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  • Author: Gareth Winrow
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Officials in Ankara are pressing for Turkey to become a key energy hub for the transportation of hydrocarbons from the Caspian region and the Middle East to Europe. It appears that they are seeking to secure certain strategic and economic advantages. Turkey's increasing energy needs could be satisfied, re-export rights obtained, and ambitions to become a significant regional state fulfilled which could facilitate accession to the EU. It seems more likely, though, that Turkey will become an important energy transit state, especially for the Southern Gas Corridor. Here, Turkey could still diversify its gas imports and reduce dependence on Russia.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Chris Madsen
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: If the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on New York City and Washington D.C. were a rude wake-up call for potential security threats to continental North America, the reaction on part of Canada has been measured and typically cautious. The acts were of course immediately condemned and temporary refuge given to thousands of travellers stranded by closure of airspace over the United States until declared safe. The federal government and most Canadians extended sympathy and offers of assistance to their closest neighbour and main trading partner. Close cultural and economic ties between the two countries ensured as much. Unease, however, set in about the tough talk and next progression characterized by President George Bush's now famous “You're either with us or against us” speech. Canada's then Liberal prime minister decided not to send the Canadian military wholeheartedly into the invasion of Iraq, though deployment of Canadian troops in Afghanistan duly became a major commitment. Reassuring the United States of Canada's reliability and loyalty as a partner was imperative. To this end, the federal government tightened up financial restrictions on potential fund-raising by identified terrorist groups, introduced new legislation and bureaucratic structures focused on security issues, and better coordinated intelligence gathering and information sharing activities across government agencies and with principal allies. Canadians convinced themselves that any possibility of a 9/11 scale terrorist attack on Canada was unlikely, and even if one was planned or happened, the effect would be minimized by the pro-active measures of authorities. Selected use of security certificates and arrest of home grown Islamic terrorists, the so-called Toronto 18, apparently showed that the police and intelligence agents were up to the task. The threat of terrorism, if not eliminated, could at least be managed and thwarted when required to provide a reasonable level of safety to the Canadian state and society. Ten years on, the course of events has shown the chosen policy decisions to have been mostly sound. Though the highest leadership of Al Qaeda remain at large and defiant as ever in their stated resolve to attack the West, Canada has not yet experienced a major terrorist incident since 9/11.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, New York, Washington, Canada, North America
  • Author: Michael Kuzik
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Economic forces will ultimately determine the destiny of the Canadian Arctic, not displays of military force. Economic opportunity will prove far more cost effective and longer lasting than increasing the visibility, or even effectiveness, of Canada's military in the Arctic. Some observers expect the mounting evidence of a treasure trove of hydrocarbons on land and under the sea in Canada's Arctic to act as the economic catalyst. However crude oil and natural gas exploitation in Canada's North is fraught with a myriad of challenges. This paper will shed light on the harsh climactic, economic and political realities of oil and gas exploration and development in the Canadian Arctic. Climatic conditions, even in the wake of evidence of climate change, will still be extreme as will the distances and the topography. First and foremost the economics have to make sense; a profit has to be available to entice the capital needed for developing the north's vast hydrocarbon potential. Additionally, the political realities include pollution mitigation and outstanding native land claims.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: A. Medvedev
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: WE ARE GOING THROUGH a difficult period both for the world economy and for the world energy sector, including the gas industry. That is why a constructive dialogue between all gas market players, as well as regulators and politicians, is of exceptional importance. Today it is hard to find a gas market player not in search of an answer to the question of how long the financial and economic crisis will last and how it will affect the gas industry's future structure and activity.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Author: William Sweeney
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Once the first protests erupted in Tunisia in December 2010, a wave of unrest quickly spread across the Middle East and North Africa as citizens expressed their discontent with the region's regimes. The Arab Spring was the result of mounting dissatisfaction with the status quo but also the result of blatant government corruption, brutal human rights violations, the economic downturn, low wages and rising unemployment rates. The socio-economic problems were truly the boiling point that pushed protesters, particularly youth, over the edge.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Donald Blinken
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As Greece works out of financial crisis, it should look to Hungary fifteen years ago for part of the answer. Far too large a segment of the Greek economy remains locked up in public hands. Their sale to the private sector, as Hungarians discovered, while not a panacea, will help reduce catastrophic public debts, and salaries and pensions will become the responsibility of private owners rather than the government. The Greek Parliament's austerity plan would raise 70 billion euros from privatization by 2015. The government will sell stakes in banking, airports, water utilities, motorway concessions, port operations, state land, and mining rights. Selling assets to the private sector will also improve managerial know-how, increase transparency, and encourage confidence in a Greek recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Imad El-Anis
