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  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 12-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Observation of state-military relations in Israel reveals an apparent paradox: Within a period of about seventy years, the more the militarization of Israeli society and politics gradually increased, the more politicians were successful in institutionalizing effective control over the Israel Defence Forces (IDF, and the pre-state organizations). Militarization passed through three main stages: (1) accepting the use of force as a legitimate political instrument during the pre-state period (1920-1948), subsequent to confrontation between pacifism and activism; (2) giving this instrument priority over political-diplomatic means in the state's first years up to the point in which (3) military discursive patterns gradually dominated political discourse after the 1967 War. At the same time, political control over the IDF was tightened, going from the inculcation of the principle of the armed forces' subordination to the political level during the pre-state period to the construction of arrangements working to restrain the military leverage for autonomous action.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Mustafa Emirbayer, Ann Miscbe
  • Publication Date: 01-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: The concept of agency has become a source of increasing strain and confusion in social thought. Variants of action theory, normative theory, and political-institutional analysis have defended, attacked, buried, and resuscitated the concept in often contradictory and overlapping ways. At the center of the debate, the term "agency" itself has maintained an elusive, albeit resonant, vagueness; it has given rise to a long list of associated (and often equally vague) terms, such as selthood, motivation, will, purposiveness, intentionality, choice, initiative, freedom, and creativity. Yet despite the growing numbers of recent theorists -- ranging from Jeffrey Alexander, Anthony Giddens, and Pierre Bourdieu to Jurgen Habermas and James Coleman -- who have addressed the so-called "structure and agency problem," the concept of agency itself has been surprisingly neglected. In the struggle to demonstrate the interpenetration of agency and structure, most theorists have failed to distinguish agency as an analytical category in its own right -- with distinctive theoretical dimensions and temporally variable social manifestations. The result has been a flat and impoverished conception that, when it escapes the abstract voluntarism of rational choice theory, tends to remain so tightly bound to structure that one loses sight of the different ways in which agency actually shapes social action.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Science and Technology
  • Author: John W. Slocum
  • Publication Date: 07-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Cornell University Peace Studies Program
  • Abstract: Practitioners of the late lamented science of Sovietology have been roundly criticized for failing to predict one of the most momentous events of the twentieth century—the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Anxious to avoid a repetition of past mistakes, post-Sovietologists have in turn devoted a good deal of attention to the question of whether the USSR's largest successor state, the Russian Federation, is itself in danger of breaking apart. Like the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation is a multinational state with ethnically-defined territorial subunits; political elites in these subunits, faced with massive political, economic and social uncertainty, may be attracted by the idea of political independence. During the first half of the 1990s, post-Soviet Russia has indeed experienced more than one crisis of center-periphery relations. The present study, however, suggests that the likelihood of a general disintegration of the Russian Federation peaked in the early 1990s and is now decreasing. In view of this analysis, the war in Chechnya is an exception to an overall trend toward consolidation, rather than an indicator of a general breakdown in center-periphery relations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Chechnya
  • Author: Kenneth Prewitt, Susan Raymond, Young Gul Kim, Rodney Nichols, Jorge Allende, Arima Akito, Jesse Ausubel, Edward Ayensu, D. Allan Bromley, Praveen Chaudhari, Umberto Colombo, Yuri Gleba, Mark Horn, Coe Ishimoto, Geraldine Kenney-Wallace, Jan Nilsson, Geoffrey Oldham, R. K. Pachauri, Heinz Riesenhuber, Zehev Tadmor, Greg Tegart, Raimundo Villegas, Guillermo Cardoza, Diana Wolff-Albers, William Padolina
  • Publication Date: 11-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: New York Academy of Sciences
  • Abstract: In the fall of 1995, with assistance from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the New York Academy of Sciences organized a meeting on international collaboration in science, engineering, and medicine. The meeting was held at the Rockefeller Foundation's conference center in Bellagio, Italy from October 30 through November 2, 1995. The Academy gathered together a group of experienced international leaders to examine changes in the context and con– tent of global research cooperation and the efficacy of existing institutional mechanisms to facilitate future scientific activities. The meeting resulted in a summary report presenting the consensual views of the participants, and the New York Academy of Sciences is currently exploring a range of follow–up options with its institutional partners. Copies of the report can be obtained by contacting the Academy at the address listed below. The critical question under review at Bellagio was to assess current disparities among research opportunities, needs, and institutions and to determine the need for a more extensive international review. Discussions were based in part on extensive preparation. Prior to the meeting, all participants prepared personal statements summarizing their views of future directions for scientific collaboration, key lessons from past experience, and fundamental characteristics of successful collaborative mechanisms. These statements together with a summary issues paper produced by the New York Academy of Sciences, the meeting agenda, and biographical information on participants are collected here. The statements appear as originally distributed; none have been revised in light of the meeting's discussion. With 25 different perspectives it is to be expected that a diversity of views are represented here. However, the commentaries fall broadly along four lines of inquiry.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: New York
1405. Not Even One
  • Publication Date: 02-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: We gathered at The Carter Center, 26 people from various fields and disciplines, all concerned with protecting and lengthening the lives of children, to seek a path forward amid the carnage of our children caused by firearms. What could be done to stem the hemorrhage in the streets?
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The national elections on August 21, 1994 will be an important milestone in Mexico's political opening. During the last four years, the Mexican Congress approved a number of important reforms to the electoral process. Yet the Mexican population remains highly skeptical about the integrity of the elections. Opinion polls show that nearly one-half of respondents expect fraud, and more than one half expect post-electoral violence.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Richard Joseph
  • Publication Date: 05-1994
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: On May 13-14, 1994, a group of 32 scholars and practitioners took part in a seminar on Democratization in Africa at The Carter Center. This consultation was a sequel to two similar meetings held in February 1989 and March 1990. Discussion papers from those seminars have been published under the titles, Beyond Autocracy in Africa and African Governance in the 1990s. During the period 1990-94, the African Governance Program of The Carter Center moved from discussions and reflections to active involvement in the complex processes of renewed democratization in several African countries. These developments throughout Africa were also monitored and assessed in the publication, Africa Demos.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America
  • Author: Jimmy Carter
  • Publication Date: 12-1992
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The Conference for Global Development Cooperation, convened by former President Jimmy Carter and United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, was held at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia on December 4 and 5, 1992.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Georgia
  • Publication Date: 11-1992
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Robert Pastor, Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Program at The Carter Center and Executive Secretary of the Council, opened the conference with a reference to Mexican Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz who once said, "A nation without free elections is a nation without a voice, without eyes, and without ears." Pastor noted that the right to free and fair elections is a universal right enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of the Organization of American States. In the spirit of honoring that right, the Council was formed in 1986 to lend support and assistance to the democratization movement in the Americas.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: The Conference Center
  • Publication Date: 07-1992
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: In the two years that have elapsed since The Carter Center hosted "Investigating Abuses and Introducing Human Rights Safeguards in the Democratization Process," the issues we discussed then have become even more pivotal as our views of governance and the rights of individuals and of state sovereignty itself are being fundamentally transformed. It was our view that, although the Center did not previously publish the seminar proceedings, making them available at this time would serve to further inform those who are working in this field by providing insightful observations by many human rights activists, journalists, and academicians who were involved directly in political transitions in their own countries and by others who studied these events from the outside.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Human Rights, International Cooperation