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  • Author: Sean Beienburg
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: SEAN BEIENBURG examines attempts at amending state constitutions in the 2011 and 2012 elections and finds that they were efforts to influence the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. He argues that some elected state officials see themselves as legitimate challengers of Supreme Court decisions. In addition, he finds that national interest groups use state constitutions as platforms for federal constitutional politics, and that such efforts were predominantly, though not exclusively, conservative in the last two election cycles.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: H.W. Brands
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Having elsewhere assessed the structural forces that shaped America's rise to global power, Joseph Nye now turns to the personal elements. What role, he asks, did individuals, in particular presidents, play in the twentieth-century emergence of the United States as the arbiter of world affairs? Nye finds wanting the existing literature on presidential leadership as overemphasizing "transformational" presidents and blurring the line between presidential ethics and presidential efficacy.
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany
  • Author: William T. Gormley, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In 1971, Senator Walter Mondale introduced an ambitious Comprehensive Child Development Act that passed both houses of Congress. It was promptly vetoed by President Richard Nixon, who denounced it as an endorsement of "communal approaches to child rearing" (p. 82). Andrew Karch believes that this "watershed" moment had profound, lasting effects on preschool politics in the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Arabinda Acharya
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Assessing extremism requires an understanding of jihadist authority and how it relates to the vanguard role of Al Qaeda. Contrary to conventional thinking, Al Qaeda is not the supreme authority in the hierarchy of Salafi - jihadist doctrine; neither are all significant elements of the jihadist threat, many of which are decentralized, directly associated with Al Qaeda, as is the case with the Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL).
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Tier
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Our world is on a trajectory leading to a point where terrorists will eventually acquire a nuclear weapon. It is only a matter of time. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States recognized the lack of effectiveness of its previous intelligence and military efforts in deterring terrorists and sought an alternate way to defuse the radical Islamist threat. By continuing to advocate the use of military force in Iraq after weapons of mass destruction were not found, the U.S. pursued a strategy in line with the idealist school of thought by attempting to plant a democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Iraq became the centerpiece of the United States' ambitions to stop the region from exporting violence and terror, and attempted to transform it into a place of progress and peace. This effort was ambitious indeed, and many argued that these goals were be- yond the United States' ability to achieve. However, this strategy offered a possible solution to the endless cycle of violence across the Middle East and Africa and its continuing threat to U.S. national security. The current administration, in contrast, announced last year a "rebalance toward the Asia -Pacific region," ostensibly to counter the growing strength of China's military power. Like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, this shift pivots the U.S. away from its true threat and increases the peril its citizens will face. The United States should focus its efforts on supporting democratization in troubled regions, and policy makers must counter those who criticize this strategy, including military-industrial complex advocates of the "pivot."
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Mumbai
  • Author: Michael A. Sheehan, Geoff D. Porter
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION on January 28, 2014, President Barack Obama's speech focused on domestic issues, but singled out Africa, specifically mentioning Somalia and Mali, in reference to the evolution of the al-Qa`ida threat, the emergence of al-Qa`ida affiliates and the need for the United States to continue to work with partners to disrupt and disable these networks.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Tongfi Kim
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article explains cooperation problems between powerful democratic states and weak non-democratic states in the context of nuclear non- proliferation. Focusing on the interactions of the United States with North Korea, Iran, and Libya, it suggests that power asymmetry and information asymmetry foster mutual distrust by exacerbating two main strategic obstacles to cooperation: the time inconsistency of the stronger state's policy and the incomplete information regarding the non-democratic states. The nature of negotiations over nuclear weapons programs further exacerbates these problems. The overall implications of this article leave us pessimistic about the possibility of negotiated nuclear dis-armament, but the theoretical analysis may help the negotiation strategy of the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Ian Tsung-yen Chen
