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  • Author: Zdzislaw Sliwa
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: One country survived the recent economic turmoil and became stronger economically. China's economy kept growing and her GDP in 2009 reached 8,7 % despite the crisis. The role of China in the world economy was clearly visible in 2009 not only because of her economic growth. In April 2009 Chinese importance in the world was under- lined during the G-20 Summit in London as the first face-to-face meeting between Presidents Barrack Obama and Hu Jintao was the most important event of the summit. Mr. Obama said that bilateral relations between the countries have become extremely constructive,... and strong ties are not only important for citizens in both countries but also help to set the stage for how the world deals with new challenge.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: China, America, London
  • Author: Roger Smith
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: This new book from Larry May is not a study of genocide, but rather an attempt to draw attention to the conceptual and practical difficulties and ''puzzles'' of conceptualizing and prosecuting genocide under international law. May also argues for expanding the list of groups that are protected under international law against genocide to include gender, culture, and language in addition to race, ethnicity, religion, and national origin. The book's central thesis, however, is that genocide is not ''the crime of crimes,'' and that it differs little from various crimes against humanity. May reminds us that under international law genocide does not necessarily even involve killing, and he goes on to ask why it should be regarded as worse than other crimes committed systematically against civilians. Since genocide is about the destruction of groups, not individuals, what is special about groups, and what is the ''unique harm'' that genocide involves as a result of the destruction of a group?
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Susan Ariel Aaronson
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Human Rights and Human Welfare - Review Essays
  • Institution: University of Denver - Graduate School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Where many see trade policies and agreements as undermining human rights, Emilie Hafner- Burton takes a contrarian and more optimistic view. Her provocative and well-written book, Forced to Be Good: Why Trade Agreements Boost Human Rights, is based on years of qualitative and empirical analysis of the marriage of trade agreements and human rights. She shows that, rather than undermining human rights, Americans and Europeans have developed “mutually binding trade agreements that safeguard people's rights and even impose penalties for violations” (2). Moreover, Hafner-Burton provides an illuminating analysis as to why developing countries might accept increased human rights conditionality. She concludes that acceptance of human rights conditionality illustrates an “extraordinary political conversion in the way governments manage trade”.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Matt Bucholtz
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Germany's Western Front, 1915, translated and edited by Mark Osborne Humphries and John Maker, is the second volume in a series of translations of Der Weltkrieg, the official German history of the First World War. Mark Osborne Humphries teaches Canadian and military history at Mount Royal College in Calgary, Alberta and has published several works on the First World War in both Canadian and international journals. John Maker is a PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa, working on a dissertation entitled ‚Shiner, Shindigs, and Shenanigans: Canadian Soldiers in Britain during the Second World War.‛ Composed of selections from volumes VII, VIII and IX of Der Weltkrieg, Germany's Western Front, 1915 dutifully presents one of the last triumphs of German Wilhelmine era operational level military history. Originally published from 1925 to 1944, Der Weltkrieg stands as the culmination of the von Rankean tradition of ‚wie es eigentlich gewesen” or 'how it actually happened' in the Great German General Staff. Humphries and Maker produced this translated work in an attempt to provide a German counterpart to the narrative of the Great War in English, which has been traditionally, and understandably, dominated by sources from England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America. In an ironic post-modern twist, the editors have sought to end the ‚othering‛ of German interpretations by translating the official (one might be tempted to say master narrative) German history of the war into English, and thus simply adding one master narrative to another. Nevertheless, both the foreword by Hew Strachan and the introduction written by the editors do an excellent job of not only situating Der Weltkrieg within the historiography, but also critically examining the creation and creators of the series. Throughout the volume, the editors consistently provide useful footnotes, not only to clarify various points in the text, but also to elaborate on the relationships between the subject matter and the authors of Der Weltkrieg (the most notable example being von Haeften's consistently negative critique of Feldmarschall von Falkenhayn's conduct throughout 1915, which directly stemmed from von Haeften's personal loyalty to his former commanding officer, Helmuth von Moltke the Younger, who was replaced by Falkenhayn). Although the usefulness of Der Weltkrieg is limited by its high level focus (the series does not focus on any military unit smaller than a division and is mainly concerned with the leadership coterie of Germany's war effort), it nevertheless remains an important resource for historians as the series was produced from sources which were destroyed during the Second World War by a wayward British bomber, and thus denied to current researchers. Although this official history was finished during the Nazi era, it remains remarkably free of National Socialist ideological overtones. Most of the politically motivated interpretations in the series are an expression of Imperial or Weimar era internal military intrigues, not those of the Third Reich.
  • Topic: Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Canada, Germany, Australia, England, New Zealand
  • Author: David A. Lake
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Iraq war has been one of the most significant events in world politics since the end of the Cold War. One of the first preventive wars in history, it cost trillions of dollars, resulted in more than 4,500 U.S. and coalition casualties (to date), caused enormous suffering in Iraq, and may have spurred greater anti-Americanism in the Middle East even while reducing potential threats to the United States and its allies. Yet, despite its profound importance, the causes of the war have received little sustained analysis from scholars of international relations. Al-though there have been many descriptions of the lead-up to the war, the fighting, and the occupation, these largely journalistic accounts explain how but not why the war occurred.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Brian J. Glenn
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: BRIAN J. GLENN explores how conservatism has impacted the growth of the American state since the New Deal and also how the growth of the American state has influenced conservatism. He finds that in many instances, conservatives have moved beyond mere obstructionism and that a new form of modern conservatism has conceded the goals of liberalism.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Thomas E. Mann
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Dapo Akande, Sangeeta Shah
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article examines the extent to which state officials are subject to prosecution in foreign domestic courts for international crimes. We consider the different types of immunity that international law accords to state officials, the reasons for the conferment of this immunity and whether they apply in cases in which it is alleged that the official has committed an international crime. We argue that personal immunity (immunity ratione personae) continues to apply even where prosecution is sought for international crimes. Also we consider that instead of a single category of personal immunity there are in fact two types of such immunity and that one type extends beyond senior officials such as the Head of State and Head of Government. Most of the article deals with functional immunity (immunity ratione materiae). We take the view that this type of immunity does not apply in the case of domestic prosecution of foreign officials for most international crimes. However, we reject the traditional arguments which have been put forward by scholars and courts in support of this view. Instead we consider the key to understanding when functional immunity is available lies in examining how jurisdiction is conferred on domestic courts.
  • Topic: Government, International Law
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Majid Takht Ravanchi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: Between 1980 and 2003 Iraq was involved in three armed conflicts; namely, the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980's, the occupation of Kuwait in 1990- 1991, and the American-led war against Iraq in 2003. These are three different conflicts with their own distinct characteristics. A comparative study on the behavior of the United Nations Security Council with regard to each of these conflicts reveals that the Security Council has had three different and notably imbalanced reactions towards these conflicts. While At the beginning of the Iran-Iraq conflict, the Council was silent for a few days and later adopted a very ineffective resolution, the approach and conduct in the second conflict was quite different. A few hours after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Council adopted a very strong resolution, under Chapter VII of the Charter. In the case of the third Persian Gulf conflict – 2003 - the Security Council was in the middle of discussions as to how to deal with the Iraqi crisis when the American and British forces started the military attacks against Baghdad. Furthermore, international humanitarian law has been violated during these conflicts on numerous occasions, most notably the use of chemical weapons by Iraq during the Iran-Iraq conflict. The Security Council's lack of resolve to adopt necessary punitive measures against Iraq to prevent further use of chemical weapons was considered by Iraq as a green light to continue its resort and practice with a sense of impunity. As discussed in the paper, blatant lack of resolve on the part of the Security Council towards Iraq's repeated use of chemical weapons was, as a matter of fact, the most manifest expression of the strong pro-Iraq tilt in the Council's approach and conduct; the outward expression of alternating implicit-explicit consensus among the permanent members on how to punish the revolutionary Iran and reward a friendly Iraq. The present paper concludes that a different approach and conduct by the Council vis-à-vis Iraq 's aggression against Iran would have most probably created a different situation and dynamism in the Persian Gulf area with all its significant repercussions and implications.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Iran, Kuwait, Baghdad, Persia
  • Author: Bhaven N. Sampat
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: An important challenge in sustainable development is promoting the creation of new medical technologies and ensuring their diffusion in developing countries. There is growing concern that, with the implementation of the World Trade Organization's agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), pharmaceutical patents will restrict access to medicines globally. Profit-oriented companies are now aggressively pursuing intellectual property protections in developing countries, many of which had previously not allowed product patents on drugs. The concern is that absent generic competition, patients will not be able to access life-saving medications. Recent attention has focused on a perhaps unlikely set of actors to help ameliorate the access to medicines problem: American research universities. A decade-old student movement has argued that universities own intellectual property rights on many important drugs, and has pushed for inclusion of “humanitarian licensing” clauses that would compel the pharmaceutical firms that license these technologies to allow generic access in developing countries. In this paper, I discuss the emergence and evolution of this student movement, and the set of patent policy changes that got us here. I also summarize data on the feasibility of these policies: for how many drugs would changes in university policies plausibly affect access? Next, I discuss the desirability of changing university licensing practices and the tradeoffs universities face when considering humanitarian licensing approaches. I conclude with a discussion of the limits of campus-level initiatives alone, and the potentially important role for research funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, in promoting humanitarian licensing and access to medicines.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: William E. Bertrand
