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  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Assembly at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Raise any number of public issues—health care, education, welfare—and religious beliefs inevitably shape Americans' viewpoints. On certain topics the introduction of religion can be explosive. This book discusses how we can and why we should hear religious voices in the public square.
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Assembly at Columbia University
  • Abstract: This 2001 report from the Uniting America series, "Collaborating to Make Democracy Work," emphasized the role of collaboration between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in addressing problems of accountability and good governance. Participants called for a reinvigoration, in particular, of the role of business leaders as partners in addressing challenges at the community level
  • Author: Kevin O'Neill
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Science and International Security
  • Abstract: A little over a year ago, ISIS initiated an annual review of fissile material controls covering a broad spectrum of initiatives. To do so, 19 separate initiatives were identified and assessed. Based on this assessment, grades were awarded on a scale of A, B, C, D, and F, where an “A” is excellent and an “F” is failing. Numerically, an “A” corresponds to a numerical grade of four, and an “F” to zero. The results of the first review were disappointing. Only 12 of the 19 initiatives received a passing grade of “C” or higher. The average grade of the initiatives was a “C”-showing an unfortunate level of mediocrity across the fissile material control agenda. In ISIS’s 2000 review, we found that the outlook is worse today than it was a year ago. Rather than make progress during the past 12 months, the overall fissile material control agenda fared poorly. The average grade of the identified initiatives fell from a “C” to a “C-minus.” This overall finding is borne out if one looks at the individual grades assigned to each of the 19 identified initiatives. ISIS judged that five initiatives remained essentially static, nine received lower grades, and five initiatives received higher grades.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons , Fissile Material
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States of America
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The chain of events and developments in Southeastern Europe during the 1990s provoked increasingly sophisticated political reactions, political approaches and longer-term strategies towards the region on the part of the EU. The firm requirement for ethnic tolerance and respect of human rights constitutes one end of the range of EU positions concerning Southeastern Europe. The gradual beginning of the process of integration of some countries from the region in the Union constitutes the other end. At the end of the 1990s, these positions gravitated towards two principles – regionality and conditionality. These principles are partly overlapping and mutually reinforcing, but to some extent also contradictory. The institutional arrangements of these two principles by the EU are identified with the Stability Pact (July 1999) for the principle of regionality, on the one hand, and with the accession negotiations and the Stabilisation and Association Process for the principle of conditionality, on the other hand.
  • Topic: Security, European Union, Regional Integration, Risk
  • Political Geography: Europe, Southeast Europe
  • Author: Nicolay Pavlov, Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The application of geopolitical methodological instruments to the study of Bulgarian foreign and security policy issues has two fundamental causes: first, for many decades this has been a neglected intellectual instrument of international political research – for political and ideological reasons – and, second, the end of the Cold War necessitated an improvement of the conceptual and the analytical tools of security studies in Europe and the world. The traditional approach of ISIS to search ways of improving the security situation by conceptualizing events and processes in a novel way has focused the efforts of its researchers on security problems that cover a broad strategic zone: the Balkans – the Black Sea – the Transcaucasus – the Caspian Sea. Continued cooling – for more than ten years –of bilateral Bulgarian-Russian relations is conceived as one of the problems of this broader strategic and systemically linked zone. The geopolitical and geostrategic model – imposed on Bulgaria by the Cold War divide, the country’s membership in the Warsaw Pact and the thorough domination by the USSR – ended and was replaced by a different reality. The geopolitical projection of the ideological and socio-economic divide was no longer an applicable paradigm. At the same time the balance of power and the geostrategic approaches of understanding the evolving international environment proved to be inadequate after the end of the 1980s of the 20th Century. Russian, and to a lesser extent Bulgarian, politicians lost the orientation and the perspective of the bilateral links. This led to a dramatic diminishing of the meaning of bilateral relations in the general foreign-political engagements of the two countries. Bulgaria had undertaken a clear orientation to market economy, democracy and rule of law – a philosophic course, which logically prioritized the attraction of the European Union as the efficient integration nucleus of Europe, and of NATO – the symbol of stability and guaranteed prosperity in the broader Euro-Atlantic space. Though NATO was no longer perceived in the Cold War antagonistic pattern by Russia, and the very substance of the Alliance intensively adapted to the post-Cold War realities, Bulgaria’s political and security choice of joining the Euro-Atlantic community of developed democratic nations was negatively assessed by the Russian elite.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria
  • Author: Heikki Patomäki
