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  • Author: Miquel Ángel Valverde
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: In June 1990, President George Bush and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari announced their intention to begin negotiating a free trade agreement. Canada joined the negotiations the following August. The proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provoked an intense lobbying campaign in the US Congress, in what became a major political battle for its congressional approval. Some economic interests would win, others would lose with NAFTA. Congress members were worried about the loss of American low-skilled jobs and environmental issues. Regional interests were voiced loudly in the House of Representatives. A loose coalition of interest groups, including the AFL-CIO, public interest groups, and environmental organizations, coordinated opposition to the agreement. On the pro-NAFTA side was an ad hoc group of corporations, labeled USA-NAFTA, which included the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce. The Mexican government mounted an extensive lobbying campaign in favor of the trade pact. After intense congressional lobbying, President Bush obtained fast-track negotiating authority for NAFTA. Negotiations concluded in August 1992, and the following December, Presidents Bush and Salinas, as well as Canada's Prime Minister Mulroney, signed the pact, Presidential candidate Bill Clinton, under intense pressure from key constituencies of the Democratic Party, supported NAFTA "in principle," but only if complementary agreements on labor and environmental issues were included. Once in the office, Clinton negotiated these "side agreements" with Mexico and Canada, but still, strong opposition to NAFTA continued. In order to win congressional votes needed for the pact's approval, President Clinton engaged in a series of political compromises or "side-payments" with legislators, being able to form a congressional bipartisan coalition that allowed NAFTA passage.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Miguel Angel Valverde
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to discuss some concepts and review relevant literature on interest groups in the United States, in order to provide a broad guide to the study of the topic. It aims to explore the main questions raised by their presence in the political arena as well as suggest some themes for future research.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: David J. Vidal
  • Publication Date: 05-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the architecture of postwar American foreign policy, the twin themes of the Cold War and the national interest emerge as unshakable pillars. In the design of the conference, one session was set aside to explore the practical and political meanings of these themes for minorities. Conferees were asked to consider how Cold War foreign policy priorities intersected with minority concerns. They were also asked to assess whether the declaration made by Hans J. Morgenthau --that "we should have one guiding standard for thought and action, the national interest"--was a useful benchmark. These two points of departure struck the organizers as indispensable to any rethinking of the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jesus Velasco
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: The classification of current political tendencies in the United States is sometimes confusing. Since the beginning of Ronald Reagan's first presidential campaign, American journalists and scholars have used indistinctly terms like right, conservatism, neoconservatism, ultraconservatism, extreme right, New Right, etc., to define the different political forces behind Reagan's ascent to the White House. This confusion is evident in the work of John Judis. He believes that Kevin Phillips (a conservative scholar), Paul Weyrich (a New Right activist), Irving Kristol (a neoconservative leader), and William Buckley (a traditional conservative), could all be embraced within the term "conservative" without considering any differences in their theoretical and political position.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry, Daniel Deudney
  • Publication Date: 05-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War has triggered new debates about international relations theory. Most of the attention has been focused on explaining the end of the Cold War. Equally important, however, this epochal development raises new questions about the impact of forty years of East-West rivalry on the relations among the Western liberal democracies. This issue is not simply of passing historical interest because it bears on our expectations about the future trajectory of relations among the great powers in the West. Will the end of the Cold War lead to the decline of cooperative relations among the Western liberal democracies? Will major Western political institutions, such as NATO and the U.S.-Japanese alliance, fall apart? Will "semi-sovereign" Germany and Japan revert to traditional great power status? Will the United States return to its traditional isolationist posture? Our answers to these questions depend upon the sources of Western order: was the Cold War the primary cause of Western solidarity or does the West have a distinctive and robust political order that predated and paralleled the Cold War?
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Thomas Chronopoulos
  • Publication Date: 12-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: In the period between 1758 and 1834 repertoires of contention in Britain changed from parochial, particular, and bifurcated to cosmopolitan, modular, and autonomous. In other words, eighteenth century actions "that included a good deal of ceremonial, street theater, deployment of strong visual symbols, and destruction of symbolically charged objects" through the course of time lost their relative predominance and instead "demonstrations, strikes, rallies, public meetings, and similar forms of public interaction came to prevail during the nineteenth century." These new routines for the eighteenth century contentious events are the ones that ordinary people in the United States and Western Europe still to this date principally employ to make claims. This conclusion merges from a systematic study of more than 8,000 contentious gatherings, in Southern England (1758-1820) and Great Britain as a whole (1828-1834).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, England
  • Author: Stephen M. Saideman
  • Publication Date: 11-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: Is secession contagious? If so, can it be contained or quarantined to limit its spread? These two questions must be addressed to understand the challenges posed by ethnic divisions within and between states today. The end of ideological competition between the United States and the Soviet Union has not ushered in an era of global peace, but instead a period characterized by ethnic conflicts within many states. The coincidence of the disintegrations of the Soviet, Yugoslav, and Czechoslovak federations suggests that secession does spread with potentially nasty consequences.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Nationalism, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe
  • 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