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The merging of information technologies through digital transformation has strengthened the potential impacts of technology and education on social and economic development. Today's rapid pace of change and the globalized impacts of those changes reinforce the need to develop a global culture of continuous learning and new models of higher education that will provide a continuous resource for knowledge updating and professional development. I argue that the modern university has fallen behind the pace of technological change and has become increasingly irrelevant to the reality of life in an interconnected and globalizing world. Academic ethnocentrism has evolved within the residential, discipline-oriented and tradition-defined higher education system. American universities have not kept up with the challenge of rapidly diagnosing and responding to increasingly complex and dynamic problems such as global warming, health and disaster mitigation. Current initiatives to improve U.S. development interventions fail to recognize the need to radically redesign higher education to implement the development initiatives of the future. A global technology- based educational movement reminiscent of the original concept of the land grant colleges in the United States is needed, which would tie an aggressive research agenda to critically examine the impacts of rapidly evolving technologies to a worldwide network of community-level agents of change that transmit positive results into immediate action. I outline a tentative plan of action based upon emerging evidence of better and more efficient training and educational models that are focused on broad-based sustainable development objectives. By removing the “techno-sclerotic” blinders and challenging the American academe to become more applied and more international, American universities can reassert their relevance and maintain their status as preeminent institutions of social change and innovation in the realm of global higher education.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: While post-Cold War generation Americans are more sober in assessing Russia, the next Russian generation (those under 35) is in some ways more problematic. Russian youth are much more entrepreneurial and politically engaged than their elders, but also more skeptical of the US and more comfortable with intolerant nationalism. The Kremlin is also reinforcing some of the more worrying trends among Russian youths. There is no going back to the Cold War, but the coming of the new generation does not portend smooth sailing, unless current officials can figure out ways to fundamentally alter the nature of a relationship still dominated by mutual distrust.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Stephen F. Cohen is Professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University and Professor of Politics Emeritus at Princeton University. His books include Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution; Rethinking the Soviet Experience; Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia; and, most recently, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War. His forthcoming book, The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag After Stalin, will be published in August.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America
  • Author: Nicola Short, Helen Kambouri
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Although in the past decades the study of international relations (IR) has become much more sensitive to questions of culture, identity and movement, racism has remained an under-theorised area. The marginalisation of race in IR has become much more striking in the 1990s because of the renewed interest in migration and other intercultural exchanges as 'security threats', as well as the emergence of nationalism and putatively 'ethnic' conflict as a central basis of strife in the post-Cold War era. This article is an attempt to discuss new forms of racism in international relations with particular reference to American policy responses to September 11. Drawing from the work of Etienne Balibar, we argue that a contemporary neo-racism, a kind of 'racism without races', grounded in ambiguity and contradiction, is present in international relations simultaneously as a problem of knowledge and as a problem of political practise. Our aim is to contribute to the strategic movement of international relations theory from a conception of race as a marginal category in IR to one that is more fully theorised, including its history and present role in constituting the discipline and its relationship to power, hierarchy and inequality.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: James Bindenagel
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: In December 2009, President Barack Obama revised the American strategy for Afghanistan. He announced an increase of 30,000 American troops for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Concurrent with this increase, he also announced the planned withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces beginning in 2011. In the 18-month period between the influx and drawdown, NATO must act collectively to counter the full range of threats against Alliance members from terrorist attacks and to build capacity for the Afghanistan government to self-govern effectively.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Germany
  • Author: Matthew W. Parin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Against the backdrop of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a changing strategic environment in the broader Middle East, political leaders now are confronting the difficult question of how to achieve long-term stability. The toppling of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan and removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq displayed the capability of America's military to marshal overwhelming conventional force against its enemies. However, this overwhelming capability soon was eclipsed when this same force struggled to secure durable peace either in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East, Taliban
  • Author: John Coffey
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Winston Churchill once famously declared, "Gentlemen, we have run out of money. Now we have to think." Churchill's admonition underlies the theme of The Frugal Superpower, a slender but trenchant work presenting a chastening forecast for American foreign policy in the 21stcentury. Michael Mandelbaum, who is the Christian A. Herter Professor and Director of American Foreign Policy at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, explains how economic constraints will curtail America's post-World War II role as the "world's de facto government" and the consequences of that diminished role. The era of "American exceptionalism" has waned, he maintains; henceforth, the United States will behave more like an ordinary power. Written with verve and pith, this is a book for all readers, professional and general alike, who are concerned about America's place in the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Julia Famularo, Sarath Ganji
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, North Korea
  • Author: James G. McGann
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In this increasingly complex, interdependent, and information-rich world, U.S. policymakers face the common challenge of bringing expert knowledge to bear in governmental decision making. American think-tanks are well-positioned to provide alternative views to administrations and foster debate on contentious topics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Lawrence Woocher
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Each year, the top American intelligence official appears before Congress to present the intelligence community.' s assessment of worldwide threats to U.S. national security. In his 2010 testimony, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dennis Blair included something new. Under the heading ."Mass Killings,." Blair wrote, ."Looking ahead over the next five years, a number of countries in Africa and Asia are at significant risk for a new outbreak of mass killing." He defined mass killing as ."the deliberate killing of at least 1,000 unarmed civilians of a particular political identity by state or state-sponsored actors in a single event or over a sustained period." This appeared to be the first time the senior-most U.S. intelligence official had called attention to the general phenomenon of mass killing.-or the closely related and more common notions of genocide or mass atrocities.-in his annual threat assessment.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Asia
  • 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: Ömer Taspinar
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Under the Obama administration American foreign policy will be engaged in genuine coalition building with allies. Such a return to multilateralism will have a positive impact on transatlantic and Turkish-American relations. Just like under the Clinton presidency during the late 1990s, Turkey needs American support to undo the deadlock with the European Union. America's return to Middle East diplomacy will also improve Turkish-American relations since the Obama administration is much more likely to support Ankara's openings to Damascus. Turkey should make an effort to host a new Arab-Israeli peace process in the framework of an international conference in Istanbul. In the short run Ankara can avoid problems with Washington on the Armenian issue if it decides to enhance its military and civilian support to NATO forces in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia
  • Author: Mounir Shafiq
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this article we seek to answer three interrelated questions: First, how do Islamic, national and democratic forces in the Arab world perceive the Justice and Development Party (AKP)? Is it an Islamic or a secular movement? Second, how do Arab political elites perceive the party's foreign policy, especially its relationship with Israel, America and the European Union? In this regard, we specifically explore how they perceive the AKP's political role in mediating indirectly the Syrian-Israeli dialogue, and its attempts to mediate between the US and Iran. Third, what are the prospects for the realization of the AKP's political project? Is it likely that the AKP will succeed in transforming Turkey into an "economic tiger," profiting from the existing strategy of positive relationships with America, Israel and Europe?
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Anne-Marie Slaughter
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States' unique ability to capitalize on connectivity will make the twenty-first century an American century.
  • Topic: War, Communications
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Georgia
  • Author: Amy B. Frumin
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Security, Fragile/Failed State, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Beneath the mantra about a coordinated global response to the economic crisis, a line of fracture starkly divides the two sides of the Atlantic about what to do in practice to revive the sinking economies. In Washington, the Obama administration is accepting an unprecedented amount of government debt in order to pump money into the hands of consumers who can spend it and revive business. An Obama aide says that Canada, France, Germany and are not matching the U.S. effort with stimulus spending of their own and should do more. No, answer Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy - firmly but politely, so far - this is the wrong approach, the wrong priority. The global financial rules need to be overhauled before more money is pumped into it, they say, because the real problem is the lack of confidence in a recent U.S. model of capitalism that has collapsed. And, they say privately, America is to blame for the problem, so America should pay to fix it.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Canada, France, Germany
  • 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: Martin Walker
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: David Smick's book, The World Is Curved, explains that financial engineering has outpaced the understanding of regulators and governments - and even of many of the people involved in the business. His book, reviewed by journalist and consultant, Martin Walker, predicts that worse is still to come for the U.S. and also for highly-leveraged banks in Europe holding "toxic" assets.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Courtney N. Meyers
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Timed for the Obama administration's Pentagon, this RAND study says government leaders should take more account of the lessons learned from people "on the ground" in recent successful (and unsuccessful) ventures in state-rebuilding. Best practice means strong local command (involving the military under civilian leadership) which is heeded in national capitals.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • 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: Jofi Joseph
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the historic first 100 days of President Barack Obama's administration fly by, he faces a tsunami of advice on the key priorities he should pursue over the next four years. Ranging from energy independence and national health care reform to improving America's image with the Islamic world and revamping our foreign assistance structure, the president must decide where to focus his scarce time, resources, and political capital. One initiative he should strongly consider this year is calling upon the U.S. Senate to once again take up the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to outlaw nuclear testing around the world, even though the initiative failed in October 1999 by a 51—48 vote.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Sarah E. Mendelson
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: About a month before the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United States elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama. This historic event, a fitting milestone, brings to life that declaration, which human rights activists and legal scholars regard as the sacred text. Obama's election fulfills a dream of the U.S. civil rights movement, a struggle that relied as much on the UDHR as on the courage of the men and women who for decades fought to make the United States a ''more perfect union.'' For human rights defenders around the world, its significance cannot be overstated.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America
  • Author: Charles E. Cook
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It would seem to be impossible not to recognize the historical significance and symbolism that Barack Obama's election represents, regardless of whether someone supported Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, or any of the other thirteen contenders for the presidency. Just 45 years after Dr. Martin Luther King's ''I Have a Dream'' speech and Birmingham Public Service Commissioner Bull Connor directed fire hoses to be aimed at civil rights demonstrators, an African-American was elected president of the United States. No matter how Obama fares as president, this is a remarkable milestone in U.S. history.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America