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Global economic imbalance leads to change in the global distribution of economic resources. While some foresee the inevitable decline of US power, others consider China's forthcoming global primacy to be an exaggeration. This paper seeks to contribute to the debate by linking balance of payments (BOP) to power analysis. Dimensions of BOP are connected to Keohane and Nye's two ideal-types of interdependence relationship: realist and complex interdependence. The former relates to the global distribution of aggregate economic resources; the latter emphasizes a detailed investigation of distinct interdependence situations between countries. China's BOP from 1997 to 2012 is assessed through the lens of both ideal-type scenarios. The findings show that China's growing power manifests principally in its rising status as a major global buyer in primary goods and its growing military strength in the region. However, China is confronted with possible slowdown in wealth accumulation and its lagging technological development. At present, the speculation of China's upcoming global primacy may be exaggerated, but its dominant position in the region is indeed on the rise.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Atsushi Tago, Maki Ikeda
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The United States uses two forms of multilateralism to increase levels of foreign public support for military action: diplomatic multilateralism and operational multilateralism. Diplomatic multilateralism is typically done by obtaining a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing military action. The use of multinational forces, the so-called coalition of the willing and many flags program, is an example of operational multilateralism. While scholars have empirical evidence that diplomatic multilateralism generates foreign domestic support for the use of force, there is no equivalent study for operational multilateralism. We do not know if or how much the two types of multilateralism would differ in inducing foreign domestic support for military action. This article, by using Japan as a field of survey experiment, answers these questions.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan
  • Author: Ming Wan
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: China has gone global, but most China experts in the American academic community have gone local, moving in the opposite direction. As Shambaugh has observed rightly, 'big picture' books on China in the United States have been written by virtually anyone but China scholars. A crucial reason for this academic trend is the current obsession with theories and methods in the social sciences departments, which has changed the incentive structure for scholars who compete for employment, promotion, recognition, and funding. Moreover, given the increasingly complex nature of China's greater presence in the world on so many dimensions, it is also the case that a new generation of scholars trained to be specialized in narrow research topics would arguably find it difficult to write a big book even if they want to. As guilty as many others, this reviewer also encourages his own students to follow a narrow path out of fear that they would otherwise be placed at a competitive disadvantage even though he shares the same concern with Shambaugh.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America
161. Full Issue
  • Author: Haider Ali Hussein Mullick
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, North Korea
  • Author: Jennifer L. Hochschild
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The number of publications arguing that the United States is not post-racial despite twice electing Barack Obama to the presidency is many orders of magnitude greater than the number of publications claiming that the United States is post-racial. In fact, it is difficult to find anyone asserting post-raciality beyond one New York Times Magazine article and a few Fox News commentators around the 2008 election. Nevertheless, attacks on the purportedly common assumption continue.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Germany
  • Author: Jessica Robinson Preece
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The conventional wisdom, as understood by campaign strategists and the media, is that being a woman is a liability in electoral politics. Female candidates face an impossible task—they must convey the toughness, competence, and confidence of a politician, while simultaneously conveying the warmth and modesty of a lady. Consequently, it is much more difficult for women to successfully navigate a political campaign. Anecdotal evidence supporting this conventional wisdom is easy to find. However, systematic evidence is scarce. Is it possible that the conventional wisdom is just plain wrong? Deborah Jordan Brooks contends that it is.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Paul D. Miller
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: If anyone has earned the right to say "I told you so," it is Barnett Rubin. One of the foremost authorities on Afghanistan, Rubin saw earlier than most the dangers emerging from that blighted land. In his work–as author of The Fragmentation of Afghanistan, an adviser to the United Nations for several years after 2001, a professor at New York University, and an adviser to the U.S. State Department's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 200–Rubin worked to warn against, prevent, and mitigate the perennial crises afflicting Afghanistan and South Asia.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, South Asia
  • Author: James A. Dorn
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Federal Reserve Act was passed on December 23, 1913. It was designed to provide an elastic currency that would respond to the needs of trade. There was nothing in the Act about price stability, interest rates, or full employment. The expectation was that the United States would continue to define the dollar in terms of gold, and that the operation of the international gold standard would ensure long-run price stability.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Charles I. Plosser
