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  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: On March 21, almost one million Kurds gathered in Diyarbakir to celebrate the Kurdish New Year, Newroz and listened to the message of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed PKK. In the midst of the cheers and applauses, Ocalan declared that the era of armed struggle for the Kurds ended and the PKK would lay down its arms. This was a historic public demonstration of a new peace process conducted by the Turkish government on the one side and Abdullah Ocalan on the other to reach a negotiated settlement for the Kurdish insurgency.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: New York, Turkey
  • Author: Ziya Öniş
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: After a major wave of democratization over the last decade, the stalemate in Turkey's reform process and the rising concerns about 'creeping authoritarianism' under the ruling AKP government attracted the attention of many scholars. How could Turkey manage to achieve substantial progress in democratization over the last ten years and why has the current government lost its reformist spirit? This article seeks to answer these questions by developing a multi-dimensional, holistic approach that tries to integrate structures and actors, domestic and external forces, rather than single-mindedly focusing on certain aspects whilst downplaying other crucial elements.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Sophie von Hatzfeldt
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Chile has a dire need as well as a vast potential to expand renewable energy production and the government has recently introduced regulatory reforms and incentives to facilitate their development. Nevertheless, the governance structure of the electricity sector poses significant barriers to the attainment of national energy aims. Actors from the state, private sector, as well as civil society must tackle the main constraints to provide a cohesive and targeted policy response to the issue.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Michael M. Gunter
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During the summer and fall of 2009, the continuing and often violent Kurdish problem in Turkey seemed on the verge of a solution when the ruling Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (Justice and Development Party) or AK Party (AKP) government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul announced a Kurdish Opening. Gul declared that "the biggest problem of Turkey is the Kurdish question" and that "there is an opportunity [to solve it] and it should not be missed."Erdogan asked: "If Turkey had not spent its energy, budget, peace and young people on [combating] terrorism, if Turkey had not spent the last twenty-five years in conflict, where would we be today?" Even the insurgent Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan (PKK) or Kurdistan Workers Party, still led by its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, briefly took Turkey's Kurdish Opening seriously. For a fleeting moment optimism ran rampant. That optimism, however, would ultimately go unfulfilled. What happened? The Kurdish Opening failed to live up to expectations because of roadblocks it encountered before it had a chance to get off the ground. Decades-old resistance to decentralization and an unwillingness to negotiate seriously with the PKK additionally worked to undermine the stated goals of the Kurdish Opening. This article will provide historical background to the recent efforts as well as a timeline of the government's initiatives and the Kurdish response regarding the Kurdish Opening. The question of why the Opening has failed to date will be examined. Recent developments including the civil war in Syria, which suggest that some possibility for progress on the Kurdish question remains, will also be discussed. Finally, the article puts forth recommendations to facilitate progress on finding a political settlement between the Turkish government and the PKK.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan
  • Author: Saskia van Genugten
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: With the elections of 2012, the main party driving the Islam debate in the Netherlands was sidelined. The new government of Liberals and Social Democrats is trying to re-bury the contentious issue, not least because Islam-related questions have had a confusing effect on their parties. Nonetheless, with societal concerns lingering, the topic is likely to reappear. In the Netherlands, the wariness towards (Islamic) immigration is not rooted in fears of ethnic or religious competition. Instead, it tends to receive serious political attention only when cloaked as a defence of secularist and liberal values. As such, curbing Islamic practices is presented as a way to protect a (self-promoted) image of the Netherlands as a non-judgemental and tolerant place. The paradox remains that that self-image was traditionally meant to include minorities, not to exclude them.
  • Topic: Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Netherlands
  • Author: Catherine Fieschi, Nick Johnson
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This piece examines the relationship of Muslim communities to the UK mainstream between 2005 and 2010. Using the dual backdrop of the country's embedded multiculturalism policy and its counter-terrorism strategy implemented through the Prevent agenda, the authors brush a picture of a tense yet ultimately resilient relationship. While Prevent was often accused of leading to a securitisation of community policy, it is arguable that tensions have led to increased visibility and leadership capacity from the Muslim community, and a recognition of their role and diversity on behalf of the public and the government.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Should government further restrict the ability of rights-respecting Americans to buy, own, and carry guns, or should it recognize that ability as a basic right and protect it? David B. Kopel, among the most influential Second Amendment scholars working today, makes a terse but cogent argument for the right to keep and bear arms in his latest book, The Truth about Gun Control.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: I have just read Richard Salsman's "The End of Central Banking, Part I" [TOS, Spring 2013], and am amazed at how much it has explained. I have been disturbed and frustrated by many of the Federal Reserve's actions in recent years, but had not known where to turn to find explanations for what is going on and why the Fed has the authority for these actions. I had found nothing in my normal reading to help me understand these actions, but Dr. Salsman has explained their cause. My thanks to him for the superb history and commentary. Thanks also to The Objective Standard for publishing this article.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Richard Katz
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Tensions between China and Japan are rising, but an economic version of mutual deterrence is preserving the uneasy status quo. Put simply, China needs to buy Japanese products as much as Japan needs to sell them.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Beijing
  • Author: Scott G. Borgerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No matter what one thinks should be done about global warming, the fact is, it's happening. And its effects are not all bad. In the Arctic, it is turning an impassible region into an emerging epicenter of industry and trade.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Patricio Asfura-Heim, Ralph H. Espach
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Across Mexico, the lawlessness and carnage of the drug wars have given rise to scores of local self-defense forces aiming to defend their communities. The federal government may be tempted to disband and disarm these armed vigilantes, but until it can shape up its security sector, the local groups offer an imperfect but acceptable alternative.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Michael Williams
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Some months ago while clearing my late mother 's house I came across a stamp album from my school days in the 1960s. There were stamps from 'Croatia ', in reality produced by extremist groups in Argentina, but testifying to the existence of the Nazi puppet state of Croatia (NDH) in the 1940s. But to my surprise, I also found stamps from the 'Alawite State of Syria '. An independent Croatia is now a reality and soon to become a member of the European Union. For that matter we also have states of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo. And the former Soviet Union has broken up into its constituent republics. Who would have imagined this as late as 1990? But maybe the break up of states, whether Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia, and possibly the United Kingdom if Scotland opts for independence in 2014, is a purely European phenomenon?
  • Topic: Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Argentina, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Syria, Scotland
  • Author: Alan Philps
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Abdulkader al-Dhon, 27, was a student when the Syrian uprising started. For the past two years he has travelled the country to help reporters and human rights groups make sense of the crisis
  • Topic: Government, Communications
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Jane Kinninmont
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Syria's civil war is exacerbating tension between Iraqi factions
  • Topic: Security, Government, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Author: Dave McRae
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The ramifications at home of protecting citizens abroad
  • Topic: Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Binyon
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A mountain-top airport is about to change island life forever
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, South Africa, Island
  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Russian government sincerely believes that Assad's removal from power would trigger the expansion of jihadism and instability in the Caucasus and southern Russia. Moscow is deeply concerned about the rise of Islamists in the Middle East, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia's efforts to support the most radical factions in Syria. At the same time, the obvious absence of the ideological background behind current Russian-Syrian relations makes them a trade item. Thus, official guarantees that the jihadists will not export their revolution elsewhere accompanied by promises to preserve some Russian economic positions in post-Assad Syria will probably create the necessary ground for the emergence of a compromise stance on Syria (including the issue of foreign intervention).
