perspectives on global justice and international law as represented in the four volumes under review. Three substantive questions structure the non-comprehensive sketch of the global justice debate: (i) Is the current international economic order unjust? (ii) Can existing international legal rules and institutions be transformed or developed into a more just economic order? (iii) What is the potential role of international lawyers in this context?
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Law
  • Author: Andreas Th. Müller
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Anne Peters' most recent book is an equally important and topical contribution to the international law discourse. At the core of her voluminous œuvre lies, as the subtitle indicates, the question of the 'legal status of the individual in public international law'. At the same time, the title Beyond Human Rights conveys the idea that the co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and former president of the European Society of International Law does not cover the subject matter in its entirety but, rather, has opted to leave aside, or rather to presuppose, the very area of international law where one would be inclined to look first for insight and inspiration, namely international human rights law. As the author acknowledges herself, international human rights are 'the pivotal and completely undisputed element of the international legal status of the individual' (at 27). In contrast, Peters' own study sets out for the more open and uncharted territory of so-called 'simple' rights and duties. It is with this peculiar perspective that the book seeks to tackle its guiding question – that is, how the phenomenon of a strongly increasing number of individual rights and duties that may be observed in contemporary international law 'can be described, systematised, and evaluated in a legally sound manner' (at 2).
  • Author: Annamaria Viterbo
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Developments over the last years have dramatically changed the field of monetary law. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the presence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in mainstream media has become constant, with international lawyers increasingly focusing on financial and monetary issues. Accordingly, international economic law studies and debates have gained a prominence unseen before. Nevertheless, in spite of the great importance the IMF has acquired, academic publications dedicated to it remain rather scarce. Therefore, the book Poteri e interventi del Fondo monetario internazionale by Giovanna Adinolfi comes at a time when an in-depth reflection on the IMF is greatly needed, thus filling a gap in academic research.
  • Author: Elaine Kellman
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Poverty and the International Economic Legal System is an edited collection of essays arising out of a conference held at the University of Basel in October 2011 with the intention of establishing a research agenda on the specific and previously under-explored relationship between poverty and international laws of trade, investment and finance. The book is divided into four parts. Following a brief introductory section in Part 1, contributions in Part 2 examine how the international laws of trade, investment, arbitration and finance impact on states' abilities to fulfil their duty to reduce poverty. Adopting a capabilities approach, Part 3 addresses the effects of international economic law on populations that are particularly susceptible to poverty or its effects, and, in Part 4, contributors take a step back to consider the key question underpinning the book – that is, whether states actually have duties to reduce poverty and, if so, what the character of such duties is. Given the breadth of the material considered, this review will focus on Parts 2 and 4.
  • Author: Şener Aktürk
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes Turkish-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War (1992-2014) from a neorealist perspective, while highlighting relevant analogies and major turning points. Georgia (2008), Syria (2011--), and Ukraine (2014--) crises have has been detrimental for the two countries, mutual economic interests with strategic significance, such as the increasing importance of Turkey as a potential reseller of Russian natural gas, have sustained a high level of cooperation between the two countries.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Syria
  • Author: Mehmet Özkan
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's foreign policy in Africa has achieved more than what initially has been planned as Opening to Africa in the last decade. A new post-2014 vision for Africa is necessity for variety of reasons including the tiredness among some segments of society and some state institutions. This article outlines the challenges fort his vision and put forward some ideas for the future of Turkey-Africa relations. The underlying point is that time has come for partnership with other actor in Africa to deepen further the relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey
  • Author: Olexiy Haran, Maria Zolkina
