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  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a tour de force—a compelling and accessible read that presents an eloquent and convincing warning about the future of capitalism.* Capitalism, Piketty argues, suffers from an inherent tendency to generate an explosive spiral of increasing inequality of wealth and income. This inegalitarian dynamic of capitalism is not due to textbook failures of capitalist markets (for example, natural monopolies) or failures of economic institutions (such as the failure to regulate these monopolies), but to the way capitalism fundamentally works. Unless the spiral is controlled by far more progressive taxation than is now the norm, the political fallout could undermine the viability of the successful “social state” (p. 471) in the advanced economies, putting the democratic state itself at risk.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, France
  • Author: Keith Horton
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: As other contributions to this special issue amply demonstrate, there is a variety of ways in which academics could have a greater impact on global poverty than they do today. In this essay I focus on just one of those ways: by doing more to help people make wise decisions about issues relevant to such poverty. Many different groups of people have to make such decisions, including those who work for certain international organizations, policy-makers and government employees of various kinds, and the global poor themselves. Many of those decisions involve difficult issues that academics generally have more time and other resources than others to study. If academics conduct the right kind of research on those issues, then, and share what they have learned with the relevant decision-makers in accessible ways, those decision-makers should be able to make better decisions. And this in turn should have a positive impact on global poverty. Moreover, given that doing so would only require academics to perform activities that are already taken to be a standard part of their role — conducting research and disseminating what they have learned — this seems one of the most straightforward and least controversial ways in which academics could have a greater impact on global poverty.
  • Topic: Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Eric Posner
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: In his latest book, Larry May argues that two rights—the right to habeas corpus and to non-refoulement—should be incorporated into international law as jus cogens norms. Habeas corpus, which is recognized in the United Kingdom, the United States, and a few other countries with U.K.-derived legal systems, is a legal procedure in which a prisoner can appear in court and challenge the basis of his detention. Non-refoulement is the principle that states should not deport aliens who are unlawfully on their soil if the aliens will be persecuted or abused in the state to which they will be returned. There is currently no right to habeas corpus in international law; most states have agreed to recognize limited rights of non-refoulement. Jus cogens norms are norms of international law that bind states even if they reject them, in contrast to ordinary international legal norms, which require states' consent. Torture, slavery, genocide, and aggressive war are generally thought to be on the list of jus cogens prohibitions, and it is to this group that May wants to add the failure to offer habeas corpus and the deportation of aliens to states where they are likely to be abused.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: James Pattison
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Since the 1990 s there has been a marked growth in the private military industry. Private military companies (PMCs) have been taking on an ever-increasing number of roles traditionally performed by the regular military. These range from supplying training, logistics, and other support services to engaging occasionally in actual fighting. This is most notable in Iraq, where the U.K. and U.S. governments have employed a host of ''security'' companies, such as Aegis, Blackwater, Control Risks Group, Erinys, Vinnell, and KBR. The use of these companies has by no means been limited to Iraq, however. Nor is it only the U.K. and the U.S. that have made use of their services. Other states, multinational companies, NGOs, and even the U.N. have hired PMCs.
  • Topic: Privatization, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom