Search

You searched for: Topic Government Remove constraint Topic: Government
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Philip Zelikow
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Executive director of the 9/11 Commission Phillip Zelikow discusses the threat of terrorism, the detainment of enemy combatants, and civilian relations with the government.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Virginia M. Bouvier
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the advent of Plan Colombia in 2000, U.S. policymakers have sought to help Colombian governments win their multiple wars against insurgents, drugs and terrorism. Conventional wisdom had suggested that pursuing these paths concurrently would lead to peace and security. Colombia today is farther from a peace settlement than it has been in years. With national elections scheduled for the first half of 2010 and presidential candidates yet to be defined, peace does not appear on the government's public policy agenda and it has yet to materialize as a campaign issue. Faith in a military victory appears deeply entrenched at a popular level. Illegal armed groups are retrenching and adapting to years of sustained military offensives and the increased capacity of Colombia's armed forces. While security indicators had largely improved, violence in major cities last year jumped sharply, and internal displacement has reached crisis proportions. Colombia's conflict is increasingly affecting the Andean neighborhood, sending hundreds of thousands of Colombians across the borders. Patterns of violence and intimidation are emerging as illegal armed groups increasingly settle into these border regions. Sporadic incursions and incidents at the border have ratcheted up rhetoric and sparked diplomatic standoffs and movement of troops. A recent bilateral military accord between Colombia and the United States has also exacerbated tensions in the hemisphere. Policymakers increasingly question whether staying the course in Colombia is in the U.S. best interests. Some are calling for an overhaul of U.S. policy. Peace and regional security are integral to the multitude of U.S. interests in Colombia, and they should no longer be subsumed to other strategic interests. It is time to seek peace as a priority. This approach should emphasize respect for human rights and the rule of law; support for truth, justice and reparations for the victims of armed conflict; and the facilitation of processes conducive to peace as a key policy objective.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Ronald Hamowy
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Prior to World War I, the federal government effectively provided no hospital or medical care to veterans other than extending domiciliary care to a few veterans disabled while in service. With American entry into World War I, however, it was decided to extend the treatment accorded members of the armed forces who were receiving hospital care after they had been mustered out. As a consequence the Veterans Bureau was created in 1921. In 1930 a new agency, the Veterans Administration (VA), took over responsibility for all veterans\' affairs. Following World War II and the passage of a comprehensive GI Bill that included generous medical and hospital care for returning soldiers, the VA rapidly expanded to the point whereby it established itself as the largest supplier of health care in the nation. For most of the period since the end of World War II these medical facilities were plagued by waste, poor management, and negligence. While it is true that conditions at VA facilities have improved since the late 1980s, they still lag behind those that obtain at the nation\'s voluntary hospitals. The shift from inpatient to ambulatory care, an increase in chronic care needs in an aging population, and increases in the demand for medical services as a result of the most recent Middle Eastern conflicts clearly undermines the reason originally put forward to operate a direct health care system. However, given the pressures put upon Congress by the American Legion and other veterans groups, it is unlikely that the United States will follow the lead of the governments of Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom and close or convert their hospitals to other uses and integrate the treatment of veterans into the general heath-care system.Prior to World War I, the federal government effectively provided no hospital or medical care to veterans other than extending domiciliary care to a few veterans disabled while in service. With American entry into World War I, however, it was decided to extend the treatment accorded members of the armed forces who were receiving hospital care after they had been mustered out. As a consequence the Veterans Bureau was created in 1921. In 1930 a new agency, the Veterans Administration (VA), took over responsibility for all veterans\' affairs. Following World War II and the passage of a comprehensive GI Bill that included generous medical and hospital care for returning soldiers, the VA rapidly expanded to the point whereby it established itself as the largest supplier of health care in the nation. For most of the period since the end of World War II these medical facilities were plagued by waste, poor management, and negligence. While it is true that conditions at VA facilities have improved since the late 1980s, they still lag behind those that obtain at the nation\'s voluntary hospitals. The shift from inpatient to ambulatory care, an increase in chronic care needs in an aging population, and increases in the demand for medical services as a result of the most recent Middle Eastern conflicts clearly undermines the reason originally put forward to operate a direct health care system. However, given the pressures put upon Congress by the American Legion and other veterans groups, it is unlikely that the United States will follow the lead of the governments of Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom and close or convert their hospitals to other uses and integrate the treatment of veterans into the general heath-care system.
  • Topic: Government, Health
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Arabia, Australia
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Earth Day was a big event this year. Sting sang on the Mall here in Washington. The citizens of Qatar turned off their power for an hour. The U.S. Navy rolled out its new biodiesel-fueled Green Hornet fighter jet. Okay, maybe the Earth was not so impressed with all the events held in its honor.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Corruption, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, East Asia
  • Author: Arnold Kling
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Recently, the Federal Reserve has significantly altered the procedures and goals that it had followed for decades. It has more than doubled its balance sheet, paid interest to banks on reserves held as deposits with the Fed, made decisions about which institutions to prop up and which should be allowed to fail, invested in assets that expose taxpayers to large losses, and raised questions about how it will avoid inflation despite an unprecedented increase in the monetary base.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy, Politics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Myanmar will shortly hold its first elections in twenty years. Given the restrictive provisions of the 2010 Political Parties Registration Law that bar anyone serving a prison term from membership in a political party, many imprisoned dissidents will be excluded from the process, unless they are released in the near future. Aung San Suu Kyi – whose suspended sentence and house arrest possibly exclude her also – has condemned the legislation, and her National League for Democracy (NLD) has decided not to participate and has, therefore, lost its status as a legally-registered party. There has rightly been much international criticism of the new constitution and of the fact that the elections will not be inclusive, but the political and generational shift that they will bring about may represent the best opportunity in a generation to influence the future direction of the country.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As the Philippine election on 10 May 2010 draws nearer, voters in central Mindanao are focused on the political fallout from the “Maguindanao massacre”; clan politics; the new automated election system; and whether any agreement between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is possible before President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leaves office on 30 June.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ronald Hamowy
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: There is strong evidence that the spectacular growth in the size of the federal government is a result of its expansion following one crisis or another, either real or imagined. After the crisis it gains new powers that become the norm for the next stage of growth. The Food and Drug Administration provides a particularly apt example of this increase in powers as a response to a series of crises, each of which has increased the regulatory authority of the agency. The Food and Drug Administration, which did not even exist before the twentieth century, now possesses massive regulatory powers over products that account for no less than twenty-five cents of every dollar spent by the American consumer, totaling well over $1 trillion annually. Historical investigation shows that the agency has been able to take advantage of several perceived crises, the combined effect of which was to increase its authority to determine what Americans ingest to the point where today, at least in the case of drugs, it is the agency—and not the consumer—that determines when and what is available. A regulatory agency originally established to ensure that consumers would be provided with full and accurate information on the drugs available to them has become one that determines which drugs are available, when they might be administered, and who may ingest them. This essay traces this growth in terms of the legislative reaction to three crises, the diphtheria antitoxin crisis of 1901, the sulfanilamide crisis of 1937, and the thalidomide crisis of 1960.