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Mass protests in Maidan, the central square of Kyiv, during the bitter cold winter of 2013-2014, known as 'Euromaidan' or 'Revolution of Dignity' were non-violent for more than two months. The demonstrations began when, under Russian pressure, former President Viktor Yanukovych abruptly resisted in signing the long promised Association Agreement with the EU. However, when President Yanukovych, reputed for his corruption and authoritarian style, responded to the peaceful protests by violent repression, Euromaidan quickly moved beyond its initial slogans and demanded the president's resignation. In February 2014, after security forces started to shoot protesters, Ukraine became one of the only countries in the world where a hundred people died “under the EU flags” defending democracy and the European choice. In this context, according to the agreement signed on February 21, 2014, between the opposition and President Yanukovych, the parliament returned to the 2004 constitutional reform and, consequently, combined a parliamentary-presidential form of government. The 2004 constitutional reform had previously been unconstitutionally abolished by President Yanukovych in 2010 and its restoration was among the main demands of the Euromaidan.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Zuri Linetsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: At the conclusion of the summer 2014 Gaza War Israel, Hamas, and the P.A. agreed to meet in Cairo, Egypt to discuss a long-term ceasefire. The goal of this summit was to allow for Gaza to rebuild itself, and for political changes associated with June's Unity Government deal between the P.A. and Hamas to take effect. The summit has since been postponed. However, Gaza still requires significant financial and material aid in order to function and provide for its people. This work examines the economic and security benefits to all parties involved of a long-term ceasefire between Israel, and Hamas. An economically open Gaza benefits Israel, the P.A. and Hamas, with few associated costs and creates an opportunity to reinvigorate final status negotiations.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Kristen Sarah Biehl
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The growing flow of international migration to Turkey has serious implications for the social, economic and spatial transformation of recipient cities across the country. This paper highlights some of these implications by discussing findings from an ethnographic case study carried out in an inner-city locality of Istanbul. It raises four main points: 1) urban localities of migrant settlement are not accidental; 2) they are often highly diverse in new and complex ways; 3) space and difference are intricately intertwined in such urban localities; and 4) migration and diversification at the local scale can produce conflicted space narratives and governance systems. This paper aims to emphasize the importance of acknowledging the position and impact of migration to Turkey in the framework of larger processes of urban and societal transformation.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Governance
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: M. Murat Erdoğan
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article is a summary of the study “Syrians in Turkey: Social Acceptance and Integration,” which was conducted by the Hacettepe University Migration and Politics Research Center-HUGO in six cities based on interviews with Syrians and locals and analysis of the media and NGOs. Over 1.8 million Syrians arrived in Turkey and accepted under “temporary protection” status between April 2011 and December 2014. The efforts of the Turkish government and society has spent 5-5,5 billion dollars on the crisis. Turkish society has been overwhelmingly accepting of Syrians. However, concerns and objections are increasing as the permanency of Syrians in Turkey becomes more visible. Therefore, it is essential to develop strategies on permanency with the support of Turkish society.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Stephanie J. Nawyn, Nur Banu Kavakli Birdal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This analysis offers an evaluation of the last three elections of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. These three elections included the regional parliamentary elections in September 2013, and the local and federal elections held simultaneously in April 2014. The KRG, as a federal region, exists in the north of Iraq where Kurds have managed their own affairs through a regional government since 1992. The KRG elections have very little in common with elections in the rest of Iraq. Compared to the rest of Iraq, the “region” has experienced a very different trajectory during the last two decades. As a postwar region, the KRG strives to solidify a stable democracy in a landlocked region, which suffers from minimal economic capital and weak democratic culture.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Franck Düvell
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article argues that Turkey is going through a paradigm transition regarding its migration characteristics and has changed from an emigration to an immigration country. It briefly reviews the history of immigration of mostly ethnic Turks or other Muslims to Turkey, but then concentrates on contemporary non-Turkic and non-Muslim immigrants. In the first part, it distinguishes between flows of travelers and migrants and stock of immigrants. Notably, it illustrates national diversity, assesses the quantitative level of immigration to Turkey, including estimates on irregular immigration, and addresses the geographic dispersal of immigrants across the country. In the second part, it analyzes the macro-level economic, political and social factors and discrepancies between Turkey, its neighbors and other countries in the wider region, which represent the structural determinants of migration. It concludes that immigration to Turkey is still comparably low but that due to macro-level factors, it could grow. In order to develop adequate policy responses, more research must be done.