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the 1970's James Tobin proposed a low rate tax on financial transactions of currencies. This tax would make many speculative movements unprofitable and the financial system less volatile and sensitive to daily political news and anticipation of economic policy changes. Consequently, it would create space for more autonomous economic policies of states.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Political Economy, United Nations
  • Author: Hanna Järä
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: An essential challenge facing a society in transition stems from the legacy of the former power elite. A compelling need to restore moral order by the assessment of the abdication of the rule of law and violations of human rights requires an opportunity to face the past and its consequences. The process of dealing with the past includes a strong commitment to revealing the truth and redressing the past. The critical question around the issue is what is considered a proper reaction towards leaders and perpetrators who were responsible for oppressive activities and other violations of human rights, many of whom remain part of the new political structures or hold important positions in public life. The central tension is between the politics of compromise, the essence of which is to leave the past intact, and the radical notion of justice. Thus, the key dilemma facing the emerging democracies is whether past violations should be forgotten or confronted, forgiven or prosecuted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Chris Browning
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War it is widely accepted that Finnish foreign policy has oriented increasingly towards the 'West', the most pertinent and concrete example of which, to date, has been accession to the EU. Implicit in many commentaries is the assumption that this orientation is a natural phenomenon, the natural culmination of an effervescent Finnish 'Western' cultural identity. Whilst the rhetorical style perhaps differs espousers of this view draw on Herderian and Hegelian assumptions, essentially arguing that after the unfortunate interruption and deviation from its true path occasioned by the Cold War the Finnish 'national spirit' is now back on its rightful historical and linear course to national fulfilment and blossoming. Looking into the nation's history such discourses see Finland's cultural and political roots as lying in the West and hence posit that with the break-up of the Soviet Union Finland is returning to these organic origins in Western civilisation, with all the effects for foreign policy such a 'Western' identity will entail. This is what we may term the 'Westernising' narrative of current debates about Finnish identity and Finnish foreign policy. On this basis the Finnish Cold War foreign policy of neutrality is characterised, either as having been a total aberration and betrayal of the Finnish 'Western' Self, or, and perhaps more commonly, as having been the best possible option available to the Finnish elite at the time: constrained by the dictates of power, agile Finnish political leaders were able to manoeuvre the Finnish ship of state through the various pitfalls and traps waiting to beguile them in the stormy waters of great power Cold War politics. Now free of such power dictates these current 'Westernising' discourses are attempting to push Finnish foreign policy towards the West, legitimising such a move to the Finnish public and the wider international audience on the grounds of Finland's claimed historical Western identity. To note the title of this panel discussion, “Defining New Identities Between East and West', for Westernising discourses there is no between about it. As an organically Western state why would Finland want to be between East and West any longer? On this basis the Finnish neutrality of the Cold War period merely disguised the true Finnish identity, a ruse so that Finland could in the future once more live as its true self when conditions once again permitted.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland
  • Author: Hanna Ojanen
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: When thinking of the overall image of the European Union, one would not first come to visualise soldiers with the twelve starlets on blue background on their uniforms. During its 40 years' existence, the Community/Union has consolidated itself in quite other fields: in agriculture, trade, competition policy. Its own portrait as the 'ever closer Union' has gained resemblance with reality, notably through the economic and monetary union and cooperation in justice and home affairs. Common foreign and security policy, then, has from the very beginning been a central aspiration in the process of integration. Many would, however, treat such a goal as some sort of idealism, a wish, and the recurrent formulas about the Union that should speak with one voice in international affairs as some sort of a mantra of the Europeanist faith. Even a cursory acquaintance with the CFSP shows the divergence between the member countries' views when it comes to essential questions of foreign policy and tends to convince that if such a policy was ever to become a reality, it would at least not imply real common defence or a transformation of the Union into a military alliance - particularly so since following the division of labour between the different international organisations, there are others than the Union to take care of military cooperation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Linda Jakobson
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Though the Chinese Communist Party clings to its monopoly on power and fully intends to avoid “walking down the road of the Soviet Union,” it is implementing revolutionary political reform in the countryside. For the past decade, multi-candidate elections, in which candidates need not be members of the Communist Party, have been held in hundreds of thousands of Chinese villages. Abdicating its prerogative to appoint village chiefs, the Party has conceded that elected ones are more effective. The grassroots-level governance reform (jiceng zhengquan gaige) not only empowers ordinary citizens and encourages them to take part in the decision-making process. It also institutionalizes the concepts of accountability and transparency.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Soviet Union