  • Author: Leslie H. Gelb
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States is declining as a nation and a world power. This is a serious yet reversible situation, so long as Americans are clear-eyed about the causes and courageous about implementing the cures, including a return to pragmatic problem solving.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Bülent GÖKAY
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The last months of 2008 witnessed what is being called the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of 1929-30. The first indications of a serious crisis appeared in January 2008. On 15 January, news of a sharp drop in the profits of the Citigroup banking led to a sharp fall on the New York Stock Exchange. On 21 January a spectacular fall in share prices occurred in all major world markets, followed by a series of collapses. A number of American and European banks declared massive losses in their 2007 end of the year results.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: New York, America, Europe
  • 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: Robert J Lieber
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Arguments are widely expressed that America is in decline, both at home and abroad. These admonitions extend not only to economic, diplomatic and geopolitical realms, but even to the cultural arena. The United States does face real and even serious problems, but there is an unmistakable echo of the past in current arguments. Antecedents of these views were evident in the 1970s, '80s and '90s, and on occasion even in identical language. Indeed, declinist proclamations have appeared on and off not only throughout the 20th Century, but also during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Moreover, periodic crises in US history have included challenges more daunting than those of today. It can thus be instructive to compare the arguments and prescriptions of the new declinism with those of earlier eras. The evidence suggests a pattern of over-reaction, a historicism, and a lack of appreciation for the robustness, adaptability and staying power of the United States.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Mark T Berger
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This review paper focuses on the most recent cycle in the debate about the history and future of the 'New American Empire,' both in relation to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire specifically, and against the wider backdrop of the extensive debate about the US position in the changing global order more generally. It argues that much of the literature, including some of the books under review, rest on a misreading of history (Roman or otherwise) and a flawed grasp of the fate of the American ascendancy in relation to the contemporary crisis of the nation-state system and the far from unexpected boom-bust cycles of 'genuinely existing' liberal capitalism (globalization) in the twenty-first century. The washout on Wall Street in the latter part of 2008 could only come as a surprise to those who have not been paying attention to the vicissitudes of 'genuinely existing' liberal capitalism over the past 30 years or more. The paper argues that the American ascendancy, contrary to much of the contemporary prognostication, remains in its prime and Pax Americana will only begin a downward spiral when it has been successfully challenged and displace by an equally powerful and systemic alternative. In the meantime, the New American Empire, especially under new leadership, looks set to continue and even flourish.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Steven Hurst
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Several observers have argued that the radical transformation of American foreign policy wrought by George W. Bush is already over. They argue that the 'Bush Revolution' was merely a result of the short-term conjuncture of neoconservative influence and the impact of September 11, 2001, and that this temporary deviation has been ended by the American failure in Iraq. Yet the causes of the Bush Revolution are more fundamental and long-term than this argument implies. It is in the combination of the shift to a militarily unipolar international system and the dominance of the Republican Party by its conservative wing that the real roots of the Bush foreign policy lie, and neither condition is likely to alter in the foreseeable future. Moreover, although the Iraq War has led to some shifts in policy, the Republicans' selection of John McCain as their presidential candidate confirms the continued vitality of the Bush Revolution.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Robert G Patman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The US national security state was fashioned at the beginning of the Cold War to contain the global threat of the rival superpower, the Soviet Union. However, this security framework did not wither away with the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the USSR. The events of September 11 starkly exposed the limitations of a state-centric approach to international security in a globalizing world. But the Bush administration falsely assumed that the traumatic events of 9/11 came out of a clear blue sky, and that a rejuvenated national security state would eventually overwhelm the 'new' threat of terrorism. The dangers of persisting in this direction were shown by the US-led invasion of Iraq. Far from closing the gap between the US approach to security and the operation environment of a post-Cold War world, Bush's war on terror undermined the international reputation of the US and presented the American taxpayer with a huge and probably unsustainable burden. All this highlighted the need for a more multilateral direction in US security policy in the post-Bush era. Such an approach would not only correspond better to the realities of today's interconnected world, but also serve as a buffer against the extension of the power of government that had been witnessed in America during the Bush years.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Soviet Union
  • Author: Simon Dalby
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 American geopolitical categories changed as the world was remapped into categories congruent with the prosecution of the global war on terror. The designation global was linked to the capabilities of the new military technologies of the revolution in military affairs in official documents that codified the Bush doctrine. The official US doctrine now explicitly states that ending tyranny on earth is the national security objective for which these new forces will be used. But a careful reading of the official 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report, and Thomas Barnett's popular exposition of the logic of the war on terror in The Pentagon's New Map shows that both these geographical specification of contemporary geopolitics, and the high-technology forces planned to fight the war, offer little promise that it will be successfully prosecuted. Geopolitics remains much more complicated than either contemporary policy statements or popular cartographic justifications suggest.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Toby Dodge
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: A conventional technocratic wisdom has begun to form that blames the failure of the US led invasion of Iraq on the small number of American troops deployed and the ideological divisions at the centre of the Bush administration itself. This paper argues that both these accounts are at best simply descriptive. A much more sustained explanation has to be based on a close examination of the ideological assumptions that shaped the drafting of policies and planning for the aftermath of the war. The point of departure for such an analysis is that all agency, whether individual or collective, is socially mediated. The paper deploys Antonio Gramsci's notion of 'Common Sense' to examine the Bush administration's policy towards Iraq. It argues that the Common Sense at work in the White House, Defence Department and Green Zone was primarily responsible for America's failure. It examines the relationship between the 'higher philosophies' of both Neoconservatism and Neo-Liberalism and Common Sense. It concludes that although Neoconservatism was influential in justifying the invasion itself, it was Neo-Liberalism that shaped the policy agenda for the aftermath of war. It takes as its example the pre-war planning for Iraq, then the disbanding of the Iraqi army and the de-Ba'athification of the Iraqi state. The planning and these two decisions, responsible for driving Iraq into civil war, can only be fully explained by studying the ideology that shaped them. From this perspective, the United States intervention in Iraq was not the product of an outlandish ideology but was instead the high water mark of post-Cold War Liberal interventionism. As such, it highlights the ideological and empirical shortcomings associated with 'Kinetic Liberalism'.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Mario E Carranza
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This paper examines the economics-security nexus in US policy toward South America, and the implications for South America of the 'securitization' of US foreign economic policy during the Bush administration. There has always been a tight linkage between the US foreign economic and security agendas but the real issue is the degree of 'tightness' at a given point in time. After the Alliance for Progress lost its way the United States tended to pursue its economic and security interests in South America in separate tracks, even if preventing Soviet intrusions in the region remained in the background. Yet after the collapse of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations in 2004 a US strategy of 'divide and conquer' through bilateral trade deals has been accompanied by a 'securitization' discourse and there are some indications that it may 'securitize' as a new threat the social movements and neopopulist regimes that oppose neoliberal economic policies. The paper discusses the limits of the securitization thesis. The conclusion examines the future of US-South American relations and argues that the United States needs to renew its commitment to genuine multilateralism and re-engage the region to establish an effective and lasting partnership for dealing with common economic and security challenges in the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, South America
  • Author: Matthew Crosston
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Neoconservative democratization took on new life after 9/11: the United States should be a global guarantor of liberty, even if coercing this freedom. The justification was a hybrid of liberal democratic peace and realist national security. However, this aggressive democratization is contradictory: the philosophical foundation is insincerely decorated by liberal language that overlooks damaging compromises when ideology is put into practice. Uzbekistan, with whom a close partnership in the war against terror was developed and then was further deepened along supposedly democratic development lines, is used as a critical case study. In short, the contradictions in neoconservative ideology create flaws in policy implementation that do not create smoother paths to development, prevent democratic consolidation and weaken American security interests.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Roberto Menotti, Jason W. Davidson
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: American primacy continues to characterise the international system, despite trends toward a diffusion of power. The discussion is too often biased in favour of multipolarity due to imprecise or misleading definitions of US primacy. On the basis of a simple definition of what a "pole" is, combining GDP and defence expenditure, only the US can be considered a global pole. The current economic crisis is not changing this reality. Even considering perceptions, soft power, and the ability to translate power into influence, rising powers like China or an aggregate power like the EU have a long way to go before they can get on an equal footing with the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
  • Author: Cesare Merlini
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: While a global recession of uncertain duration plagues the planet, the Atlantic countries are faced with an agenda of complicated, almost intractable international challenges. The surge of new protagonists on the world scene has been largely the result of a long period of relative stability and extraordinary economic growth thanks to the prevalence of Western paradigms. And yet they mark another step in the shrinking of the West's geostrategic relevance. Obama's America and half-integrated Europe should deal with this new multipolar world with a consistent and synergic approach, made up of a mix of traditional balance-of-power skills and systemic innovations. Over the past two decades, the US' solitary position at the apex of global power has made the analogy with imperial Rome common currency. While this is the wrong lesson to learn from classical history, the achievements and mistakes of ancient Greece and republican as well as imperial Rome may still help us, third millennium Europeans and Americans, sail through the stormy waters of today's planetary Mediterranean.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Asle Toje
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Transatlantic relations are in flux: NATO's struggle for self preservation; the diminished importance of Europe in American geopolitics; the semi-failure of European foreign policy integration; and the absence of a grand bargain among Europe's leading powers. These four trends are making the current transatlantic order unsustainable. But if the international system becomes multipolar, will the "West" be one of the poles? These developments can be assessed by applying the "transatlantic bargain" as a conceptual lens through which to select and assess information. The result is that the dynamics of multipolarity could spell the end for the "transatlantic West".