  • Topic: Islam, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: E. Murat Özgür, Ayla Deniz, Derya Hasta, M. Murat Yüceşahin, Sutay Yavuz
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey in the recent years has become a destination for individuals from various regions, migration histories and experiences, with an explicit increase observed in the number of those coming from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Migrant groups coming to Turkey gather geographically in certain cities such as Antalya, a touristic city that has become an important migration destination, particularly for Russians and Azerbaijanis. The study aims to be acquainted with these migrants, who have been the subject of very few analyses, and to understand why they have immigrated to Antalya, substantially within framework of “Who are They?” and “Why are they Here?” It is based on data obtained from a comprehensive questionnaire applied to 418 Russian and Azerbaijani respondents. Moreover, the data is supported by observations, in-depth interviews and media analysis.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Canan Balkir, İlkay Südaş
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As a country in transition from emigration to immigration, Turkey hosts many diverse migrant groups, creating a very dynamic research field to explore. Amongst them, European retirees have settled in the coastal Turkish Riviera. This paper tries to understand the perspectives of both retired EU migrants and local hosts on migration and settlement processes. After briefly describing the geographical distribution of EU citizens in Turkey, the paper focuses on the demographic characteristics and socio-economic integration of retired migrants in Antalya, the most popular destination in Turkey.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Susan Beth Rottmann
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In conversation with recent work on transnational social fields, this article explores how Germany and Turkey are linked through a “set of multiple, interlocking, networks of social relationships” . The article examines how the social field affects migrants returning from Germany to Turkey. Specifically, it describes how the transnational social field emerges through a concrete set of economic, political and cultural exchanges. It also illustrates that the social field is a space of imaginations of Germany and Turkey, reflecting and producing citizens' uncertainties about the “Europeanness”. For German-Turkish return migrants, the transnational social field exacerbates conflicts with non-migrants and fosters anxieties about migrants' “Germanization” and loss of “Turkishness.” Ultimately, this research shows that Turkish citizens remain deeply concerned about the meaning of modernity, Muslim citizenship in Germany, and Turkey's current and future position in Europe.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Sanaa Alimia
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Many Afghans, often male, in Pakistan are migrating (again) and increasingly toward 'new' destinations such as Turkey. Transnational lives are not unusual for Afghans as a method of survival, as well as a space for 'self-making'. However, these migrations are also the result of Turkey's own regional ambitions and projection of itself as a modern neoliberal 'Muslim' state. Moreover, increased migration is also a result of the historic role that cheap labor migrants, particularly from Central/South Asia, have played in the development of rising neoliberal economies. Thus in the 2000s and 2010s, as Turkey's 'star' rises, so too does Turkey find itself shifting from a migrant sending to a migrant receiving state.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Turkey, India
  • Author: Judith Zijlstra
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses Turkey's increasing role as a country of immigration by using the case study of Iranian migration to Turkey. While Turkey predominantly functions as a transit country for Iranians on their way to the West, this article will focus on a small group of Iranian migrants who went to Turkey with the purpose of transit but eventually settled down in the country. At the same time, the article investigates the concepts of “transit” and “settlement” among a growing group of Iranian students who entered Turkish universities in recent years. In which ways can these students be compared to other Iranian migrants in Turkey? And to what extent are Turkey's institutions for higher education becoming an easy channel for migrants looking for ways to leave their home country?
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Nilüfer Karacasulu, Irem Aşkar Karakır
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper discusses EU-Turkey relations with a specific reference to regional developments in the Middle East after the Arab Spring. In the last decade, the Turkish government has tried to intensify Turkey's influence in the region. However, increasing activism in Turkey's foreign policy toward the region was not accompanied by a parallel commitment in its relations with the EU. In the meantime, the EU was caught unprepared by the Arab Spring in the middle of the Euro-zone crisis, and now its strategic interests are being threatened by regional instability. Both sides have been faced with the task of adapting their policies to the political transitions in the region. After an analysis of their contemporary regional policies, this article argues that even though their strategies are not totally in line with each other, Turkey follows the same objectives that the EU neighborhood policy has pursued towards the Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Erdem Dikici
