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  • Author: Mark P. Lagon, Ryan Kaminski
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since Samuel Huntington's 1993 article warning of inter-civilizational conflict, pundits and policymakers alike have been quick to forecast a so-called “clash of civilizations.” This has become especially common following 9/11, with warnings of a unitary Islam pitted against a unified West. Yet a clear-eyed assessment reveals that the West includes Muslim-majority regions and the often fractious United Nations; this divisive vision is as incorrect as it is unhelpful. In his address to the UN General Assembly in September 2012, President Barack Obama argued that freedom of speech and tolerance transcends civilizational, cultural, and religious fault lines. “Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, that's the vision we will support,” declared Obama. In direct opposition to those favoring limitations on the freedom of expression or the imposition of blasphemy charges, the president noted, “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech – the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.” Setting the stage for Obama's remarks was what can roughly be termed as a global panic attack with peaceful, semi-violent, and violent protests about a video spreading from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. In the face of the unmistakable energy and vigor associated with protests, however, many were left confused how a shabbily crafted video, Innocence of Muslims, with a skeletal budget, and miniscule opening audience to match, could instigate such a worldwide conflagration.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Thomas X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Even as America continues its withdrawal from Afghanistan, a crucial problem is emerging for the U.S. defense establishment. It must meet an increasing variety of threats with decreasing resources. Despite the fervent wishes of those who seek to refocus on state versus state war, the spectrum of conflict continues to expand. Further, defying the Pentagon's best efforts to fight short, decisive wars, today's wars are often ambiguous, indecisive, and protracted. While the demands increase, defense resources are being squeezed by three major factors. First, and most obvious, are the looming cuts in the defense budget. Second, is the inability of the Department of Defense (DoD) to control the cost of new weapons systems. Third, is the near doubling of military personnel costs since 2001. Balancing the demands of the expanding spectrum of war with the decline in defense resources represents the fundamental issue for defense planners. To succeed, the Pentagon cannot continue to operate as it has over the last two decades. This article will take a brief look at the expanding spec- trum of threats, as well as the concomitant budgetary pressures that face U.S. defense. It will then address the strate- gist's fundamental problem of achieving balance among ends, ways, and means. It will close with modest suggestions for how to match today's declining resources with expanding demands.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Travis Sharp
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Washington has failed to have a legitimate debate of the risks involved with budget cuts. This lack of sophisticated discourse about the strategic risks of defense cuts may lead American political leaders to make poor choices that imperil U.S. interests.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Joseph D. Stafford III
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: GJIA: What has been your favorite part about being a career Foreign Service Officer, and why? Stafford: I think my favorite part has been having the opportunity to live and work overseas, in other cultures, and to work on issues of importance to the United States and our international relations. The assignments in Washington have also been interesting but, in my mind, the most stimulating and enjoyable part of my Foreign Service career has been the chance to work overseas and meet ordinary citizens and members of civil society across the world, and to represent the US government.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye Jr.
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 26 March 2013, former Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School Joseph S. Nye led a seminar on presidents and the creation of the American era at Georgetown University's Mortara Center for International Studies. Professor Nye discussed about to what extent leadership mattered in establishing the United States as the dominant country in the twentieth century, and what lessons can be drawn for leadership and U.S. foreign policy in the twenty-first century. The Journal sat down with Professor Nye after the event to hear more about his views on the role of leadership in shaping and promoting U.S. foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John McNeil
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: William Polk, born in 1929, is one of the more successful scholar-diplomats in American life. He has written more than a dozen books, mainly on the modern Arab world, some for trade publishers and some for university presses. He taught Middle East and Islamic history at Harvard and the University of Chicago. He also served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, on the State Department's Policy Planning staff and later as an adviser to McGeorge Bundy, President Johnson's National Security Adviser, charged with handling the aftermath of 1967's Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors. His latest book is his first on Iran. He has visited the country from time to time since 1956, and in the 1960s met the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and some of the Iranian political elite. Aware of the stalemate that bedevils U.S.-Iranian relations, and frustrated by what he sees as the narrowness of war-game exercises and the field of international relations, Polk wrote this book “to bring forward what war games omit: in short, what it means when we speak of Iran and Iranians.” He feels American policy-makers pay insufficient heed to the history and culture of Iran and Iranians, and are thereby baffled by what seems to them illogical behavior. If they had adequate grounding in things Iranian, he believes, they would better understand Iran, its government, its policies, and its people. Adequate grounding, in Polk's view, extends back 2,500 years. He maintains that even if the majority of Iranians alive have scant knowledge of the Achaemenid dynasty they are nonetheless influenced by it. Indeed, he writes, “I am certain that the inhabitants of Iran today are largely governed by their past regardless of whether they consciously remember it.” He appeals to Carl Jung's notion of “collective unconscious” and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's “social contract” to make his case.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Chicago
  • Author: Juliet Antunes Sablosky
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: To the second volume of his history of the U. S. Information Agency, Nicholas Cull brings a similarly skillful survey of the institution and the role it played in furthering American foreign policy goals. This time he concentrates on the changes wrought by the end of the Cold War and the impact they had on the Agency, its programs, and its people. Throughout the book major attention is given to the Voice of America and to the policy advocacy aspects of USIA's work. Professor Cull gives less attention to the other three “core components” of public diplomacy, which he identifies as listening, cultural diplomacy, and exchange diplomacy. This meticulously documented book, based on archival research, private papers, and interviews, helps fill a long-standing gap in the literature and sets the stage for further research on American public diplomacy. It will be much appreciated by those teaching and researching the public diplomacy dimension of international relations. The Decline and Fall of the U.S. Information Agency complements nicely a number of books written over the years by practitioners of public diplomacy that are important for the understanding they provide of its possibilities and constraints, as well as for the vivid pictures they paint of how it was carried out overseas. But the Cull book provides a different perspective, coming from an established academic observer and concentrating on the domestic side of policy-making. While primarily of interest to the foreign policy and public diplomacy communities, students and researchers of public policy will find grist for their mills here as well. The political machinations that accompanied the death of the USIA as an independent agency and its integration (or re-integration, if one considers its early history) into the Department of State make for lively reading and provide an excellent case study
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Vivek Wadhwa
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Given the poor health of its economy and the rise of competitors like China and India, the United States needs high-skilled immigrants more than ever. After all, it is these immigrants who have fueled the country's technology boom and boosted its global advantage. Yet, American political leaders are so deeply embroiled in debates about the plight of low-skilled workers who have entered the country illegally, that immigration itself has become a political quagmire. There is a complete stalemate on immigration reform. Meanwhile, the number of high-skilled immigrants in the United States who are waiting to gain legal permanent residence now exceeds one million. The wait time for new immigrants from India in this category is now estimated to be seventy years. The result is that fewer high-skilled workers are coming to the United States, and the country is experiencing its first brain drain. The economic growth that could be taking place in the United States is now occurring in India and China. Consider that of all engineering and technology companies established in the United States between 1995 and 2005, 25.3 percent had at least one immigrant as a key founder. In Silicon Valley, this proportion was 52.4 percent. More than half of these founders initially came to the United States to study. Very few, 1.6 percent, came for the sole purpose of starting a company. They typically founded companies after working and residing in the United States for an average of thirteen years. This means that with the backlog of skilled workers waiting for legal permanent residence today, immigrants who would be starting companies are instead caught in “immigration limbo.” The temporary work visas these immigrants hold actually restrict them from working for the companies they start.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, India
  • Author: Christian Pangilinan
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The streets of Catmaran, a small town in Northern Samar province in the Philippines, seem wide compared to those of the capital, Manila. There is almost no traffic. Instead of dense rows of aluminum-roofed shacks, rough concrete houses, and stalls with plastic signs for soda and cell phone companies, green farms and bahay kubo, traditional thatch houses on stilts, border the roads. At first glance, the beaches look idyllic.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Philippines
  • Author: Eric P. Schwartz, Lawrence R. Jacobs
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The upcoming American presidential election will overlap with a changing political schema. The United States has begun to witness an “internationalization” of its domestic policy. How the next administration adapts to this paradigm shift will have profound implications upon the future of U.S. prominence on the world's stage.
  • Political Geography: United States, America