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Alberto Biginelli
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: The post-American world, Fareed Zakaria, W.W. Norton, 2008
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: I recently spoke with Jonathan Hoenig, manager of the Capitalistpig Hedge Fund and regular contributor to Fox News Channel's Cashin' In, Your World with Neil Cavuto, and Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. Mr. Hoenig is also a columnist for Smartmoney.com and contributes economic commentary to WLS 890AM in Chicago. -Craig Biddle Craig Biddle: I must ask at the outset, why did you name your firm "Capitalistpig"? Is there a story behind that? Jonathan Hoenig: Yes, there is. From weeding yards as a young boy to working at Starbucks in high school, I have always been interested in money and actively hustling for dollars. Getting an "A" in school didn't mean much to me, but earning a few hundred dollars working in a local warehouse or passing out samples of Nutella (another summer job) always provided a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride. One of my earliest memories is going with my dad to our local bank and opening my first passbook savings account. Even then, it was a real thrill to watch the balance slowly build. As a kid, while many of my contemporaries were either bullying (or being bullied), I was busy discovering the virtue of mutually beneficial exchange. My neighbor appreciated me cleaning out her basement, and, for a few bucks, I was more than happy to do an excellent job. Ever since I can remember, capitalism wasn't something I spurned, but embraced. Knowing I wanted to pursue a career in the financial markets, after college I traded futures at the Chicago Board of Trade for a few years before opening up my firm in 2000. The name Capitalistpig Asset Management was a punchy way of communicating the philosophy by which my operation is run. We also give all new clients a copy of [Ayn Rand's] Atlas Shrugged. The name Capitalistpig also helps to attract the right type of customer. I prefer to work with like-minded individuals who support capitalism and individual rights and are happy to be part of an operation that loudly promotes these ideals. CB: What exactly is a hedge fund? How is it different from a mutual fund? And what do you and other hedge fund managers do? JH: A hedge fund is simply a pool of money funded by profit-seeking investors and managed by a professional money manager. In that sense, it is similar to a mutual fund. But unlike a mutual fund, a hedge fund is not required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This doesn't mean hedge funds are unregulated; far from it. The government places stringent restrictions on how hedge funds can operate. Most notably, we're prohibited from accepting investments from "nonaccredited" individuals-meaning, those who don't have a liquid net worth of at least $1 million or haven't earned an income of at least $200,000 for two consecutive years. This, incidentally, is the source of the notoriously "exclusive" and "elitist" nature of hedge funds: They're exclusive and elitist not by choice, but by government edict. While most people assume that hedge funds trade frequently and make big bets on financial esoterica, the truth is a hedge fund is a legal structure, not an investment technique. Some trade frequently and use leverage, others buy and hold stocks for months or years at a time. So while the media routinely characterize hedge funds as "risky" or "highly leveraged," the reality is that hedge-fund strategies, just like mutual-fund strategies, run the gamut from the ultraconservative to the highly volatile. Some managers employ complex spread trades, while others simply buy and sell stocks. Just knowing someone runs a hedge fund tells you absolutely nothing about how it's run. What matters are the strategies, positions, and discipline that the manager uses to maximize the money. My fund is focused on absolute return, ideally earning a profit regardless of the condition of the stock market or larger macroeconomic environment. To accomplish this, I use strategies such as selling short, trading options, commodities, currencies, and other instruments, some of which aren't directly correlated with the stock market. My fund functions as one part of an individual's portfolio, usually no more than 25 percent, and it has been profitable eight out of nine years, earning a total return of over 345 percent. The Dow Jones has lost 28 percent over the same period. CB: Hedge funds and their managers have been loudly and repeatedly condemned for having somehow caused or exacerbated the current financial crisis. Did hedge funds lead to or worsen the crisis? If so, how? If not, what do you make of such claims? JH: Such accusations are absurd. Hedge-fund managers have neither caused nor exacerbated the financial crisis, and they couldn't have done so even if they had tried. These managers simply invest money for their clients. If they make good investments, their clients make money; if they make bad investments, their clients lose money. Moreover, hedge funds-one of the few financial industries that has not asked for and will not receive a bailout-actually helped shoulder the burden of the credit collapse. In buying and selling risky mortgages, loans, and other instruments, hedge funds substantially mitigated the crisis by adding liquidity to the marketplace and facilitating trade. Wealth creation requires investment, and the savings needed in order to make loans, finance operations, start new companies, and invest in R come from investors, such as hedge-fund managers, who are seeking to profit. Far from fueling the financial crisis, hedge-fund managers reduced its severity, and continue to do so, by allocating capital in accordance with the principles of economics, long-range thinking, the profit motive, and market demand.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Chicago
  • Author: Thomas A. Bowden
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Examines the meaning and consequences of Oliver Wendell Holmes's famous dissent in Lochner v. New York, showing how and why it has devastated American jurisprudence, and indicating what future jurists must grasp and do in order to begin reversing the damage.
  • Political Geography: New York, America
  • 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: Monica Hughes
  • 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.18 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: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: David Littel
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New York: Norton and Company, 2009. 221 pp. $24.95 (cloth). Reviewed by David Littel A political consensus is forming around the ideas of attorney and author Philip K. Howard. Beginning in 1990 with The Death of Common Sense and continuing through scores of articles and the work of his organization, Common Good, Howard has depicted an American legal system run wild, and he has advanced a thesis about what must be done. Political figures from Al Gore to Newt Gingrich praise his work. Self-proclaimed pragmatist Michael Bloomberg raves that Howard "offers big-picture ideas for how we can solve entrenched problems." In a prepublication review, George Will announced that Howard's latest book, Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans From Too Much Law, "surely will be 2009's most-needed book on public affairs." The bulk of Life Without Lawyers is an indictment of American law, covering everything from public schools to administrative regulations to civil lawsuits. As in his earlier books, Howard describes a series of nightmare scenarios drawn partly from his own experience as a practicing attorney and partly from other sources. For example, he tells the story of a family-owned dry cleaning business in Washington, D.C. that was sued for $54 million because of a lost pair of pants. The plaintiff calculated his damages based on a $1,500 consumer fraud penalty multiplied several times over in addition to $15,000 per weekend for a rental car to take his laundry to a more reliable establishment, $542,000 for his own time in pursuing the matter, and $500,000 for mental anguish. The suit was not dismissed but was allowed to linger for two years, costing the business owners more than $100,000 in legal fees (p. 72). . . .
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: New York, America
  • Author: Heike Larson
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Free marketeers reading the news these days cannot help but feel depressed. Media reports would lead us to believe that entrepreneurs are exploiters, that global trade hurts rather than helps people in America-in short, that capitalism has failed and that only the "change" offered us by central planners can alleviate our economic woes. In this climate, Marc Levinson's book The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger provides a welcome respite and intellectual refueling for weary capitalists. It tells a suspenseful story of achievement-replete with many twists and turns and a swashbuckling American hero-that will leave you wanting to run to the nearest container port to admire with newfound appreciation the industrial machinery that impacts almost every part of our daily lives. The Box, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the first sailing of a containership christened The Ideal-X, tells the story of how a seemingly mundane thing-a metal box with a wooden floor-managed to fundamentally change the world we live in. Until the 1960s, shipping had not changed much in decades. Handling cargo was a labor-intensive activity, and transportation costs and times-whether by land or by sea-were huge obstacles to trade, often making transcontinental, let alone global, trade economically unfeasible. In the 1950s, moving goods by ship was "a hugely complicated project," involving "millions of people who drove, dragged, or pushed cargo through city streets to or from the piers" (p. 16). Docks were cluttered with every kind of good imaginable, "steel drums of cleaning compound and beef tallow alongside 440-pound bales of cotton and animal skins"-all of which needed to be loaded and unloaded manually by gangs of longshoremen (p. 17). The process of loading and unloading a single ship during a single visit to a port often took weeks and accounted for between 60 and 75 percent of shipping costs. And, given the difficulties inherent and time involved in moving goods housed in a variety of different containers, it was imperative that factories locate close to docks for fast access to raw materials. Transportation costs and long delivery times made long-distance trade challenging and expensive-even before factoring in the heavy regulation that plagued the shipping industry. Recognizing the great expense and wasted time inherent in shipping practices of the day, two companies-both outsiders to the maritime shipping industry-developed in parallel an alternative system. Malcom McLean, an entrepreneur who grew his trucking company from a single vehicle purchased on credit during the Great Depression to one of the largest in America, bought a marginal East Coast maritime shipping line using "an unprecedented piece of financial and legal engineering" to circumvent regulations that prevented trucking companies from owning ship lines (p. 45). McLean set out to design and build a new shipping system from scratch based on a novel approach to the business: Whereas most shipping executives at the time believed that their business was operating ships, "McLean's fundamental insight, commonplace today but quite radical in the 1950s, was that the shipping industry's business was moving cargo" (p. 53, emphasis added). Within less then two years, McLean and his company, Pan-Atlantic, bootstrapped the first viable container system, in which cargo was loaded into stackable metal and wooden boxes of uniform dimensions, eliminating much of the labor required for and many of the problems inherent in loading ships with goods housed in a variety of containers. Further, "McLean understood that reducing the cost of shipping goods required not just a metal box but an entire new way of handling freight. Every part of the system-ports, ships, cranes, storage facilities, trucks, trains and the operations of the shippers themselves-would have to change. In that understanding, he was years ahead of almost everyone else in the transportation industry" (p. 53). His team of entrepreneurial, fast-moving engineers, managers, and partners designed, among many other things, the 33-foot box (only small steel containers were previously available); developed a quick-release locking system that eliminated the need to chain containers to ships or trucks; built a new trailer chassis to guide containers automatically into place; and put in place large cranes equipped with spreader bars-devices stretching the entire length of a container that enabled crane operators to attach and release hooks at the container's corner with the flick of a switch, thereby eliminating the need for longshoremen to climb up to each container corner and attach chains manually. And they accomplished all of these things while dealing with skeptical regulators who doubted the safety of containers and were pressured by truck and rail competitors to prohibit the container shipping experiment. When the first containership sailed on April 24, 1956, McLean's detailed cost tracking system showed clearly the benefits of the new system: "Loading loose cargo on a medium-sized cargo ship cost $5.83 per ton in 1956. McLean's experts pegged the cost of loading the Ideal-X at 15.8 cents per ton. With numbers like that, the container seemed to have a future" (p. 52). . . .
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Roger C. Altman
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: It is now clear that the global economic crisis will be deep and prolonged and that it will have far-reaching geopolitical consequences. The long movement toward market liberalization has stopped, and a new period of state intervention, reregulation, and creeping protectionism has begun.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, America, France, Germany
  • Author: Russell Seitz
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: David Victor, M. Granger Morgan, Jay Apt, John Steinbruner, and Katharine Ricke ("The Geoengineering Option," March/April 2009) date geoengineering to the twentieth century, but it has been an integral part of the landscape of history. Although Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1751, "We are, as I may call it, scouring our planet, by clearing America of woods, and so making this side of our globe reflect a brighter light," little credit is due to young George Washington's hatchet work. Fire in the hands of Neolithic man had already transformed the ecology -- and the albedo -- of Australia and the Americas eons before.