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Recently, there has been a growing body of literature on the multifaceted relationship between religion, politics and security in both national and global contexts, with a special emphasis on church-state relations and/or secularism. Various aspects and influences of religion on a variety of thematic issues occupy columns, journals and books. However, one might argue that the same does not apply for the study of religious freedom. The violation of religious freedom is a phenomenon that has been observed not only under authoritarian regimes or Third World countries, but also in democratic and so-called civilized nations. Authoritarian regimes, restrictive state policies, intolerant and hostile societies as well as security-oriented (inter)national political legitimations have tried to control, restrict or suppress the rights of religious groups and minorities and religion per se in the public sphere. In The Future of Religious Freedom, the different reasons for controlling religion through restrictive laws and policies are elaborated from a variety of perspectives.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Law
  • Author: Valerie Behiery
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: he recent book edited by A.C.S. Peacock and Sara Nur Yıldız, The Seljuks of Anatolia: Court and Society in the Medieval Middle East, demonstrates how a cognizance of historiography affords the ability to reexamine a historical period. The book, which emerged out of a workshop held in Istanbul in 2009, reinvigorates the study of the Seljuk Empire. Its authors, in order to compensate for the paucity of Muslim sources on medieval Anatolia, draw from a number of “untapped” sources such as Greek and Armenian texts, epigraphy, poetry and letters sent to the court. More significantly, they employ innovative frameworks that test standard perceptions of the Sultanate of Rūm (c. 1081 -1308) and emphasize its religious, cultural, and linguistic diversity. Thus, while the cited aim of the book is to “explore how court and society interacted and shaped one [an]other,” moving “beyond the more purely political history that has dominated to date” (p. 4), its larger purpose of questioning entrenched views of the Seljuk dynasty and medieval Anatolia, and the methods that it uses to offer up new avenues of research make this book a benchmark in the field.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Armenia
  • Author: Tahire Erman
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This book is written as part of the series on “Modern Architectures in History.” Yet, it covers much more than architecture and urbanism in modern Turkey. It is a comprehensive study that relates the production of the physical environment to larger forces shaped by the economy (capitalism) and the state. Moreover, it demonstrates how the architectural environment is used by the Turkish state to 'shape' society. The different practices and ideologies from various eras are well articulated; detailed information as well as a large variety of photographs and drawings are provided to present a contextualized summary of modern architecture and urbanism in present-day Turkey. Consequently, I can say that the book is the product of a commitment to excellence both in content and visual presentation.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Emilian Kavalski
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The discussion of China's growing prominence in international life has attracted the increasing attention of policy-makers, the public and scholars alike. Usually sidelined by the mainstream, such interest in China's role and position in global politics has grown exponentially in the context of the deepening concomitant economic, social and political crises across Europe and North America – which, until very recently, were considered the traditional locales of power and influence in world politics. Indicative of the emerging weight and significance of non-Western actors on the global stage, the trend set by China seems to challenge the conventional framework of the study and practice of International Relations (IR).
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, North America
  • Author: Shaimaa Magued
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Muslims in Modern Turkey: Kemalism, Modernism and the Revolt of the Islamic Intellectuals presents a comprehensive overview of contemporary Turkish intellectuals' thoughts on Kemalist ideology. With a selection of six intellectuals, the first chapter gives an overview of the Kemalist ideology and its sociocultural impact on both the private and public spheres in the newly-formed Turkish state. In the second, third and fourth chapters, more details are given about the lives and thoughts of the selected intellectuals, followed by a comparison with their counterparts in the Arab/Muslim world and the old Islamic intellectuals in Turkey. Overall, the book compiles the views of Islamic intellectuals regarding the secularization process in Turkey since the conception of the state; however, the book has weaknesses that prevent the ignition of the reader's curiosity and leaves one wondering what the author intended to contribute to existing literature.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mauricio Jaramillo Jassir
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Democracy, Islam and Secularism in Turkey, edited by Ahmet Kuru and Alfred Stepan, decribes the so-called “Turkish model” in detail, while trying to avoid unfounded criticism. The book is divided into eight chapters, written mainly by Turkish authors, with the exception of Karen Barney, Stathis Kalyvas, Alfred Stepan and Joost Lagendijk.
  • Topic: Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mehmet Fatih Öztarsu
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Soviet Union, which has two contradictory definitions (“Prison of Peoples” and “Free Association of Peoples”), is seen as the perpetrator of many ethnic and regional problems in Eurasia today. Its management of culture with numerous ethnic and religious elements and an ideological perspective that deflects criticism are the most important issues to focus on to understand the Soviet Union. The ideals imposed on social and cultural life by communist ideology – nationalism, religious movements, local conflicts and decomposition – tell the true story of the Soviet geography.