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: The fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War One and the emergence of the modern state system in the Middle East have received significant attention in academic literature. However, the impacts that the proliferation of state borders in the 19th and 20th centuries have had on political and economic integration within the Middle East is often ignored. This study argues that between the mid-19th and mid- 20th centuries the region underwent significant structural changes. Furthermore, these changes were driven by external intervention and internal decline. A number of theoretical assumptions are posited concerning the importance on integration and cooperation of the following: the increase in borders and claims to sovereignty and the separation of peoples/markets. The conclusions drawn are that the change from a system characterised by large political actors and integrated markets to one which is characterised by smaller states and separated markets led to the disintegration of the region's internal relations.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Dr. Sumanjeet Singh
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: Towards the end of 2008 the effects of global recession started getting reflected in international trade. The fall in global demand and the slowing-down in economic growth translated into a substantial reduction in international trade. It affected the cross-border trade of virtually all countries and economic sectors. Indian exports trade could not remain unaffected in a situation where external demand was dwindling globally. The present paper reviews India's export performance during and following the global financial crisis. Indian exports started to decline in July 2008. It declined from US$ 17,095 million in July 2008 to US$ 11,516 million in March 2009, which accounts for almost 33 per cent decline. This growth contraction has come after a robust 25 per cent-plus average export growth since 2003. But, as a result of government policy measures and recovery in global economy, India's exports growth turned positive and exports grew by a whopping 54.1 per cent in March 2010 and recorded the highest growth rate among the world's top 70 economies in merchandise exports. India's merchandise exports during April 2010 at US$ 16.9 billion recorded a growth of 36.3 per cent as compared with a decline of 32.8 per cent registered in April 2009. Exports witnessed huge annualized growth of 56.9 per cent to $25.9 billion in May 2011 in a bright spot for the Indian economy, which is battling high inflation amid signs of a slowdown.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Stan C. Weeber
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: This book appeared against the backdrop of a near meltdown in the U.S. economy and the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Because candidate Obama championed stimulus spending to repair the economy, there was anticipation that the release of Animal Spirits would coincide with a renewed enthusiasm for the economics of John Maynard Keynes inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Emilian Kavalski
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: It is always difficult to comment on the work of an author who has passed away before its publication. The pervasive sense of finitude tends to draw attention to (as well as offer a glimpse into) some of the concerns and interests that must have preoccupied the author in his final days. What is particularly challenging is that the work under review is by no other than Fred Halliday – a scholar, commentator, and insatiably curious student of international affairs, whose research has left an indelible mark on the field. At the same time, Fred Halliday has been someone who has constantly strived to escape the straitjackets of mainstream paradigms. This was evident in his 2008 Burton Valedictory Lecture at the London School of Economics and Political Science before moving to take a research professorship at the Barcelona Institute for International Studies. Fred Halliday concluded his speech to the mesmerized audience by insisting that it is music (and, in particular, dance) that can provide the creative platforms for grasping the complexity of global life (or what he called at the time 'the suffering of passions in ideas and in life').
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Author: Michael Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: In his book The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, Peter T. Leeson uses economics to describe the seemingly bizarre and contradictory behaviour of 17th and 18th century pirates. In the epilogue, Leeson describes pirates as sadistic pacifists, womanizing homosexuals, treasure-lusting socialists and madmen who outwitted the authorities (though apparently not in the end…). The task of making all of those behaviours appear rational seems daunting, but through the skilful implementation of economic reasoning, Leeson does exactly that.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Author: Dylan Kissane
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: In the decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks there have been countless books and articles published that have sought to explain Islamist terrorism and explore policy responses to terrorism from the Muslim world. A smaller sector of the literature has sought to place Islamist terror in its international political context, drawing parallels with terrorism in the Basque country, Northern Ireland and domestic groups in the United States. A smaller sector again seeks to explore not only to describe such terrorism and explore policy responses to it but also to dig deeper and uncover the motivations that drive terrorists and those that respond to acts of terrorism to. Such works are, by necessity, interdisciplinary, drawing, of course, on political science and international relations but also sociology, psychology, economics and public policy studies, among many other fields. This sub-segment of the much broader field of terrorism studies offers the reader a chance to understand all aspects of terrorism in a variety of contexts, from what motivates a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber in Sri Lanka to what explains Irish Republican Army tactics in the mainland United Kingdom, from how military power is used to counter sub-state terrorist elements to how those terrorist actors are recruited in the first place. Broader in its conception of the notion of terrorism and wise to the complexities that terrorism should engender in policy debates, books that fall into this sub-segment of the field are both the most challenging to read and, when well executed, the most rewarding for the scholar of international politics.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Drew Westen
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: DREW WESTEN analyses the leadership style of President Barack Obama. He argues that the President's aversion to conflict and his failure to understand “bully” dynamics led him to miss a historic opportunity to change the dynamics of a political and economic system dominated by corruption and inequality not seen since the eve of the Great Depression. This is an article of opinion and the Editors welcome submissions from those with a different point of view.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, History
  • Author: Andrew Zimbalist
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Can Brazil build the massive infrastructure it needs to host the Olympics and the World Cup?