  • Political Geography: America, Australia
  • Author: David M Kennedy
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: DAVID M. KENNEDY revisits the New Deal's relevance to our own time. He concludes that the stubborn persistence of the Great Depression through the decade of the 1930s opened the political space for the New Deal's greatest accomplishments, all of which were aimed at reducing risk in key sectors of the economy and imparting a measure of security to American life for generations thereafter.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Christopher J. Fettweis
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: At his trial, the terrorist explained that he had bombed the crowded café because he harbored a “profound hatred, intensified every day by the revolting spectacle of society where all is base, all is cowardly.” He explained that women and children were legitimate targets because his enemies never spared civilian lives. Although he was surely headed for execution, the terrorist issued ominous warnings for civilization, predicting that his movement would never die. It was “everywhere, which makes it impossible to capture.” It would end only when justice was achieved—and when its enemies were dead. His fanaticism seems entirely typical of twenty-first century terrorism, which seems far more dangerous and threatening to society than any that has come before.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Richard Holtzman
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Why did George W. Bush, once the beneficiary of the highest presidential approval ratings ever, end his tenure with the lowest marks on record? The answer, according to Stephen Skowronek, can be found in the patterns of “political time” (p. 18). Just over 15 years ago, Skowronekʼs The Politics PresidentsMake changed the way we think about presidential leadership, the history of the office, and their entwined significance forAmerican politics. In PresidentialLeadership in Political Time: Reprise and Reappraisal, he repackages and further develops the ideas that made his original work compelling, and does so with captivating results.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Darrell M. West
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The subject of campaign negativity has attracted considerable attention in recent years. Political observers have bemoaned the rise of attack ads and the hostile tone of civil discourse. Many claim that our countryʼs campaigns are getting dirtier, and that this undermines the quality of American democracy. Yet few of these criticisms have been based on systematic evidence. Opinions and anecdotes often outweigh clear data or compelling reasoning
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jacob Heilbrunn
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: THE REPUBLICAN Party is not in trouble. It is in peril. In 2006 it lost control of Congress. In 2008 it lost the presidency. And in 2010 it may lose again unless the party changes course, particularly in foreign policy, where it has, by and large, enjoyed a commanding lead over Democrats for decades.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael T. Klare
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has often stated that one of his highest priorities is to vanquish the "tyranny of oil" by developing alternative sources of energy and substantially reducing America's reliance on imported petroleum. But we will not be energy independent for the next thirty to forty years, even with a strong push to increase energy efficiency and spur the development of petroleum alternatives. During this time, America will remain dependent on oil derived from authoritarian regimes, weak states and nations in the midst of civil war.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Douglas S. Massey
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: IT IS commonly accepted that the United States was "invaded" by an unprecedented wave of illegal immigrants beginning in the 1980s. According to the Department of Homeland Security, by 2008 there were 11.6 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, 61 percent from Mexico. The next-closest source was El Salvador, at just 5 percent. Hence the "invasion" was framed as a Mexican issue, with pundits from Lou Dobbs to Patrick Buchanan warning of dire consequences for America if it was not checked, by force if necessary.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Mexico
  • Author: Hiroshi Kaihara
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article discusses the political thoughts of conservatives. What makes their thoughts distinctive is their understanding of the state of the nation: the Japanese people are degenerating. Especially they worry about the youth. Horrendous juvenile crimes, bad manners, school bullying, and declining academic capabilities force them to paint Japan's future gloomily. Conservatives believe that the taproot of these social problems is a lack of morality: they have lost the will to tell what is right or wrong. They believe that morality is possible only when people embrace tradition and history. However, the Japanese cannot have pride in their history and country because of public discourse propagated by America's occupation policies and leftist ideologies. They also believe that public schools must concern not only on students' knowledge but also on their moral characters, such as the will to live. To raise pupils and students with moral characters, family must get involved along with schools.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Japan, America
  • Author: Takafumi Ohtomo
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The issue of overseas military presence is of crucial importance for the United States. Yet, despite the fact that American military strategy is heavily dependent on the US global posture, this topic has received rather limited scholarly attention to date. In Embattled Garrisons, Kent Calder offers an important first step in analyzing different types of politics that involve host nations and basing nations, countries that deploy forces overseas.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Mücahit Bilici
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkish media frequently employ the term "White Turks" to describe the Turkish cultural elite. Although Turks are unfamiliar with American-style racial divides, the terms "black" and "white" are widely used to colorcode inequalities in Turkey. The common tendency to distinguish White Turks from Black Turks on the basis of wealth, however, fails to uncover the historical and cultural dynamics that gave rise to these two groups. This essay not only offers a necessary clarification of this popular heuristic device but also proposes a perspective for understanding the current standoff in Turkish politics between the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) and the secular establishment, with their distinct value systems and competing claims to modernity.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey
  • Author: William Hale
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Barack Obama's inauguration as America's new president has been welcomed as opening a 'new era' in Turkey's relations with the United States. May 2009 also saw the appointment of a new foreign minister in Ankara, in the person of Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu. This article examines how these new directions are playing out in the Middle East, one of the world's most turbulent regions which also has crucial economic and strategic importance for Turkey. It focuses on Turkey's relations with four regional states – Iraq, Israel/ Palestine, Syria and Iran. The article closes by assessing whether Turkey has been able to achieve the government's ambition of 'zero problems' with its neighbors, and the degree to which it has been able to develop a new role as conciliator and go-between in addressing the region's bitter conflicts.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Rahman G. Bonab
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The international community is worried about the security implications of Iran's nuclear activities. Although it has been argued that Iran is very close to make a nuclear bomb, the results of the latest official reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and some American intelligence institutions demonstrate that Iran is not reluctant to consider the concerns of the international community in its decisions. One of the main policies of great powers is to cooperate with regional actors, like Turkey, to persuade Iran to be more flexible in its nuclear policy and particularly in its uranium enrichment activity. The historical mistrust between Iran and the great powers reinforces the necessity of having other regional actors act as mediators and countries like Turkey can play an important role in this context. The governing AKP's mediation policy in the regional level is a catalyst to Turkey's attempts to mediate between Iran and the 5+1 Group, although mediation can have its own difficulties.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Lewis Dunn, Dallas Boyd, James Scouras
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Asked shortly before leaving office to identify his ''greatest accomplishment'' as president, George W. Bush expressed his pride in ''keeping America safe.'' Political commentator Peggy Noonan observed that the judgment ''newly re-emerging as the final argument'' for Bush's presidency is that he succeeded in preventing another attack on the scale of September 11, 2001. Noonan suggested, however, that ''It is unknown, and perhaps can't be known, whether this was fully due to the government's efforts, or the luck of the draw, or a combination of luck and effort.''
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Abraham F. Lowenthal
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Because the new administration of President Barack Obama inherited the most demanding agenda, both at home and abroad, that any U.S. government has faced in many decades, few observers expected that it would devote much attention to U.S. relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. None of the countries of the Americas presents an imminent threat to U.S. national security. None is likely to be the source or target of significant international terrorism. With so much else to attend to, the Obama administration might well have relegated Latin America to the distant backburner.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Alex Epstein, Yaron Brook
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John David Lewis
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Examines America's political climate in light of the unmistakably statist agenda emanating from Washington, and finds cause for optimism in the effect Obama is having on the minds of Americans-and cause for activism toward helping Americans to see the proper political alternative: not conservatism but capitalism.
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Discusses the dismal state of American foreign policy and what should be done about it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Elan Journo
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Author's note: The following is the introduction to Winning the Unwinnable War: America's Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism. The book is being published by Lexington Books and is scheduled for release this November. "I don't think you can win it. . . . I don't have any . . . definite end [for the war]"-President George W. Bush1 The warriors came in search of an elusive Taliban leader. Operating in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, the team of Navy SEALs was on difficult terrain in an area rife with Islamist fighters. The four men set off after their quarry. But sometime around noon that day, the men were boxed into an impossible situation. Three Afghan men, along with about one hundred goats, happened upon the team's position. What should the SEALs do? Their mission potentially compromised, they interrogated the Afghan herders. But they got nothing. Nothing they could count on. "How could we know," recalls one of the SEALs, "if they were affiliated with a Taliban militia group or sworn by some tribal blood pact to inform the Taliban leaders of anything suspicious-looking they found in the mountains?" It was impossible to know for sure. This was war, and the "strictly correct military decision would still be to kill them without further discussion, because we could not know their intentions." Working behind enemy lines, the team was sent there "by our senior commanders. We have a right to do everything we can to save our own lives. The military decision is obvious. To turn them loose would be wrong." But the men of SEAL Team 10 knew one more thing. They knew that doing the right thing for their mission-and their own lives-could very well mean spending the rest of their days behind bars at Leavenworth. The men were subject to military rules of engagement that placed a mandate on all warriors to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. They were expected to bend over backward to protect Afghans, even if that meant forfeiting an opportunity to kill Islamist fighters and their commanders, and even if that meant imperiling their own lives. The SEALs were in a bind. Should they do what Washington and the military establishment deemed moral-release the herders and assume a higher risk of death-or protect themselves and carry out their mission-but suffer for it back home? The men-Lt. Michael Murphy; Sonar Technician 2nd Class Matthew Axelson; Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Danny Dietz; and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell-took a vote. They let the herders go. Later that afternoon, a contingent of about 100-140 Taliban fighters swarmed upon the team. The four Americans were hugely outnumbered. The battle was fierce. Dietz fought on after taking five bullets, but succumbed to a sixth, in the head. Murphy and Axelson were killed not long after. When the air support that the SEALs had called for finally arrived, all sixteen members of the rescuing team were killed by the Islamists. Luttrell was the lone survivor, and only just.2 The scene of carnage on that mountainside in Afghanistan captures something essential about American policy. What made the deadly ambush all the more tragic is that in reaching their decision, those brave SEALs complied with the policies handed down to them from higher-ups in the military and endorsed by the nation's commander-in-chief. Their decision to place the moral injunction to selflessness ahead of their mission and their very lives encapsulates the defining theme of Washington's policy response to 9/11. Across all fronts U.S. soldiers are made to fight under the same, if not even more stringent, battlefield rules. Prior to the start of the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War, for instance, the military's legal advisors combed through the Pentagon's list of potential targets, and expansive "no-strike" lists were drawn up.3 Included on the no-strike lists were cultural sites, electrical plants, broadcast facilities-a host of legitimate strategic targets ruled untouchable, for fear of affronting or harming civilians. To tighten the ropes binding the hands of the military, some artillery batteries "were programmed with a list of sites that could not be fired on without a manual override," which would require an OK from the top brass.4 From top to bottom, the Bush administration consciously put the moral imperative of shielding civilians and bringing them elections above the goal of eliminating real threats to our security. . . .