  • Topic: Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Soviet Union, South Caucasus
  • Author: Priya Singh
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Robert O. Freedman\'s edited volume, Israel and the United States: Six Decades of U.S.-Israeli Relations, is a compilation of an interesting assortment of essays by Israeli and American scholars from various fields, contending with different aspects of a complicated and multilayered relationship that comprises not only diplomatic and economic links, but also religious, legal, military and strategic connections as well as common beliefs. The first section of the book articulates the political ties between the United States and Israel since 1948. It contends with U.S.-Israeli diplomatic relations, an enquiry of the progression of the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, and an analysis of the evolution of U.S. public attitudes toward Israel. David Makovsky\'s essay, which deals with the U.S. and the Arab–Israeli conflict, emphasizes that the U.S.\'s relationship with Israel and the Arab world is not a zero-sum game and that the United States can maintain good ties with both sides. The essay reiterates that Israel has been an asset for the United States rather than a liability, which has been suggested by the likes of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Robert Freedman, in contending with the policies of George Bush and Barack Obama towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, brings to the fore the similarities in their approaches as well as the significant differences, with the former pursuing an episodic approach while the latter has adopted a more continuous line. In his essay on the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, Dov Waxman discusses the ruptures and fissures that have emerged within the lobby and concludes that there is no single organization that can persuasively claim to exemplify the vast majority of American Jews; as such, its clout/influence is expected to wane. Amnon Cavari\'s essay deconstructs the shifting trends in American support for Israel, contending that a decline in support among college-educated Americans along with an upsurge in support among evangelical Christians could weaken bipartisan backing for Israel.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Author: Anita Sengupta
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The relationship between Islam and foreign policy has become the subject of a number of volumes in recent years as scholars seek to understand the role that political Islam plays in determining foreign policy. This is more often than not accompanied by the assumption that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with modernity. Turkey, with its complex history of modernity and the transition from its Ottoman past, remains an interesting case for the study of the causal relationship between the construction of a modern nation state, secular identity and nationalized foreign policy. The rediscovery of Turkey's regional interests and affinities from the 'Balkans to Western China' – areas that had been largely absent from Turkish foreign policy debates since the foundation of the Republic – have emphasized the significance of the state's internal evolution in determining its external policy. In her book, Turkey Facing East: Islam, Modernity and Foreign Policy, Ayla Gol critically analyzes Turkey's engagement with modernity in the course of its transformation from the Ottoman structure into a modern nation state in order to understand Turkey's foreign policy towards its eastern neighbours between 1918 and 1921. This is a clear and important departure from studies that tend to examine this transition period in terms of Turkey's engagement with the West.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Balkans, South Caucasus
  • Author: Candice Moore
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The use of the concept of agency in relation to Africa's foreign relations has, up to now, been very limited. This has often related to the actions of individual pivotal states, such as South Africa or Libya. Indeed, there has not yet been an in depth examination of African agency in international relations, making this volume a welcome addition. Admittedly, this is an enormous subject, one that has grown in significance and relevance given the deepened involvement of actors such as China on the continent since the end of the last century. Questions started to be asked about how African states could structure their engagement with an actor so obviously superior in economic and political power. However, this is not the first time that African agency has been addressed, as these questions were previously inspired by the post-colonial experience and the analysis of enduring Great Power involvement in African affairs, during and after the Cold War.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Libya
  • Author: Karsten Giese, Erdem Dikici
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: When we talk about “China in Africa”, we should always remember to differentiate between the various actors and scales that are too often conflated and hidden behind such large and all-encompassing labels like “China” or “Africa”. Common containers and the homogenizing of diversity seldom help to broaden our knowledge or deepen our understanding of the various phenomena which can be observed at the various scales of the multiple relationships that have evolved between this East Asian country and the African continent. Moreover, it is necessary to specify the point in time or particular period we are covering in our scholarly work and that from which we draw our conclusions. Quite a few of the publications addressing China–Africa relations have succumbed to broad generalizations, neglected diversity and specificity and overlooked the temporal dimension. The last couple of years, however, have seen the emergence of a growing body of well-informed case studies on the Chinese presence across the African continent that stress the particularity and the situatedness of Chinese–African encounters and interactions in Africa. We now can rely on thick descriptions of various Chinese actors' realities on the ground in Africa that more often than not defy and counter longstanding and still very common stereotypes, such as that of China's grand strategy in the scramble for Africa or of the generally exploitative and belligerent character of Chinese economic endeavours across the African continent.
