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  • Author: Jeffrey Bader
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Serious people understand that the manner in which the United States deals with China will be a critical, if not the critical, overseas chal- lenge for the United States in the 21st century. China will likely be the largest economy in the world within one or two decades; the second or third strongest military soon, if not already; and competitive with the United States and Europe in global economic, and perhaps political and cultural, influence in some regions. China is ruled by a Communist Par- ty resistant to political liberalization at home and wedded to nationalist rhetoric and behavior in dealing with its neighborhood, enhancing the chances for rivalry with the United States. For those students of history who see conflict as the likely outcome when ris- ing powers encounter dominant powers, these are precursors of a dark future. How should we deal with China? What policy framework best optimizes our interests, which are multiple and not always consistent with each oth- er? Americans are in the midst of an ongoing presidential campaign that, in a better world, would be asking and answering such questions, but this is not such a campaign.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Vibeke Schou Tjalve
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the general impression that the US president-elect Donald Trump has given us very little clue to predict his foreign policy doctrine, a guiding framework behind his scattered statements does exist. In this DIIS Policy Brief, Senior Researcher Vibeke Schou Tjalve takes a closer look at the surprisingly consistent philosophy of power and interest that Trump has aired during the past two decades. Trump is labelled a ‘nationalist’ and an ‘isolationist’. These are understandable labels, and yet: Trump is not your classical cultural-conservative nostalgic with deep veneration for old alliances or shared norms. His American nationalism does not linger on the memories of the New World European roots. Rather, it is founded on a deeply Darwinist conception of the world as a cutthroat competition, in which raw strength - not cultural characteristics – matters. As such, Trump will have no sentimentality for NATO or Europe, and he will view the world through largely value-neutral eyes. This leaves Europe with a defining set of questions, and to influence a Trump presidency, we should understand and appreciate this not-so-simple nationalism, Tjalve writes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Eugene Rumer
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Eugene Rumer’s paper focuses on American foreign policy choices, notably the complexity of pursuing objectives, some of which cannot easily be reconciled: helping to consolidate democracy and promote economic reform in Ukraine, contributing to Ukraine’s stability, reassuring nervous NATO allies, and avoiding a confrontation with Russia. Given these goals, Rumer asks, what would constitute a sensible strategy, and how should it be pursued?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Ukraine
  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Today, there is much talk about the 'American pivot' back to Southeast Asia, and the role that America continues to play in terms of the geo-strategic relations between the countries in the region. That America has been a player in Southeast Asian affairs is well-known, as America's presence in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam has been well documented since the Cold War. However, there has been less scholarship devoted to America's role in Southeast Asia prior to the 20th century, lending the impression that the United States is a latecomer as far as Southeast Asian affairs is concerned.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Isabelle Francois
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The past twenty years have been marked by a series of setbacks and disappointments in the US-European-Russian dialogue, despite regular attempts to develop a strategic partnership. In this cyclical relationship, 2012 was a low point in Western relations with Russia, from the calculated absence of President Vladimir Putin at the NATO summit in Chicago to the Russian ban on American adoptions of Russian orphans, and the US reaction to the Sergei Magnitsky case. The year 2013 could have been the beginning of an upswing in the trilateral dialogue. In April, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on the margins of the G8 foreign ministers' gathering in London. At the same time, US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon called on Putin in Moscow, where he hand-delivered a letter from President Barack Obama detailing potential areas of cooperation. A series of meetings between Russian and American officials throughout the summer saw a new diplomatic push to reframe the US–Russia relationship in the run-up to the Group of Eight meeting in June and the G20 meeting in September 2013. However, the Edward Snowden affair and Obama's subsequent decision to cancel the planned September meeting with Putin in light of insufficient progress on bilateral issues point to a pause in the relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Patrick Keller
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The American President is still the most influential actor in international affairs. Despite the talk of American decline and the evidence of rising powers, despite the new complexities of globalization and the increased relevance of non-state actors, the U.S. President continues to play a special role. As head of the strongest of all national economies, commander in chief of the mightiest armed forces in the history of the world, and leader of the present-day democracy with the oldest constitution, his policies and his bearing shape international politics more than those of any other actor. It is thus understandable that not just the American people but also U.S. allies in NATO and the world at large follow the current presidential campaign with keen interest. Given that the United States is first among equals in the Alliance, strategists in NATO member states have a particular desire to discern the future President's stance on international security affairs because they will need to plan accordingly. However, in contrasting the positions of President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, they encounter three basic problems.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jennifer L. Hochschild
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: One possible outcome of the economic crash of 2008 was that the majority or mainstream members of a society would direct their anger and fear against the minority or marginal members of their society. Commentators on television or the radio would claim, "it's all the fault of the immigrants!" or "if we didn't hand over so much of our tax dollars to the poor, the economy would not have deteriorated so much," or "social benefits to African Americans [or German Turks] have distorted the housing market." Citizens would come to believe these assertions, politicians would echo them – and the upshot would be not only a deteriorating national and international economy but also increased hostility and fear among racial, ethnic, or nationality groups in a country. Social solidarity would decline, perhaps irrevocably.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Irfan Shahid