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The proper purpose of government, wrote Thomas Jefferson, is to "guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." The government "shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." In accordance with this view of the purpose of government, the founders established a republic in which the government was constitutionally limited to the protection of individual rights-the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. In this new republic, men were free to think, to produce, and to trade in accordance with their own best judgment; thus, they were free to thrive in accordance with their intelligence, their ability, their initiative. The result was astounding. Nineteenth-century America was a land of unparalleled innovation and prosperity-and further political achievement. In addition to countless inventions that sprang up-including the steamboat, the cotton gin, vulcanized rubber, the telephone, the incandescent light, the electric power plant, the skyscraper, and the safety elevator-and in addition to the vital industries that arose or were revolutionized-such as the railroad, oil, and steel industries-19th-century America witnessed the end of slavery, which was recognized as a violation of the basic principle of the land. Between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century, America came as close to being a fully rights-respecting society as any country has ever come. Men were essentially free to live their own lives, by their own judgment, for their own sake. Unfortunately, although the Land of Liberty was a great success, it would not and could not last. The founders established America on the principle of individual rights, but neither they nor the thinkers who followed them identified the deeper philosophic foundation on which this principle depends, namely, the morality of egoism-the idea that being moral consists in pursuing the values on which one's life and happiness depend. In the absence of this foundation, Americans have embraced philosophical ideas that are contrary to individual rights. Over the past century, Americans have increasingly accepted the morality of altruism-the notion that being moral consists in self-sacrificially serving others-and they have increasingly applied this morality to the realm of politics. Consequently, our government is no longer committed to "restrain men from injuring one another [and] leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement." Rather, our government regularly-and increasingly-"take[s] from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned" and redistributes that bread to those who have not earned it. Consider just a few of the countless altruistically motivated, wealth-redistributing laws and institutions that have been enacted or established over the past hundred years: The Federal Reserve violates the rights of Americans by (among other things) printing fiat money-thus debasing citizens' savings-in order to finance welfare programs, bail out failed banks, "rescue" bankrupt car companies, and the like. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) violates the rights of taxpayers by forcing them to insure the bank deposits of strangers. Social Security violates the rights of younger Americans by forcing them to fund the retirements of older Americans. The National Labor Relations Act (aka the Wagner Act) violates the rights of automakers (and other businessmen) by forcing them to "contract" with labor unions on terms that are detrimental to their businesses. Medicare and Medicaid violate the rights of taxpaying Americans by forcing them to fund the health care of the aged and the (allegedly) destitute. The Community Reinvestment Act violates the rights of bankers by forcing them to provide loans to people whom they regard as too risky for business. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) violates the rights of taxpayers by forcing them to purchase bad debt from failing financial institutions. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) violates the rights of Americans by expanding the extent to which they are forced to fund welfare programs, unemployment benefits, government-run education, and the health care of others. Of course, federal, state, and municipal governments violate Americans' rights in thousands of other ways as well, but the foregoing indicates the enormity of the problem. The explicit "justification" for all such rights-violating laws and institutions-the principle behind all of them-is altruism: the notion that we have a moral duty to serve others, whether "the poor" or "the public interest" or "society" or "the common good." As Theodore Roosevelt put it, the government must "regulate the use of wealth in the public interest" and "regulate the terms and conditions of labor, which is the chief element of wealth, directly in the interest of the common good"; or as Franklin D. Roosevelt put it, the government must seek "the greater good of the greater number of Americans"; or as John F. Kennedy put it, the individual must "weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good"; or as Bill Clinton put it, the individual must "give something back" on behalf of "the common good"; or as George W. Bush put it, we must "seek a common good beyond our comfort"; or as Barack Obama puts it, we must heed the "call to sacrifice" and uphold our "core ethical and moral obligation" to "look out for one another" and to "be unified in service to a greater good." A government animated by this principle will increasingly force citizens to serve the so-called "common good"-and with each political success, the government will get bolder and more aggressive in its enforcement of this principle. This is why the U.S. government has graduated over decades from the mere redistribution of wealth via taxation and inflation . . . to the establishment of wealth-redistributing institutions and hubs such as Social Security, Medicare, and TARP . . . to the outright nationalization of businesses, such as American International Group (AIG), General Motors (GM), and Citigroup . . . and to the nullification of private contracts that stand in its way (e.g., employment contracts in the case of AIG bonuses, investment contracts in the case of Chrysler's senior-secured creditors). Under such expanding government control, explains an article in the New York Times: Businesses and private property . . . become not an instrument of private "egoism" but "functions of the people." They remain private wherever and so long as they fulfill their "functions." Wherever and whenever they fall down, the State steps in and either forces them to fulfill the functions or takes them over entirely. That description of what we have witnessed recently, however, was not written recently; it was written in 1938. Nor was the author describing conditions in the United States; he was describing conditions in Germany under the then-burgeoning National Socialist Party.
  • Topic: Oil, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael Dahlen
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Nineteenth-century America was the closest thing to capitalism-a system in which government is limited to protecting individual rights-that has ever existed. There was no welfare state, no central bank, no fiat money, no deficit spending to speak of, no income tax for most of the century, and no federal regulatory agencies or antitrust laws until the end of the century. Consequently, total (federal, state, and local) government spending averaged a mere 3.26 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Constitution's protection of individual rights and limitation on the power of government gave rise to an economy in which individuals were free to pursue their own interests, to start new businesses, and to create as much wealth as their ability and ambition allowed. This near laissez-faire politico-economic system led to the freest, most innovative, and wealthiest nation in history. Since the beginning of the 20th century, however, capitalism and freedom have been undermined by an explosion in the size and power of government: Total government spending has increased from 6.61 percent of GDP in 1907 to a projected 45.19 percent of GDP in 2009; the dollar has lost more than 95 percent of its value due to the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies; top marginal income tax rates have been as high as 94 percent; entitlement programs now constitute more than half of the federal budget; and businesses are hampered and hog-tied by more than eighty thousand pages of regulations in the Federal Register. What happened? How did America shift from a predominantly free-market economy to a heavily regulated mixed economy; from capitalism to welfare state; from limited government to big government? This article will survey the progression of laws, acts, programs, and interventions that brought America to its present state-and show their economic impact. Let us begin our survey by taking a closer look at the state of the country in the 19th century. Total (Federal, State, and Local) Government Spending America's Former Free Market The Constitution established the political framework necessary for a free market. It provided for the protection of private property (the Fifth Amendment) including intellectual property (Article I, Section 8), the enforcement of private contracts (Article 1, Section 10), and the establishment of sound (gold or silver) money (Article I, Sections 8 and 10). It prohibited the states from erecting trade barriers (Article I, Section 9), thereby establishing the whole nation as one large free-trade zone. It permitted direct taxes such as the income tax only if apportioned among the states on the basis of population (Article 1, Sections 2 and 9), which made them very difficult to levy. Finally, it specifically enumerated and therefore limited Congress's powers (Article I, Section 8), severely constraining the government's power to intervene in the marketplace. Federal regulatory agencies dictating how goods could be produced and traded did not exist. Rather than being forced to accept the questionable judgments of agencies such as the FDA, FTC, and USDA, participants in the marketplace were governed by the free-market principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). As historian Larry Schweikart points out: merchants stood ready to provide customers with as much information as they desired. . . . In contrast to the modern view of consumers as incompetent to judge the quality or safety of a product, caveat emptor treated consumers with respect, assuming that a person could spot shoddy workmanship. Along with caveat emptor went clear laws permitting suits for damage incurred by flawed goods. To be sure, 19th-century America was not a fully free market. Besides the temporary suspension of the gold standard and the income tax levied during the Civil War, the major exceptions to the free market in the 19th century were tariffs, national banking, and subsidies for "internal improvements" such as canals and railroads. These exceptions, however, were limited in scope and were accompanied by considerable debate about whether they should exist at all. Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, and Abraham Lincoln supported such interventions; Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and John Tyler generally opposed them. These interventions (except for tariffs) were, as Jefferson, Jackson, and Tyler pointed out, unconstitutional. But history shows that they were also impractical. Tariffs were initially implemented, beginning with the Tariff Act of 1789, as a source of revenue-the main source in the 19th century-for the federal government. Pressure from northern manufacturers, however, to implement tariffs for purposes of protection led to the "Tariff of Abominations" (1828), which was scaled back by 1833 due to heavy opposition from the South. Tariff rates then remained relatively low-about 15 percent-until the Civil War. By 1864, average tariff rates had risen to 47.09 percent for protectionist reasons and remained elevated for the remainder of the century. As to national banking, the Second Bank of the United States' charter expired in 1836, thereby paving the way for the free banking era-which lasted until a national bank was reinstituted during the Civil War. By virtually every measure of bank health, this free banking era was the soundest in American history. In terms of capital adequacy, asset quality, liquidity, profitability, and prudent management, national banking proved to be inferior to free banking. As to subsidies for internal improvements, although private entrepreneurs financed and built most roads and many canals, state governments intervened in the 1820s to subsidize canal building-amending their constitutions to do so. However, most state-funded canals either went unfinished, generated little to no income, or went bankrupt. As a result, by 1860 most state constitutions were amended again to prohibit such subsidies. After the Civil War, federal subsidies for the transcontinental railroads caused similar problems-as well as corruption. Further, they were proven to be a hindrance to rather than a precondition of a thriving railroad industry: James Jerome Hill's Great Northern was the most successful of the transcontinental railroads, yet was built without any subsidies or land grants. The foregoing interventions, though impractical, were motivated in part by a desire to help promote the development of business and industry. But lurking in the periphery, growing in popularity, and poised to fuel further government interference in the marketplace, was the ideology of collectivism-the notion that the individual must be subordinated to the collective or the "common good." This idea was stated by economist Daniel Raymond in his 1820 textbook: "it is the duty of every citizen to forgo his own private advantage for the public good." And as the 19th century progressed, this idea was increasingly cited as a justification for government intervention. One of the most important instances of this was the Supreme Court's decision in Munn v. Illinois (1876). In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Morrison Waite declared: Property does become clothed with a public interest when used in a manner to make it of public consequence. . . . When, therefore, one devotes his property to a use in which the public has an interest, he, in effect, grants to the public an interest in that use, and must submit to be controlled by the public for the common good. . . . Although the case applied only to the states, Munn undermined the sanctity of private property rights by establishing the precedent that property "clothed with a public interest" (i.e., any property related to business) is subject to government regulation and control. As a result, Munn helped pave the way for the two major assertions of federal control over the economy-the Interstate Commerce Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act-that would come in the Gilded Age.