  • Topic: Government, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert Perito, Madeline Kristoff
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Corruption in the security sector damages society's trust in the government. Donors must coordinate on anti-corruption programs and make sure not to engage in corruption themselves. Corruption is highly political and context specific. Fighting both high and low-levels of corruption should be a priority in security sector reform.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Political Power Sharing
  • Author: Sean Kane
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The institution of Iraq's prime minister has evolved since the previous national government was formed in 2006. The success of incumbent Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki in building an independent power base around the office and the diminishing U.S. presence in Iraq have transformed the perception and stature of Iraq's chief executive. This evolution of the position helps to explain why negotiations over the government's formation have struggled to move beyond the top post to discuss other assignments and the new government's agenda. The talks are not just about agreeing on a prime minister in the context of inconclusive, close election results, and competing regional influences; these talks are trying to define the role of the premiership and possible checks on its power. Understanding the debate on possible checks and balances is important because of its potential ramifications for Iraq's democratic experiment, and also because agreement on this issue might pave the way for the nomination of a prime minister.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Julia Muir
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On May 31, 2010 a majority of the Lower House of the National Diet of Japan approved legislation that would reverse a decade's worth of effort to fully privatize key subsidiaries of Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd. Besides postal services, the state-run postal system offers banking and insurance services, through Japan Post Bank (JPB) and Japan Post Insurance (JPI), respectively. These are the financial engines of Japan Post and were the units slated for privatization. Both subsidiaries have long received favorable government treatment, tilting the playing field against private banks and insurance firms, whether foreign or domestic. The government of Japan is in clear violation of its commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO), and if the Upper House approves the legislation, Japan will reverse the efforts made by the United States and the European Union, as well as domestic private banks and insurance firms, to establish a level playing field. What's more, Japan risks having a formal WTO dispute brought against it.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Europe
  • Author: Trevor Houser
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On May 12, 2010, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) released details of their proposed American Power Act, a comprehensive energy and climate change bill developed over the preceding nine months by the two senators, chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations and Homeland Security Committees respectively, along with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).1 With US unemployment just below 10 percent and the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig's ruptured well pouring thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day, the senators promised that if passed the bill will: (1) reduce US oil consumption and dependence on oil imports; (2) cut US carbon pollution 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and over 80 percent by 2050; and (3) create jobs and restore US global economic leadership. In this policy brief we evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed American Power Act in achieving those goals.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The State Department's recently released Country Reports on Terrorism 2009 (CRT 2009) reveals several important trends in the evolution of global terrorism. The good news is that al-Qaeda is facing significant pressure, even as the organization and its affiliates and followers retain the intent and capability to carry out attacks. What remains to be seen is if the dispersion of the global jihadist threat from the heart of the Middle East to South Asia and Africa foreshadows organizational decline or revival for al-Qaeda itself and the radical jihadist ideology it espouses. How governments and civil society alike organize to contend with the changing threat will be central to this determination. The bad news is that governments and civil society remain woefully ineffective at reducing the spread and appeal of radical Islamist extremism.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: For nearly two weeks, the Persian Gulf island state of Bahrain has experienced near-daily disturbances following government arrests of opposition activists from the majority Shiite community. The timing of the arrests seemed geared toward preempting trouble in advance of the scheduled October 23 parliamentary and municipal elections, which minority Sunni parties and candidates are currently projected to win. The street violence and other incidents are of particular concern to the United States because Bahrain hosts the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command, whose mission is to "deter and counter disruptive countries" -- a wording likely aimed at Iran, which claimed the island as its territory prior to 1970.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Knights, Ahmed Ali
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In an August 2 speech, President Obama confirmed that regardless of the status of government formation in Iraq, the U.S. military remained committed to the withdrawal of all combat forces by the month's end. Meanwhile, Iraq is still struggling to form a government in the long wake of the March elections, and the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan -- when much political and business life slows almost to a standstill -- begins next week. If an Iraqi government does not form fairly quickly after Ramadan ends in mid-September, Iraq's political scene may worsen, including an increased risk for violence. Ramadan has always existed in Iraqi and U.S. minds as a break point, when a new government may finally come together. Failure to make progress during the month is thus likely to elicit at least mild panic amongst politicians and the public. So how might the deadlock be broken?
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Virginia M. Bouvier
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The new Colombian administration that took office in early August faces a unique set of peacemaking challenges and opportunities related to the country's internal armed conflict. Following a spate of tensions with neighboring countries regarding the presence of illegal armed groups along Colombia's border areas, newly-inaugurated President Juan Manuel Santos moved quickly to create new mechanisms with his neighbors to ensure that contentious regional issues are addressed before they reach the boiling point. In a surprising video released just before the president-elect was inaugurated, the top leader of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces-People's Army (FARC-EP), called on Santos to enter a dialogue without preconditions, thereby opening a new window of opportunities to pursue peace. President Santos responded that “the door to dialogue is not locked,” insisting however that the guerrillas must lay down their weapons and meet a series of other pre-conditions before talks could occur. Former mediators differ over whether such preconditions will pose an obstacle to talks. In the final days of August, Brazil and Ecuador rejected a FARC-EP request for meeting with the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to discuss a political solution to Colombia's conflict. UNASUR leaders said they would not engage in mediating the conflict in the absence of an express invitation from the Colombian government. The Colombian government has rejected UNASUR mediation and underscored its preference to negotiate directly with the FARC-EP once the latter meets the government's preconditions. Concrete good faith efforts—both public and private—will be required from the government and the guerrillas to build confidence, address the legacy of distrust created by decades of violence and set the stage for future talks.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Teija Tiilikainen
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: At first glance the EU's political system doesn't seem to correspond to any contemporary type of regime. There is a directly elected European Parliament (EP), but the way of constructing relations of power and accountability between the parliament and the three bodies with executive powers, the Commission, the European Council or the Council, complicates the picture. The Commission's accountability to the European Parliament has been confirmed in the founding treaties ever since their conclusion. But what is the value of such a rule when there seems to be a much more powerful executive emerging beyond the reach of any EU-level accountability, namely the European Council?
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Adriane Lapointe
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The absence of consensus, and therefore of policy, on how to balance privacy with the need for government cybersecurity measures, has led many to contemplate intelligence oversight practices as a possible model for oversight in the cybersecurity realm. Reliance on intelligence privacy oversight practices for cybersecurity might allow us to duck the hard work of developing appropriate cybersecurity policy, but it would not in the end further cybersecurity for the nation. A better approach would be to adopt the purely structural aspects of Executive Order 12333, developing a parallel executive order tailored to the distinct goals and operational drivers of cybersecurity. Such a document would establish basic guidelines for policy governing cyber mission, frame cybersecurity oversight processes, and mandate the development and approval of procedures to implement them.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Science and Technology
  • Author: Jacleen Mowery, Demis Yanco, Ryan McClanahan
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Post-conflict governance requires simultaneous and complementary action on three levels. national governance, local governance, and civil society. Norbert Mao, a parliamentary leader from Uganda, offered this progression for managing the trade-off between short-term stabilization and long-term capacity building: "In the emergency phase, you should do it for us. In the reconstruction phase, you should do it with us. And in the development phase, you should do it through us." Efforts to develop the capacity of local governments to deliver services may be more responsive to external assistance than programs aimed at overcoming systemic dysfunctions in the central government, in part because municipal officials are more accountable to their communities. Civil society should be a prominent player in transitioning to “local ownership,” which may erroneously be conceived in terms of ownership by national and perhaps local governments. Building the capacity of civil society entails connectivity with international partners and ideas, not just financing. There are trade-offs involved among the three stakeholders. Among the most salient, when a legacy of abuse of power by the national government and repression of opposition groups must be confronted, an active civil society is essential. An invigorated civil society can fundamentally challenge illicit structures of power that profited from conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Government, Peace Studies, War, Governance, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Uganda
  • Author: Michael D. Nolan, Frédéric Sourgens
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: State-controlled entities (SCEs) are increasingly important participants in international investment flows and international trade. Cumulative FDI by sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) has reportedly reached US$100 billion. SWFs are significant equity investors in, and provide significant debt financing to, every kind of company, from professional sports franchises to container ports. In addition to the role of these funds, national oil companies are growing in regional and international importance. In many countries, other industries are also increasingly government-owned.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since independence and for fourteen years of war, Liberia's army, police and other security agencies have mostly been sources of insecurity and misery for a destitute people. The internationally driven attempt to radically reform the security sector since the war's end in 2003 is a major chance to put this right and prevent new destabilisation. Security sector reform (SSR) programs have been unprecedented in ambition but with mixed results. Army reform, entailing complete disbanding of existing forces, has made significant progress despite lack of proper oversight of private military companies (PMCs) and of consensus on strategic objectives. But police and other security reforms are much less satisfactory. The bold approach to army reform was possible due to strong national consensus and the presence of a large, liberally mandated UN presence. Government and donors must sustain their support to maintain hard-won momentum in army reform and, once clear benchmarks are set, give a floundering police force more resources. The drawdown of the UN force, begun in the second half of 2008, underlines the urgency.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Liberia
  • Author: Nicolas Mariot
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Political Sociology
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the problems and potentialities of asymmetrical historical comparison by examining visits by heads of State to the provinces in Germany and France on the eve of WW I. This act of political legitimisation and representation is analysed through the lens of the practical organization of the event understood as an administrative routine, thereby bringing into question many of the categories routinely mobilised to describe and to oppose two models of national integration.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Michel Mangenot
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Political Sociology
  • Abstract: Eurojust is the new judiciary co-operation unit of the European Union. This article analyses the decision-making process behind its creation, explained in terms of 'institutional games'. The establishment of Eurojust illustrates the specificities of European institutional configurations and the interactions occurring in Brussels among officials, judges and ministers. Moreover, it elucidates the important role of the leadership of the General Secretariat of the Council, and the socialisation and specialisation of a group with a high level of intellectual resources, willing to participate to the 'noble' task of institutional innovation. This article defines the determining factors of intense interinstitutional competition, where the Commission and OLAF adhere to autonomous and parliamentary principles. Furthermore, it takes into account the specific work undertaken by the Presidency (or Presidencies), as well as the decisive role of the Intergovernmental Conference, which, through the means of a high level of decision-making, enables specific moves to be made in the games.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, International Law, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Far from being a bulwark against the spread of extremism and violence from Afghanistan, Tajikistan is looking increasingly like its southern neighbour – a weak state that is suffering from a failure of leadership. Energy infrastructure is near total breakdown for the second winter running, and it is likely migrant labourer remittances, the driver of the country's economy in recent years, will fall dramatically as a result of the world economic crisis. President Emomali Rakhmon may be facing his greatest challenge since the civil war of 1992-97. At the very least the government will be confronted with serious economic problems, and the desperately poor population will be condemned to yet more deprivation. At worst the government runs the risk of social unrest. There are few indications that the Rakhmon administration is up to this challenge. To address the situation, the international community – both at the level of international organisations and governments – should ensure any assistance reaches those who truly need it, place issues of governance and corruption at the centre of all contacts with the Tajik government, and initiate an energetic dialogue with President Rakhmon on democratisation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government, Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Tajikistan
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service collectivelymanagewell over a quarter of the land in theUnited States.Although everyone agrees that the landsandresourcesmanagedbytheseagencies are exceedingly valuable, the lands collectively cost taxpayers around $7 billion per year.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, Environment, Government, Privatization
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Enrique Rueda-Sabater, Robin Kraft
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The geopolitical world of the 21st century is very different than that of the post–World War II era. In this new world order, what constitutes a system of global governance? We argue that it has to balance representation, which is made credible by the inclusion of key parts of the global community, and effectiveness, which means involving as small a number of actors as possible while having access to the resources—and clout—to turn decisions/intentions into action/results. In this paper, we propose simple, fundamental criteria—based on global shares of GDP and population—around which global governance might be organized. We analyze the role that these criteria would assign to different countries and compare them with some of the key components of the system of governance currently in place—the Bretton Woods institutions and the United Nations. We also examine the implications of our analysis for membership in the G-20 and the OECD. We find major disparities, which suggest the need for fundamental changes in sharp contrast to the incremental changes that are currently being considered. Overall, our analysis points to the need for a more comprehensive approach, and for much more than incremental solutions.