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Katy N. Lam
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in Ghana perceive themselves as vulnerable, as regularly they encounter problems and their businesses fail. The adaption experiences of Chinese entrepreneurs in Africa, especially non-traders, remain largely unstudied. By looking at the interactions of newly arrived and established Chinese migrants with institutional actors, partners, local employees and other Chinese in Ghana, this paper shows the multiple dimensions of how Chinese entrepreneurs' migration adaptation evolves, and how they create social capital to develop their businesses in Ghana. From the Chinese perspective, established entrepreneurs condemn the recent numerous “new” Chinese in Ghana as part of the root cause of problems, on account of their “poor quality and bad behaviour”; by comparison, the newly arrived Chinese attribute their challenges to deficiencies in the local people and institutions of the host country. The negative experiences of Chinese entrepreneurs in Ghana provide further evidence for, not only African, but also local Chinese agency from below, and suggest that the rising Chinese presence does not necessarily improve the social status of Chinese entrepreneurs or create a stronger, more unified Chinese community on the continent.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Romain Dittgen
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Chinese economic activities in Africa have gained increased visibility in parallel to the recent acceleration of Sino-African relations. This paper, which is framed from a geographical perspective that is often absent or neglected in studies covering China–Africa, focuses on the spatial forms and dynamics. It depicts the way in which two contrasting Chinese economic entities – a state-owned company in Chad and privately owned commercial malls in Johannesburg, South Africa – engage with their respective host environments. While drawing on concepts of “liminality” as well as “heterotopias”, I argue that the modalities of the Chinese footprint are characterised both by closure and interaction, creating a dynamic tension that produces its own set of unique practices. This ambivalence between enclave and active linkages with host societies is not only perceivable from a spatial point of view, but also emerges with regard to economic strategies. In the midst of a transitional period, along with a launching and a consolidating phase, the Chinese economic entities in both case studies show signs of change in terms of behaviour and territorial foothold.
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Allen Hai Xiao
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The burgeoning interstate relation between China and Nigeria is in fact hiding the vulnerable condition of transnational Chinese petty entrepreneurship. Small-scale Chinese entrepreneurs in Nigeria are faced with everyday corruption practised by both Nigerian authorities and ordinary Nigerian people, the dominance of self-interest over cohesion and mutual support among the Chinese compatriots, and variations in state policies due to dynamic and changing interstate relations. To overcome their position of weakness, small-scale Chinese entrepreneurs strategize their interactions with both Nigerian and Chinese nationals. Informality is a characteristic of such interactions. Economic informality is primarily embodied in the documentation service businesses that are indebted to those popular corrupt practices in Nigeria; while social informality takes place in cyberspace. Interaction via the Internet among Chinese involved in Chinese–Nigerian businesses helps small-scale Chinese entrepreneurs to cope with fluctuations in interstate links at the macro-level and to develop a sense of community.
  • Political Geography: China, Nigeria
  • Author: Richard Aidoo, Steve Hess
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's non-interference policy has come under scrutiny in regards to its growing and deepening relations in Africa. The policy has come to represent an about-face from conditional assistance and investment associated with the Washington Consensus. Although often well received in much of the global South, this policy has drawn a lot of criticism from the West and others. These commentators have perceived non-interference as an opportunistic and often inconsistent instrument for enabling China's increasing access to African resources and markets. This article suggests that despite some consistent support for the rhetoric of non-interference, China's implementation of the policy has become increasingly varied and contextualized in reaction to Africa's ever-more diversified political and economic landscape since the early 2000s.
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Washington
  • Author: Timothy Steven Rich, Vasabjit Banerjee
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article highlights the precarious nature of Taiwan's diplomatic relations in Africa. Whereas Cold War rationales initially benefitted Taiwan, economic interests now appear to incentivize African countries to establish relations with China. Through qualitative and quantitative data covering much of the post-World War II era, this analysis argues that economic factors have trumped political rationales for Taiwanese–African relations. In addition, this article problematizes both conceptions of diplomatic recognition and Taiwan's enduring relations with Africa.