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Douglass C. North, co-winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics, argued that institutions were deliberately devised to constrain interactions among parties—both public and private (North 1991). In the spirit of North's work, one theme of this article will be that the institutional structure of the central bank matters. The central bank's goals and objectives, its framework for implementing policy, and its governance structure all affect its performance.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jerry L. Jordan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: All of us who are interested in the century-long experience of central banking in the United States owe a great debt to Allan Meltzer. His several-years-long efforts gave us over 2,000 pages of careful documentation of decisionmaking in the Federal Reserve for the first 75 years (Meltzer 2003, 2010a, 2010b). The first score of years transformed a lender-of-last-resort, payments processor, and issuer of uniform national currency into a full-fledged central bank with discretionary authority to manage a fiat currency.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: George Selgin
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For a private-sector firm, success can mean only one thing: that the firm has turned a profit. No such firm can hope to succeed, or even to survive, merely by declaring that it has been profitable. A government agency, on the other hand, can succeed in either of two ways. It can actually accomplish its mission. Or it can simply declare that it has done so, and get the public to believe it.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Athanasios Orphanides
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The founding of the Federal Reserve was a good idea, but its performance during its first hundred years has been hampered by the lack of clarity of its mandate. At times its mandate was interpreted as requiring the pursuit of multiple targets resulting in the failure to safeguard price stability over time. This article reviews the evolution of the Federal Reserve's mandate and argues that Congress should clarify the primacy of price stability as the central bank's mandate to ensure that the Federal Reserve will better safeguard monetary stability going forward.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Lawrence H. White
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Proposals abound for reforming monetary policy by instituting a less-discretionary or nondiscretionary system ("rules") for a fiat-money- issuing central bank to follow. The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee could be given a single mandate or more generally an explicit loss function to minimize (e.g., the Taylor Rule). The FOMC could be replaced by a computer that prescribes the monetary base as a function of observed macroeconomic variables (e.g., the McCallum Rule). The role of determining the fiat monetary base could be stripped from the FOMC and moved to a prediction market (as proposed by Scott Sumner or Kevin Dowd). Alternative proposals call for commodity money regimes. The dollar could be redefined in terms of gold or a broader commodity bundle, with redeemability for Federal Reserve liabilities being reinstated. Or all Federal Reserve liabilities could actually be redeemed and retired, en route to a fully privatized gold or commodity-bundle standard (White 2012). All of these approaches assume that there will continue to be a single monetary regime in the economy, so that the way to institute an alternative is to transform the dominant regime.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard H. Timberlake, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Federal Reserve System is no longer just an unconstitutional monetary institution promoting a continuing inflation; it has also become, with quantitative easing, an unauthorized fiscal agent for the U.S. government. The fiat currency and equally fiat bank reserves it creates are much in contrast to the private currency and bank reserves that the commercial banks' clearing house associations provided in the latter half of the 19th century. It is that episode I review here.
  • Topic: Civil War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John A. Allison
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: I am going to talk from a different perspective because I am the only person who actually ran a bank that's been speaking today, and from that context I can tell you with absolute certainty that market discipline beats regulatory discipline. In fact, I will argue that regulatory discipline will always fail to reduce volatility and will slow economic growth. These observations are based on my understanding of public choice theory and particularly on 40 years of concrete experience in the banking business.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Martin Hutchinson, Kevin Dowd
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Financial regulation is a recurring and central issue in contemporary policy discussions. Typically, leftists want more of it, while proponents of free markets want less, or preferably, none of it. We would suggest, however, that the central issue is not whether markets should be regulated, but by whom—by the market itself, which includes self-regulation by market practitioners, or by the state or one of its agencies. To put it in Coasean terms, what is the most appropriate institutional arrangement by which markets—including financial markets-should be regulated?
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gerald P. O'Driscoll, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The intellectual climate has never been more open to a critical analysis of existing monetary institutions both here and abroad. When the Germans agreed to a monetary union, they were promised that they would keep the Bundesbank; only the name would be changed to the European Central Bank. Instead, Germans with whom I have spoken now think they got the Banca d'Italia. In the United States, before the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve was held in high regard by the public. Now, at least in some circles, "the Fed" has become a term of opprobrium, not unlike "the IRS."