  • Topic: Globalization, Government, International Organization, International Political Economy, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Fritz W. Scharpf
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: In order to be simultaneously effective and liberal, governments must normally be able to count on voluntary compliance – which, in turn, depends on the support of socially shared legitimacy beliefs. In Western constitutional democracies, such beliefs are derived from the distinct but coexistent traditions of “republican” and “liberal” political philosophy. When judged by these criteria, the European Union – if considered by itself – appears as a thoroughly liberal polity which, however, lacks all republican credentials. But this view (which seems to structure the debates about the “European democratic deficit”) ignores the multilevel nature of the European polity, where the compliance of citizens is requested, and needs to be legitimated by member states – whereas the Union appears as a “government of governments” which is entirely dependent on the voluntary compliance of its member states. What matters primarily, therefore, is the compliance-legitimacy relationship between the Union and its member states – which, however, is normatively constrained by the basic compliance-legitimacy relationship between member governments and their constituents. Given the high consensus requirements of European legislation, member governments could and should be able to assume political responsibility for European policies in which they had a voice, and to justify them in “communicative discourses” in the national public space. This is not necessarily true of “non-political” policy choices imposed by the European Court of Justice. By enforcing its “liberal” program of liberalization and deregulation, the ECJ may presently be undermining the “republican” bases of member-state legitimacy. Where this is the case, open non-compliance is a present danger, and political controls of judicial legislation may be called for.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marino Regini, Sabrina Colombo
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The “European social model” includes a welfare regime with generous social expenditure; high employment or income protection; a well-developed system of industrial relations; and involvement of social partners in policymaking. Within the Italian social model, however, one can find three major dividing lines. The first one stems from the coexistence of different models in different areas of the country. Second, an occupation-based principle in pensions and in unemployment benefits coexists with a citizenship-based one in health and education. Finally, core workers enjoy high job and income security, whereas outsiders are highly dependent on the market. These three dividing lines substantially endanger the legitimacy and social acceptance of the Italian social model: each of them profoundly affects the perceptions of workers and citizens, leading to widespread criticism of even those aspects that clearly benefit them and, at the same time, to fierce opposition to the several attempts at reforming it.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Information about prices and quantities of assets lies at the heart of well-functioning capital markets. In the current financial crisis, it has become clear that many important actors-both firms and regulatory agencies-have not had sufficient information. Distributed by the Center for Geoeconomic Studies, this Working Paper proposes a new regulatory regime for gathering and disseminating financial market information. The authors argue that government regulators need a new infrastructure to collect and analyze adequate information from large (systemically important) financial institutions. This new information framework would bolster the government's ability to foresee, contain, and, ideally, prevent disruptions to the overall financial services industry.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Annette Büchs
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper seeks an explanation for the resilience of the Syrian authoritarian regime under Hafez and Bashar Al-Asad. It will be argued that this resilience is to a relevant extent caused by the fact that the regime's “material” as well as “ideational” forms of power share a common element, if not an underlying principle. This generates their compatibility and congruency and thus produces a convergence of forces which manifests in the regime's ability to exceed the mere sum of its individual forms of power. It will be demonstrated that this common principle can be conceptualized as a “tacit pact” between unequal parties, with the weaker party under constant threat of exclusion and/or coercion in the event of noncompliance. It will be argued that inherent in the pact is a high level of ambiguity; this, paradoxically, renders it more effective but at the same time also more instable as a tool of domination.
  • Topic: Government, Post Colonialism, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Gerald LeMelle
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: Welcome to International Affairs Forum's fourth special publication. We are once again delighted to be able to offer our readers a diverse collection of views, and I hope everyone will find something of interest. I think this publication stands out not only because of the quality of contributors, who have been generous enough to give up their valuable time over such a busy period, but also the range of subjects and geographical reach—we have contributors based on four continents and from nine countries covering everything from defense policy through Brand America and U.S.-India relations. I don't wish to add anything to the enormous amount of ink spilled over the historic nature of the recent election, except to say that whatever one's views of the past eight years—and this publication contains a full range of them—living in Tokyo has demonstrated to me time and again that although this is the Asian century, the world's eyes have been, and still are, very much on the United States of America and what Barack Obama will do in office.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, India, Asia, Tokyo
  • Author: Karen Eggleston, Mingshan Lu, Congdong Li, Jian Wang, Zhe Yang, Jing Zhang
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Government and private roles in this segment of health service delivery remain controversial in China, as in many countries. Using 2004 data from over 360 government-owned and private hospitals in Guangdong Province, we find that non-government hospitals serve an overlapping but distinct market. They are smaller, newer market entrants, more likely to specialize, and less likely to be included in urban social insurance networks. We also document differences in staffing and financial performance, but no systematic ownership differences in simple measures of quality, controlling for size, location, case-mix and other confounding factors.
  • Topic: Demographics, Government, Health, Privatization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Guangdong
  • Author: Michael F. Cannon
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama, former U.S. Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, and others propose a new government agency that would evaluate the relative effectiveness of medical treatments. The need for “comparative-effectiveness research” is great. Evidence suggests Americans spend $700 billion annually on medical care that provides no value. Yet patients, providers, and purchasers typically lack the necessary information to distinguish between high- and low-value services.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Health, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Vern McKinley, Gary Gegenheimer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: A financial-institution bailout involves government intervention through a transaction or forbearance targeted to a financial institution or group of financial institutions. The action is preemptive as the financial institution does not fail and go out of business, but remains a going concern, benefiting creditors, shareholders, or counterparties. In the absence of a bailout, the financial institution would either be forced to go through receivership or bankruptcy in the prescribed legal form, or have its role in financial intermediation disrupted.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jake Sherman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This report by Jake Sherman for Safer world provides an overview of the US Government's arrangement for monitoring and evaluating (M) the support it provides to security sector reform. It examines the M systems that already exist for similar types of work as well as looking at any specific treatment given to SSR, before also identifying outstanding needs, challenges and any trends and opportunities that exist for improving M in this area.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Franz Nuscheler
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The World Bank blamed a „crisis of governance“ for the increasingly challenged success of international development cooperation, in particular in Sub‐Sahara Africa. After development cooperation got rid of the burden of the Cold War the international donor community consequently made Good Governance (i.e. rule of law, respect for basic human rights, fighting corruption) a precondition for effective development cooperation. At the same time economic and development theory underwent a change of paradigm beyond the neoliberal Washington Consensus taking up the insight of institutional economics: Institutions matter. Good Governance became the universal model for efficient government and development. This normative model was not spared ideological criticism, because it was suspected of paving, the way for Western concepts of „Good Governance” by means of external subsidies and political conditionalities. What proved to be much more difficult were the problems with promoting the establishment of democratic structures from outside, especially in fragile states.