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Taiwan
  • Author: Meiqin Wang
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article contextualises the art practice of Beijing-based artist Liu Bolin and examines ways in which his artworks illuminate the sociopolitical conditions that regulate the everyday reality of underprivileged social groups amid China's spectacular urban transformation in the 2000s. The tension between individual existence and the force of urbanization underlays Liu's most important work, entitled Hiding in the City. This performance photographic series, in which Liu covered his body thoroughly with paint so that he “disappeared” into the background, was initiated as a response towards the demolition of an artist village in Beijing where the artist resided and worked. The series has since been developed into an ambitious and years-long project in which the artist surveys the disparate urban living environment of the city, bringing to the surface dominant forces that render the existence of the individuals “invisible”.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The stability or instability of the market economy is an issue that has been all but ignored in macroeconomics for several decades. Within monetary economics, the distribution of income has been similarly ignored. The crisis of recent years tells us in no uncertain terms that we have to pay more attention to these two topics. Changes in financial regulation and in the conduct of monetary policy have not only played a very significant role in generating the financial crisis but have also been important in bringing about a large shift in the distribution of income over the last two or three decades
  • Author: Walker F. Todd
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Banks either are or should be fiduciaries holding the public’s funds as a public trust. Those who want to participate in the risktaking aspects of banking are shareholders (or should be shareholders). If the government is called upon to share the risks of banking, especially the risks of investment banking, then it should be a shareholder. As Edward J. Kane puts it, “For investment banker’s risk, there should be investment banker’s reward for the taxpayers.” And once the government is a shareholder, it owes a public duty to restrain the egregious risk taking and excess executive compensation in which banks seem to have wanted to engage for the last 30 years or so.
  • Author: Edwin Vieri Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In his Inaugural Address of 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt warned his fellow Americans that “in our progress towards a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order: there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments, so that there will be an end to speculation with other people’s money; and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.” Nonetheless, Roosevelt proceeded to promote an exceedingly unsound currency—with the seizure of most Americans’ gold, devaluation of gold coinage, removal of domestic redemption of Federal Reserve Notes in gold, and the nullification of gold clauses in both public and private contracts (Vieira 2002:867–1235).
  • Author: Jerry L. Jordan
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Fruitful consideration of the role of gold in a market-based monetary system must be preceded by an understanding of why gold is not part of our government-based monetary system. I have set out my view on that issue elsewhere (Jordan 2011) and will not repeat it here. People whose views on money I greatly respect still advocate restoring gold backing to the Federal Reserve-issued U.S. dollar. During the Hearings of the U.S. Gold Commission in 1981–82, several witnesses advocated restoration of some linkage between Federal Reserve-issued dollar notes and gold.
  • Author: George Selgin
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: More than a half century ago, in October 1961, Milton Friedman’s “Real and Pseudo Gold Standards” appeared in the Journal of Law and Economics. In that article, Friedman argued that versions of the gold standard erected after 1914, if not some earlier ones, were “pseudo” gold standards, differing from “real” ones in dispensing with actual gold coins and allowing monetary authorities to sterilize international gold movements, instead of letting those movements automatically regulate national money stocks. Such pseudo gold standards, Friedman argued, amounted to particularly dangerous instances of government price-fixing, and as such ought to be anathema to believers in free markets.
  • Author: Judy Shelton
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It has been more than six years since the global economy was put through the financial wringer and left hung out to dry. According to former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who presided over the debacle: “September and October of 2008 was the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression” (da Costa 2014). Given that Bernanke is a scholar on the global economic collapse of the 1930s, his assessment is particularly sobering. After all, a horrifying world war followed in its aftermath.
  • Author: Nathan Lewis
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Historically, there have been two basic frameworks by which a government organizes its monetary affairs. One of these—the Soft Money approach—we are quite familiar with today: a process by which a committee of government bureaucrats manages a floating fiat currency of some sort, on a day-to-day and ad hoc basis. The other format—the Hard Money approach—is typified by the Rule of Law, which is some definite and unchanging framework by which the currency is managed. Consequently, there is no need or role for a day-to-day human discretionary element, except perhaps in some of the particulars of the system’s execution.
  • Author: Daniel V. Speckhard
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After serving for two challenging years in the chaos of a war zone as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, I received word that I would become the next Ambassador to Greece. To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings. I looked forward to the challenge, but I imagined the post would be too sedate compared with the adrenalin-charged days and world-shaping events in Iraq. It was anything but. Within a year of my arrival, the streets were aflame with violent protests over a police shooting of a teenager. A year later, snap elections brought a socialist government to power. And soon thereafter, the onion was further peeled to expose a financial crisis and a crumbling economic foundation built on a corrupt, oligarchic, and debt-addicted system fed by billions of dollars of public and private EU loans and grants.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Shefa Siegel
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Fragile states are unable to cope with additional shocks like Ebola; without passable roads, electricity, and social solidarity there is no viable way to administer basic medical care or prevent minerals from illegally crossing porous borders, much less suddenly contain a runaway virus. Yet instead of addressing core issues of state failure, development aid continues pushing narrowly focused agendas that have little meaning in places where institutions and infrastructure are broken. Why, in response to the disastrous events we saw unfolding in Liberia, were we not calling for public and private investment in the region to be shifted from one bureaucratic budget line to another?