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Muriel Asseburg
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Europeans enthusiastically embraced the Arab Spring. However, the EU and its member states have lacked significant influence in a neighbouring region in turmoil. The EU has not devised new and more appropriate approaches towards the region, but rather relied on its traditional tools and frameworks. The Eurozone's financial crisis and threat perceptions have quickly underminded the readiness of EU member states to contribute meaningfully to Arab transformations with money, market access and mobility. In addition, European support has not been equally welcomed across the region, and delays in terms of building empowered governments have prevented a quick impact. Moreover, the violent power struggles triggered by the Arab Spring have revealed the EU's weakness with regard to effective conflict prevention and timely crisis management - and thus created an environment averse to democratic transformation and regional stabilisation.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Arturo Marzano
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Israel's international position has declined in recent years. Even if its relationship with the EU - and even more with the US - is solid, there have been frictions that are not likely to disappear in the years to come. Its relations with other states, from Middle Eastern countries to India and China, are either highly problematic or have not improved despite the Israeli government's efforts. It is Israel's policy in the Occupied Territories that is being increasingly criticised and this is creating a sort of 'vicious circle' in Israel: the critiques reinforce Israeli's 'bunker mentality', strengthening the ethno-nationalist character of Israeli politics and society and causing de-democratisation, and this, in turn, brings on more international isolation.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Kevin Warsh
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Federal Reserve's independence is essential to the conduct of monetary policy. But while the Fed is independent within government, it is not independent of government. The grant of authority to the Fed comes from Congress, to which the Fed is ultimately accountable. In my view, the Fed was granted significant powers by Congress, but those powers were not unlimited. The grant of authority was constrained. So by my measure, the Fed is a powerful institution, but a bounded one.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Allan H. Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: On September 1, 1948, Allan Sproul, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, commented on Fed independence: I don't suppose that anyone would still argue that the central banking system should be independent of the Government of the country. The control which such a system exercises, over the volume and value of money is a right of Government and is exercised on behalf of Government, with powers delegated by the Government. But there is a distinction between independence from Government and independence from political influence in a narrower sense. The powers of the central banking system should not be a pawn of any group or faction or party, or even any particular administration, subject to political pressures and its own passing fiscal necessities [Letter to Robert R. Bowie, in Meltzer 2003: 738].
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr., Thomas F. Cargill
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Federal Reserve was founded in 1913 during the Wilson administration to end banking panics and depressions, and was part of the Progressive agenda for a more activist role of government (see Kolko 1963). By the 50th anniversary, the conventional wisdom was that the Fed's performance was overall satisfactory, especially after the Treasury-Federal Reserve Accord of 1951 that permitted independent monetary policy. While the decision to double reserve requirements in 1937 was judged a policy error, the Federal Reserve was not held responsible for the Great Depression.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Jurgen Stark
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: It was one of the author's predictions in 1998 that the euro zone would end up teaching us more about economics compared to what economics could teach us about the euro zone. While many of the author's predictions of that year did not hold, including the forecast that the euro would challenge the dollar as the world's foremost reserve currency, this particular prediction ultimately turned out to be correct. A monetary union is a hybrid between a fixed exchange rate system and a unitary state, one that is fully captured neither with closed-economy macro models nor classical international macro models of fixed exchange rates.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It was a rough four months for the US as Washington struggled to convince Asian audiences that the “rebalance” is sustainable given renewed attention to the Middle East, even before the Syrian crises. US engagement in Asia was multidimensional with participation at several ministeriallevel meetings, a visit by Vice President Biden, continued pursuit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and a show of military capability in Korea. But, it isn't clear North Korea got the message. Kim Jong Un seems to have adopted his father's play book: first create a crisis, make lots of threats, and follow up with a “smile diplomacy” campaign. So far, Washington has stuck to its game plan, insisting on a sign of genuine sincerity before opening a dialogue with Pyongyang. Finally, the US image in the region was damaged by revelations about classified NSA intelligence collection efforts.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Washington, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Abe focused intently on economic policy and led his Liberal Democratic Party to a resounding victory in the July Upper House election, securing full control of the Diet and a period of political stability that bodes well for his policy agenda. Multilateral gatherings in Asia yielded several opportunities for bilateral and trilateral consultations on security issues, and the economic pillar of the alliance also took shape with Japan's entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and discussions on energy cooperation. Comments on sensitive history issues sparked controversy but did not derail bilateral diplomacy. The nomination of Caroline Kennedy as US ambassador to Japan marks a new chapter in the relationship.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Graeme Dobell
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The 12 months under review saw the unfolding of the withdrawal timetable from Afghanistan, the second rotation of US Marines to northern Australia, the first “Full Knowledge and Concurrence” statement on US facilities on Australian soil in six years, and the end of Australia's long-term military deployments in Timor Leste and Solomon Islands. The Gillard government produced a trio of major policy statements built on an understanding that Asia's “extraordinary ascent” means Australia is entering “a truly transformative period in our history.” In the words of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper: “In managing the intersections of Australia's ties with the United States and China, we will need a clear sense of our national interests, a strong voice in both relationships and effective diplomacy.” Meanwhile, Australian politics experienced a bit of turmoil. The Labor government discarded Australia's first female prime minister in an attempt to appease the voters, but instead the voters discarded the Labor government. So it was that in the national election on Sept. 7, Australia got its third prime minister in the same calendar year. After six years of Labor rule, the LiberalNational Coalition led by Tony Abbott is back in power. Plummeting opinion polls had caused the Labor Parliamentary Caucus to vote out Julia Gillard as leader in June and elect Kevin Rudd as prime minister. Thus, Labor returned to the man it had thrown out of the prime ministership in 2010, afraid he could not win the looming 2010 election. Facing the prospect of another federal election, the Caucus this time dispensed with Gillard and gave Rudd a second chance as prime minister. Rudd, though, carried the weight of Labor's six years in office and the wounds of his bitter three-year leadership wrangle with Gillard, a struggle that had eaten at the government's standing and morale. Abbott's simple message was a Coalition alternative to the disunity, drama, and spectacular hatreds of the Labor years, allowing the Liberal leader to run a campaign that was singularly light on policy commitments. In the end, not being Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd was enough for an Abbott triumph.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Australia
  • Author: Steve Simpson
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The revelation in May of this year that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was systematically targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups for special scrutiny under the laws governing nonprofit organizations shocked the nation and triggered one of the Obama administration's biggest scandals to date. According to a Treasury inspector general's report, in May of 2010, agents in the IRS's Cincinnati office began singling out applications for nonprofit status from groups with terms such as "Tea Party" or "patriot" in their names. The agents conducted lengthy investigations of the groups to determine whether they intended to spend too much of their money on political activities that are prohibited to most nonprofits.1 The IRS required some groups to answer long lists of questions about their intentions, it demanded donor lists from others, and it even examined Facebook and Internet posts.2 Some groups simply gave up and withdrew their applications. Others spent two years waiting for a decision that never came.3 When Congress investigated the scandal, Lois Lerner, the former head of the office that oversees nonprofit organizations, invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify. Later, hearings revealed that Douglas Shulman, the former head of the IRS, was cleared to visit the White House at least 157 times during his tenure and that IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, who was one of two Obama appointees at the IRS, helped develop the agency's guidelines for investigating the Tea Party groups.4 As a result, critics of the IRS have good reason to think that the scandal reaches the highest levels of our government. The public's outrage over this scandal is, of course, entirely appropriate. If the government can enforce laws based on nothing more than one's political views, then both freedom of speech and the rule of law are dead. But the outrage over the IRS's focus on conservative groups obscures a far more important question: Why was the IRS investigating the political activities of any group? The answer to that question is more troubling than the possibility of rogue IRS agents, biased law enforcement, or even abuses of power at the highest levels. As bad as all of those things are, the bigger threat to freedom is a legal regime that requires scrutiny of Americans' political activities and a political and intellectual culture that applauds such scrutiny and openly calls for more of it. This is the situation in America today. Our tax and campaign finance laws impose a host of regulations on Americans based on how much time, effort, and money they spend on political speech, and many opinion leaders agitate for even more laws and investigations every day. Against this backdrop, the IRS scandal should not surprise us. Our politicians and intellectuals demanded regulation of some of the loudest voices in our political debates, and the IRS delivered. Unfortunately, far too many critics of the IRS have accepted the premise that our laws should distinguish between groups that spend money on political activities and groups that do not. Expressing this view, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein has argued that the real scandal was that the IRS did not treat all nonprofits as harshly as it treated the Tea Party groups.5 Using the same reasoning, congressional Democrats have attempted to blunt the scandal by claiming that the IRS also investigated some groups on the left.6 It appears that these claims are untrue, but the message is clear: As long as the government is scrutinizing everyone's speech equally, then there is no scandal. But this is the opposite lesson to learn from the IRS scandal. For anyone who cares about freedom of speech, the real scandal is that the government regulates Americans' campaign spending at all. So long as laws remain on the books that do so, scandals such as this one-and far worse-are inevitable. But to understand why that is so requires a deeper understanding of the premises on which the laws are based and how the laws operate in practice. . . .
