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  • Author: Robert A. Pastor
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Two decades ago, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States forged an agreement that transformed North America from just a geographical expression to the world's most formidable economic entity. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) eliminated most of the trade and investment barriers that had segmented the continent. Within a decade, trade among the three countries tripled and foreign direct investment (FDI) quintupled. By 2001, the three nations of North America accounted for 36 percent of the world product—up from 30 percent in 1994. And while many economists have waxed enthusiastic about the growing power of Brazil, U.S. trade with Mexico today is more than six times larger than its trade with Brazil. Unfortunately, since 2001 regional cooperation has stagnated. NAFTA, designed to expand trade and investment, has proven too limited in addressing the current issues facing the three countries. The time has come for the leaders of North America to recommit to regional integration if they want to effectively address the policy issues facing the region. For example, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, NAFTA can play a major role in job creation. A revamped agreement can potentially double exports and allow North America to once again compete with integrated markets in Asia and Europe. Beyond jobs, enhanced coordination and information sharing among NAFTA partners will allow for better control of immigration and the flow of illicit drugs across our borders. Finally, strengthening ties will begin to close the development gap between Mexico and its two neighbors, fortifying the economic and political bloc. The Rise and Fall of North America Though NAFTA has long faded from the headlines, the agreement's first years showed much promise. When the North American market was created in 1992, the impact was almost immediate. Contrary to the claim by U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot that American jobs would be “sucked” into Mexico, the dramatic increase in North American trade coincided with the largest wave of job creation in U.S. history. Between 1992 and 2000, roughly 22 million jobs were added in the U.S., while trade with and FDI in Canada and Mexico grew more than 17 percent each year. The combination of expanded trade and investment meant that the three countries were actually making products together rather than just trading them. By combining U.S. capital and technology with Mexico's cheaper labor and Canada's abundant resources, the enlarged North American market experienced rapid growth, while Europe stagnated. From the onset of the U.S.-Canadian Free Trade Agreement in 1988 to 2001, trade among Mexico, Canada and the U.S., as a percentage of their trade with the world, leapt from 36 percent to 46 percent. The decline of the integration idea could be dated to the spring of 2001, when Presidents Vicente Fox of Mexico and George W. Bush of the U.S. met Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in Québec. Fox and his Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda arrived with a suitcase filled with proposals, such as a North American Commission, a “cohesion” fund to reduce the development gap, a customs union and an immigration agreement. But Chrétien was not interested in including Mexico in Canada's talks with the U.S., and Bush rejected any new multilateral institution or fund. The opportunity for progress was lost. The share of trade among the three countries as a percentage of their trade with the rest of the world dropped from 46 percent in 2001 to 40 percent in 2009—almost to pre-NAFTA levels. The average annual growth of trade among the three countries declined by two-thirds, while growth of foreign direct investment decreased by one-half…
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, Brazil, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Ian Clark
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article is written in the general spirit of contributing to the development of the English School (ES) approach to International Relations (IR), and from the specific perspective of the work of Martin Wight. The literature on international society has greatly enriched our understanding of international order. However, it falls short in what it offers to one important contemporary debate. This deficiency results from its evasion of a central dilemma: how is the role of the Great Powers in managing international order best sustained when their number approximates to one single Great Power? Given the English School's attachment to the role of the Great Powers, it cannot afford to ignore this question. This article adapts ES theory to reflect a world characterized by a concentration of power. The concept of hegemony is central, and will be applied to the arguments about a putative succession between the United States and China. The case is made that their respective power trajectories need to be plotted, not just against relative material capabilities, but taking into account also the appeal of the international orders they come to represent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Willem Oosterveld
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: David Ekbladh's first book, The Great American Mission, deals with the role of development policy in American foreign relations during the Cold War. More specifically, it discusses modernization as a developmental approach, tracing its rise and fall over a period of about forty years. In Ekbladh's view, modernization theory fused political, ideological and strategic objectives at a time when the United States waged what was, in essence, a global struggle over ideas.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Gary Johnson currently campaigns as a candidate for U.S. president with the same outspoken fidelity to free markets, limited government, and fiscal responsibility that guided his two terms as governor of New Mexico. Aside from making headlines earlier this year with his strong opposition to an antihomosexual Republican-circulated marriage pledge, which he called “offensive” and “un-American,” he has been neglected by the mainstream press and has been excluded from several televised debates. He presses on in a struggle from which higher-polling candidates have already dropped out. Johnson started a one-man handyman company in 1976 and over the next two decades developed it to employing one thousand people. Against the odds, he launched his campaign for governor in 1994 and carried his win to a second term, a governorship marked by his stand for “freedom across the board.” During his eight years in office, his main focus was responsible management of the government pocketbook, and he earned the nickname “Governor Veto” by vetoing more bills than the other forty-nine governors combined. He cut twelve hundred state job positions, cut taxes, reformed Medicaid, promoted school vouchers, privatized prisons, and helped eliminate the state's budget deficit. An unconventional Republican, he supports the right to abortion, the legalization of marijuana, and legal equality for homosexuals. Today he retains popularity among New Mexico's voters. Goal-driven, independent, and