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You searched for: Content Type Journal Article Remove constraint Content Type: Journal Article Publishing Institution School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Topic Government Remove constraint Topic: Government
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  • Author: Sophie von Hatzfeldt
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Chile has a dire need as well as a vast potential to expand renewable energy production and the government has recently introduced regulatory reforms and incentives to facilitate their development. Nevertheless, the governance structure of the electricity sector poses significant barriers to the attainment of national energy aims. Actors from the state, private sector, as well as civil society must tackle the main constraints to provide a cohesive and targeted policy response to the issue.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Douglas Farah
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This article will examine the changing roles of Central American gangs within the drug trafficking structures, particularly the Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), operating in the region. This will include the emerging political role of the gangs (Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 as well as Barrio 18), the negotiations between the gangs and Mexican DTOs for joint operational capacity, the interactions between the two sides, and the significant repercussions all this will likely have across the region as the gangs become both better financed and more politically aware and active. This article is based on field research in San Salvador, where the author was able to spend time with some members of the MS-13. It is also informed by his examination of the truce between the gangs and the Salvadoran government, as well as the talks between the gangs and the Sinaloa cartel.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America, Mexico
  • Author: Natalia Mendoza, Rachel St. John
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The border as a unit of analysis becomes a key player when addressing issues of transnational scale. Throughout history, the shape and meaning of borders have evolved as dynamic configurations responding to a wide range of political, economic, and social affairs. In an effort to understand transnational organized crime (TOC) from a geographical lens, historian Rachel St. John and anthropologist Natalia Mendoza reflect on the changing condition of the U.S.-Mexico border and its spillover effect on peripheral communities. St. John has analyzed the history of the borderlands in her book Line in the Sand, where she explains how the capability of the border to attract people to it creates “a form of negotiated sovereignty” subject to “practical difficulties, transnational forces, local communities and the actions of their counterparts across the line.”[i] Mendoza's ethnographical approach to her field work in the village of Altar in Sonora, Mexico, produced a collection of local narratives on how a community around the border has developed creative ways, both legal and extralegal, to confront the boundary line at a time when governments extend and reinforce the space of state surveillance. The following is a conversation between these two scholars regarding organized crime at the U.S.-Mexico border that can provide a better understanding of a wider conditionality of the boundary line.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico
  • Author: Nemanja Mladenovic
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The first democratically elected Prime Minister of Serbia, Dr. Zoran Djindjic, was assassinated in 2003 by an organized crime group closely connected to Serbian state institutions. The group had amassed enormous wealth through transnational drug trafficking. The political sponsors of Djindjic's assassination are still protected in Serbia today due to the high level of systemic corruption and a lack of political will to prosecute those responsible for this heinous crime. Since their protection impedes justice and, thus, obstructs the rule of law and democratic progress in Serbia, contemporary Serbian society could be seen as the hostage of transnational organized crime and corrupted state officials.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Serbia
  • Author: Madeline K.B. Ross
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In the early twentieth century, the U.S. government was struggling to find a way to combat Al Capone and powerful city gangs. Institutional corruption allowed the gangs to expand into complex organized crime systems that took decades to dismantle. Jay Albanese argues that transnational crime is currently at a similar nascent stage, poised to lay the groundwork for an entrenched international criminal infrastructure that could prove costly and challenging to eradicate.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Kortava
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, the global shadow economy has flourished: according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), illegal trade—in guns, drugs, timber, elephant ivory, human beings, and virtually anything for the right price—generates an annual turnover of some $870 billion, the equivalent of nearly 7 percent of the world's legitimate exports of merchandise. A recent UNODC publication reports that “states and international organizations have largely failed to anticipate the evolution of transnational organized crime.” The entire industry, it would seem, grew up hidden in plain sight, as if garbed in camouflage from its infancy. What countermeasures have been taken—mostly in the form of conventional law enforcement—“have done little” to stem its growth or minimize its impact. Few scholars are less surprised by these grim facts than Dr. Robert Mandel, professor of international affairs at Lewis Clark College and author of Dark Logic: Transnational Criminal Tactics and Global Security. Mandel has been mulling over transnational organized crime for well over a decade, and his latest meditation on the subject can be read as a sequel to an earlier work: Deadly Transfers and The Global Playground: Transnational Security Threats in a Disorderly World (1999).