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Michael Dahlen (reviewer)
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: From 2006 to 2007, Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, was one of few people warning that the U.S. economy was fundamentally unsound and that real estate was grossly overpriced. In his first book, Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse (2007), he predicted that the economy, the housing market, and the stock market would fall apart. He also voiced these predictions on several cable news shows, yet few people heeded his warnings. Some hosts and other guests even mocked and ridiculed him. But Schiff was right. In his recent book, The Real Crash: America's Coming Bankruptcy-How to Save Yourself and Your Country, Schiff says that the worst is yet to come and that the 2008-2009 economic crisis was merely a "tremor before the earthquake." Schiff argues that the main culprit of our economic instability is America's central bank: the Federal Reserve. Through its control of the money supply and the effect this has on interest rates, the Fed artificially inflates the prices of various asset classes, creating so-called "bubbles," and when those prices inevitably collapse, the Fed then inflates the prices of other asset classes. "Throughout the 1990s," Schiff observes, "we had the stock bubble and the dot-com bubble. The Fed replaced that with the housing bubble and the credit bubble. Now, the Fed and the administration are replacing those bubbles with the government bubble" (p. 20). By "government bubble," Schiff is referring to the U.S. dollar and Treasury bonds. When asset prices collapse and recessions ensue, Schiff notes, the Fed-via bailouts and low interest rates-props up insolvent banks and other companies (while also helping to finance government debt). It has taken these actions allegedly to minimize the short-term pain of recessions, but in doing so, the Fed has prevented the economy from correcting itself, making it increasingly unsound. "If you keep replacing one bubble with another, you eventually run out of suds. The government bubble is the final bubble" (p. 23). If the Fed keeps interest rates artificially low and if the government keeps running massive budget deficits, the day will come, Schiff argues, "when the rest of the world stops trusting America's currency and our credit. Then we'll get the real crash" (p. 1). In his introduction to the book, Schiff explains that he is taking a different approach here than he took in his previous books: "[T]his time I have decided that rather than simply predicting doom, I would lay out a comprehensive set of solutions. That's why I wrote this book" (p. 2). After diagnosing our economic problems, Schiff explains how we can fix them. . . .
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Mikayla Callen (reveiwer)
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: In her debut novel, Living Proof, Kira Peikoff addresses one of the hottest issues today-religious dogma versus individual rights-in the form of a conflict between the "rights" of embryos and the rights of people to engage in embryonic stem cell research. Living Proof is set in the not-too-distant future, the year 2027, in which the government has placed bans on any type of research on embryos and embryonic stem cells as part of an embryonic rights movement. The legal manifestation of this movement is the Department of Embryo Preservation, or DEP, whose sole purpose is to ensure that no embryos are used for research or destroyed in any way. The devoutly religious director of the DEP, Gideon Dopp, prides himself on his position at "the noblest of all government agencies" (p. 332), where he is responsible for "weeding out sinners to protect innocents" (p. 331). He makes it his personal goal to ensure that no embryos are harmed. [The DEP] mandated that all fertility clinics "preserve the soul of every embryo." In keeping with the law, the department required that clinics report, once a month, the number of embryos left over from every patient's attempt at in vitro fertilization-a number the inspectors verified with their visits. To ensure accurate reporting, the department periodically conducted random audits. . . . (p. 14) If an unfortunate doctor fails an audit, there are "serious consequences for the clinic: probation and heavy fines" (p. 15). The authorities mete out far more severe punishments for the "crime" of destroying an embryo, an act that is grounds for shutting down the clinic and charging the doctor responsible with first-degree murder. In this setting, the reader follows Arianna Drake and Trent Rowe in a conflict-ridden love story. . . .
  • Topic: Government
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mina Sumaadii
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: For most of modern history Mongolia has been isolated from the world due to the geopolitical struggles between Russia and China. As the Communist system collapsed and liberal democracy was established, many outsiders wondered why the country succeeded in democratization where other neighboring ex-Soviet states had failed. The odds were mainly against the country, due to high levels of poverty and geographical distance from established mature democracies. Nevertheless, in Mongolia the common answer is that the political culture was compatible with the principles of liberal democracy. This work is an empirical study of macro and micro developments based on modernization theory. It explores the values and attitudes of the general population in an effort to examine what makes it pro-democratic. The main finding is that the general claim of modernization theory is applicable to Mongolia, but in relation to political culture as a mediator between economic development and democratization.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Mongolia
  • Author: Martin Mölder
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: Analyzing coalition governments in Western parliamentary democracies has followed more or less the same design throughout the years. The objective has been to “predict” or “explain” the formation of governments in general. Although the explanatory power of models has improved, even the most comprehensive are able to predict government formation in less than half of the cases. 1 This can mean either that the process of coalition formation is to a significant extent idiosyncratic or that current models have not been fully specified.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Norway, Austria
  • Author: Patrick Hein
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: In his 2010 best-selling book Germany Is Doing Away with Itself former German Central Bank executive member Thilo Sarrazin denounced the structural integration unwillingness of the Turkish community in Germany. The book sparked a fierce controversy especially among young, liberal, German-speaking Turks who feltCEU Political Science Journal. Vol. 8, No. 2 267 deeply offended by Sarrazin's allegations. The German unease with Islam and Turkey has cast a shadow over bilateral relations between the two states. With the rise of radical Islam and ongoing human rights violations in Turkey, tensions have been on the increase.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Timothy A. Krambs
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The regional security of Central Asia hinges on the level of stability within Afghanistan and its foreign relations with its neighbors.1 Afghanistan is not only pivotal in the maintenance of regional security, but is also crucial to the region's economic and po- litical development. As Ashraf Ghani, chairman of the Afghan transition commission, stated, “The region needs to make a choice, a stable Afghanistan ... is absolutely es- sential.”2 However, there is looming doubt as to the ability of Afghan forces to be able to defend the state against domestic and external insurgent movements and to sustain the progress in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency that the U.S.-backed, NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan has estab- lished under UN mandates since the United States initiated military action against the Taliban in 2001. The year 2014 is the deadline that has been set for ISAF troops to withdraw from the war-torn country and hand over the responsibility for ensuring secu- rity in the nation to the Afghan Security Forces. Currently the U.S. and NATO forces are transitioning from a mission of combat to one of support.3 The participants of the “Bonn+10” conference4 identified 2011 as the dividing point “From Transition to the Transformation Decade,” during which the burden on the international community to assist Afghanistan in maintaining peace and continuing to develop its governmental re- forms should gradually diminish.5 Several important questions require informed and in- sightful responses: During this “Transformation decade,” what will the security picture in Afghanistan look like? Who will supplant the U.S. forces and complement the Af- ghan security forces to establish the necessary stability in Afghanistan to allow further economic and political development in the country and the region?
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia, Australia
  • Author: Christian E. Guerrero-Castro
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Most recent military actions have provided stark examples of the increasing power of communications in the public and governmental arena regarding the role that direct actors play in disputes characterized as “conflicts of interests.” These examples have also shown how communications can directly influence perceptions within the interna- tional system and among those who enjoy “freedom of action,” who are always pur- sued by an arsenal of immediate media technology. However, in a conflict of interests, nation-states act along political lines and use the tools of the “fields of action” (inter- nal, external, economic, and defense) to execute their national strategies, with the ob- jective of maintaining or pursuing political and strategic objectives. But how can we defend ourselves against communications, or use them to benefit our political-strategic interests?