with a zest for life, he has competed in multiple Ironman Triathlons, summited Mt. Everest, and personally built his current home in Taos, New Mexico. He's a divorced father of two and lives with his fiancée. I spoke with him just before his strong campaign push in New Hampshire at the end of August. —David Baucom David Baucom: Thank you for speaking with me, Governor Johnson. Gary Johnson: Absolutely. DB: With the decline of the U.S. economy and the emergence of the Tea Party movement, people in America are finally asking questions to the effect of, What is the proper role of government? As a candidate for president of the United States, what do you regard as the proper purpose of government? GJ: The proper purpose of government would be to protect you and me against individuals, groups, corporations that would do us harm, whether that's from a property perspective or physical harm. And that would also apply to other countries. DB: Relating to that, how would you define “rights,” and where would you draw the line for what individuals can properly claim as a right? GJ: You know, my definition of it, I guess, is the whole notion that we have too many laws. And that when it comes to rights, that they really have a basis in common sense, that they really have a basis in natural law, if you will. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That government gets way, way, way too involved in trying to define that, as opposed to you and me working that out. DB: President Obama calls for “sacrifice” from everyone, but especially from “rich” individuals and corporations, whose taxes he wants to raise. You've said you don't think raising taxes on the rich is the way to deal with the financial crisis. As president, what would be your solution to the crisis? GJ: Well, I'm advocating the FairTax. I think we should scrap the entire tax system that we have and replace it with the FairTax. I'm talking about FairTax.org, for those who aren't aware of this proposal that I think has been around now for about ten years. By all free market economists' reckoning, it is what it is: it's fair, and it simplifies the existing tax system. So, by “simplify [the] existing tax system,” it abolishes the IRS and does away with all existing federal taxes: income tax, Social Security withholding, Medicare withholding, unemployment insurance, business-to-business tax, corporate tax. Replacing the current system would be a one-time federal consumption tax of 23 percent, which is meant to be revenue neutral, so we would still need to cut our spending by 43 percent, believing that part of revitalizing this country is balancing the federal budget and replacing it with the FairTax. . . .
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Dustin Dehez
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: Colin Dueck's superbly written history of Republican American presidents since the end of World War II is a fine introduction to American conservatism and American presidential politics alike. Most historians and political scientists focus their attention on a single administration and try to describe changes within a single or between two or three consecutive administrations. That is quite fine of course, but what is often missing is the evolution in a particular brand of a political party's approach to a specific area over a prolonged period of time, a longue durée so to speak. This lack of attention to changes in the long run has contributed to the misperception that there is one Republican or Democratic angle to foreign affairs. Dueck therefore tries to complement the history by focusing on the evolution of Republican foreign policy over the past six decades and though the book's title suggests a consistent Republican approach to foreign affairs, he excels in describing the different angles by which American Republican presidents have perceived international relations and formulated their policies. The author does not hide his general sympathy for a conservative stance on foreign policy but manages a critical evaluation where it is being called for. The book's narrative does not necessarily add anything new to the existing body of research, but it is, nonetheless, a rather apt description of American conservative thought and Republican politics alike. Dueck brilliantly conflates the recent history of political thought, the emergence of new and powerful lobbies, party and domestic politics, and public diplomacy with the performance of Republican presidents. And wherever convenient Dueck pays sufficient attention to developments on the side of the Democratic party as well.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil
  • Author: Rob Ruck
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Unscrupulous agents prey on young Dominican players. It's time to clean up their mess.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Edward Miguel
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Steven Radelet's accessible new book argues that much of the credit for Africa's recent economic boom goes to its increasingly open political systems. But Radelet fails to answer the deeper question: why some countries have managed to develop successful democracies while others have tried but failed.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Asia, Liberia
  • Author: James Jeffrey
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: James Jeffrey talks about his experiences as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, as well as the U.S. missions in these countries, Turkey, and the European Union, progress and development in Iraq, and relations among countries in the region.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Nabil Fahmy
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Nonproliferation Review
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: This article explores the official Egyptian reaction to the 2010 US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) through three lenses: Egypt's national security prism; its ideological stance on nuclear weapons; and the compatibility of the 2010 NPR's goals with the position on nuclear weapons of Egypt's like-minded cohort states, including members of the League of Arab States, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the New Agenda Coalition. Egypt is one of the strongest US allies in the Middle East, a region considered a hotbed of potential nuclear weapons development and activity. As such, Cairo's opinion on the direction of recent US nuclear weapons policy could provide valuable insight into the feasibility of the US goals of preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism and the compatibility of this policy with the Middle East's greater goals of eventual total nuclear disarmament and the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Egyptian officials have reiterated their commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East and their support for a world free from the threat of nuclear arms. The Egyptian assessment of the NPR will be contingent on the implementation of the review's lofty goals on a rigorous and progressive pace. This article evaluates the NPR's provisions from three angles with particular emphasis on Egypt's national security prism, which involves a complex regional perspective.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Egypt