  • Topic: Cold War, Globalization, Government, International Cooperation, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: This report details the findings from the Election Violence Education and Resolution (EVER) program, designed by IFES and implemented by Odhikar for the December 28, 2008 parliamentary election in Bangladesh. The EVER program is designed document accurate information about incidents of election-related violence in a methodologically reliable manner, so that stakeholders in the electoral process could use this information to design and implement effective electoral interventions in a country.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh
  • Author: Abdel-Fatau Musah
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the challenges to human and regional security in the territory covered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It examines causal factors and their effects, profiles the actors shaping the security environment, and describes the nature and impacts of their interventions. Finally, it projects possible future scenarios based on the current security dynamics. The paper examines the geopolitical environment of West Africa, with emphasis on the strategic importance of the region and the vulnerabilities emanating from its location. Within this context, it discusses the roles of local, regional, and international actors in the evolving regional security architecture, sifting through their actions, motivations, and interventions. It analyzes the attempts by national, regional, and international institutions to transform the security environment, highlighting their roles, strengths, and weaknesses; and it projects various security scenarios, proposing policy options to meet the challenges that these scenarios present.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Olga Martin-Ortega, Chandra Lekha Sriram, Johanna Herman
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre on Human Rights in Conflict
  • Abstract: Following the end of violent conflicts, whether by military victory or negotiated settlement, international actors such as the European Union and the United Nations play an increasing role in peacebuilding, through a range of security, governance, and development activities. These may or may not be mandated by a peace agreement or other formal settlement, and may or may not follow or work in tandem with a peacekeeping mission. International, regional, national, and local actors may work in a more or less collaborative, or coherent fashion. Nonetheless, many of the key challenges of peacebuilding remain the same, and a familiar set of policies and strategies have emerged in contemporary practice to address these. Chief among the challenges of contemporary peacebuilding is that of addressing demands for some form of accountability, often termed transitional justice (discussed in section 3). However, as this guidance paper explains, the demands of transitional justice and its relation to broader peacebuilding activities, involve not just decisions about accountability, but a complex set of policy and institutional choices about security and governance as well. Thus, this guidance paper examines peacebuilding and transitional justice as a set of linked policies and strategies regarding not just accountability, but security sector reform (SSR), disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, and development of the rule of law.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Government, Peace Studies, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Don Podesta
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: The newspaper press is a great power, but just as an unchained torrent of water submerges the whole countryside and devastates crops, even so an uncontrolled pen serves but to destroy. If the control is from without, it proves more poisonous than want of control. It can be profitable only when exercised from within.” Typically, authoritarian regimes exert control over what can and cannot be published or broadcast by requiring news content to be submitted to a censor prior to publication, by seizing control of media outlets or by intimidating or arresting journalists and media company owners. In many countries, censorship of the news media now manifests itself in far more subtle ways, phenomena sometimes referred to collectively as “soft censorship.” This report explores the spread of these indirect means of censorship and examines possible remedies that might be employed to attack the problem.
  • Topic: Corruption, Government, Politics, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Stephen Collier, Andrew Lakoff
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: This paper outlines some elements of the genealogy of vital systems security. Vital systems security is a way of “problematizing” threats to security that can be contrasted to the forms of sovereign state security and population security that Michel Foucault famously analyzed in his lectures on governmentality. Vital systems security takes up events that are uncertain and unpreventable but potentially catastrophic. Its object of protection is the complex of critical systems or networks on which modern economies and polities depend. Vital systems security is, thus, linked to the idea that the very success of industrial and social modernity in managing risks has in fact generated new risks.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: President Obama has made it clear that reforming the American health care system will be one of his top priorities. In response, congressional leaders have promised to introduce legislation by this summer, and they hope for an initial vote in the Senate before the Labor Day recess.
  • Topic: Government, Health
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Dominik Nagl, Marion Stange
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700
  • Abstract: Strukturell „begrenzte Staatlichkeit“ und nicht staatszentrierte Modi des Regierens sind keine Phänomene, die erst seit dem ausgehenden 20. Jahrhundert zu beobachten sind. Aus diesem Grund plädiert dieses Working Paper für die Übertragung des Governance-Begriffs auf vor- und frühmoderne Gesellschaften. Anknüpfend an die neuere Diskussion um frühneuzeitliche Staatlichkeit steht hier nicht die mehr oder weniger monolithische Sicht auf einen sich mit Macht durchsetzenden monarchisch-absolutistischen Staat im Vordergrund, als vielmehr die Vielfalt staatlicher Dynamiken und der daran beteiligten Akteure. Das Working Paper fragt daher nach den historisch kontingenten Entwicklungspfaden zentralisierter Herrschaftsausübung. Hierdurch soll insbesondere die Heterogenität dieses Entwicklungsprozesses beleuchtet werden, der durch eine Ungleichzeitigkeit von nebeneinander bestehenden traditionellen und neueren Regierungs- und Verwaltungsstrukturen sowie durch immer wiederkehrende Prozesse der Aushandlung von Autorität gekennzeichnet ist.
  • Topic: Government, Sovereignty, Political Theory, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Günter Schucher
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Unkonventionelle Partizipation in autoritäre n Regimen wird in der Regel als Bedrohung für das politische System und als Beitrag zu se iner Demokratisierung gesehen. Diese Sichtweise vernachlässigt allerdings, dass Proteste nicht unbedingt gegen das System gerichtet sind und dass die politische Führung nicht nur reagiert, sondern auch selbst Möglichkeiten hat, Legitimität zu generier en. Sie kann z. B. die Beteiligungsmöglichkeiten erweitern, ohne Entscheidungsmacht abzugeben, oder au ch die Verantwortung für die Lösung von Konflikten auf die lokale Ebene verschieben, um so Schuldzuweisungen für negative Folgen ihrer Politik zu vermeiden. Eine Auswert ung von Protestereignissen in China zeigt, dass es der chinesischen Führung mit diesen Stra tegien bisher gelungen ist, ihre Position zu stabilisieren.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Communism, Government
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Heraldo Muñoz
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: The adoption of the concept of “Responsibility to Protect” (RtoP) by the Heads of State and Government in the September 2005 United Nations World Summit was a historic landmark which has generated great attention as a potentially powerful instrument to impede humanitarian tragedies. Yet much has been missing, or misinterpreted, in the public discussion of this emerging norm. Some fear that RtoP could be abused by powerful countries to intervene in developing nations alleging altruistic motives, while others believe that RtoP is already a rule of customary international law that should be applied unconditionally and without delay in the face of any humanitarian crisis in the world. To make it workable in real life, the concept must be saved from friends and foes by narrowing its focus and turning RtoP as operational as possible so as to effectively implement it, in line with what global leaders decided in 2005.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The bizarre prosecution and conviction of opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for violating her house arrest has returned attention to repression in Myanmar, as preparations were underway for the first national elections in twenty years, now scheduled for 2010. This further undermined what little credibility the exercise may have had, especially when based on a constitution that institutionalises the military's political role. The UN Secretary-General's July visit, which produced no tangible results, added to the gloom. But while the elections will not be free and fair – a number of prominent regime opponents have been arrested and sentenced to prison terms over the last year – the constitution and elections together will fundamentally change the political landscape in a way the government may not be able to control. Senior Generals Than Shwe and Maung Aye may soon step down or move to ceremonial roles, making way for a younger military generation. All stakeholders should be alert to opportunities that may arise to push the new government toward reform and reconciliation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Karen Eggleston, Mingshan Lu, Congdong Li, Jian Wang, Zhe Yang, Jing Zhang, Yu-Chu Shen
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Using data from 276 general acute hospitals in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong Province from 2002 and 2004, we construct a preliminary metric of budget constraint softness. We find that, controlling for hospital size, ownership, and other factors, a Chinese hospital's probability of receiving government financial support is inversely associated with the hospital's previous net revenue, an association consistent with soft budget constraints.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Eric Rosenbach, Aki J. Peritz
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Intelligence is a critical tool lawmakers often use to assess issues essential to U.S. national policy. Understanding the complexities, mechanics, benefits and limitations of intelligence and the Intelligence Community (IC) will greatly enhance the ability of lawmakers to arrive at well-grounded decisions vital to our nation's foreign and domestic security.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Lant Pritchett, Martina Viarengo
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Does the government control of school systems facilitate equality in school quality? There is a trade-off. On the one hand, government direct control of schools, typically through a large scale hierarchical organization, could produce equalization across schools by providing uniformity in inputs, standards, and teacher qualifications that localized individually managed schools could not achieve. But there is a tendency for large scale formal bureaucracies to “see” less and less of localized reality and hence to manage on the basis of a few simple, objective, and easily administratively verified characteristics (e.g. resources per student, formal teacher qualifications). Whether centralized or localized control produces more equality depends therefore not only on what “could” happen in principle but what does happen in practice. When government implementation capacity is weak, centralized control could lead to only the illusion of equality: in which central control of education with weak internal or external accountability actually allows for much greater inequalities across schools than entirely “uncontrolled” local schools. Data from Pakistan, using results from the LEAPS study, and from two states of India show much larger variance in school quality (adjusted for student characteristics) among the government schools—because of very poor public schools which continue in operation. We use the PISA data to estimate school specific learning achievement (in mathematics, science, and reading) net of individual student and school average background characteristics and compare public and private schools for 34 countries. For these countries there is, on average, exactly the same inequality in adjusted learning achievement across the private schools as across the public schools. But while inequality is the same on average, in some countries, such as Denmark, there was much more equality within the public sector while in others, such as Mexico, there was much more inequality among the public schools. Among the 18 non-OECD participating PISA countries the standard deviation across schools in adjusted quality was, on average, 36 percent higher in government than in private schools. In cases with weak states the proximate cause of high inequality again was that the public sector distribution of performance had a long left tail—schools with extremely poor performance. Relying on blinded weak states for top-down control of educational systems can be lose-lose relative to localized systems relying on bottom-up control—producing worse average performance and higher inequality.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Government, Political Economy, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India
  • Author: Karin Deutsch Karlekar
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: Broadcast media have long been subject to greater government control than print media-from outright restrictions on private ownership to licensing and other regulations that maintain state control or influence content. Using historical data from Freedom House's Freedom of the Press index, which has been conducted since 1980, this report assesses regional trends regarding differing levels of print and broadcast media freedom. While an initial set of data covering 1980-88 shows a clear pattern of print media ranked as freer than broadcast media in every country studied, a later data set covering 1994-2001 shows that while print media outlets faced fewer direct government controls, they were targeted more often by governments in terms of legal harassment and physical attacks on journalists and their facilities.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Mass Media, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Robert M. Perito
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Efforts to create an effective interior ministry and a community-oriented police service cannot succeed unless they take place within an overall effort for security sector reform (SSR): the highly political and complex task of transforming the institutions and organizations responsible for dealing with security threats to the state and its citizens.