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Giuseppe Caforio
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The completion of a cross-national research study on a sizeable sample of military per- sonnel who had participated in asymmetric warfare operations has resulted in a variety and breadth of survey material that is deserving of further examination.1 Additional study of the data gathered in this research is particularly important in order to reconstruct the environment of this type of warfare, with special regard to the human impact of such conflicts on the participants.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John L. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Two decades after the end of the Cold War, does Europe need armies? What should soldiers do, besides fighting and preparing to fight? What tasks are (and are not) ap- propriate for soldiers to carry out in a domestic context? Is territorial defense still a valid mission for European armed forces? And are there better—and cheaper—solu- tions?
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nathan R. Grison
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: As a bridge between the Middle East, the former Soviet republics, and the Euro-Atlan- tic zone, the Caspian Sea is increasingly at the center of the global geopolitical and commercial game. In addition to its strategic location, the Caspian Sea, according to analysts, could contain between 6 and 10 percent of the world's gas reserves, and from 2 to 6 percent of the world's oil reserves.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Colonel Steven D. Dubriske
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The government of Poland has addressed a number of difficult national security issues since the nation regained its independence from Soviet control in 1989. Longstanding border disputes with neighboring countries and the perceived disparate treatment of Polish minorities in these countries are just two examples of the many external security challenges Poland faced head-on after its emergence from the Warsaw Pact. Poland\'s leadership has also addressed a number of internal security problems, such as the mod- ernization of its Cold War-era military and the transfer of control of the armed forces from the Polish General Staff to civilian authorities within its Ministry of Defense.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: ISAF's mission in Afghanistan has shifted from a combat role to focus more on pre- paring ANSF units to assume lead security responsibility by the end of 2014. A key element in advising and assisting the ANSF is SFA advisor teams, provided by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. A House Armed Services Committee report accompa- nying its version of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act directed GAO to review DOD's establishment and use of SFA advisor teams. Specifically, GAO evaluated the extent to which (1) DOD, in conjunction with ISAF, has defined SFA advisor team missions, goals, and objectives; (2) the Army and Marine Corps have been able to provide teams; and (3) the Army and Marine Corps have developed programs to train teams for their specific missions. GAO reviewed doctrine and guid- ance, analyzed advisor requirements, reviewed training curricula, and interviewed Army, Marine Corps, theater command, and SFA advisor team officials in the U.S. and Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Washington
  • Author: Sven Pfeiffer
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article discusses whether there is a normative conflict between the rights of indigenous peoples and the international drug control regime. Treaty obligations to abolish coca leaf chewing might clash with the indigenous peoples' right to practice their customs and traditions in States of the Andean region where indigenous peoples have practiced coca leaf chewing for centuries. Taking into account the manner with which States have addressed this issue, the article focuses on the case of Bolivia and its recent attempt to amend the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. It is argued that the normative conflict can be resolved or at least avoided by applying the methods of treaty interpretation, though only at the expense of indigenous rights. Options to change the international drug control regime to ensure indigenous rights are not only limited by the common interest in preserving its integrity, but also by the negative impact this could have on treaty relations.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Sergey Lavrov
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: On February 12 OF this year, Russian President V.V. Putin approved a new Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation. The guide lines for the document, work on which lasted several months, were set by a presidential decree that was signed the day the head of state was inaugurated. The draft concept was discussed with the government agencies that are most actively involved in international activity, and considered in various departments of the Russian presidential administration. The Russian expert community was involved in its preparation, including members of the Foreign Ministry's scientific Council. We are grateful to all those who have put forward their proposals and considerations, including in the pages of International Affairs.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Alexander Fomenko
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: INTHELATTERHALF of the 1940s, due to Japan's defeat in World War the political landscape in the Far East significantly changed the balance of forces seeking political domination in this part of the world. Leaders of all democratic victor nations, simultaneously but for different reasons, shifted their support from Chiang Kai-shek and his government of “reactionary” Nationalists to “progressive” Chinese Communists.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Korea
  • Author: Saadia M. Pekkanen
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The debate about how best to link domestic politics to international outcomes finds expression in Christina Davis's book, Why Adjudicate? Enforcing Trade Rule in the WTO. Although it may not be novel to argue that adjudication potentially serves as a release valve that allows governments to respond to and balance multiple competing interests across borders, such an argument is only the departure point for Davis's carefully designed study. Going beyond the standard economics and legal criteria, she combines the political pressures of industries with theories about the constraints on executive autonomy to push our thinking on why states engage in the patterns of adjudication that they do.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Author: Bruce Kam Kwan Kwong
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In 2011, Hong Kong SAR government announced an unprecedented policy of cash handouts of 6,000 HKD to all permanent residents at the age of 18 or above as a means of defusing public discontent with economic policy and poor governance. Macau SAR has also been distributing similar cash handouts since 2008 to temper public dissatisfaction and widespread demonstrations. Initially, both SAR governments were very reluctant to initiate universal cash handouts. Unlike standard welfare programmes that are budgeted for annually, the cash payment scheme in Hong Kong SAR was a one-off handout. In Macau SAR, however, the payment scheme went from being a short-term policy to a long-term policy, while other welfare programmes were also allocated more public money. This paper argues that although such cash handout policies are avoidable, they are still being adopted by politicians who place self-interest above the public interest.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Hong Kong
  • Author: Steven J. Balla, Zhou Liao
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Chinese government has increasingly utilised online consultation as a means of providing citizens with opportunities to offer feedback on draft laws and regulations. As little is known about the operation of online consultation, this article analyses the content of citizen feedback submitted on a revision to China's health system proposed by the National Development and Reform Commission. Citizen engagement with the political and substantive issues under consideration is crucial if online consultation is to impact government decision-making and enhance the performance of laws and regulations. This paper's main findings are that it was common for comments to address substantive issues in great depth, as well as express negative assessments of government decisions. This suggests that online consultation holds promise as an instrument of governance reform, which the Chinese Communist Party has embraced as a means of cultivating popular support.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Law, Reform
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Keith B. Alexander, Emily Goldman, Michael Warner
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has identified cybersecurity threats as among the most serious challenges facing our nation. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel noted in April that cyberattacks "have grown into a defining security challenge." And former secretary of defense Leon Panetta told an audience in 2012 that distributed denial-of-service attacks have already hit U.S. financial institutions. Describing this as "a pre-9/11 moment," he explained that "the threat we face is already here." The president and two defense secretaries have thus acknowledged publicly that we as a society are extraordinarily vulnerable. We rely on highly interdependent networks that are insecure, sensitive to interruption and lacking in resiliency. Our nation's government, military, scientific, commercial and entertainment sectors all operate on the same networks as our adversaries. America is continually under siege in cyberspace, and the volume, complexity and potential impact of these assaults are steadily increasing.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Christopher Whalen
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: PRESIDENT OBAMA and Congress continue to wrestle with competing ideas to fix America's housing crisis, ranging from abolishing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to introducing new regulations for repairing the rickety mortgage-financing system years after it crashed. To understand the enduring nature of today's housing-system mess, it is not really necessary to do much more than to look backward. To look, that is, at the careers of two former prominent politicians, each of whom has played an integral role in American finance in recent decades.