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: R. David Ranson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Passing its 100th birthday, the Federal Reserve is receiving unprecedented scrutiny. We (the public) are living through the consequences of its attempts to bolster the U.S. economy through exceptionally low interest rates and the conversion of great quantities of debt to money. Although these efforts are ongoing, we are disappointed. Even with the help of strenuous actions on the fiscal side, economic and credit-market recovery from the recession of 2008–09 was notoriously slow. It took 15 quarters for U.S. real GDP to pass its pre-recession high in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to only 7 quarters following the deep recession of 1981–82. On a per capita basis, there was an even starker contrast between the two recoveries. Moreover, the Fed remains a suspect in the genesis of the financial crisis that precipitated the Great Recession. The ultimate test of its role as overseer and regulator of the commercial banking system met with a very poor result.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matsahiro Matsumura
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The world has seen the international distribution of power gradually shifting, driven in great part by China's rise and America's relative decline. Almost continuously for two decades, China has kept double-digit growth rates in defense spending and, consequently, made military build-ups that are unprecedented in modern international history. China has also demonstrated a series of increasingly assertive diplomatic and military actions as related to its irredentist claims to Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands, the Spratly Islands, and the Paracel Islands, among others. Although the regional security order of the East Asia and the Western Pacific appears sufficiently stable, the US and its major regional allies together have to deter and, if necessary, defeat possible China's armed aggression against the territorial status quo. Doing so is a challenge even for the hegemonic US, on the grounds that the aftermath of the 2008 Lehman Shock has seriously impaired the health of the US political economy, and that its defense spending is anticipated to undergo one major cut after another, at least, for a decade to come.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, America, Taiwan, East Asia
  • Author: Timothy Choi
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: On March 18th, 1915, a combined fleet of British and French battleships attempted to force their way through the Dardanelles, the southern half of the Turkish Straits that connected the Mediterranean with the Black Sea. "Attempted" is the key word, for it was a spectacular failure. Two of the greatest navies in the world had failed to enforce their will upon the puny and seemingly obsolete forces of the Ottoman Empire, sparking the infamous and bloody Gallipoli land campaign.
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey
  • Author: Edward Andrew Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Revolutions in strategy and military affairs happen one step at a time. "Revolution" implies a sudden shift, with old and worn ideas, and the weapon systems they support, ceding ground to the fresh and modern. The medieval castle gives way to the trace italienne. Panzers rip through slow-moving, "methodical," infantry. Precision munitions guided by definitive intelligence eviscerate a veteran Iraqi Army. In retrospect, these "revolutions" can appear fated, but this paper argues that this is not always the case. The apparent discontinuity between one method of warfare and its so-called revolutionary successor is on closer inspection often filled with short-lived "failed" projects. They do not last long (or even reach active service), but they are essential evolutionary steps for later, more enduring, systems. Their most important contribution is to introduce novel ideas, often taken from outside conventional military circles, and they can be an important way for an organization to change its approach to core functions. When these intermediate systems are forgotten, they make the final step look like a revolutionary leap, as opposed to a steady advance of evolutionary development. This paper restores to visibility two overlooked parts of one such process, the movement from carrier-based seapower to nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Terry Terriff
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Today the US Army is engaged in the effort to learn the appropriate lessons from the wars it has been engaged in since the autumn of 2001 and to think through what type of force it needs to be, with what kinds of capabilities, in order to prepare for further future conflicts in the 21st Century. Estimating the character of future conflicts, and then preparing one's forces appropriately, is not an easy task. A critical line of argument today is that the vision of future warfare the Army developed in the decade plus following the end of the Cold War left it ill-prepared for the wars it found itself conducting in Afghanistan and Iraq. In an article published in 2007, US Army Lt. Col. Paul Yingling very pointedly, and very boldly for a serving officer, contended that, "throughout the 1990s our generals failed to envision the conditions of future combat and prepare their forces accordingly." The US Army's operational experiences in the first decade of this century, particularly in the early years of the long conflict in Iraq, suggest that it marched eyes wide shut through the decade of the 1990s into the 21st Century.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Deji A. Oguntoyinbo
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: All through the ages, Shakespeare's literary oeuvre has occupied a canonical status in world literature, primarily because of its universal relevance in terms of thematic preoccupation, characterization, and setting amongst several literary components. Though widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre- eminent dramatist, Shakespeare has been translated into every major living language and is performed more often than any other playwright. His dramatic works have been repeatedly adapted and rediscovered by new movements or perspectives in scholarship and performance. Even now, his plays remain highly popular and are constantly studied, performed and reinterpreted in various social, cultural and political contexts throughout the globe. One of these contexts is the Second World War. Regarded as the longest, bloodiest and deadliest conflict in history, World War II was fought predominantly in Europe and across the Pacific and Eastern Asia, pitting the Axis powers of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and Japan against the Allied nations of Great Britain, France, China, United States and the Soviet Union. It is the most widespread war in history with more than one hundred million people serving in military units from over thirty different countries, and death tolls estimated to be between fifty and eighty-five million fatalities. Despite the fact that theatre stands as a “simulacrum of the cultural and historical process itself, seeking to depict the full range of human actions within their physical context, has always provided society with the most tangible records of its attempts to understand its own records” (3), the role of Shakespeare during the Second World War had not yet been given sustained, critical and detailed scholastic documentation. Herein lies the relevance and necessity of Shakespeare and the Second World War – as a writers' quota to fill the scholastic lacuna. Most of the war's belligerents showed affinity with Shakespearean works as a depiction of their society's self-image. Divided into fifteen illuminating, diverse, and yet coherent essays by seasoned and erudite academics, Shakespeare and the Second World War is a small sampling of reviewed and extended essays from “Wartime Shakespeare in a Global Context/Shakespeare au temps de la guerre” – an international bilingual conference that took place at the University of Ottawa in 2009. Within the spatial and temporal context of the war, Shakespeare's oeuvre is recycled, reviewed and reinterpreted in the chapters. In a Manichean manner, these essays cannot be collectively pigeonholed as either pro or anti–war. In fact, there is a sort of ambivalence with vacillating opinions by the writers.