  • Topic: Government, History
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Author's note: This is chapter 3 of my book Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It (Richmond: Glen Allen Press, 2002), which is an introduction to Ayn Rand's morality of rational egoism. Chapters 1 and 2 were reprinted in the prior two issues of TOS. In the book, this chapter is titled "To Be Or Not To Be: The Basic Choice." In chapter 2, we encountered the problem known as the "is-ought" dichotomy, the notion that moral principles (principles regarding what people "ought" to do) cannot be derived from the facts of reality (from what "is"). We also saw that this problem persists for lack of an observation-based, objective standard of value. Here we turn to the solution to that problem. First, we will discover just such a standard; then, we will discover a number of objective moral principles-principles in accordance with that standard. To begin, note that the basic fact that makes morality such a difficult subject is the very fact that makes it a subject in the first place: free will. As human beings we have the faculty of volition, the power of choice; we choose our actions. This fact gives rise to our need of morality. Indeed, the realm of morality is the realm of choice. What makes the issue complicated is the fact that our choices are guided by our values-which are also chosen. This is why it is so difficult to get to the bottom of morality: Human values are chosen-every last one of them. Consequently, peoples' values seem to differ in every imaginable way. Some people choose to play soccer; they value footwork, teamwork, and winning. Some choose to dance ballet; they value grace, poise, and flight. And some choose to attend church; they value sermons, faith, and prayer. A person who goes hiking values the scenery and exercise. One who goes fishing values the nibble and catch. And one who takes heroin values the so-called "high." A person who steals jewelry values "free stuff." One who makes jewelry values craftsmanship. A sculptor values the process of creating art. A software developer values that creative process. A student who cheats on a test values "getting away" with it. One who studies for the test values the knowledge he gains thereby. A doctor specializing in internal medicine values the process of curing disease. A terrorist specializing in biological warfare values the process of spreading disease. A man who treats his wife with respect values certain qualities in her. One who abuses his wife values having power over her. A General who fights for mandatory "volunteerism" values involuntary servitude. One who fights to defend individual rights values freedom. And so on. Different people act in different ways; they value different things. So the question is: How do we know if our choice of values is good or bad, right or wrong? What is our standard of value? As we have already seen, if we do not consciously hold something as our standard of value, then we have nothing by reference to which we can determine what goals we should or should not pursue-how we should or should not act. And if we do not hold something rationally provable as our standard of value, then we default to some form of subjectivism-personal, social, or "supernatural"-which can lead only to human sacrifice, suffering, and death. If we want to live and achieve happiness, we need a non-sacrificial standard of value that is grounded in perceptual evidence-facts we can see. In search of such a standard, the proper approach is to turn not to personal opinion or social convention or "super-nature," but to actual nature and ask, as the American philosopher Ayn Rand did: "What are values? Why does man need them?" . . .
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Frida Berrigan
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Enforcement of U.S. law concerning weapons exports and the disbursement of military aid are subject to highly politicized interpretations of concepts like "legitimate self-defense" and "safeguarding internal security." As illustrated by Israel's July 2006 war in Lebanon and its 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, Washington has essentially allowed Israel to define "self-defense" however it chooses. This overview of U.S. military aid to Israel, including weapons sales and related support of its domestic military industrial complex, examines in detail the mechanisms through which aid is funneled, the restrictions on aid that do exist, and the uses to which U.S. military aid has been put-particularly in terms of Israel's military operations and its exports abroad. Frida Berrigan is senior program associate of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC.
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Nikolai Sofinsky
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: “THE STATUE OF LIBERTY as a symbol for America was replaced with Guantanamo” – this is how Zbigniew Brzezinski described his country in a recent interview with the Der Spiegel magazine. The former U.S. presidential national security advisor, now a respectable political expert and foreign policy consultant for the B. Obama administration, made such a grim assessment of the eight-year performance by George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America
  • Author: Stephen Tankel
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: One year ago, 10 gunmen from Lashkar-i-Tayyiba (LT) laid siege to multiple targets in India's financial capital of Mumbai over the course of three days. The group's target selection revealed a desire to strike not only at India, but also at Western interests in the country. The coordinated attacks killed 166 people, including 28 foreign nationals, among them Americans and a Briton. While a strong anti-Western element has always been present in LT's ideology, the strikes represented the latest evolution of a peripheral jihad against Western interests.
  • Political Geography: America, India, Mumbai
  • Author: R. Sam Garrett
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Ray La Raja has written one of the most provocative campaign finance books in recent memory. Small Change causes the reader to struggle with fundamental “truths” about money and politics, to revisit old questions, and to ask new ones. La Raja directly challenges prevailing scholarship—and popular wisdom—concerning the purposes and origins of campaign finance regulation and its effect on political parties. The dual focus on campaign finance and American political parties is arguably the book's greatest strength. (La Raja generally uses the term “regulation” broadly, although his focus is on major changes in law rather than on regulations, such as those issued by the Federal Election Commission. For expediency, this review also uses the term “regulation” to encompass both federal campaign finance law and agency regulations.)
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Timothy Samuel Shah
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Religion and modernity were never expected to go hand in hand, and for centuries they coexisted uncomfortably. But thanks to the entrepreneurial model of American evangelicals, argue two journalists at The Economist, God is back.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Mitchel B. Wallerstein
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since the early days of the Cold War, the United States has restricted the export of certain advanced technologies and the sharing of sensitive scientific and technical information with foreign nationals. Initially, these restrictions were justified on the grounds that the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies were engaged -- through fronts, third parties, and outright espionage -- in a systematic effort to buy or steal information, technology, and equipment developed in the West that they could then use in their own military systems. Because Soviet industry could not design or produce certain high-tech products, such as personal computers or sophisticated machine tools, the Soviets were forced to obtain them by other means. By successfully denying technology to the Soviet Union, the United States enabled NATO to maintain a strategic and tactical advantage without having to match the Warsaw Pact nations' troop strength in the field. Yet 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and long after the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the same system of export controls remains in place. It has only become more arcane and ineffective with time. U.S. export controls have survived largely because of outdated "fortress America" thinking -- the view that the United States is the primary source of most militarily useful scientific ideas and products and that it can continue to deny technology to potential adversaries without seriously damaging the global competitiveness of U.S. companies or, in the end, jeopardizing national security. In an earlier era, when the United States was far more economically and technologically dominant, the costs associated with a technology-denial strategy were easier to absorb. But in today's highly competitive world, the business lost due to export controls poses a threat to the well-being of key U.S. industries; estimated losses range as high as $9 billion per year.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Soviet Union
  • Author: Alexander Fomenko
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: IT SEEMS THAT CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM about possible changes in American foreign policy stirred up by the new Obama-Biden Administration is much more justified than cautious skepticism. The first official visit of President Obama to Moscow confirmed that the stylistics and rhetoric had changed. No wonder.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Russia, United States
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Michael Dahlen's article "The Rise of American Big Government" [TOS, Fall 2009] is a clarifying survey, in essentials, of the interventionism that has eroded freedom in America for more than a century. But as to the alleged economic successes of Reagan and Clinton, weren't these funded with deficit financing and inflation? I'd like to hear Mr. Dahlen's thoughts on this.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Cassandra Clark
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Pharmaceutical industry executives are frequently accused of greedily putting "profits before patients" (as if drug companies could profit by means other than serving patients). This accusation would be unjust if these executives were after profits. Unfortunately, however, today's pharmaceutical executives are not after profits. They are after loot. They seek to gain, through legislation, money coercively taken by the government from American citizens. But, unbeknownst to these executives, their looting is self-destructive. In fact, by aiding and abetting the government in its violation of individual rights, the pharmaceutical industry is committing suicide. To see why, let us begin by examining some of the ways in which the industry calls for the violation of rights and receives loot as a result. Then we will turn to the reasons why this practice is killing the pharmaceutical industry. Consider the industry's support for the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The MMA expanded Medicare to include coverage of prescription drugs for Americans over the age of 65 and was the largest expansion of welfare in America since the creation of Medicare itself.1 When the Act took effect in 2006, it made the U.S. federal government the single largest purchaser of prescription drugs in America.2 In 1999, years before this bill had been conceived, Alan Holmer, then president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the industry's lobby group, made clear in a trade journal the industry's view that "the question is not whether, but how, to expand Medicare coverage of prescription drugs."3 In 2000, Holmer testified before the Senate Finance Committee that at "some point in the not-too-distant future, a Congress will pass, and a President will sign, legislation to expand drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. . . . Expanded drug coverage for seniors will be a positive development." Holmer emphasized: The pharmaceutical industry strongly supports . . . expanding Medicare coverage of prescription medicines. . . . Medicare beneficiaries need high-quality health care, and prescription medicines often offer the most effective therapy for them. We believe that the best way to expand prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries is through comprehensive Medicare reform.4 The pharmaceutical industry got its desired "reform," and when the MMA became law, the government not only began dictating the terms by which private insurers would provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, it also began spending tens of billions of dollars annually to subsidize that coverage. From where does the U.S. government get this money? The government does not create wealth; it does not produce anything. Every penny the government spends on drugs (or anything else) comes from taxpayers. The government gets this money by taking it under threat of force from hard-working Americans (or by printing or borrowing it, which is deferred taxation). This is legalized theft; the money taken by force is loot. And when the government spends this loot on prescription drugs for the elderly, the loot is passed on to the pharmaceutical industry. Now, merely receiving loot from the government does not in and of itself constitute the moral crime of complicity in the government's coercion. But the pharmaceutical industry is not merely receiving money from the government as a result of the MMA. The industry advocated this socialist scheme of forced wealth redistribution from the start, supported it at every stage of development, and is now receiving the loot as planned. Although the industry exchanges drugs for the loot, the entire arrangement on the part of taxpayers whose money is taken by force to buy the drugs is involuntary. Taxpayers do not choose to fund the industry in this way; they are forced to do so-by a law that the pharmaceutical industry enthusiastically helped to create. . . . To read the rest of this article, select one of the following options: Subscriber Login | Subscribe | Renew | Purchase a PDF of this article.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Eric Daniels
