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  • Author: Ethna Regan
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: The discourse of human rights has emerged as the dominant moral discourse of our time. Reflecting on this often contentious discourse, with both its enthusiasts and detractors, led me to consider the following questions: What constitutes an intelligible definition of human rights? What place should this discourse occupy within ethics? Can theology acknowledge human rights discourse? How is theological engagement with human rights justified? What are the implications of the convergence of what are two potentially universalizable discourses?
  • Topic: Human Rights, Religion, Political Theory
  • Author: Walter A. McDougall
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: In 1973, Congress passed the infamous War Powers Resolution (WPR), over Richard Nixon’s veto. It was perhaps the most ambitious Congressional effort to bridle the President since the battle with Andrew Johnson over Reconstruction. The WPR is worth reading—once—then forgetting, because its convoluted, contradictory, and doubtless unconstitutional mix of instructions, restrictions, and ticking clocks has never been honored by any administration or upheld by any court. Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush all dispatched U.S. forces into combat situations without paying more than lip service to the WPR. In 1990, following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, President Bush stationed 100,000 personnel in Saudi Arabia. He sought no authorization and, in fact, informed just one member of Congress: Senator Sam Nunn (D., Ga.). When he then prepared Operation Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait, 54 Congressmen led by the chairman of House Armed Services Committee, Berkeley radical Ron Dellums (D., Calif.), filed for an injunction to stop the war. U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene ran for cover. Noting that 54 fell far short of a majority, he judged the case “not ripe for judicial determination.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Governance, Law, Constitution
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: From the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 to the start of the Opium Wars in 1841, China has engaged in only two large-scale conflicts with its principal neighbors, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. These four territorial and centralized states have otherwise fostered peaceful and long-lasting relationships with one another, and as they have grown more powerful, the atmosphere around them has stabilized. Focusing on the role of the "tribute system" in maintaining stability in East Asia and fostering diplomatic and commercial exchange, Kang contrasts this history against the example of Europe and the East Asian states' skirmishes with nomadic peoples to the north and west. Scholars tend to view Europe's experience as universal, but Kang upends this tradition, emphasizing East Asia's formal hierarchy as an international system with its own history and character. His approach not only recasts common understandings of East Asian relations but also defines a model that applies to other hegemonies outside of the European order.
  • Topic: International Relations, History
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, Asia, Vietnam, Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231526746
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Patrick McEachern
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: North Korea's institutional politics defy traditional political models, making the country's actions seem surprising or confusing when, in fact, they often conform to the regime's own logic. Drawing on recent materials, such as North Korean speeches, commentaries, and articles, Patrick McEachern, a specialist on North Korean affairs, reveals how the state's political institutions debate policy and inform and execute strategic-level decisions. Many scholars dismiss Kim Jong-Il's regime as a "one-man dictatorship," calling him the "last totalitarian leader," but McEachern identifies three major institutions that help maintain regime continuity: the cabinet, the military, and the party. These groups hold different institutional policy platforms and debate high-level policy options both before and after Kim and his senior leadership make their final call. This method of rule may challenge expectations, but North Korea does not follow a classically totalitarian, personalistic, or corporatist model. Rather than being monolithic, McEachern argues, the regime, emerging from the crises of the 1990s, rules differently today than it did under Kim's father, Kim Il Sung. The son is less powerful and pits institutions against one another in a strategy of divide and rule. His leadership is fundamentally different: it is "post-totalitarian." Authority may be centralized, but power remains diffuse. McEachern maps this process in great detail, supplying vital perspective on North Korea's reactive policy choices, which continue to bewilder the West.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Security, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231526807
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Paul Jackson, Peter Albrecht
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform
  • Abstract: In 2007, for the first time in two decades, Sierra Leone conducted a generally peaceful national election without international peacekeeping assistance. This successful election earned the praise of international election observers as free, fair and credible. Most important, these elections were conducted by and for the people of Sierra Leone, who exercised their right to vote in a generally orderly environment made possible by their own security forces.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Sierra Leone
  • Author: James Cockayne (ed.)
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In late 2008, seventeen states, including the US, UK, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others, endorsed the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict (2008). This provides important guidance to states in regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs). However, there is a need to do more, to provide increased guidance to the industry and ensure standards are enforced.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Markets
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq
  • Author: David H. Ucko
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: The U.S. military has historically paid little attention to the nature and requirements of counterinsurgency and stability operations. Missions pitting the U.S. military against insurgents, or forcing it into stabilization tasks and policing duties abroad, have tended to be dismissed as beyond the military's remit or as “lesser-included” operations. The emphasis has instead been on achieving primacy against the armed forces of nation-states, involving an anticipated adversary shaped and operating very much like the U.S. military itself. This prioritization of “high-intensity” or “conventional” war has remained even though the U.S. military has faced “unconventional” or “irregular” challenges at a greater frequency and in campaigns of greater duration and cost. Indeed, even the major combat operations waged by the United States have often preceded or involved a less conventional phase, entailing postconflict stabilization or state-building. Notwithstanding these historical trends, the U.S. military has—in its doctrine, education, training, and, more broadly, its culture—prioritized the destruction of military targets far above the different means of creating or consolidating a new political order.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Brent L. Sterling
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: While The Above Biblical Quote reflects a prodefense sentiment oft en evident since man established boundaries, by the second half of the twentieth century a general disdain emerged for the continuing utility of walls, fortresses, and other barriers. The improved precision and destructiveness of weapons as well as the enhanced mobility of militaries appeared to render physical works obsolete. In the late 1950s, Yigal Allon, one of Israel's early military heroes and strategic thinkers, captured the prevailing view by observing that “no modern country can surround itself with a wall.” Fifty years later, however, a range of nations including Afghanistan, Botswana, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United States have increasingly been attracted to such barriers, none more than Allon's Israel. Walls stand guard along its frontiers with Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, increasingly the West Bank, and possibly soon Egypt. The relative effectiveness of these ground- based works at controlling cross- border traffic has encouraged adversary attack from the sky. Whether it be the frequent homemade Qassam rockets shot from the Gaza Strip (about three thousand through January 2008), the mixture of rockets and missiles launched by Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War (more than four thousand total), or the longer- range, potentially nuclear- armed ballistic missiles potentially possessed by hostile Middle East states, a high threat perception has arisen. In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has pursued multiple missile defense systems, some with colorful names such as Iron Dome and David's Sling, to be part of a multilayer network. Although the West Bank “separation barrier” has controversially deviated from the Green Line (the 1967 Israel–West Bank border) in some areas, defense efforts overall have been met with approval across the political spectrum.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Charles Villa-Vicencio
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Politics, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Joel H. Rosenthal (ed), Christian Barry (ed)
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, International Law, War, International Affairs, Political Theory