  • Topic: Security, Government, United Nations, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Waldner
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Post-conflict, post-totalitarian societies like Iraq possess many economic, political, social, and cultural characteristics that are not conducive to democratic governance. A central pillar of democracy promotion is that judicious institutional engineering—crafting new institutions and other elements outlining the democratic rules of the game—can overcome these obstacles and engender stable democracies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Regime Change, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes and explains the impact of the international-driven 'New Poverty Agenda' in Ghana, focusing on the impact of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) adopted by the New Patriotic Party government in power from 2001 until 2008. The paper argues that the New Poverty Agenda has had some impacts, but not they have been limited and not necessarily helpful in achieving long term poverty reduction. The PRSP was seen by the government in Ghana as necessary to secure debt relief and donor resources, and the strategies produced by the government contained broad objectives rather than concrete strategies on how to achieve those objectives and thus had little impact on government actions. The paper discusses what was actually implemented under the NPP government and the factors influencing those actions. It highlights the constraints Ghanaian governments face in pursuing economic transformation within contemporary domestic and international contexts.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Cunrui Huang, Haocai Liang, Cordia Chu, Shannon Rutherford, Qingshan Geng
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: China continues to face great challenges in meeting the health needs of its large population. The challenges are not just lack of resources, but also how to use existing resources more efficiently, more effectively, and more equitably. Now a major unaddressed challenge facing China is how to reform an inefficient, poorly organized health care delivery system. The objective of this study is to analyze the role of private health care provision in China and discuss the implications of increasing private-sector development for improving health system performance.
  • Topic: Government, Health
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Although neither the House nor the Senate passed a health care bill by President Obama's August deadline, various pieces of legislation have made it through committee, and they provide a concrete basis for analyzing what the proposed health care reform would and would not do. Looking at the various bills that are moving on Capitol Hill, we can determine the following: Contrary to the Obama administration's repeated assurances, millions of Americans who are happy with their current health insurance will not be able to keep it. As many as 89.5 million people may be dumped into a government-run plan. Some Americans may find themselves forced into a new insurance plan that no longer includes their current doctor. Americans will pay more than $820 billion in additional taxes over the next 10 years, and could see their insurance premiums rise as much as 95 percent. The current health care bills will increase the budget deficit by at least $239 billion over the next 10 years, and far more in the years beyond that. If the new health care entitlement were subject to the same 75-year actuarial standards as Social Security or Medicare, its unfunded liabilities would exceed $9.2 trillion. While the bills contain no direct provisions for rationing care, they nonetheless increase the likelihood of government rationing and interference with how doctors practice medicine. Contrary to assertions of some opponents, the bills contain no provision for euthanasia or mandatory end-of-life counseling. The bills' provisions on abortion coverage are far murkier.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Human Welfare, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale, Peter Van Doren
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Many commentators have argued that if the Federal Reserve had followed a stricter monetary policy earlier this decade when the housing bubble was forming, and if Congress had not deregulated banking but had imposed tighter financial standards, the housing boom and bust—and the subsequent financial crisis and recession—would have been averted. In this paper, we investigate those claims and dispute them. We are skeptical that economists can detect bubbles in real time through technical means with any degree of unanimity. Even if they could, we doubt the Fed would have altered its policy in the early 21st century, and we suspect that political leaders would have exerted considerable pressure to maintain that policy. Concerning regulation, we find that the banking reform of the late 1990s had little effect on the housing boom and bust, and that the many reform ideas currently proposed would have done little or nothing to avert the crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Neil Webster, Zarina Rahman Khan, Abu Hossain Muhammad Ahsan, Akhter Hussain, Mahbubur Rahmani
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The New Poverty Agenda (NPA) refers to policies and approaches that the developing countries pursue for poverty reduction with the financial assistance of the donor countries and seeks to secure ownership of the political and bureaucratic elites. This paper seeks to analyse the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) as part of this process in Bangladesh and to look at role of the state elites in it. The PRSP process in Bangladesh clearly indicates the key role played by the bureaucrats in its formulation and implementation. Civil society though playing a progressively important role in influencing policy agenda mostly backed up the bureaucracy. Introduction of the PRSP replacing the earlier Five Year Plans did not change the approach towards dealing with development rather transformed the way to do things. It ushered in a qualitative change in planning and development policy implementation as a population begins to assert itself upon the politics of the state elites.
  • Topic: Government, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia
  • Author: Dipali Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Despite his commitment to develop a democratic, modern state, President Hamid Karzai placed many former warlords in positions of power, particularly in the provinces. Many observers, Afghan and foreign alike, have decried the inclusion of warlords in the new governmental structures as the chief corrosive agent undermining efforts to reconstruct the state. Indeed, warlord governors have not been ideal government officials. They have employed informal power and rules, as well as their personal networks, to preserve control over their respective provinces. Informalized politics of this kind is the antithesis of a technocratic, rule-based approach to governance and entails considerable costs, from inefficiency to corruption and human rights abuses.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Sovereignty, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Peter Mair
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The changing circumstances in which parties compete in contemporary democracies, coupled with the changing circumstances in which governments now govern, have led to a widening of the traditional gap between representative and responsible government. Although it is generally seen as desirable that parties in government are both representative and responsible, these two characteristics are now becoming increasingly incompatible. Prudence and consistency in government, as well as accountability, require conformity to external constraints and legacies. This means more than just answering to public opinion. While these external constraints and legacies have become weightier in recent years, public opinion, in its turn, has become harder and harder for governments to read. Hence we see the growing incompatibility. Meanwhile, because of changes in their organizations and in their relationship with civil society, parties are no longer in a position to bridge or “manage” this gap, or even to persuade voters to accept it as a necessary element in political life. This growing incompatibility is one of the principal sources of the democratic malaise that confronts many Western democracies today.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics, Governance
  • Author: Christian von Luebke
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The relationship between economic concentration and governance remains controversial. While some studies find that high economic concentration strengthens collective action and reform cooperation, others stress dangers of rent-seeking and state capture. In this paper I argue that effects are neither strictly positive nor negative: they are best described as an inverted-u-shaped relationship, where better governance performance emerges with moderate economic concentration. Decentralization reforms in Indonesia and the Philippines Q unprecedented in scope and scale Q provide a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis. Subnational case studies and cross-sections, from both countries, indicate that moderately concentrated polities are accompanied by better service and lower corruption. The presence of Scontested oligarchiesT Q small circles of multi-sectoral interest groupsQ creates a situation where economic elites are strong enough to influence policymakers and, at the same time, diverse enough to keep each other in check. The results of this paper suggest that contested oligarchies compensate for weakly-developed societal and juridical forces and can become a stepping stone to good governance.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Israel, Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Keith D. Malone
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past several years, Americans have become more aware and more vocal regarding the number of illegal aliens who have taken up residence in the United States. While this issue—and a resolution of this issue—is still being debated, many have questioned why current enforcement efforts are so lax. The focus of this paper is on the government agency responsible for the enforcement of our immigration laws, and in particular how the actions of this agency are influenced by political interests. This paper fills a gap in the literature-to-date by examining the enforcement of immigration laws within the interior of the nation. While other studies put border enforcement efforts in a political framework, this analysis is the first, to the authors' knowledge, to place interior enforcement within the interest-group theory of government framework. Our findings indicate that pressure groups shape the pattern of enforcement that emerges. Despite polls that indicate a majority of Americans favoring stricter enforcement, government enforcement agencies charged with this responsibility apparently succumb to the wishes of those that matter most politically.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy, Politics, Immigration, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Risse, Tanja A. Börzel
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) perceives itself as a model for regional integration, which it seeks to diffuse by actively promoting the development of genuine (intra-) regional economic and political cooperation, the building of issue-related regimes, and the creation of joint institutions for consultation and decision-making in its neighbourhood and beyond as well as between the world regions and the EU.