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Frank Murray
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: News breaks that a developing nation\'s budget seems to contain statistical anomalies, with large funds reported missing or unaccounted for. The government\'s official position is inconsistent, and high-ranking officials are suspected of corruption. The international community takes notice but lacks the mechanisms required for corrective justice. The country and its people limp towards progress. Even if this is a story all too familiar in the back pages of the Wall Street Journal it is still a phenomenon that has received too little academic attention. Draining Development? seeks to fill this void by representing a significant collection of analytic papers on illicit financial flows. Commissioned by the World Bank at the request of the Norwegian government and edited by Peter Reuter, the book compiles new empirical and conceptual insights on the composition of illicit monetary flows, the processes that generate them, the sustaining and facilitating role played by tax havens, and the effectiveness of attempts made at prevention and recovery. Substantively, papers in the book cover government corruption, tax evasion and havens, cross border profit sharing, money laundering, human trafficking, transfer price manipulation, and antimoney laundering regulatory schemes. While books that rely on academic compilations can often feel disjointed, here the editor does a tremendous job of presenting the material in ways that allow consistent themes to develop in the reader\'s mind. Taken in its totality, Draining Development? echoes a consistent, persuasive argument: the phenomenon of illicit capital flows is impeding developing and transitional nations and, consequently, the welfare of their people. Furthermore, the international community has yet to successfully deploy the organization and interlocking tools necessary to fully combat the causes and effects of such illicit flows. But which area poses a greater problem, the flows themselves or the social and political structures that created them? Which areas should laws and policies primarily target? The editor suggests a research path to clarify these complex questions. In doing so, Draining Development? serves as the cornerstone of much needed attention and discourse on this subject.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alexander Lee
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In Gridlock, Pardis Mahdavi explores the social issues of labor migration in Dubai-a topic less visible than those that make up the daily headlines on the Middle East. The book is a mix of Mahdavi's personal experiences in the Emirate and a scholarly discourse on trafficking policy and its associated political pressures. Peppered throughout with the stories of labor migrants from a variety of backgrounds and working in a diversity of sectors, the book aims for both breadth and academic depth. The former goal works ultimately to the detriment of the latter, as Mahdavi retreads the same ground several times. Nevertheless, the book serves as an important look at a key international issue from a perspective that policy makers may be ignoring. Current U.S. policy regarding the issue of trafficking centers on the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report-the government's "principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking." Mahdavi's central thesis relates to her opinions on the use of this report which, at the time of her writing, was primarily used as a diplomatic tool for leveraging political bargaining power against countries such as Dubai with a "known" record of poor human rights. She believes that the TIP report holds a great deal of potential to expand beyond a bargaining tool and can instead be used for enacting true reform in trafficking and migration policy. For this to come about, however, Mahdavi believes that governments need a broader understanding of trafficking beyond their current focus on female sex workers. The accounts of labor migrants in her book serve as a survey of other types of trafficked persons. Though Gridlock's organization may feel more like a collection of essays than a singular, focused work, Mahdavi explores this complex, multifaceted issue from a unique perspective. The breadth of her research appears broader than the views of most policy makers involved in this issue and presents a compelling case for policy reform, with direct social consequences for a multitude of labor migrants from around the globe.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Victoria Webster
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Informality and Illegality in the Exploitation of Gold and Timber in Antioquia Jorge Giraldo Ramírez and Juan Carlos Muñoz Mora (Medellín: Centro de Análisis Político Universidad Eafit and Proantioquia, 2012), 197 pages. In Informality and Illegality authors Jorge Giraldo Ramírez and Carlos Muñoz Mora, both professors in Antioquia, Colombia, analyze how the gold and timber sectors have become a source of financing for armed groups. Rather than simply rehashing the old resource-curse debate, this slim, but dense, Spanish-language book performs a microlevel analysis of Antioquia's extractive supply chains and impressively identifies the precise mechanisms that incentivize illegal armed actors to enter the market. According to the authors, the confluence of informal extractive markets with high levels of socio-economic inequality and the absence of a well-functioning state incentivizes nonstate actors to assume the state's role and engage in criminal activity. This "criminal ecology" is a self-perpetuating system that is characterized by ineffective state intervention, weak regulation and penalization, and high levels of political and economic leverage by nonstate actors. Ramírez and Mora's findings are impressive, even if their data seems suspect: they find positive correlations between gold mining and the presence of illegal armed groups, informal land tenure, increased violence, and weak institutions. The authors' concluding discussion of contemporary policy recommendations, currently being debated in a variety of forums, including the country's mining code reform and ongoing institutional restructuring process- though appropriate-is too theoretical to be of much use. Moreover, given the dominant role multinational corporations (MNCs) play in Colombia's legal, security, and political spheres, their limited analysis of the relationship of MNCs with Antioquia's supply chain ignores a large part of the policy debate. Though repetitive and dry, Ramirez and Mora's work is a unique take on a polarizing debate. Their framework of the complex relationship between a traditionally informal economy, illegal crime, and the international demand for a scarce resource (gold), while specific to Antioquia, is widely applicable to any number of countries and contexts.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Colombia