  • Topic: Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, America
  • Author: Christian Caryl
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: A SPECTER is haunting Washington-the specter of George W. Bush. President Obama may have spent almost five years in the White House by now, but it's still possible to detect the furtive presence of a certain restless shade lurking in the dimmer corners of the federal mansion. Needless to say, this is something of a first: usually U.S. presidents have to die before they can join the illustrious corps of Washington ghosts, and 43 is, of course, still very much alive in his tony Dallas neighborhood, by all accounts enthusiastically pursuing his new avocation as an amateur painter. Yet his spirit is proving remarkably hard to exorcise.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Amity Shlaes
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: A. Scott Berg, Wilson [5] (New York: Putnam, 2013), 832 pp., $40.00. WHICH PREVIOUS president does President Barack Obama resemble most? Historians have likened the forty-fourth president to the thirty-second, Franklin Roosevelt. Obama, after all, chose to open his first term with a progressive campaign that explicitly evoked FDR's progressive Hundred Days. But Roosevelt functioned in a more political and opportunistic fashion than does Obama.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jagdish Bhagwati, Francisco Rivera-Batiz
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Ever since Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, in 1986, attempts at a similar comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration policies have failed. Yet today, as the Republican Party smarts from its poor performance among Hispanic voters in 2012 and such influential Republicans as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush have come out in favor of a new approach, the day for comprehensive immigration reform may seem close at hand. President Barack Obama was so confident about its prospects that he asked for it in his State of the Union address in February 2013. Now, the U.S. Senate looks poised to offer illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.
  • Topic: Government, Immigration, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, Syria
253. Left Out
  • Author: Henning Meyer
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, social democrats in Europe believed that their moment had finally arrived. After a decade in which European politics had drifted toward the market-friendly policies of the right, the crisis represented an opportunity for the political center left's champions of more effective government regulation and greater social justice to reassert themselves.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France, Denmark, Slovakia
  • Author: Henry Farrell, Martha Finnemore
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The U.S. government seems outraged that people are leaking classified materials about its less attractive behavior. It certainly acts that way: three years ago, after Chelsea Manning, an army private then known as Bradley Manning, turned over hundreds of thousands of classified cables to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, U.S. authorities imprisoned the soldier under conditions that the UN special rapporteur on torture deemed cruel and inhumane. The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, appearing on Meet the Press shortly thereafter, called WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, “a high-tech terrorist.”
  • Topic: Security, Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, India
  • Author: Cindy Williams
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On March 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense lost $37 billion overnight to sequestration. The cut marked the first wave of a series of planned cutbacks that will shrink future budgets across the federal government by about $1 trillion over nine years. The reductions had been set in motion back in 2011, when a special “super committee” established by the Budget Control Act (BCA) failed to reach a deficit-reduction agreement, triggering automatic cuts designed to punish both parties. Unlike other budget cuts, sequestration is implemented across the board, taking the same percentage bite out of every account. Except for the decision to spare the military personnel account that provides the pay for the United States' men and women in uniform, defense leaders had no choice about where to take the 2013 cuts. And so, with just seven months left in the fiscal year, sequestration abruptly erased about eight percent of the the Pentagon's budget for the year.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Charles W. Calomiris, Stephen H. Haber
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: People routinely blame politics for outcomes they don't like, often with good reason: when the dolt in the cubicle down the hall gets a promotion because he plays golf with the boss, when a powerful senator delivers pork-barrel spending to his home state, when a well-connected entrepreneur obtains millions of dollars in government subsidies to build factories that will probably never become competitive enterprises. Yet conventional wisdom holds that politics is not at fault when it comes to banking crises and that such crises instead result from unforeseen and extraordinary circumstances.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Author: Kenneth Bunker, Patricio Navia
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Politics in Latin America
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article applies the debate on the recent emergence of outsider candidates in Latin America to independent presidential candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami (ME-O) in Chile in 2009. We test five competing hypotheses to explain his electoral success. First, his support is explained by the consolidation of democracy, reflected by the disposition of voters to disregard the authoritarian/democratic-aligned candidates. Second, his support is explained by the decline of ideological identification, reflected by the disposition of voters to prefer nontraditional candidates. Third, his support is explained by the resurgence of the Left, reflected by the disposition of voters to identify with anti-Washington Consensus candidates. Fourth, his support is explained by the demand for quick government action, reflected in the predisposition of voters to consider candidates who will solve problems fast even if they do not ask voters for their opinions. Fifth, his support is explained by the declining support for established parties, reflected by the predisposition of voters to favor antisystemic candidates. We use survey data to test these hypotheses. We find no evidence to support the claims that ME-O fits any of the explanations. Though he was widely referred to as an outsider, his success seems to respond to national affairs rather than to a regional pattern.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Stuart W. Bowen, JR., Craig Collier
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: From 2004-2012, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) conducted 387 inspections and audits of U.S.-funded projects and programs that supported stabilization and reconstruction operations in Iraq. Most of SIGIR's reviews focused on large-scale projects or programs. In a recent special report, SIGIR accomplished a novel study examining a particular part of the rebuilding effort. That report reviewed the remarkably diverse spectrum of programs and projects executed in a crucial geographic area in Iraq, the Rusafa Political district, delving into who built what and at what cost. The nature of this new report opens the door to deeper perspectives on what was actually achieved – and how it was achieved–by various U.S. government agencies operating during operation Iraqi Freedom (oIF). SIGIR elicited seven lessons-learned from the study, which conclude this article.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Douglas Farah
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Over the past decade the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) has earned the unenviable position as one of the world's most violent and lawless regions.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: What lessons have you personally drawn from the decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Blair: The decade of war is really two decades of war–from the time the Cold War ended in about 1989 through the disappearance of the Soviet threat and the involvement of the United States in a series of individual military actions. What I've learned is that we need to do a better job thinking these conflicts all the way through before we engage in them. Because it turns out that we are relearning an old lesson, which is the use of military force is only a part of improving a situation and protecting American interests in a particular country or region. Too often, we think that a military victory itself will cause the desired result. In fact many other factors come in to play; economic development, social development, government improvement. These are not accomplished by the U.S. alone, and certainly not by American military force alone, but often with allies and other partners, and with other civilian capabilities. I think we have not thought them through carefully as to the end state that we are trying to achieve. Next we need to be realistic about the resources that are required; military, civil, and other. I'm afraid these are old lessons that need to be relearned, not new lessons, but they certainly have been borne out as some of the shortcomings of the interventions we have made in recent years. I would add, by the way, that I am not one who says our military interventions since 1989 have all been disasters. I think on the whole they have made the world a better place; bad people who were around then aren't around now, from Manuel Noriega to Saddam Hussein through Slobodan Milosevic and others; so it is not that our military interventions have been wasted. On the contrary–but we need to make sure that we get the maximum possible benefit from them and intervene in a smart way.