  • Topic: Globalization, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jack Snyder, Erica Borghard
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: A large literature in political science takes for granted that democratic leaders would pay substantial domestic political costs for failing to carry out the public threats they make in international crises, and consequently that making threats substantially enhances their leverage in crisis bargaining. And yet proponents of this audience costs theory have presented very little evidence that this causal mechanism actually operates in real—as opposed to simulated—crises. We look for such evidence in post-1945 crises and find hardly any. Audience cost mechanisms are rare because (1) leaders see unambiguous committing threats as imprudent, (2) domestic audiences care more about policy substance than about consistency between the leader's words and deeds, (3) domestic audiences care about their country's reputation for resolve and national honor independently of whether the leader has issued an explicit threat, and (4) authoritarian targets of democratic threats do not perceive audience costs dynamics in the same way that audience costs theorists do. We found domestic audience costs only as secondary mechanisms in a few cases where the public already had hawkish preferences before any threats were made.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics, Political Theory, Public Opinion
  • Author: Katherine Morton
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: One of the greatest dilemmas of the early 21st century is how to satisfy the demands of densely populated states in the context of a global environmental crisis. As the world's biggest polluter and prominent emerging world power, China is at the centre of the global debate. Worsening pollution trends, increasing resource scarcity, and widespread ecological degradation have serious implications for China's ongoing modernisation drive. The spillover effects across borders also pose a challenge to its relations with the outside world. Although China's per capita CO2 emissions are low relative to the United States and Australia, they already exceed the world average. In 2007, China overtook the United States to become the world's largest aggregate emitter.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Taha Ozhan, Ozhan Ete
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Kurdish question in Turkey has a long history which was viewed within the framework of nation building, integration and underdevelopment until it was perceived as a security issue with the emergence of the PKK in the 1980s. During the 1990s, dominated by the security perspective, the scope of the question was reduced to terrorist acts alone under a state of emergency rule. A number of changes transformed the nature of question, such as the Kurdish political movement since the 1990s, forced migration, the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999 and the emergence of autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq. A permanent settlement of the Kurdish question must be based on developing new and alternative strategies vis-a-vis existing policies. In this context, a comprehensive package of measures should include not only security measures, but more importantly democratic reforms and economic investments.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Hong Nack Kim
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The inauguration of the Lee Myung-Bak government on February 25, 2008, aroused expectations that President Lee's new North Korea policy would bring about more effective results in dealing with Pyongyang, including the realization of denuclearization of North Korea. Contrary to initial expectations, Lee's North Korea policy has encountered unexpected problems and challenges as North Korea has not only suspended official inter-Korean dialogue and contacts since April but also refused to resume the talks with Seoul unless the Lee government would accommodate Pyongyang's demands: (1) to honor the two inter- Korean summit agreements: the June 15 Joint Declaration (2000) signed between Kim Dae-Jung and Kim Jong-Il and the October 4 (2007) Declaration signed between Kim Jong-Il and Roh Moo-Hyun; (2) to discard the Lee government's “Vision 3000: Denuclearization and Openness”; and (3) to abandon the strategy of strengthening South Korea's alliance with the U.S. and Japan to pressure North Korea. In short, North Korea wants the Lee government to continue the sunshine policy of engagement toward the North. However, it is difficult for the Lee government to accommodate the North's demand, for President Lee promised during the presidential election campaign in 2007 to discard the sunshine policy as it had failed not only to prevent North Korea's nuclear weapons program but also to induce North Korea to adopt reform and openness.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Roger C. Altman
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The financial crisis has called into serious question the credibility of western governments and may precipitate an eastward shift of power.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington
  • Author: Richard N. Haass, Martin Indyk
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: To be successful in the Middle East, the Obama administration will need to move beyond Iraq, find ways to deal constructively with Iran, and forge a final-status Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
  • Topic: Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Walter Russell Mead
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If it hopes to bring peace to the Middle East, the Obama administration must put Palestinian politics and goals first.
  • Topic: Security, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Joel Brinkley
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: While much of Cambodia -- and of the world -- holds on to memories of the country's sorrowful past under the Khmer Rouge, few seem to notice that the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen is destroying the nation.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Cambodia
  • Author: Martin Indyk, Richard Haass, Dore Gold, Shimon Shapira
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: To the Editor: The achievement of true peace between Israel and Syria is a laudable goal and could be a cornerstone of regional security. Unfortunately, in making the case for an Israeli-Syrian accord, Richard Haass and Martin Indyk ("Beyond Iraq," January/February 2009) misrepresent the proposals made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Syria during his term in office, from 1996 to 1999. They assert that Netanyahu offered a "full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights" to Syrian President Hafez al-Assad.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Christina L. Davis
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How do states use economic-security linkages in international bargaining? Governments can provide economic benefits as a side payment to reinforce security cooperation and use close security ties as a source of bargaining leverage in economic negotiations. Domestic political pressures, however, may constrain the form of linkage. First, economic side payments are more likely to be chosen in areas that will not harm the key interests of the ruling party. Second, involvement by the legislature pushes governments toward using security ties as bargaining leverage for economic gains. Evidence from negotiations between Britain and Japan during the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902 to 1923 supports the constraining role of domestic politics. Economic-security linkages occurred as Britain gave favorable economic treatment to Japan in order to strengthen the alliance. Economic competition between the allies, however, made it difficult for Britain to grant asymmetrical economic benefits. In tariff negotiations where business interests had more influence in the domestic policy process, the alliance was used as leverage to force reciprocity.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Japan
  • Author: David H. Shinn
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: After the september 11 attacks, the Bush administration's foreign policy toward Somalia focused primarily on counterterrorism. This focus was a result of Somalia's proximity to the Middle East, U.S. concern that al-Qa'ida might relocate to the country, a history of terrorist bombings targeting Western interests in nearby Kenya and Tanzania and early contact between al-Qa'ida and individuals in Somalia. Although ties exist between al-Qa'ida and Somalia's al-Shabab militant group, the overwhelming objective of U.S. policy in Somalia should not be confronting international terrorist activity. Instead, the United States should contribute to creating a moderate government of national unity in Somalia, which offers the best hope of minimizing Somali links to international terrorism. Long-term U.S. interests in the Horn of Africa will not be served by a policy that is consumed with military action to the detriment of supporting economic development and a broad based Somali government.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Tanzania, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: The American economic guru explains how he missed the signs that the economy was going off a cliff during the decade he was chairing "the Fed," the body that functions as the U.S. central bank. A strong believer that markets can self-regulate thanks to the enlightened self-interest of the players, he failed to recognize the danger signals of the U.S. financial collapse that also engulfed Europe.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: C. Boyden Gray
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Europe's worst energy vulnerability - natural gas - has environmental implications. Without more supplies, power for growth is likely to be fueled by coal and accelerate global warming. Russia could export more gas (and flare less) if the Kremlin broke up the domestic pipeline monopoly enjoyed by Gazprom. Europe could use its "competition authority" to challenge it.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Stuart Weaver
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Gazprom, the Russian monopoly, has been on a shopping spree to acquire commercial interests (and political leverage) in "downstream" gas and energy companies and distributors in Europe. Here is a partial list of those European holdings gleaned from the chapter entitled "Buying Europe: Purchase as Politics" in a new book on this monopolistic strategy by Janusz Bugajski.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: J. Robinson West
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: A practitioner in the oil and gas business warns that Europe's worst weakness regarding natural gas supplies comes from the absence of a free internal market in natural gas among the EU nations. Freeing up the flows in Europe would drastically reduce the rigidities that Gazprom exploits. A good investment would be gas storage facilities, but such infrastructure is costly.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Valentina Pop
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Responding to the emergence of a "new" sea as ice recedes in the Arctic, the Nordic Council has started planning for broader and more integrated systems that can monitor traffic and provide early-warning of accidents. Politically, this will be a precedent in bringing together NATO nations, EU countries and neutrals - with the potential for wider links that might include Russia.