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Japan, China, France, Soviet Union, Germany, Italy
  • Author: Irakli A Geluk'ashvili
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The history of the Persian Gulf has always been characterized by conflict. It has been an arena for intervention by several world powers at one time or another. Many countries have defended their economic and political interests in this region, in no small part because it is one of the main oil reserves in the world. Moreover, it is also the largest exporter of oil. Therefore, it can be seen as the "jugular vein" of the global energy system, and so it has become an important area from a geostrategic point of view. The interests of several contemporary powers intersect here, from Western countries to emerging powers and neighbouring countries; the potential for conflict is easily imaginable.
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Michael Carl Haas
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Among the grand narratives of international relations in the early 21st century, China's ascendancy and potential challenge to the US-led word order is now the most dominant, and perhaps the most compelling. Ostensibly the latest instalment in an unceasing sequence of great powers' rise and fall, it resonates deeply with specialist and non-specialist audiences alike. Central aspects of the emerging Sino-American competition - diplomatic, economic, and military – have been addressed at length in variety of for a and from widely diverging perspectives. Yet, up to now, few analysts have formulated anything resembling a coherent, prescriptive framework for how the United States and its allies should approach the increasingly confrontational dynamics that mark the defining great power relationship of our time.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Asia
  • Author: Jose W. Fernandez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: United States-Latin American relations have often suffered from a disconnect. While we stress security issues, the region's leaders speak of poverty reduction and trade. They resent being seen as afterthoughts to U.S. policies focused elsewhere. As a result, the region is sporadically open to new suitors, such as Spanish investors 15 years ago, or the Chinese today. Despite their frustration with Washington, Latin American leaders recognize that, as the hemisphere's largest economy and market, the U.S. remains the indispensable partner. The challenge, both for the U.S. and Latin America, is to agree on common economic priorities both sides can pursue jointly, rather than continuing parallel dialogues. Economic growth, poverty reduction and job creation are common elements on both sides' wish lists. Politically, the stars are more aligned than ever in recent history for a renewed emphasis on economics in our relations with Latin America. The administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has made clear that its priority will be economic reform at home and more integrated North American markets and supply chains. From the beginning of his term, the Mexican president called for elevating our economic diplomacy to the same levels as our security relationship, which led to the first High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) between Mexico and the U.S. in late September.
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Michael McDonald
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Dispatches: Guatemalan Migrants BY Michael Mcdonald Guatemalans returning home from the U.S. face unemployment, a maze of red tape—and social stigma. (slideshow available) Read a sidebar about voluntary return migration. Read a sidebar about the stigma that return migrants face. View a slideshow of return migrants in Guatemala below. Fidelino Gómez remembers fondly the years he spent in Iowa, where his middle child was born. Standing outside his one-room wood home in his native Guatemala, Gómez, 34, thumbs through pictures he took of the Mississippi River, snowy Midwest winters and gatherings with family and friends. He recalls easier times. “We lived well,” Gómez says under the searing sun. “We could feed our children, pay our bills, and we still had money left over.” From 2004 to 2008, Gómez and his wife María earned roughly $7 an hour working at Agriprocessors Inc., a slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. The money was more than they ever imagined as subsistence farmers back home. But the family's dream was cut short when United States immigration officials raided the plant in May 2008, arresting hundreds of undocumented Guatemalan workers and deporting them. Now, like more than 100 other families deported after the Postville raid, they struggle to eke out a living back in the economically depressed farming village San José Calderas, some 40 miles (64 km) west of Guatemala City. They grow corn and beans to feed their loved ones and do odd jobs, scraping by on the equivalent of between $15 and $30 per month.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Guatemala