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: The tragic events of Black September, 2001, the year that opened the twenty-first century and the third millennium, more popularly called 9/11, is now a landmark in American history that is deeply carved in the psyche of the American people and is annually perpetuated by commemorative anniversaries. It practically destroyed the bridges that had been constructed between America and the Arab-Muslim world. What had been America's main adversary in the Cold War, namely Communism, has now become the Arabs and the Islamic world, which, ironically, had been America's allies against Communism.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report is one in a series commissioned by The Century Foundation to explore issues of interest to American policymakers regarding Russia, aimed at identifying a framework for U.S.-Russian relations and policy options for a new administration and Congress that could help right the two countries' troubled relationship at a crucial juncture. The papers in the series explore significant aspects of U.S.-Russian relations, outlining a broad range of reasons why Russia matters for American foreign policy and framing bilateral and multilateral approaches to Russia for U.S. consideration. A high-level working group, co-chaired by Gary Hart, former U.S. senator from Colorado, and Jack F. Matlock, Jr., former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, has provided direction to the project and offered recommendations for action that the United States might take.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Donald K. Emmerson
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: No crisis is uniformly global. The suffering and the opportunity that a “global” crisis entails are always unevenly distributed across countries, and unevenly across the population inside any one country. That said, one can nevertheless argue that we—not the old royal “we” but, more presumptuously, the new global “we”—are in January 2009 experiencing the latest of four dramatic changes that major parts of the world have undergone over the last twenty years. In 1989, of course, the Berlin Wall was breached, ending the Cold War, followed by the implosion of Lenin's Soviet dystopia two years later. Nor did the 1989 massacre of proreform demonstrators in Tiananmen Square revive a command economy in China. Instead it kept the polity shut so that Deng's economy could continue to open.
  • Topic: International Relations, Globalization, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Israel, Asia, Berlin
  • Author: Gerald LeMelle
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: Welcome to International Affairs Forum's fourth special publication. We are once again delighted to be able to offer our readers a diverse collection of views, and I hope everyone will find something of interest. I think this publication stands out not only because of the quality of contributors, who have been generous enough to give up their valuable time over such a busy period, but also the range of subjects and geographical reach—we have contributors based on four continents and from nine countries covering everything from defense policy through Brand America and U.S.-India relations. I don't wish to add anything to the enormous amount of ink spilled over the historic nature of the recent election, except to say that whatever one's views of the past eight years—and this publication contains a full range of them—living in Tokyo has demonstrated to me time and again that although this is the Asian century, the world's eyes have been, and still are, very much on the United States of America and what Barack Obama will do in office.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, India, Asia, Tokyo
  • Author: Jens Beckert
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: What alternatives to rational choice theory do exist to explain economic phenomena? I argue that American pragmatism presents a viable alternative for the explanation of key economic incidences. First I illustrate the foundations of pragmatism using three problems regularly encountered in action theory. Then I show how innovation, institutional change, price formation and actors' preferences can be analyzed based on pragmatist premises. I conclude by reflecting on why pragmatism has found so little recognition in economics.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Political Economy, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Pertti Joenniemi
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The contribution focuses on the unfolding and tensions within the transatlantic relationship and it pursues, in particular, the question how the bonds of association between Europe and America are best comprehended and accounted for. In trying to break some new ground for theorization it argues that the Realist, Liberal and Constructivist accounts have so far come up short in terms of providing up-to-date and broadly acceptable answers. With the dominant theories focusing largely on either external enmity or internal homogeneity, difference internal to the relationship has too easily been conceptualized as destabilizing and seen as representing a rupture. In contrast, the paper assert s that while elements of enmity and homogeneity are important, communities such as the Atlantic one are also critically brought together by their internal differences. It then aims, in view of the difference-based dynamics at play and foundational for the Atlantic communality, to complement an d provide a corrective to the more established theorization of that togetherness.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Rami G. Khouri
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: With its army and its diplomatic posture, the American administration is now deeply part of the Middle East. Many of the problems of the region have been clearly aggravated, and in some cases sparked, by American policy, though many of them are a joint venture between Arabs and is, between Tirrks and Iranians, and between Europeans of different nationalities. But because the United States is such a decisive player in the Middle East, it has inordinate power to affect things in the region for good or for bad.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Nikolas Gvosdev
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: A review of America's post-Soviet strategy toward Russia is long overdue. The illusions that once guided policy are now at an end. What is needed is a dispassionate approach to Russia, wherein Americans would neither magnify nor excuse the virtues and vices of the Russian Federation but would accept the following realities: Russia is unlikely to become integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community and is unwilling to adjust its foreign policy priorities accordingly; There is broad-based support within Russia for the direction in which Vladimir Putin has taken the country; Russia has undergone a genuine—if limited— recovery from the collapse of the 1990s; Washington lacks sufficient leverage to compel Russian acquiescence to its policy preferences; and On a number of critical foreign policy issues, there is no clear community of interests that allows for concepts of "selective partnership" to be effective.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Richard Betts