  • Topic: Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Jeff Rice
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Fred Kaplan's The Insurgents is a highly successful and compelling intermingling of three stories: the rise and eventual fall of General David Petraeus; the intellectual history of counterinsurgency; and the broadening of the learning culture within the United States Military during the Iraq war. Indeed, the heroes of the book are the “insurgents” within the U.S. Army who all but overthrew the dominant paradigm of kinetic warfare in favor of ideas derived from England and France during the end of the colonial era.1 Kaplan's book picks up on the story told by Tom Ricks in The Gamble2 about how this intellectual insurgency transformed the way the U.S. fought the war in Iraq, preferring the counterinsurgency (COIN) approach to protecting civilians from insurgents and lowering their casualty rate, and building alliances in order to reduce the number of insurgents. For Kaplan this is nothing short of a profound alteration of the American way of war, one that caused enormous consternation amongst certain sectors of the military who were wedded to a more conventional approach to war.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Burak Bilgehan Özpek
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The emergence of an energy security crisis between Russia and European countries has cast doubt on the argument that commercial ties lead to peaceful political relations between states as the energy trade between Russia and Europe has been inclined to generate conflict rather than cooperation. Nevertheless, the crisis has showed that military security issues no longer dominate the agenda and that issues produce different degrees of cooperation and conflict between governments. Furthermore, governments cannot use military force in order to resolve issues in an era of interdependence. Therefore, the European Union (EU), which suffers from an asymmetric dependence on energy resources imported from or via Russia, has adopted a diversification policy. This policy not only affects energy security but also the EU's enlargement process. Accordingly, a diversification policy requires embracing alternative energy sources, such as Turkey's involvement in oil and gas pipeline projects bypassing Russia. Thus, Turkey's contribution to European energy security creates an interdependence, which could affect Turkey's relations with the EU.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Kamran Matin
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Eurocentric approaches to political Islam tend to deploy an internalist methodology that theoretically obscures the generative and constitutive role of international relations. This article addresses this problem through a critical application of Leon Trotsky's idea of 'uneven and combined development' to Ayatollah Khomeini's invention of the concept of 'Islamic government'. It argues that this concept was international in its socio-political stimulus and intellectual content, and, crucially, reflected, influenced, and mobilised an emergent liminal sociality that combined Western and Islamic socio-cultural forms. This heterogeneous character of Iran's experience of modernity is, the article argues, theoretically inaccessible to Eurocentric approaches' homogeneous and unilinear conceptions of history, which, as a result, generate exceptionalist modes of explanations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Robyn Sampson, Grant Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Immigration detention is a growing threat to the well-being of migrants worldwide. While the use of this tool continues to increase, there is a growing consensus by governments on the need to pursue alternative programs. This paper examines the nature of these apparently contradictory developments and the reasons for tension in this area of migration policy. Drawing from research conducted by the International Detention Coalition and La Trobe University, this paper describes the Community Assessment and Placement (CAP) model, which seeks to prevent unnecessary detention, while allowing governments to meet the rationale offered for detention. It argues that the global trends of growth in detention and an increased emphasis on alternatives reflect competing political, policy and operational objectives. For example, governments wish to ensure compliance with deportation orders; alleviate political pressures regarding the harms associated with detention; and demonstrate control of territorial borders. Understanding the multiple rationales that shape this area of migration policy can help make sense of contradictory policy developments and identify the most effective ways to safeguard those who might be subject to detention.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Steven E. Steiner
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Ongoing dialogues and forums on nations in transition reinforce the commonality of challenges related to women's rights and roles in society, especially leadership in government. Women leaders in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Arab Spring countries face major challenges, including heightened insecurity and the risk of women's rights being rolled back significantly. Steps to address these challenges are to build coalitions across internal divides, engage male religious leaders and other men to support women's rights, reach out to youth, develop gender-based budgeting, and underscore the importance of women's economic empowerment. Keys to progress in these areas include obtaining grassroots support and taking a long-term strategic focus in international programs.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, Government, Labor Issues, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Arabia
  • Author: Caroline Green
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In every humanitarian crisis, humanitarian agencies, donors , and governments should seek to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls (VAWG ) and gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies, by: Reducing the risk s of GBV/ VAW G for beneficiaries of humanitarian programmes; Supporting long-term efforts to tackle the causes of GBV/VAWG in recovery and transition strategies; Supporting survivors' access to safe, confidential services ; and Placing all of the above in the context of efforts to tackle the broader gendered impacts of crises , in order to meet the needs of women, men, girls and boys , and to find opportunities to promote women's rights and gender equality in the long term . As well as encouraging other actors to undertake these actions, Oxfam is committed to promoting gender equality and preventing GBV/VAWG, through the implementation of its Minimum Standards for G ender in Emergencies. In addition, and particularly in conflict and transition contexts , donors, governments, UN agencies, civil society, armed forces , and peacekeepers, should advance women's rights, and undertake special measures to ensure their protection from GBV/VAWG.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil Society, Gender Issues, Government, Health, War
  • Author: Benjamin P. Nickels
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: On 22 March 2012, disaffected soldiers took control of Bamako and reversed the regime of President Amadou Toumani Touré, known as ATT, an act that exacerbated Mali's descent into chaos and accelerated a disaster that has propelled the West African nation and the Sahel region to the front pages of newspapers across the world. Something of a consensus narrative of events has since coalesced. The demise of Libya's Muammar Qaddafi un - leashed weapons and warriors into the Sahel, where they mixed with terrorists and rebels who seized Mali's North by routing its military, sparking the coup but eventually provoking intervention by a French and African coalition that has reclaimed Northern cities and is now hunting down rebels in remote refuges. One year after the army rebellion, it may be useful to step back from this narrative and to analyze the Mali Crisis, responses to the crisis and ways to enhance those responses the Mali crisis are global, ethnic, governmental and environmental in nature. For each facet, the past year has provided spectacular examples, all of which are symptoms of much deeper and more persistent problems.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, France, Libya, Chad
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt\'s Muslim Brotherhood stands on the brink of an impressive electoral victory. After several months of suggesting it would check its own electoral ambitions, the Brotherhood plunged into politics with unprecedented enthusiasm, focusing all of its energies and impressive organizational heft on the parliamentary vote. Now, with the electoral list of its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, likely to gain close to (and maybe even more than) half the seats and perhaps cabinet positions as well, the movement is entering uncharted waters.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Arabia, North Africa, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Maria Bondes, Sandra Heep
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In the debate on authoritarian resilience, the importance of persuasion to regime legitimacy has been widely acknowledged, yet a conceptual framework explaining the role of persuasion is still lacking. Against this backdrop, we argue that the framing perspective (Benford and Snow 2000) provides a useful basis for such a framework. Drawing on Beetham's (1991) model of legitimacy, we contend that the ruling elites in authoritarian regimes propagate official frames in a continuous effort to reproduce the belief of the populace in the elites' leadership qualities and their determination to serve the common interest. In the empirical part of our paper we look at the case of China, where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has in recent years reemphasized persuasion as a means of reproducing legitimacy. We then apply our theory in an analysis of the conceptual shifts in the CCP's frames and ideology, as propagated under its secretary general, Hu Jintao.
  • Topic: Government, Political Theory, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Fred Muhumuza, Anne Mette Kjær, Mesharch Katusiimeh, Tom Mwebaze
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper sets out to explain policies, implementation arrangements and results (PIRs) in Uganda's fisheries sector. Industry actors wanted to be able to keep up with European standards in order to survive in the chilled and frozen fillet export industry. They put pressure on ruling elites to support the establishment of effective hygiene and testing procedures. This helped the fishing industry succeed to an extent that helped create interests in the status quo. Fishermen, their dependents, and the fish processors all wanted to maintain a high level of fish catches. It was politically costly for ruling elites to enforce fisheries management because strict enforcement was unpopular with fishermen, as well as with many fishermen and security agents who benefitted from illegal fishing. Therefore, the success was not maintained: a pocket of efficiency was established with regard to hygiene and testing, but not with regard to enforcing fisheries management. Overfishing and the near collapse of the fishing sector were the results.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Europe
  • Author: Fred Muhumuza, Anne Mette Kjær, Tom Mwebaze
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The dairy sector is one of the only agricultural sectors in Uganda that has enjoyed sustained high growth since the late 1980s. Milk and the cold dairy chain developed especially in the south-western part of the country. This paper explains why this is so by the sector's relation to the ruling coalition. We argue that the dairy sector was relatively successful because the south-western based ruling elite wanted to build a support base in its home area. In addition, the elite had a special interest in dairy since key elite members owned dairy cattle themselves. As milk production grew, the ruling elite wanted to regulate the sector as this would help the big processor, the state owned and later privatized Dairy Corporation. Regulation was relatively successful and a pocket of bureaucratic efficiency was established in an agency called the Dairy Development Authority. The reason why regulation was enforced to a considerable extent was the organization of dairy farmers and traders and the bargaining and compromise with the Dairy Development Authority this organization of industry actors enabled.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Government, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Michael B. Rappaport