  • Topic: NATO, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Norway
  • Author: Andrew Rasiej
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Obama's dazzling digital success is often reduced to his use of the web to mobilize voters. That was simply using new technology for an old process. The real innovation is much more radical, involving new forms of social networking and bottom-up pressures for "participatory democracy." Leaders need a new mind-set. The paradigm shift should be grasped in Europe, too.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Following his acceptance of The European Institute\'s Transatlantic Leadership Award at a December 2008 ceremony in Washington, DC, Chertoff sat down with European Affairs to reflect on his relations with European governments - which proved much more productive than many observers initially feared. He also shared his views on future challenges from Guantanamo to failed states, including the need for a new consensus on dealing with states that tolerate international terrorists on their soil.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: William J. Peterson Jr.
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Savage Century: Back to Barbarism By Thérèse Delpech, Translated By George Holoch Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 211 pages, $21.24 Reviewed by William J. Peterson Jr.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Korea
  • Author: Michael D. Mosettig
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: The King and the Cowboy By David Fromkin The Penguin Press, 256 pages, $25.95 Reviewed by Michael D. Mosettig.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Thea Backlar
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Vera and the Ambassador: Escape and Return By Vera and Donald Blinken SUNY Press, 350 pages, $24.95 Reviewed by Thea Backlar
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section is intended to give readers an overview of President-elect Barack Obama's positions on the Middle East peace process as he begins his tenure. The baseline for gauging Obama's views may be his failed 2000 race for Congress. At that time he made statements viewed as pro-Palestinian because they urged the United States to take an "even-handed approach" toward Israeli-Palestinian peace-making. As an Illinois state senator, Obama had cultivated ties with Chicago's Arab American community, which was partly concentrated in his state senate district. He won a U.S. Senate seat in 2004 with significant support from Chicago's Lakeside liberals, who included leading Chicago Jewish Democrats. His position on the Arab-Israeli conflict remained an issue during the 2008 presidential race, however, and Obama made a point of laying out his positions at several points during the campaign, in contrast to his Republican challenger Sen. John McCain, who did not detail his positions.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia, Chicago
  • Author: Michael R. Fischbach
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Bunton: Colonial Land Policies in Palestine, 1917-1936 Reviewed by Michael R. Fischbach Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 38, no. 9 (Winter 2009), p. 96 Recent Books Colonial Land Policies in Palestine, 1917-1936, by Martin Bunton. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Oxford Historical Monographs. x + 204 pages. Select Bibliography top. 214. Index top. 217. $110.00 cloth.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Yoichi Funabashi
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In this age of globalization, nations rise and fall in the world markets day and night. Europe, Germany in particular, may at first have indulged in a certain amount of schadenfreude to observe the abrupt fall from grace of the U.S. financial system. But not for long. As of November 2008, the euro zone is officially in a recession that continues to deepen. Germany's government was compelled to enact a 50 billion euro fiscal stimulus package. The Japanese economy, though perhaps among the least susceptible to the vagaries of the European and U.S. economies, followed soon after, with analysts fearing that the downturn could prove deeper and longer than originally anticipated. The U.S.—Europe—Japan triad, representing the world's three largest economies, is in simultaneous recession for the first time in the post-World War II era. China, meanwhile, is suddenly seeing its 30-year economic dynamism lose steam, with its mighty export machine not just stalling but actually slipping into reverse.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Mark Kramer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the latter half of the 1990s, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was preparing to expand its membership for the first time since the admission of Spain in 1982, Russian officials claimed that the entry of former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO would violate a solemn ''pledge'' made by the governments of West Germany and the United States in 1990 not to bring any former Communist states into the alliance. Anatolii Adamishin, who was Soviet deputy foreign minister in 1990, claimed in 1997 that ''we were told during the German reunification process that NATO would not expand.'' Other former Soviet officials, including Mikhail Gorbachev, made similar assertions in 1996—1997. Some Western analysts and former officials, including Jack F. Matlock, who was the U.S. ambassador to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1990, endorsed this view, arguing that Gorbachev received a ''clear commitment that if Germany united, and stayed in NATO, the borders of NATO would not move eastward.'' Pointing to comments recorded by the journalists Michael Beschloss and Strobe Talbott, former U.S. defense secretary Robert McNamara averred that ''the United States pledged never to expand NATO eastward if Moscow would agree to the unification of Germany.'' According to this view, ''the Clinton administration reneged on that commitment . . . when it decided to expand NATO to Eastern Europe.''
  • Topic: NATO, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North Atlantic, Moscow, Germany, Spain
  • Author: Abbas Milani
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two countries, ''both alike in dignity,'' have for too long been the Capulets and Montagues of our days. Grudges like the 1979 hostage crisis and the U.S. role in the overthrow of the popular Mossadeq government in 1953, ill feelings stemming from the clerical regime's nuclear program and help for organizations like Hezbollah, and the Bush administration's ham-fisted policy of ''regime change'' have combined to make the Islamic Republic of Iran one of the most intractable challenges facing the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: James D. McGee
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: For years analysts have been predicting that Zimbabwe had reached rock bottom and that a turn-around was imminent. For years they have been wrong, and Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party have maintained political control while simultaneously destroying Zimbabwe's once thriving economy. The question now is whether the postelection violence and hyper-inflation of 2008 finally marked the turning point for Zimbabwe, and if the new unity government can begin to bring Zimbabwe out of its decade-long collapse.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Donald Tong
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: More than 2,000 years ago, the Roman politician, statesman and writer Cicero made an astute observation about friendship, profound in its simplicity and universal in its application to relations between governments as well as individuals.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Amitai Etzioni
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Old international institutions must be updated to tackle transnational challenges. The most promising model for doing so is the Proliferation Security Initiative, a recent cooperative effort to interdict weapons of mass destruction.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North Korea
  • Author: Derek Scissors
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Driven by a near obsession with economic growth, Beijing has extended the state's reach into the economy. Instead of urging the Chinese government to resume extensive market reforms, Washington should encourage it to focus on a narrow range of feasible measures.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Ian Bremmer
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Across the world, the free market is being overtaken by state capitalism, a system in which the state is the leading economic actor. How should the United States respond?
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: John Newhouse
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Lobbies representing foreign interests have an increasingly powerful -- and often harmful -- impact on how the United States formulates its foreign policy, and ultimately hurt U.S. credibility around the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Armenia
  • Author: Jesse David Tatum
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This article analyses Georgia's post-Rose Revolution progress in the process of democratic transition up until the August 2008 war. The focus is on the role that the incumbent administration plays in this process, and on the internal pressures that the leadership currently faces. In the light of some important studies in the democratisation field, this article considers the extent to which President Saakashvili and his government represent a clear change in the political order vis-à-vis his two predecessors. With regard to the crises in November 2007 and August 2008, this period in Georgia's development as a nation will have a profound impact on its population, its neighbouring countries and an area of the world in close proximity to the EU. While Saakashvili has made admirable progress overall, he still retains a surfeit of power detrimental to Georgian democracy.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Eberhard Schneider
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: There are signs that the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is gaining his own profile rather than wishing to remain forever Vladimir Putin's hand-picked successor. The catalyst for this process is the financial and economic crisis. Different individuals and groups surrounding the president and the prime minister play an important role in this process, since they try to ensure that their patrons demonstrate a greater political profile. Putin's dilemma: If he remains in office, he runs the risk of being held responsible by the people for his government's failure to properly address the crisis. This could lead to the loss of his reputation, which could cost him the election victory in the case of his renewed candidacy for the presidency in 2012. If he resigns as prime minister, he would disappear from the public eye, which would make his election as president impossible. This would mean that Medvedev would re-run for the presidency in 2012 and get re-elected for another six-year term in accordance with the latest constitutional amendment.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Amir M. Haji-Yousefi
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: After the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, it became evident that Iraq's Shia majority would dominate the future government if a free election was going to be held. In 2004, Jordan's King Abdullah, anxiously warned of the prospect of a “Shia crescent” spanning Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. This idea was then picked up by others in the Arab world, especially Egypt's President Mubarak and some elements within the Saudi government, to reaffirm the Iranian ambitions and portray its threats with regard to the Middle East. This article seeks to unearth the main causes of promoting the idea of a revived Shiism by some Arab countries, and argue that it was basically proposed out of the fear that what the American occupation of Iraq unleashed in the region would drastically change the old Arab order in which Sunni governments were dominant. While Iran downplayed the idea and perceived it as a new American conspiracy, it was grabbed by the Bush administration to intensify its pressures on Iran. It also sought to rally support in the Arab world for US Middle East policy in general, and its failed policy toward Iraq in particular. Thus, to answer the above mentioned question, a close attention would be paid to both the Arab and Iranian agenda in the Middle East after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in order to establish which entities benefit most from the perception of a Shia crescent.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Welcome to the Summer 2009 issue of TOS.First up in this edition is my interview with Jonathan Hoenig, who discusses the nature and value of hedge funds, the government's role in the financial crisis, and how to fight for free markets.