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Arturo Valenzuela
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The U.S. moves beyond traditional diplomacy.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Jeffrey Bliss
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: George Packer
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Like an odorless gas, economic inequality pervades every corner of the United States and saps the strength of its democracy. Over the past three decades, Washington has consistently favored the rich -- and the more wealth accumulates in a few hands at the top, the more influence and favor the rich acquire, making it easier for them and their political allies to cast off restraint without paying a social price.
  • Topic: Economics, Education
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Baghdad
  • Author: Hugo Nixon
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Conventional wisdom has it that the eurozone cannot have a monetary union without also having a fiscal union. Euro-enthusiasts see the single currency as the first steppingstone toward a broader economic union, which is their dream. Euroskeptics do, too, but they see that endgame as hell -- and would prefer the single currency to be dismantled. The euro crisis has, for many observers, validated these notions. Both camps argue that the eurozone countries' lopsided efforts to construct a monetary union without a fiscal counterpart explain why the union has become such a mess. Many of the enthusiasts say that the way forward is for the 17 eurozone countries to issue euro bonds, which they would all guarantee (one of several variations on the fiscal-union theme). Even the German government, which is reluctant to bail out economies weaker than its own, thinks that some sort of pooling of budgets may be needed once the current debt problems have been solved. A fiscal union would not come anytime soon, and certainly not soon enough to solve the current crisis. It would require a new treaty, and that would require unanimous approval. It is difficult to imagine how such an agreement could be reached quickly given the fierce opposition from politicians and the public in the eurozone's relatively healthy economies (led by Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands) to repeated bailouts of their weaker brethren (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain). Moreover, once the crisis is solved, the enthusiasm for a fiscal union may wane. Even if Germany is still prepared to pool some budgetary functions, it will insist on imposing strict discipline on what other countries can spend and borrow. The weaker countries, meanwhile, may not wish to submit to a Teutonic straitjacket once the immediate fear of going bust has passed.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Greece, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland
  • Author: Karen Brooks
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Indonesia is in the midst of a yearlong debut on the world stage. This past spring and summer, it hosted a series of high-profile summits, including for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in May, the World Economic Forum on East Asia the same month, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in July. With each event, Indonesia received broad praise for its leadership and achievements. This coming-out party will culminate in November, when the country hosts the East Asia Summit, which U.S. President Barack Obama and world leaders from 17 other countries will attend. As attention turns to Indonesia, the time is ripe to assess whether Jakarta can live up to all the hype. A little over ten years ago, during the height of the Asian financial crisis, Indonesia looked like a state on the brink of collapse. The rupiah was in a death spiral, protests against President Suharto's regime had turned into riots, and violence had erupted against Indonesia's ethnic Chinese community. The chaos left the country -- the fourth largest in the world, a sprawling archipelago including more than 17,000 islands, 200 million people, and the world's largest Muslim population -- without a clear leader. Today, Indonesia is hailed as a model democracy and is a darling of the international financial community. The Jakarta Stock Exchange has been among the world's top performers in recent years, and some analysts have even called for adding Indonesia to the ranks of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). More recent efforts to identify the economic superstars of the future -- Goldman Sachs' "Next 11," PricewaterhouseCoopers' "E-7" (emerging 7), The Economist's "CIVETS" (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa), and Citigroup's "3G" -- all include Indonesia.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Indonesia, India, East Asia, Brazil, Island
  • Author: Yanzhong Huang