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Not yet a year into its term, the initially popular Obama administration has plummeted in popularity. In light of Washington's escalated meddling in the economy, many Americans are expressing deep concerns and anger about the statist direction in which this administration is steering the country. Unfortunately, however, few Americans are aware of-and the media is ignoring-one of the administration's most serious threats to our freedom: its stated intention to bolster antitrust enforcement. Since May, Christine Varney, the newly appointed assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, has conducted a speaking tour promoting the Division's new mandate under Obama and affirming the president's many campaign promises to "reinvigorate antitrust enforcement." Varney and her counterpart at the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz, are publicly threatening "possible investigations" of businesses ranging from Google to Monsanto to IBM. In response to this new climate, antitrust advocates from Senator Charles Schumer to the American Booksellers Association have called on Varney to undertake new prosecutions. And New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recently joined the push by filing a suit against Intel.1 Americans should not only be aware of this ominous trend; they should be up in arms about it. Antitrust laws violate the rights of American businessmen and consumers, thwart economic development, and stifle our quality of life in myriad ways. To see why, we must first understand what antitrust law is. During the second half of the 19th century, as American companies grew and acquired assets around the country, they found themselves in a difficult position. Although companies could achieve economies of scale by acquiring smaller firms and unifying their efforts, state laws prevented them from doing so. Whereas some state legislatures imposed special taxes on out-of-state corporations doing business in their states, other legislatures forbade corporations in their state from holding the stock of companies based elsewhere. (Legislators established such restrictions in the hope that they would force successful companies to incorporate-and thus pay taxes-in their state.) In response to these restrictions on acquisitions, C. T. Dodd and John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil created a new form of business using the device of a legal trust, which enabled them to hold the stock of dozens of companies and thus effectively manage vast productive assets.2 The operational and financial advantages of this novel corporate structure were immense, yet critics alleged that the newly created trusts were "odious monopolies," charging them with "making competition impossible," "raising prices," and "disregarding the interests of the American consumer."3 Critics condemned this new legal device as a "problem" and branded businessmen who employed it as "robber barons." Yet these businessmen used this legal device to create their vast fortunes by increasing competition, lowering prices, and providing American consumers with more and better products.4 The problem was not that their novel form of business had generated economic inefficiencies-it had done the opposite. Rather, the problem was a political one. Because these businesses were becoming fabulously successful and their owners enormously wealthy, egalitarian-minded and envious Americans pressured politicians to "do something," and politicians, seeking approval, got "tough" on the issue. A solution to the trust "problem" came in the form of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. Senator John Sherman and his colleagues claimed that trusts were "combinations that affect injuriously the industrial liberty of the citizens of these States."5 Critics of the trusts claimed that their high profits were achieved-not through the entrepreneurial, managerial, and productive genius of men such as Rockefeller, Edison, and Carnegie-but by "the few extorting the many."6 Because of the "public outcry on the trust question" and the alleged need to protect the "interests of the consumer," Sherman and his colleagues advocated the creation of a broad law that outlawed "monopolization" and "restraint of trade." That law was the Sherman Antitrust Act, and since its passage in 1890 Congress has added five other antitrust laws to the books, prohibiting dozens of supposedly "anticompetitive" business practices.7 . . . To read the rest of this article, select one of the following options: Subscriber Login | Subscribe | Renew | Purchase a PDF of this article.
  • Topic: Economics, Oil
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert Mayhew
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography. . . . Formerly we used to canonise our heroes. The modern method is to vulgarise them. -Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist" (1891)
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Christopher S. Bond, Lewis M. Simons
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Barack Obama's planned visit to Indonesia this November is not only a sentimental journey to his childhood home. It also represents a long-overdue recognition that to recapture the admiration and respect of the world's Muslims, Washington should focus neither on the stalemated chessboard of the Middle East nor on the chaotic Afghan-Pakistani frontier. Rather, it should concentrate its efforts in Southeast Asia, an increasingly democratic and peaceful region that is also beginning to face the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. The last time Americans took a sober look at Southeast Asia, military helicopters were snatching the last U.S. officials off Saigon rooftops as Vietcong soldiers marched on the panicked capital. Soon after the fall of Saigon, in 1975, Cambodia and Laos were toppled by their own domestic communist movements. Thailand trembled with the fear of North Vietnamese tanks churning across the Mekong River, and the other so-called dominoes shook, too. But the dreaded threat failed to materialize. More than three decades later, Americans no longer concern themselves with this corner of the world. One day, the United States' future seemed inextricably bound to Southeast Asia's; the next, Southeast Asia was forgotten. This is an all-too-familiar pattern: Washington ignores a country or region until it blows up; then, it belatedly discovers such nations and obsesses clumsily over them; and finally, it relapses into a self-imposed torpor, allowing new threats to emerge. This was the case in Afghanistan during the 1990s after it ceased to be useful as a bulwark against Soviet expansion, and it may also prove true of Southeast Asia today if Washington does not awaken to the region's growing importance. Southeast Asia is home to 250 million Muslims, concentrated in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand -- the supposed dominoes of the Vietnam era. Indonesia has the world's single largest Muslim population: 220 million -- three times as large as that of Egypt, the most populous Arab nation. Yet Indonesia remains truly unknown to most Americans.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America, Middle East, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Bahar Rumelili
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: I argue that International Relations Theory has not been able to transcend its parochialism because it continues to negate the agency of the East. By analyzing the articles published in four leading journals of the discipline between 2002-2007, I find that the number of studies that focus on the East have indeed increased, but most of these studies continue to situate the cases derived from the East in the context of West-centric theories. Even critical approaches continue to position the West as the main subject of international relations and dismiss the mutual constitution and interaction between the East and the West, and the local and global. I contend that the generation of non-Western IR theories is not going to pose an adequate challenge to West-centrism; what is necessary is the formulation of specific propositions on East-West relations that directly counter the established assumptions of West-centric theories.
  • Topic: Political Theory
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: James Jay Carafano
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: America's problem in a nutshell is that we do not think very well. The last quarter century has seen an explosion in the human capacity to create and manipulate new knowledge. Despite that fact, the instruments used to inform public policy choices are as creaky as ever. Washington makes policy largely by intuition shaped by an orthodox adherence to tired interpretations of international relations and public choice theory—ideas that have barely evolved since the Cold War. Our minds are behind the times. All this needs to change if America wants to out-think its enemies and help its friends in the world secure a safe, free, and prosperous future.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert R. Reilly
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: J. Michael Waller
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Rafael Bardaji
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: MADRID-Spain was attacked by Islamists on March 11, 2004, but the new government that emerged from the polls three days later never learned the right lessons from that massacre. Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his Socialist government argued that Spain had been attacked because of its presence in Iraq and because of the conservative government's cooperation with the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush. Based on this notion, they concluded that by pulling out of Iraq and distancing itself from America, Spain could insulate itself from Islamic terrorism.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Spain
  • Author: Kutbettin Kilic
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Turkish foreign policy has made a remarkable achievement in recent years, raising the influence of Turkey in surrounding critical regions, extending from the Balkans to the Middle East and as well as in international politics. With Harmonizing Foreign Policy: Turkey, the EU and the Middle East, Mesut Ozcan sets about to explicate a part of this picture, that is, the shift in Turkish foreign policy towards the Middle East, which, the author argues, becomes more visible in policies towards Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 1999 is the beginning of the aforementioned shift, according to Ozcan, a year in which the EU gave Turkey a candidature status and Abdullah Ocalan, the leader and founder of the PKK, was arrested. This was also a year that provided Turkish decision makers with a democratic opening in foreign policy—a shift from security-oriented foreign policy to a democracy-oriented one. From that time onwards, Turkey, according to Ozcan, has been exposed to the process of Europeanization of foreign policy, a process that has taken Turkey away from a foreign policy under American influence.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ali Sarihan
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Partnership between Turkey, America and Europe has been fading gradually. During the Cold War, Turkey was a vital player for America and Europe. However, the falling of the USSR and some significant events in the last decades, such as Iraq War and Luxemburg Conference, have led decreasing relations between Turkey, America and Europe. Winning Turkey is flashing on the partnership's problems, and probable solutions for the problems.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Will Kymlicka
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Since 1989 we have witnessed a proliferation of efforts to develop international norms of the rights of ethnocultural minorities, such as the UN's 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, the Council of Europe's 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and the Organization of American States' 1997 draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This activity at the level of international law is reflected in a comparable explosion of interest in minority rights among normative political theorists. In the same twenty-year period we have seen a proliferation of attempts at formulating a normative theory of minority rights and examining how minority rights relate to broader political values (such as freedom, equality, democracy, and citizenship) and broader normative frameworks (such as liberalism, communitarianism, and republicanism). Key works here include those by Charles Taylor, Jim Tully, Iris Young, Jeff Spinner-Halev, Bhikhu Parekh, Yael Tamir, Joseph Carens, Susan Okin, and Anne Phillips—a rich literature that has informed and inspired my own work in the field.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe