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  • Author: Tom Ginsburg
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Latin America is something of a constitutional graveyard, in which formal texts have been replaced frequently over the past two centuries. Focusing especially on the period of relative political stability after 1978, Gabriel Negretto has produced a masterful book that helps us to understand constitutional politics in the region and beyond. Integrating quantitative analysis with a series of case studies, Negretto's innovative analysis makes this book required reading for students of constitutional design. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19344#sthash.T6DRR8OT.dpuf
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Latin America
  • Author: Mark Zachary Taylor
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: This dense, powerful volume offers profound insights into the U.S. innovation system and its driving forces. The driving forces are Americans' twin desires for technology-based military supremacy (which demands government action) and small government (which militates against it). These twin forces have produced a highly successful, ever-evolving, and unique set of federal institutions and policies, which Linda Weiss calls the “national security state” (NSS). The NSS is the secret to American innovation. Since World War II, it has dominated high-risk innovation, revolutionary technological change, and the formation of new S industries. Weiss's book also reveals that the NSS is not static, but changes in response to changes in perceived geopolitical threats and to shifts in popular anti-statist sentiments. The book explains why the NSS came about, how it works, and glimpses its future. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19346#sthash.kIPIPtW6.dpuf
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Ethics International Affairs is pleased to announce the publication of its winter 2014 issue. This issue includes an essay by Jacinta O'Hagan and Miwa Hirono on "cultures of humanitarianism" in East Asia; articles by Christopher Kutz on torture, American security policy, and norm death, and Ruben Reike on an international crimes approach to preventing mass atrocities; a book symposium on Mathias Risse's On Global Justice, featuring contributions from Richard Arneson, Helena de Bres, Anna Stilz, and Risse; and a review essay by Nancy Birdsall on Thomas Piketty's Capital.
  • Topic: Security, Culture
  • Political Geography: America, East Asia
  • Author: Christopher Kutz
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: A large and impressive literature has arisen over the past fifteen years concerning the emergence, transfer, and sustenance of political norms in international life. The presumption of this literature has been, for the most part, that the winds of normative change blow in a progressive direction, toward greater or more stringent normative control of individual or state behavior. Constructivist accounts detail a spiral of mutual normative reinforcement as actors and institutions discover the advantages of normative self- and other evaluation. There is also now much interesting research focused on the question of how to predict the emergence of future norms.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Katherine C. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article uses the centenary of the First World War as an opportunity to re-examine a major element of the existing literature on the war—the strategic implications of supposed British decline—as well as analogies to the contemporary United States based upon that interpretation of history. It argues that the standard declinist interpretation of British strategy rests to a surprising degree upon the work of the naval historian Arthur Marder, and that Marder's archival research and conceptual framework were weaker than is generally realized. It suggests that more recent work appearing since Marder is stronger and renders the declinist strategic interpretation difficult to maintain. It concludes by considering the implications of this new work for analogies between the United States today and First World War-era Britain, and for the use of history in contemporary policy debates.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America
  • Author: Alex Danchev
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This review article considers three works by the distinguished documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras: My country, my country (2006); The oath (2010); and the recently released Citizenfour (2014), focusing on the whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Poitras describes these works as a trilogy about American power after 9/11, but they are also about disobedience and resistance, or the problem of dissent. The article argues for the significance (and the virtue) of Poitras's project, as film maker and troublemaker, and for the necessity of what Solzhenitsyn calls civil valour. You can listen to Alex Danchev discussing his review article in IA's March podcast here http://cht.hm/1N5JeoK
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Scott W. Harold
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy is beset by numerous simultaneous crises. In Syria, the Assad regime continues to commit massive human rights abuses, while Islamic State jihadis are seizing territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq. Russia has annexed Crimea and is threatening its neighbors from Ukraine to the Baltics. In Nigeria, Boko Haram is killing students while they sleep and abducting hundreds of young girls to sell into slavery, while the Ebola virus is killing thousands in neighboring West African states. And as if this wasn't enough, in Asia, China is on the march in the South China Sea, North Korea may test another nuclear device, and U.S. allies Japan and South Korea continue to feud over history issues. In light of these challenges, U.S. foreign policy analysts may understandably question the fate of President Obama's signature foreign policy initiative, the `pivot' or `rebalance' to the Asia–Pacific.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, Syria, Nigeria
  • Author: Michael Cohen, Andrew O′Neil
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: American extended deterrence commitments span the globe. Despite extensive research on the causes of deterrence successes and failures, evidence of which US allies find what extended deterrence commitments credible is elusive. This article utilizes interviews with former Australian policy-makers to analyze the credibility of the United States to defend Australian forces during the 1999 INTERFET intervention in East Timor. While there was no direct threat to Australian sovereignty, the episode stoked concerns in Canberra regarding the willingness of Washington to come to Australia's assistance. The Howard government coveted a US tripwire force presence, and the Clinton administration's unwillingness to provide this raised serious concerns among Australian political elites about the alliance. While this says little about the separate question of whether Washington would use nuclear or conventional weapons in defense of Australian sovereignty, the Timor case indicates the existence of an extended deterrence credibility deficit regarding the more probable low-intensity conflicts that Australia finds itself in.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America, Australia
  • Author: Matthew Wiseman
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 remains one of the most highly contested episodes of the Cold War. Both academic and general historians alike continuously attempt to reconstruct the events that occurred during those harrowing two weeks as well as the subsequent aftermath. Historical examinations have unravelled some of the mystery which emerged from questions asked of the crisis and the subsequent period following its closure, but an abundance of scholarship on the topic has produced historical fallacies as well. It is for this reason that Sheldon Stern, official historian at the John F. Kennedy Library from 1977 to 1999, wrote The Cuban Missile Crisis in American Memory: Myths versus Reality.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In America and the Rogue States, Thomas Henriksen lays out the relationships that exist, and have existed, between America and the states that made up George W. Bush's 'Axis of Evil.' Henriksen outlines the history of the interactions between the United States and North Korea, pre-invasion Iraq, and Iran, and through this draws out a number of themes. He also shows that the ways the relationships have played out are highly situational and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In the last chapter, Henriksen explores American relationships with a number of states that were either once considered rogue or could become rogue, like Libya, Syria, and Cuba, referring to them as either “lesser rogues” or “troublesome states.” These states have remained “a puzzle for US foreign policy” (1) and are characterized by three things: autocratic governance, sponsorship of terrorism, and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). There is no clear definition provided by Henriksen for what can be considered a rogue state, making it difficult to judge what other states, if any, could be considered rogue. Henriksen seems to arbitrarily decide who is rogue and who is not: Cuba is a rogue state, while Myanmar is merely troublesome. Instead of synthesizing a clear definition of the term, something that could then be applied to other states in order to judge their 'rogueness,' Henriksen uses the Bush administration's criteria (the term itself was coined by President Bill Clinton in a 1994 speech in Brussels), which was outlined in the National Security Strategy of 2002 (NSS-2002). These were “brutality toward their own people; contempt for international law; determination to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD); advanced military technology; sponsorship of terrorism; rejection of human rights values; and hatred for the United States and 'everything it stands for'”. The use of the NSS-2002 definition allows for the 'Axis of Evil' to fit neatly into the term, which constitutes a problem of tautology, at least for the Bush administration. Further compounding this was that, according to Henriksen at least, the administration was set on going to war in Iraq prior to assuming office. This creates a situation in which it is hard to determine whether the idea of rogue states was created to justify this desire, or it informed the desire prior to the administration taking office.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, North Korea, Libya