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Arts Innovator: Francisca Valenzuela, Chile Singer. Fashion designer. Entrepreneur. At 27, Francisca Valenzuela has already reached the kind of success usually associated with a professionally managed career. But instead of a top agent or a big record label, the San Francisco-born Chilean artist owes her achievements to a team that includes her mother, biochemist Bernardita Méndez, her boyfriend and artistic confidante Vicente Sanfuentes, and a small, committed staff in Chile that has skillfully used social media—including 275,000 Twitter followers and fans known as “Franáticos”—to spread the word of her talents. Valenzuela is one of the most engaging examples of a new generation of artist-entrepreneurs who are controlling their own career paths. “I'm not waiting for someone to come rescue me industry-wise,” Valenzuela says, describing how, when her music took off in her late teens, she and her mother purchased Business for Dummies online to understand the fine print in her first contract. Valenzuela's early musical success—with a hit single, Peces (Fish) in 2006—came after years of performing in talent shows, but she was never “serious” about music until she started performing on the underground jazz circuit in Chile. She eventually dropped out of the Universidad Católica de Chile, where she was studying journalism, to pursue her burgeoning musical career. Along the way, she has had two books published, two pop-rock albums that went platinum and gold in Chile, and designed a clothing line for the Chilean brand Foster. Now, Valenzuela develops projects and artistic collaborations through her own company, FRANTASTIC Productions. “We've structured an independent enterprise basically run by two people [that's] competitive with counterparts who have a whole corporate background,” she says proudly. Valenzuela's do-it-yourself ethic in the music industry is not the only thing that sets her apart from many of her peers. Valenzuela spent the first 12 years of her life in the United States before the family relocated to Santiago. In fact, Valenzuela's first book—Defenseless Waters, a collection of poems that she published at age 13 about themes ranging from long-lost love to social injustice to nature—was written in English. “When I was young in the Bay Area, everyone seemed to be doing extracurricular activities, sports, painting, nurturing kids,” she recalls. Valenzuela's literary background and political convictions have inspired her songwriting in Spanish. The title song of her latest album, Buen Soldado (Good Soldier, 2011), focuses on the power dynamic between men and women, and she has been an outspoken advocate of sexual diversity and LGBT rights in Chile, participating in gay rights marches since she was 14.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Brazil
  • Author: Robert Muse, Natalie Schachar, Charles Kamasaki
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Travel Regulations: OFAC and Cuba BY ROBERT MUSE The re-opening of “people-to-people” travel to Cuba by President Barack Obama in early 2011 was the boldest and, arguably, the single most consequential step taken by his administration in relation to the island. It was in fact a revival of a Clinton-era exemption to the decades-old ban on U.S. citizens visiting that country. The exemption had been closed in 2003 by President George W. Bush. Visits to Cuba must meet two requirements to be approved as people-to-people travel: the travel must be for an educational purpose, not tourism; and there must be frequent “meaningful” interactions between the U.S. travelers and Cubans who are not officials of the government of Cuba. The educational requirement of people-to-people trips is most often met through cultural programs that explore such subjects as Cuban music, dance, fine art, and architectural history. However, among many other current offerings there are also environmentally themed trips, as well as programs focused on the Cuban health care and education systems. Since the program was re-introduced, an estimated 100,000 Americans have been visiting Cuba each year on people-to-people trips. The visits have been organized by a wide variety of groups, including the National Geographic Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and dozens of similar institutions. The travelers meet and talk with Cubans from different backgrounds and leave millions of dollars in the hands of non-state restaurateurs, artists, musicians, taxi drivers, and small farmers who supply the new private eateries of a changing Cuba.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina, Cuba
  • Author: Nicolo Sartori
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The unconventional oil and gas revolution is certainly a game changer in the current international political setting, since it will bring the United States close to energy self-sufficiency. However, it seems unlikely that this new energy status will dramatically redefine US foreign policy and security priorities. In strategic regions such as the Middle East, US interests are expected to remain unchanged, while the new energy status will contribute only in part to modifying the US approach towards the EU's energy posture vis-à-vis Russia. What the new American energy condition is likely to change are the tools and policy options available to Washington to cope with the strategic challenges - China's power in primis - emerging in the multipolar international relations system.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington
  • Author: Robert Dover
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The revelations from the former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, in July 2013 will have an enduring impact on the modern business of intelligence and the communication strategies of governments and non-state based adversaries alike. Snowden's revelations do not mark a fundamental divergence from the general understanding of intelligence. In making these implied understandings public, however, Snowden has changed the political dynamic around mass surveillance. The revelations amplify a tension within several layers of social contract from interactions between governments to those between governments and citizens. Long-term, diplomatic relations between the US and European governments should remain largely unaffected.