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Alex Epstein
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The most important and most overlooked energy issue today is the growing crisis of global energy supply. Cheap, industrial-scale energy is essential to building, transporting, and operating everything we use, from refrigerators to Internet server farms to hospitals. It is desperately needed in the undeveloped world, where 1.6 billion people lack electricity, which contributes to untold suffering and death. And it is needed in ever-greater, more-affordable quantities in the industrialized world: Energy usage and standard of living are directly correlated. Every dollar added to the cost of energy is a dollar added to the cost of life. And if something does not change soon in the energy markets, the cost of life will become a lot higher. As demand increases in the newly industrializing world, led by China and India, supply stagnates-meaning rising prices as far as the eye can see. What is the solution? We just need the right government "energy plan," leading politicians, intellectuals, and businessmen tell us. Of course "planners" such as Barack Obama, John McCain, Al Gore, Thomas L. Friedman, T. Boone Pickens, and countless others favor different plans with different permutations and combinations of their favorite energy sources (solar, wind, biomass, ethanol, geothermal, occasionally nuclear and natural gas) and distribution networks (from decentralized home solar generators to a national centralized so-called smart grid). But each agrees that there must be a plan-that the government must lead the energy industry using its power to subsidize, mandate, inhibit, and prohibit. And each claims that his plan will lead to technological breakthroughs, more plentiful energy, and therefore a higher standard of living. Consider Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, who claims that if only we follow his "repower American plan"-which calls for the government to ban and replace all carbon-emitting energy (currently 80 percent of overall energy and almost 100 percent of fuel energy) in ten years-we would be using fuels that are not expensive, don't cause pollution and are abundantly available right here at home. . . . We have such fuels. Scientists have confirmed that enough solar energy falls on the surface of the earth every 40 minutes to meet 100 percent of the entire world's energy needs for a full year. Tapping just a small portion of this solar energy could provide all of the electricity America uses. And enough wind power blows through the Midwest corridor every day to also meet 100 percent of US electricity demand. Geothermal energy, similarly, is capable of providing enormous supplies of electricity for America. . . . [W]e can start right now using solar power, wind power and geothermal power to make electricity for our homes and businesses. And Gore claims that, under his plan, our vehicles will run on "renewable sources that can give us the equivalent of $1 per gallon gasoline." Another revered thinker, Thomas L. Friedman, also speaks of the transformative power of government planning, in the form of a government-engineered "green economy." In a recent book, he enthusiastically quotes an investor who claims: "The green economy is poised to be the mother of all markets, the economic investment opportunity of a lifetime." Friedman calls for "a system that will stimulate massive amounts of innovation and deployment of abundant, clean, reliable, and cheap electrons." How? Friedman tells us that there are two ways to stimulate innovation-one is short-term and the other is long-term-and we need to be doing much more of both. . . . First, there is innovation that happens naturally by the massive deployment of technologies we already have [he stresses solar and wind]. . . . The way you stimulate this kind of innovation-which comes from learning more about what you already know and doing it better and cheaper-is by generous tax incentives, regulatory incentives, renewable energy mandates, and other market-shaping mechanisms that create durable demand for these existing clean power technologies. . . . And second, there is innovation that happens by way of eureka breakthroughs from someone's lab due to research and experimentation. The way you stimulate that is by increasing government-funded research. . . . The problem with such plans and claims: Politicians and their intellectual allies have been making and trying to implement them for decades-with nothing positive (and much negative) to show for it. For example, in the late 1970s, Jimmy Carter heralded his "comprehensive energy policy," claiming it would "develop permanent and reliable new energy sources." In particular, he (like many today) favored "solar energy, for which most of the technology is already available." All the technology needed, he said, "is some initiative to initiate the growth of a large new market in our country." Since then, the government has heavily subsidized solar, wind, and other favored "alternatives," and embarked on grand research initiatives to change our energy sources-claiming that new fossil fuel and nuclear development is unnecessary and undesirable. The result? Not one single, practical, scalable source of energy. Americans get a piddling 1.1 percent of their power from solar and wind sources, and only that much because of national and state laws subsidizing and mandating them. There have been no "eureka breakthroughs," despite many Friedmanesque schemes to induce them, including conveniently forgotten debacles such as government fusion projects, the Liquid Fast Metal Breeder Reactor Program, and the Synfuels Corporation. Many good books and articles have been written-though not enough, and not widely enough read-chronicling the failures of various government-sponsored energy plans, particularly those that sought to develop "alternative energies," over the past several decades. Unfortunately, the lesson that many take from this is that we must relinquish hope for dramatic breakthroughs, lower our sights, and learn to make do with the increasing scarcity of energy. But the past failures do not warrant cynicism about the future of energy; they warrant cynicism only about the future of energy under government planning. Indeed, history provides us ample grounds for optimism about the potential for a dynamic energy market with life-changing breakthroughs-because America once had exactly such a market. For most of the 1800s, an energy market existed unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes, a market devoid of government meddling. With every passing decade, consumers could buy cheaper, safer, and more convenient energy, thanks to continual breakthroughs in technology and efficiency-topped off by the discovery and mass availability of an alternative source of energy that, through its incredible cheapness and abundance, literally lengthened and improved the lives of nearly everyone in America and millions more around the world. That alternative energy was called petroleum. By studying the rise of oil, and the market in which it rose, we will see what a dynamic energy market looks like and what makes it possible. Many claim to want the "next oil"; to that end, what could be more important than understanding the conditions that gave rise to the first oil? Today, we know oil primarily as a source of energy for transportation. But oil first rose to prominence as a form of energy for a different purpose: illumination. For millennia, men had limited success overcoming the darkness of the night with man-made light. As a result, the day span for most was limited to the number of hours during which the sun shone-often fewer than ten in the winter. Even as late as the early 1800s, the quality and availability of artificial light was little better than it had been in Greek and Roman times-which is to say that men could choose between various grades of expensive lamp oils or candles made from animal fats. But all of this began to change in the 1820s. Americans found that lighting their homes was becoming increasingly affordable-so much so that by the mid-1860s, even poor, rural Americans could afford to brighten their homes, and therefore their lives, at night, adding hours of life to their every day. What made the difference? Individual freedom, which liberated individual ingenuity. The Enlightenment and its apex, the founding of the United States of America, marked the establishment of an unprecedented form of government, one established explicitly on the principle of individual rights. According to this principle, each individual has a right to live his own life solely according to the guidance of his own mind-including the crucial right to earn, acquire, use, and dispose of the physical property, the wealth, on which his survival depends. Enlightenment America, and to a large extent Enlightenment Europe, gave men unprecedented freedom in the intellectual and economic realms. Intellectually, individuals were free to experiment and theorize without restrictions by the state. This made possible an unprecedented expansion in scientific inquiry-including the development by Joseph Priestly and Antoine Lavoisier of modern chemistry, critical to future improvements in illumination. Economically, this freedom enabled individuals to put scientific discoveries and methods into wealth-creating practice, harnessing the world around them in new, profitable ways-from textile manufacturing to steelmaking to coal-fired steam engines to illuminants.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, India
  • Author: Eric Daniels
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: During the Great Depression, the English economist John Maynard Keynes published The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, in which he argued that governments could spur employment and reinvigorate an ailing economy by borrowing and spending money. The recent financial crisis has reinvigorated interest in Keynes's ideas. Articles in the Financial Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, and Forbes have heralded the resurgence of interest in Keynesian theory. Commentators across the political spectrum, from Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz to Bruce Bartlett and Greg Mankiw, have called for a return to Keynesian economics. Congress and President Obama have enacted a gargantuan "stimulus" bill and are pursuing massive spending programs the likes of which Keynes could only have dreamed. It seems that pundits and politicians are all Keynesians now. A new book, however, argues that Keynes's theory is much more profound than most people realize. In Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism, George Akerlof and Robert Shiller present what they regard as the essence of Keynesianism-Keynes's view of man as an animal saddled with inherent, irrational drives. These "animal spirits" have historically been ignored, say the authors, which is why Keynesianism has, at times, given way to other theories. Those who want Keynesian political policies to rise back to dominance and endure need to understand and embrace this neglected aspect of the theory. The authors point out that, because Keynes published his work in the middle of the Great Depression, his followers wanted governments to adopt his policy recommendations as soon as possible. To make his prescriptions more palatable, Akerlof and Shiller tell us, Keynesians of the time deemphasized the more insightful yet more abstruse "fundamental message" in Keynes's work. Although the watered-down version of Keynesianism was more politically acceptable, it was, according to the authors, less politically potent and more vulnerable to attack. Yes, the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations engaged in deficit spending, but they "lacked the confidence to pursue those policies far enough" (p. viii). The Keynesian borrowing and spending of World War II was more robust, Akerlof and Shiller say; consequently, it ended unemployment, became all the rage in the 1940s, and remained a widely respected policy for some time. But even this broader and longer-lasting support for Keynesian deficit-spending was bound to fizzle because the "more fundamental message of The General Theory was cast aside" (p. viii). . . .
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: New York