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Since Huntington wrote, major changes have occurred in the United States' external security environment and domestic political institutions. These have not fundamentally changed the nature of civil-military relations. The enduring issues are tensions over the military preference for overwhelming force, and over the boundary between military expertise and political authority. Since Huntington wrote, the problem of civil-military relations has proved more modest and manageable than many feared it would be, not clearly worse or more dangerous than conflicts between political leaders and other government bureaucracies. The realistic solution is not a rigid application of either of Huntington's ideal types, but pragmatic compromises that tilt in favor of "objective control." Critics of objective control have neglected the extent to which civilian mistakes in making strategy rival the military's. They have neglected to confront the arguments against subjective control, in part because they focus on limitations of objective control for optimizing the functional imperative, or because they misjudge the dangers posed by newly overt partisanship of the officer corps, dangers that would only become acute if subjective control becomes the norm.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Robert Jervis
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: The US will leave Iraq at some point, and needs to plan for this eventuality. There are many uncertainties involved, but taking them seriously is the first step toward being able craft a policy that will reduce the damage to us, Iraq, and the region. Even if the US stays until the violence is brought down, its departure will lead to the reopening of local and regional bargains because of the lack of enforcement. The greatest danger is that heightened civil war will lead to intervention by Iraq's neighbors, but the very possibility of large-scale violence creates possibilities for arrangements to avoid it because all of the parties know that they could lose badly if things get out of control.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Pablo Pinto
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Political leaders in troubled democracies around the world have resorted to an anti-foreign rhetoric to justify the adoption of policies restricting foreign imports, and the free flow of capital and people, allegedly in defense of the national interest. And this rhetoric has resonated positively with large sectors of the electorate in those countries. A similar trend, exploiting a nationalistic sentiment for economic purposes, is observed in campaigns in the United States to buy American. Most studies to date have analyzed the causes and consequences of economic nationalism at the state level. However, there is good reason to believe that sources of economic nationalism should be traced at the individual level: some individuals might be willing to embrace economic nationalism purely on self-interest, yet others will be forced to trade off material and ideational preferences in order to support the national industry. The existence of this tradeoff at the individual level has important implications for coalition formation on trade, investment and migration policy-making. While recent studies suggest that cultural and ideational interests are likely to influence individual attitudes towards trade, one of the central policy dimensions in economic nationalism, the empirical content of the tradeoff between material and non-material preferences remains untested to date. Using data from the International Social Survey Program (ISSP 2003) we explore whether the effect of nationalism on attitudes towards protectionism varies with the individual's position in the economy. We find preliminary evidence that nationalism systematically affects attitudes towards trade in the United States, but less so in the Philippines. We also find that the effect of nationalism is conditional on individuals' skill, or position in the economy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Economics, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Philippines
  • Author: Thomas F. Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: There are significant and little appreciated differences in the trajectory of Sunni extremist terrorism and that of Shi'a extremism. The differences exist across six key areas that impact American policy considerations, especially in light of steadily escalating tensions with Iran. First and foremost, Sunni radicals and Shi'a extremists differ in the overall approach and main objectives for their use of terror. The former tend to operate in a continuous, mid-to-high intensity manner, seeing war against infidels and apostates as a perennial condition featuring overlapping waves. Outside of an ongoing and seemingly open-ended campaign against Israel, terrorist attacks by Shi'a groups have by and large featured discrete terror campaigns tethered to state and organizational objectives. Second, Sunni terrorists and Shi'a extremists manifest different patterns for recruiting terrorist operatives and developing terrorist missions. Shi'a terrorists, unlike their Sunni counterparts, enjoy direct state support and for that reason are far more likely to originate from Iranian embassies, consulates and state‐run businesses. Third, despite holding a minority viewpoint within the wider Sunni Islamic community, Sunni extremists, especially Salafi-Jihadis, rely more extensively on the support of their coreligionist expatriate communities in facilitating terrorist activities. Fourth, while employing similar tactics and methods, Shi'a terrorist groups have shown a much greater propensity to kidnap innocents to barter, while Sunni extremists more frequently abduct to kill. Fifth, Shi'a terror groups exhibit a much higher incidence of targeted assassinations for specific political gain, rather than the high-casualty killings featured in Sunni terrorism, and particularly of the Salafi-Jihadist variant. Finally, each sect's extremists manage publicity and propaganda differently. The Sunni approach to information management tends to feature doctrine and resources geared to take immediate credit and widely amplify a terrorist event. Shi'a terrorists, while not averse to normal media publicity and amplification, by and large take a much lower-key approach.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East
  • Author: Patrick Keller
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Barack Obama was elected to the presidency of the United States on the promise of “hope” and “change.”2 Although somewhat vacuous, these promises worked because the people in America – and across the globe – overwhelmingly long for an end of the Bush era which stands for wrong wars (or at least wars gone wrong), hubris, and an overall decline of U.S. economic power, political influence, and moral standing. All presidents seek to leave their lasting imprint on foreign affairs, their doctrine. Most of them, however, merely oscillate between continuity and change: in the absence of major interfering events such as 9/11, institutional inertia, political constraints, and the wisdom of tradition most often push presidents to maintain the status quo while only tinkering with the edges. Revolution, in democratic systems, is a very slow process.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America