  • Topic: Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sumithra Narayanan Kutty
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When it comes to Afghanistan's future, the United States ironically has more in common with Iran than it does with Pakistan. As Western troops draw down, a look inside Iran's enduring interests, means to secure them, unique assets, and goals that may or not conflict with other regional actors.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran
  • Author: James W. Nickel
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Like people born shortly after World War II, the international human rights movement recently had its sixty-fifth birthday. This could mean that retirement is at hand and that death will come in a few decades. After all, the formulations of human rights that activists, lawyers, and politicians use today mostly derive from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the world in 1948 was very different from our world today: the cold war was about to break out, communism was a strong and optimistic political force in an expansionist phase, and Western Europe was still recovering from the war. The struggle against entrenched racism and sexism had only just begun, decolonization was in its early stages, and Asia was still poor (Japan was under military reconstruction, and Mao's heavy-handed revolution in China was still in the future). Labor unions were strong in the industrialized world, and the movement of women into work outside the home and farm was in its early stages. Farming was less technological and usually on a smaller scale, the environmental movement had not yet flowered, and human-caused climate change was present but unrecognized. Personal computers and social networking were decades away, and Earth's human population was well under three billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Jesus Velasco
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: A recurrent theme in the immigration debate is how the United States can keep and attract the world's brightest minds. President Barack Obama and others favor maintaining and perhaps even expanding the number of visas for high-skilled immigrants. In his 2013 State of the Union address, Obama said the U.S. needed to "attract the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create jobs and grow our economy." A few days later, on January 29, 2013, at El Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, Obama underlined the point: "Right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities[.]but once they earn that diploma, there's a good chance they'll have to leave the country[..]That's why we need comprehensive immigration reform."
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Carol Stax Brown
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The United States and Latin America are both struggling to find ways to improve participation in quality education in the face of a labor-market skills gap. But all too often, policymakers, businesses and educators have looked to elite universities as a way of meeting those gaps. While important for high-end jobs, labor market and social demands also require us to look elsewhere.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Timothy DeVoogd
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: I expected high school biology students. Instead, I was facing 120 middle school students who were on an outing to Maloka, an innovative science museum in Bogotá.On the fly, I changed my presentation on how the brain works into a series of demonstrations. At the end, I was awed by the questions: "My mother has epilepsy; why is it that she doesn't recognize me when she has a seizure?" "I have a pet bird. Does he learn like I do?"
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, Riyadh
  • Author: Nathaniel Parish Flannery
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Can Mexico exploit its new demographic dividend? With contributing research from Miryam Hazán and Carlos López Portillo Maltos of Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT). Read a sidebar on Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT's) electronic job bank. Read a sidebar on Mexican migrants' return to restaurant work. José Antonio Pérez remembers as a child seeing migrants climbing onto La Bestia ("The Beast"), the train that carries Central American migrants north to the state of Oaxaca, and wondering where they were going. An uncle told him the migrants were "traveling to El Norte," the United States. "I didn't understand," Pérez recalled. "I only understood when I was older." At the age of 14, he joined them. He left his hometown of Arriaga, Chiapas, in 2003 and found work in a greenhouse in Chestertown, Virginia.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Mexico
  • Author: Sarah Stephens, Joel Brito
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The EU has recognized that its Common Position has failed to improve human rights in Cuba. It's time for the U.S. to do the same with its embargo. BY SARAH STEPHENS Will warming Cuba-EU ties open up U.S.- Cuba relations? Yes When Louis Michel, then-development commissioner for the European Union (EU), met in 2009 with Bruno Rodríguez, Cuba's foreign minister, he worried openly about the slow pace of EU diplomacy. “I think that if the European Union does not consolidate the normalization of relations with Cuba,” Michel said, “the Americans will do so before us.”1 He need not have been concerned. In the nearly five years since Michel and Rodríguez sat down together, the Cuban government has pursued reforms to pry the island's economy back from the edge of crisis—ranging from creating space for entrepreneurship to ending travel restrictions. Now is the time for the United States to follow its Atlantic partner and get off the sidelines when it comes to engaging Havana. The Obama administration's track record signals some hope: thus far, the president has used his executive authority to restore Cuban-American family travel, reinstate people-to-people trips, and reconvene the episodic talks on migration and postal delivery. But he has left undisturbed the essential architecture of U.S. policy inherited from the Eisenhower era.