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The constitutional amendment procedure of Article V is defective because the national convention amendment method does not work. Because no amendment can be enacted without Congress's approval, limitations on the federal government that Congress opposes are virtually impossible to pass. This defect may have prevented the enactment of several constitutional amendments that would have constrained Congress, such as amendments establishing a balanced budget limitation, a line-item veto, or congressional term limits. The increasingly nationalist character of our constitutional charter may not be the result of modern values or circumstances, but an artifact of a distorted amendment procedure. Article V should be reformed to allow two-thirds of the state legislatures to propose a constitutional amendment which would then be ratified or rejected by the states, acting through state conventions or state ballot measures. Such a return of power to the states would militate against our overly centralized government by helping to restore the federalist character of our Constitution. Moreover, a strategy exists that would allow this reform to be enacted.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Law Enforcement, Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Kyrgyzstan's government has failed to calm ethnic tensions in the south, which continue to grow since the 2010 violence, largely because of the state's neglect and southern leaders' anti-Uzbek policies. Osh, the country's second city, where more than 420 people died in ethnic clashes in June of that year, remains dominated by its powerful mayor, an ardent Kyrgyz nationalist who has made it clear that he pays little attention to leaders in the capital. While a superficial quiet has settled on the city, neither the Kyrgyz nor Uzbek community feels it can hold. Uzbeks are subject to illegal detentions and abuse by security forces and have been forced out of public life. The government needs to act to reverse these worsening trends, while donors should insist on improvements in the treatment of the Uzbek minority.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • Author: Deborah Hardoon, Finn Heinrich
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: This report presents the fifth Transparency International Bribe Payers Index. The index ranks 28 of the world\'s largest economies according to the perceived likelihood of companies from these countries to pay bribes abroad. It is based on the views of business executives as captured by Transparency International\'s 2011 Bribe Payers Survey. The countries and territories ranked in the Index cover all regions of the world and represent almost 80 per cent of the total world outflow of goods, services and investments.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Law Enforcement
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries according to their perceived levels of public-sector corruption. The 2011 index draws on different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. The surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to the bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public-sector anti-corruption efforts.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Economics, Government, Law Enforcement
  • Author: Rosemary Armao
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: An unparalleled opportunity for media developers to boost democracy is at hand in the Middle East and North Africa, where once repressed media and civil society groups are forming in the wake of popular uprisings that toppled or are threatening regimes. New constitutions are being drafted, new forms of government debated, and new representatives selected, all against a backdrop of new citizen empowerment and tension among differing parties if not, as in the case of Egypt, outright violence. In addition, new media and technology have radically changed both the political debate in societies and how that debate is covered compared to the past.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Science and Technology, Mass Media, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Tiago Fernandes
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explains variations in patterns of civil society among third-wave democracies by comparing the cases of Portugal and Spain. In the former a civil society developed that had a tendency to be more oriented toward national issues and politics, whereas in the latter civil society tended to be more local, social, and disconnected from politics. Portugal, although having both a less developed economy and historically a weaker democratic tradition than Spain's, was a democracy that between the early 1970s and the mid-1990s offered more opportunities for the organized civic expression of popular interests.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Human Rights, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Portugal
  • Author: Malte Gephart
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: While the current international and transnational anti‐corruption campaign (ITACC) has been successful in calling worldwide attention to the topic, several critics have argued that the term “corruption” and the concepts that underlie it are ambiguous and that corruption and anti‐corruption have various meanings. This paper empirically explores these supposedly divergent meanings by comparing the ITACC with the anti‐corruption discourse in Paraguay. In order to explore not only the tensions but also possible coalitions between the ITACC and the Paraguayan discourse, I have conducted discourse analysis and constructionist interviews. The empirical exploration shows that differences, and thus tensions, exist between both levels with respect to the causes and effects attributed to corruption, as well as with regard to the ultimate goal of the fight against corruption. However, there also is a strong discourse coalition between the ITACC and Paraguay concerning concrete countermeasures, which indicates the dominance of the international anti‐corruption approach in the Latin American country. Very different actors with divergent understandings of corruption are able to act collectively against corruption via this discourse coalition, while still interpreting these actions according to their respective political agendas.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Government, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Dans un contexte arabe marqué par des transitions bâclées ou sanglantes, la Tunisie fait encore figure d'exception. Depuis le 14 janvier 2011, ce n'est pas seulement la tête de l'ancien régime, symbolisé par l'ancien président Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, qui est tombée. C'est tout un système qui se trouve bouleversé, principalement dans le cadre d'un consensus relativement large. Mais les défis qui pourraient menacer ces progrès existent. Parmi ceux-ci, deux en particulier sont étroitement liés : restaurer la sécurité et mener une véritable lutte contre l'impunité. Pour le nouveau gouvernement d'union, dénommé Troïka et emmené par le mouvement islamiste An-Nahda, la clé demeure dans un dialogue large, permettant de réformer les forces de sécurité sans trop les provoquer, rendre justice aux victimes de la dictature sans céder à la chasse aux sorcières, et garantir une justice efficace tout en tenant compte des limites du système judiciaire en place.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Government, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Liesbet Hooghe, Gary Marks
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: This paper suggests that the basic distinction between federal and unitary government has limited as well as served our understanding of government. The notion that variation in the structure of government is a difference of kind rather than degree has straight-jacketed attempts to estimate the authority of intermediate government. One result has been the claim that a country\'s footprint, not its population, is decisive for government. Analyzing data for 39 countries since 1950, and comparing our own findings with those of alternative measurements, we find evidence for the causal effect of population. This can be theorized in terms of a trade-off between responsiveness to soft information and per capita economies in public good provision.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anne Nelson
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: Digital media are disrupting every aspect of modern society, rebooting traditional practices and jumpstarting new disciplines ranging from telemedicine to robotic assembly lines. Along the way, they are rattling hierarchies, making blunders, and fomenting miracles.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Science and Technology, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael F. Cannon, Diane Cohen
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: When a member of Congress introduces legislation, the Constitution requires that legislative proposal to secure the approval of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the president (unless Congress overrides a presidential veto) before it can become law. In all cases, either chamber of Congress may block it.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Governance, Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Streetcars are the latest urban planning fad, stimulated partly by the Obama administration's preference for funding transportation projects that promote "livability" (meaning living without automobiles) rather than mobility or cost-effective transportation. Toward that end, the administration wants to eliminate cost-effectiveness requirements for federal transportation grants, instead allowing non-cost-effective grants for projects promoting so-called livability. In anticipation of this change, numerous cities are preparing to apply for federal funds to build streetcar lines.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government, Political Economy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Thomas L. Hogan
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Privately issued money can benefit consumers in many ways, particularly in the areas of value stability and product variety. Decentralized currency production can benefit consumers by reducing inflation and increasing economic stability. Unlike a central bank, competing private banks must attract customers by providing innovative products, restricting the quantity of notes issued, and limiting the riskiness of their investing activities. Although the Federal Reserve currently has a de facto monopoly on the provision of currency in the United States, this was not always the case. Throughout most of U.S. history, private banks issued their own banknotes as currency. This practice continues today in a few countries and could be reinstituted in the United States with minimal changes to the banking system.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Trevor Burrus
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Public broadcasting has been in critics' crosshairs since its creation in 1967. Assailed from all sides with allegations of bias, charges of political influence, and threats to defund their operations, public broadcasters have responded with everything from outright denial to personnel changes, but never have they squarely faced the fundamental problem: government-funded media companies are inherently problematic and impossible to reconcile with either the First Amendment or a government of constitutionally limited powers.