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Infectious Diseases, Health Care Policy, Ebola
  • Author: O. Khlestov, A. Kukushkina, Sh. Sodikov
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The growth in acts of international terrorism endangers the lives of people worldwide, as well as threatens the peace and security of all states. The September 23, 1999 Statement on Combating International Terrorism issued by the ministers for foreign affairs of the five permanent members of the Security Council has stressed that it is vital to strengthen, under the auspices of the United Nations, international cooperation to fight terrorism in all its forms. Such cooperation must be firmly based on the principles of the UN Charter and norms of international law, including respect for human rights.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Terrorism, United Nations, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Xiao Fang
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: China and Central Europe have experienced similar transitions over time and have a constructive role to play in the international system, taking on responsibility for development. Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries is conducted via the “16+1” mechanism, the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road, known as the “Belt and Road initiative.” Central European countries are EU member states and emerging economies. They are located at a geographically strategic juncture and form part of the East Asia–Transatlantic value chain. The 16+1 mechanism is helping China and Central European countries establish high level annual meetings and is encouraging the private sector, business, people-to-people exchanges. The Belt and Road initiative is providing new financing facilities, and a dialogue with the European Commission on investment plans is being launched. Studies and working groups are emerging to help set strategies, build mechanisms, allocate resources and implement policies. This article argues that the Chinese approach, i.e. the 16+1 mechanism and Belt and Road initiative, is platforms paving the way for China–Central Europe cooperation.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The purpose of this study is to discuss the motivations and challenges associated with China’s enhanced cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It perceives China’s partnership with CEE as a product of the regional diplomacy approach China also uses in relations with the rest of the world. The study concludes that China is increasingly active in shaping the foreign relations of other countries and is a more influential actor in the international arena. Therefore, a platform which unites 16 CEE countries may prove too weak to advance these countries’ interests vis-à-vis China. A more effective solution would appear to be to replace the 16+China mechanism with the more powerful EU platform.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: Vilem Semerak
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The paper provides an overview of stylized facts on current trends in trade between the PRC and the 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The potential effects of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative are discussed as are policy recommendations for the CEE countries. Trade with China is seen as complementary to trade with the core of the EU (and with the mutual trade of the CEE region,) once the international fragmentation of value chains is taken into account. Multilateral and plurilateral (e.g. EU-based) approaches to relations with China are likely to generate fewer risks compared to isolated solutions based on national interest pursued individually by CEE countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, Multilateral Relatons
  • Political Geography: China, Eastern Europe, Central Europe
  • Author: Justyna Szczudlik
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have not played an important role in China’s foreign policy and vice-versa. EU membership did not change China–CEE relations remarkably. The situation started to change once the global financial and economic crisis hit. CEE began to notice that China is an economic and political partner to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, despite the crisis, the PRC started to look at CEE as a stable region – especially in economic terms. At the beginning China decided to strengthen bilateral ties with CEE countries. But in mid-2011 Beijing took the first step to launch cooperation with CEE as a region,
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe
  • Author: Agnes Szunomar
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: China is increasingly perceived in Central and Eastern Europe as a country which could bring economic success to the countries of the region through the development of trade relations and the growing inflow of Chinese investment. Within the region, Hungary is regarded as occupying a prominent position by Chinese people and the government for several reasons. Chinese relations have historically been good: over the past decade Hungarian governments have committed themselves to developing the relationship. This trend was further confirmed after the global economic crisis of 2008, when Hungary started looking for new opportunities in its recovery from recession. The “Eastern opening” policy was initiated after the crisis and partly because of it. Officially, this policy puts more emphasis on further developing Chinese–Hungarian relations than was previously the case, including increasing trade and investment. However, the outcomes of the policy – such as the construction of the Budapest–Belgrade railway line – can be evaluated in different ways.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Central Europe