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Competitive Eating Summertime in the U.S. typically evokes the image of barbecues featuring all-American fare. But for a group of unique, dedicated elite athletes, summertime food conjures up a chance at glory. Competitive eating was introduced in Coney Island on July 4, 1916, by Nathan's Famous to determine who could ingest the most hot dogs within a set time. Since then, it has pulled in a number of other foods, including the “accoutrements,” with the sponsorship of Coca-Cola and Heinz Ketchup—not to mention the upset-stomach reliever Pepto-Bismol. The sport revived in the mid-1990s when brothers George and Richard Shea took the helm of Nathan's Famous' publicity machine and gave it an air of serious athleticism, with rules overseen by two main bodies. The better-known Major League Eating (MLE) is run by the Shea brothers and hosts over 80 competitive eating events a year around the United States. But the crowning event remains the annually televised Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Then there's All Pro Eating Promotions, best known for inventing “picnic-style rules” in the U.S.—competitors must eat the food as presented, without mutilating it in any way.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Johanna Mendelson, Anthony Spanakos, Roger-Mark De Souza
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Venezuela Before Chávez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse by Ricardo Hausmann and Francisco R. Rodríguez BY ANTHONY SPANAKOS During the 1970s, Venezuela was the richest country in Latin America. With the region's highest growth rates and the lowest levels of inequality, it was also one of the most stable democracies in the Americas. But starting in the early 1980s, things fell apart. The nation endured three coup attempts and one presidential impeachment. Per capita growth plunged, and mass protests became the norm. What happened? Venezuela Before Chávez: Anatomy of an Economic Collapse, edited by Ricardo Hausmann and Francisco R. Rodríguez, offers some intriguing answers. Pointedly departing from much of the current research (and political discussion) on Venezuela, which focuses on the 14-year presidency (1999–2013) of late President Hugo Chávez, the editors have assembled a distinguished group of experts with the aim not only of exploring, as they put it, the “enigma” of Venezuela's pre-Chávez collapse, but to explain why some countries go through such turbulence. The unexpected outcomes in Venezuela are used by the authors to challenge hypotheses that rely on big data analysis to explain economic collapse. While the explanation behind Chávez' rise to power may draw attention, as Venezuela continues to be rocked by internal conflict following his death, it is the book's second aim that makes it stand out as an important work of scholarship.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Raymond Mharapara, Lucky Bassie Bangidza, Steven Gwekwere
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: International Strategic Studies Doctoral Program
  • Abstract: The world has become dependent on interdependence and globalization because the processes that promote worldwide exchanges of national and cultural resources are generating further interdependence of economic and cultural activities (Robertson 2000). Therefore, one can state that religion and culture are no longer only important ingredients of civilization , but potential causes of division and isolation. A good example is that only a few Muslim governments overtly supported Saddam Hussein, many Arab States privately cheered him on, and he was highly popular among large sections of Arab populaces. When invoking parallels and using them as strong rallying points, Muslims contrasted Western actions against Iraq with the West's failure to protect Bosnia against Serbs and also to impose sanctions on Israel for violating UN resolutions (Huntington 2006, 447). As a result, differences in power and struggles for military, economic and institutional power are now sources of conflict between the West and other civilisations. Consequently, it could be assumed that fundamental economic reforms give rise to necessary political transformation.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Roberto Miranda
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: International Strategic Studies Doctoral Program
  • Abstract: The objective of this work is to analyze the participation of the United States of America in the restructuring of the Argentinean debt after the December 2001 crisis . Most part of studies and researches on the situation faced by the Latin American country is focused on unraveling the economic causes and mechanisms that led this country to declare the greatest suspension of debt disbursements of its history. There are many points of view and debates based on this focus. In our case, the perspective is different. We consider that the U.S. had much more to do with the Argentinean meltdown and its resolution.
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina
  • Author: Paul A. Goble
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In 1991, with the end of the Cold War, the disappearance of the Soviet bloc, and the disintegration of the USSR, many Americans—policymakers among them—believed that we had reached the end of history. They believed that we had entered a new period in which cooperation among countries on the basis of shared commitment to democratic values and free market economics would not only be possible but would become the central feature of the international system.
  • Political Geography: United States