  • Topic: Government, Communications, Mass Media, Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Morris A. Davis
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For decades U.S. housing policy has focused on promoting homeownership. In this study, I show that the set of policies designed to further homeownership has been ineffective and expensive and that homeownership as a public policy goal is not well supported.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Although gasoline taxes have long been the main source of funding for building, maintaining, and operating America's network of highways, roads, and streets, the tax is at best an imperfect user fee. As such, Congress and the states should take action to transition from gas taxes to more efficient vehicle-mile fees.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Communications, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: News that the poverty rate has risen to 15.1 percent of Americans, the highest level in nearly a decade, has set off a predictable round of calls for increased government spending on social welfare programs. Yet this year the federal government will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty. And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure. In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Patric H. Hendershott, Kevin Villani
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The current narrative regarding the 2008 systemic financial system collapse is that numerous seemingly unrelated events occurred in unregulated or underregulated markets, requiring widespread bailouts of actors across the financial spectrum, from mortgage borrowers to investors in money market funds. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, created by the U.S. Congress to investigate the causes of the crisis, promotes this politically convenient narrative, and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act operationalizes it by completing the progressive extension of federal protection and regulation of banking and finance that began in the 1930s so that it now covers virtually all financial activities, including hedge funds and proprietary trading. The Dodd-Frank Act further charges the newly created Financial Stability Oversight Council, made up of politicians, bureaucrats, and university professors, with preventing a subsequent systemic crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Hilde Eliassen Restad
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: James Madison famously stated in 1793: “War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.” By this, Madison meant that, when confronted with a grave threat to national security, the instinct of a state is to concentrate power at the very top. This can lead – and has led – to abuse of power. For instance, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 resulted in the forcible internment of Japanese Americans (two thirds of whom were U.S. citizens), an episode widely seen as regrettable later, after history had removed Americans from the anxiety of war. But by no means do we have to look as far back as to World War II. We can note Cold War incidents such as the Iran-Contra scandal (1985–87), when the Reagan administration took it upon itself to bypass Congress – and specific laws – in order to support the controversial Nicaraguan Contras with money acquired by selling arms to Iran.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Katja Lindskov Jacobsen
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Biometric technology has been afforded a central role in the security architecture that Western governments have forged since the events of 9/11 2001. With biometrics the body becomes the anchor of identification. In a security architecture centred on identification of persons of interest and determination of their status as friend or foe, biometrics has come to be praised for its supposedly exceptional capacity to identify reliably.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Science and Technology, Biosecurity
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Myanmar has embarked on an ambitious program of sweeping reforms to end its isolation and integrate its economy with the global system. Closely entwined with its dramatic political transition, the end of longstanding Western sanctions is supporting this reconfiguration. If the reforms are done well, many across the country stand to benefit, but those who profited most from the old regime's restrictions and privileges will lose access to windfall profits and guaranteed monopolies. The crony businessmen, military and party elite will still do well but will need to play by new rules, meet domestic and foreign competition and even pay taxes. Perhaps recognising the opportunities a more vibrant economy in a fast-growing region will bring for all, there is no major pushback to these changes, rather attempts to adapt to the new economy. The challenges and risks are numerous for a government with little experience juggling the many changes required, but it cannot resist the pent-up political pressure for change it has already unleashed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Globalization, Government, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Guy Ben-Ari, Gregory Sanders, Priscilla Hermann, David Morrow
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report examines the budgetary trends and trends in contract spending in the Department of State (DoS) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The report is divided into six sections, including the introduction and an appendix. Unless Otherwise noted, all dollar figures are in constant 2010 dollars and all years are fiscal years.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US may not face peer threats in the near to mid term, but it faces a wide variety of lesser threats that make maintaining effective military forces, foreign aid, and other national security programs a vital national security interest. The US does need to reshape its national security planning and strategy to do a far better job of allocating resources to meet these threats. It needs to abandon theoretical and conceptual exercises in strategy that do not focus on detailed force plans, manpower plans, procurement plans, and budgets; and use its resources more wisely. The US still dominates world military spending, but it must recognize that maintaining the US economy is a vital national security interest in a world where the growth and development of other nations and regions means that the relative share the US has in the global economy will decline steadily over time, even under the best circumstances. At the same time, US dependence on the security and stability of the global economy will continue to grow indefinitely in the future. Talk of any form of “independence,” including freedom from energy imports, is a dangerous myth. The US cannot maintain and grow its economy without strong military forces and effective diplomatic and aid efforts. US military and national security spending already places a far lower burden on the US economy than during the peaceful periods of the Cold War, and existing spending plans will lower that burden in the future. National security spending is now averaging between 4% and 5% of the GDP -- in spite of the fact the US has been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- versus 6 - 7% during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Pieter Fourie
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized countries decided at their 2001 meeting in Genoa to establish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to increase international funding for interventions against the three diseases, the United States was a leading supporter. The fund was a public-private partnership set up in 2002 with formal status as a foundation under Swiss law. In the fund's first two years, the United States accounted for nearly half the total amount pledged and challenged other donors to increase their contributions. By 2008 the Global Fund had committed $15.6 billion to AIDS activities in 140 country.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, South Africa
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert M. Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US may not face peer threats in the near to mid term, but it faces a wide variety of lesser threats that make maintaining effective military forces, foreign aid, and other national security programs a vital national security interest. The US does need to reshape its national security planning and strategy to do a far better job of allocating resources to meet these threats. It needs to abandon theoretical and conceptual exercises in strategy that do not focus on detailed force plans, manpower plans, procurement plans, and budgets; and use its resources more wisely. The US still dominates world military spending, but it must recognize that maintaining the US economy is a vital national security interest in a world where the growth and development of other nations and regions means that the relative share the US has in the global economy will decline steadily over time, even under the best circumstances. At the same time, US dependence on the security and stability of the global economy will continue to grow indefinitely in the future. Talk of any form of "independence," including freedom from energy imports, is a dangerous myth. The US cannot maintain and grow its economy without strong military forces and effective diplomatic and aid efforts. US military and national security spending already places a far lower burden on the US economy than during the peaceful periods of the Cold War, and existing spending plans will lower that burden in the future. National security spending is now averaging between 4% and 5% of the GDP -- in spite of the fact the US has been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- versus 6-7% during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Guy Ben-Ari, Gregory Sanders, Jesse Ellman, David Morrow
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Spending by the Department of Defense (DoD) on services contracts, which range from clerical and administrative work to vehicle maintenance to research and development (R), has been largely neglected by past studies of DoD spending trends. Yet DoD spending on services contract actions amounted to just under $200 billion in 2011, more than 50 percent of total DoD contract spending and nearly a third of the entire DoD budget. Both the executive branch and Congress have implemented policies to improve acquisitions of services, but the impacts of their efforts remain uncertain without a clear, concise analysis of past spending. And the then Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr. Ashton Carter, has stated that: “Most of our services acquires, unlike weapons-system acquires, are amateurs… I intend to help them get better at it” (Speech at the Heritage Foundation, April 20, 2011).
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter Ho
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The paper looks at how governments can be better prepared to deal with increasing complexity. Complexity produces strategic shocks and generates wicked problems. But complexity is different from merely complicated. A more complex operating environment increasingly challenges the paradigm of governments. A whole-of-government approach is a vital response to managing an increasingly complex world. There are also various tools that can be deployed to help governments better deal with complexity, and reduce the frequency and amplitude of strategic shocks.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Government, Political Economy, Politics, Governance
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After decades of failed negotiations and attempts to defeat the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN) militarily, a political solution to the Western Hemisphere's oldest conflict may be in sight. Following a year of secret contacts, formal peace talks with FARC are to open in Oslo in October 2012 and continue in Havana. They may be extended to the ELN. There seems a firmer willingness to reach an agreement, as the government realises military means alone cannot end the conflict and FARC appears to recognise that the armed struggle permits survival but little else. With no ceasefire in place, both sides must act with restraint on the battlefield to generate immediate humanitarian improvements. And they will need to balance the requirements of fast, discreet negotiations and those of representativeness and inclusion. The government and the guerrillas have the historic responsibility to strike a deal, but only strong social and political ownership of that deal can guarantee that it leads to the lasting peace that has been elusive for so long.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Government, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Armed Struggle, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Pedro L. Rodríguez, José R. Morales, Francisco J. Monaldi
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Venezuela is a textbook example of a resource-dependent country—between 1950 and 2008, oil generated over a trillion dollars of income for the state. Nevertheless, Venezuela currently combines an economy that is stagnant, despite high oil prices, with an increasingly authoritarian government. The authors argue that large oil rents that accrue to the state, together with a lack of formal and transparent mechanisms to facilitate citizen oversight, are a large part of the problem. They consider the nature of the fiscal contract between the Venezuelan government and its people. This has been characterized by increasing discretion of the executive; only a small share of the rents is now subject to political oversight within the framework of the budgetary system. The authors consider the case for direct distribution of rents, distinguishing it from a populist approach to transfers as effected through Venezuela's misiones. They also report on focus group discussions of the directdistribution approach and the political viability of direct transfers.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Energy Policy, Government, Oil, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America