  • Author: Chris Eshleman
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax HavensNicholas Shaxson(London: The Bodely Head, 2011), 329 pages.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: London
  • Author: Jonathan Holslag
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the threat of a water war between China and India. It argues that Indian suspicion of China has been premature. Beijing has not yet given its approval for major water diversion projects in Tibet, it has taken some limited steps toward easing the concerns of the Indian government and a growing number of Chinese experts have taken an interest in developing institutional frameworks for managing transboundary rivers. However, a definitive settlement or cooperation will be difficult because both countries perceive themselves as the victim of a greedy neighbor. While India complains about China's ravenous exploitation of the Himalayan rivers, it is common in China to accuse India of exaggerating the Chinese threat and being unreasonable in its demands.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, India, Beijing
  • Author: Shirish Jain, Yan Shufen
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Despite gloomy predictions about the inevitability of competition between China and India, cooperation between Asia's two emerging powers is possible. It will, however, require a much more concerted effort to bridge the gap in sociocultural understanding that exists between the two countries. While growing economic ties have warmed relations between them, there remains a fundamental lack of appreciation on the part of each country of the underlying cultural and societal norms that define the other—norms that influence each country's perception of its own national interest. We argue that greater appreciation of these elements is critical if China and India are to successfully address issues such as the ongoing border dispute and the mounting trade imbalance. This essay is devoted to exploring avenues for cultural rapprochement and analyzing efforts made thus far. It also explores ways to make the process of engagement more effective, not only at the intergovernmental level but also in terms of person-to-person contact. With the remarkable economic resurgence of Asia, especially that of China and India, we contend that it is urgent for each country to gain a more direct and nuanced understanding of the other.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Sven Behrendt
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The rising prominence of sovereign wealth funds—investment funds that are owned or controlled by national governments—has stirred debate about their potential use as tools to pursue global political interests rather than economic or financial ends. Recent sanctions levied on the Libyan Investment Authority, formerly operated by the government of Muammar al-Qaddafi, underscore this question. This article argues that the governance, accountability and transparency arrangements of sovereign wealth funds reflect the quality of political institutions within the countries that own them. In contrast to funds based in democratic states, those managed by authoritarian governments are distinguished by a lack of public oversight and are instead tightly controlled by the prevailing political leadership. The link between political leadership and fund management in many authoritarian countries allows governments more flexibility in using financial assets to pursue immediate political agendas.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Islamic Republic has modernized and bureaucratized the clerical establishment, redefined religion and created institutions to enforce this new definition. The effect has been a transformation of religion into a symbolic form of capital. By monopolizing religious affairs, the political system has become a regime of religion in which the state plays the role of central banker for symbolic religious capital. Consequently, the expansion and monopolization of the religious market have helped the Islamic Republic increase the ranks of its supporters and beneficiaries significantly, even among critics of the government. This article demonstrates how the accumulation of religious capital in the hands of the government mutually influences the nature of the state and the clerical establishment and will continue to do so in Iran's uncertain future.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Johan Lagerkvist
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Today more than 500 million Chinese Internet users roam social networking websites. Of them, as many as 300 million are part of a rapidly growing microblogosphere. This article examines the predicament of companies providing social networking services inside China's Great Firewall—specifically, the way in which they handle conflicting demands from the party-state and emerging civil society. In light of the phenomenal growth of microblogging and the Chinese government's tighter control over netizens in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, the issue of social agency comes to the fore. This article asks if the Chinese entrepreneurial class—the so-called “red capitalists”—could become agents of democratic political change. Are Internet entrepreneurs allies of civil society or the government? Based on their current esprit de corps with the state, it is unlikely that they will directly assist social change in the foreseeable future. Yet willingly or not, by providing civil society with tools to challenge the regime, they are becoming key players in the process of creating a more inclusive and accountable politics in China.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Padma Desai
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The financial turmoil originating from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis hit Russia by early September 2008, prompting the Russian government and the Central Bank of Russia to undertake a set of speedy and concerted measures to soften the impact of the crisis. These initial measures supported the value of the ruble as ruble holders, domestic and foreign, switched to dollars. They also provided hard currency to major Russian banks and Russian big business (the so-called oligarchs) which had borrowed heavily from foreign banks for their expanding operations from 2000 to 2007.
  • Topic: Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States