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Although China has made remarkable economic progress over the past few decades, its citizens' health has not improved as much. Since 1980, the country has achieved an average economic growth rate of ten percent and lifted 400–500 million people out of poverty. Yet Chinese official data suggest that average life expectancy in China rose by only about five years between 1981 and 2009, from roughly 68 years to 73 years. (It had increased by almost 33 years between 1949 and 1980.) In countries that had similar life expectancy levels in 1981 but had slower economic growth thereafter -- Colombia, Malaysia, Mexico, and South Korea, for example -- by 2009 life expectancy had increased by 7–14 years. According to the World Bank, even in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore, which had much higher life expectancy figures than China in 1981, those figures rose by 7–10 years during the same period.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Malaysia, Asia, South Korea, Colombia, Australia, Mexico, Hong Kong
  • 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: Ari Armstrong, Diana Hsieh
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Surveys the expanding efforts to outlaw abortion in America, examines the facts that give rise to a woman's right to abortion, and shows why the assault on this right is an assault on all our rights
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael |A. LaFerrara
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New York: Crown Forum, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. 247 pp. $24.99 (hardcover). Reviewed by Michael A. LaFerrara While working on the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign team, Fox News contributor Margaret Hoover came to a stark realization: On gay rights, reproductive freedom, immigration, and environmentalism, the Republican party “was falling seriously out of step with a rising generation of Americans . . . the 'millennials'” (pp. ix, x). “[B]orn roughly between the years 1980 and 1999 [and] 50 million strong,” this rising new voter block, says Hoover, has “yet to solidly commit to a political party” and thus could hold the key to the GOP's electoral future (p. xi). Hoover looks back for comparison to 1980, when Ronald Reagan fused a coalition of diverse conservative “tribes” around a central theme: anticommunism (p. 25). If the millennials, who “demonstrate decidedly conservative tendencies” (p. xii), could be united with today's conservatives under “a new kind of fusionism” (p. 41), the Republican party would be on its way to majority status, she holds. Hoover sees differences among conservatives and divides the “organized modern conservative coalition in America” (p. 28) into three main categories: economic libertarians and fiscal conservatives led by three “leading lights” who “were . . . not populists [nor] self-described conservatives,” but “thinkers”—Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand. social conservatives, traditionalists, and the “Religious Right” led early on by Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, and Robert Novak, and later by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and Phyllis Schlafly. anticommunists and paleocons led by Whittaker Chambers, John Chamberlain, James Burnham, and Pat Buchanan. According to Hoover, these three factions have formed the core of the movement that began with the publication of the National Review in November 1955 (p. 28) and have since been joined by neocons (p. 35), Rush Limbaugh's “Dittoheads,” Sarah Palin's “Mama Grizzlies,” the Tea Party uprising (pp. 36–37), and the “Crunchy Cons” and “enviro-cons” (p. 37). Hoover's hope is to find common ground between these conservatives and the millennials. . . .
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Loribeth Kowalski
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Cato Institute, 2010. 376 pp. $25.95 (hardcover). Reviewed by Loribeth Kowalski Parents in America typically tell their children that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up, and children tend to believe it and explore the countless possibilities. I recall my own childhood aspirations: imagining myself as an archaeologist, wearing a khaki hat and digging in the desert sun; as a veterinarian, talking to the animals like Dr. Doolittle; as a writer, alone at my desk, fingers poised over a typewriter keyboard. Recently I found an old note in a drawer. It said, “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor. I want to save people. When I grow up, I WILL be a doctor.” Underneath my signature I had written “age 10.” Unfortunately, in today's America, a child cannot be whatever he wants to be. Leave aside for the time being the difficulties involved in entering a profession such as medicine. Consider the more man-on-the-street jobs through which millions of Americans seek to earn a living, support their families, and better themselves. Suppose a person wants to drive a taxi in New York City. To do so, he will first have to come up with a million dollars to buy a “medallion.” If he wants to create and sell flower arrangements, and lives in Louisiana, he'll have to pass a “highly subjective, State-mandated licensing exam.” If he wants to sell tacos or the like from a “food truck,” and lives in Chicago, he had better keep his business away from competing restaurants, or else face a ticket and fine. And a child doesn't have to wait until he's an adult to directly experience such limitations on his freedom. Last summer, authorities in various states shut down children's lemonade stands because they didn't have vending permits or meet other local regulations. In today's America, it is increasingly difficult to enter various professions, near impossible to enter some, and, whatever one's profession, it is likely saddled with regulations that severely limit the ways in which one can produce and trade. Timothy Sandefur explores and explains these developments in The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law. Sandefur addresses this subject in the most comprehensive manner I've seen, surveying the history of economic liberty from 17th-century England through the Progressive era in America and up to the present day. He shows how the freedom to earn a living has been eroded in multiple ways throughout the legal system, from unreasonable rules, to licensing schemes, to limitations on advertising, to restrictions on contracts. In The Right to Earn a Living, we see how these and other factors combine to create a system in which it is more and more difficult to support oneself and one's family in the manner one chooses.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: New York, America
  • Author: Richard M. Salsman
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New York: W. W. Norton Company, 2011. 382 pp. $28.95 (hardcover). Reviewed by Richard M. Salsman The financial-economic crash of 2008–9, dubbed the “Great Recession” by pundits who have insisted its severity was second only to that of the Great Depression (1930s), has been blamed on “greed,” tax-rate cuts (2003), the GOP, and looser regulations in the prior decade—that is, to what passes today for full, laissez-faire capitalism (the same culprit fingered in the 1930s). The crash has also renewed interest in Keynesian economics, which holds that free markets are prone to failures, breakdowns, and recessions due to excessive production (supply) and can be cured of slumps only by state intervention to boost demand and dictate investment. And the crash has led to the worldwide adoption of two pet policies of John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946): massive deficit spending and inflation to “stimulate” stagnant economies. In fact, economies continue to languish not in spite of Keynesian policies but because of them. One key factor precipitating the recent revival of Keynes was the awarding of a Nobel prize to Keynesian Paul Krugman in fall 2008, during the worst weeks of the crisis, when the $700 billion bank bailout (TARP) was debated and enacted. A half dozen new books since 2008 also have helped revive Keynesian notions; one is subtitled “return of the master,” another eagerly reports that the crash has “restored Keynes, the capitalist revolutionary, to prominence.” As in the 1930s, when Keynes first exerted strong influence on policy, he is depicted today as capitalism's savior, favoring a mixed economy to quell popular angst of recessions and prevent more authoritarian alternatives (fascism, communism). Like most intellectuals today, British journalist Nicholas Wapshott (formerly senior editor at the London Times and New York Sun) falsely attributes the recent financial crisis to overly free markets; he also admires Keynes, his demand-side theories, and his interventionist policies. Yet unlike typical hagiography on Keynes, Wapshott adopts an ideas-oriented approach to Keynes's revival in his book, Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics. Like most interpreters, Wapshott believes that Keynesianism somehow “saves” capitalism from itself and from ultimate political tyranny, although he does not deny (or bother to hide) the many cases where Keynes expresses an unvarnished hatred for individualism and free markets. He acknowledges (and welcomes) the return of Keynesian policies, but he worries they may have been hastily implemented and thus ineffectual, given that multi-trillion-dollar stimulus schemes in the three years since 2008 have not boosted growth or jobs. Wapshott rightly recounts how Keynesianism was discredited during the 1970s “stagflation” (which it could not explain) and successfully challenged by “efficient market” theorists and classically oriented supply-siders (“Reaganomics”). But he exaggerates the reach of pro-capitalist ideas and policies in recent decades, and pins blame for the recent crash on what is still free about markets, not on the state interventions that necessarily render otherwise efficient markets dysfunctional and destructive. Yet Wapshott's main goal in Keynes Hayek is to have us understand Keynes's recent revival in the context of a long-running battle or “clash” between the ideas and policies of Keynes and those of Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek (1899–1992), who is portrayed as the champion of free markets and skeptic toward state intervention. Wapshott mostly succeeds in achieving his goal, but in the end he draws the wrong conclusion—namely, that the Keynesian revival is warranted—because he believes, not merely with Keynes, but, we see, also with Hayek, that markets fail when left free. In fact, free markets do not fail, but widespread belief that they do has helped revive Keynes. . . .
  • Topic: Economics
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2012. 180 pp. $34.95 (hardcover). Reviewed by Ari Armstrong How often does an author defend the right of citizens to own guns and the right of homosexuals to marry—in the same book chapter? In his new book Capitalist Solutions, Andrew Bernstein applies the principle of individual rights not only to “social” issues such as gun rights and gay marriage but also to economic matters such as health care and education and to the threat of Islamic totalitarianism. Bernstein augments his philosophical discussions with a wide range of facts from history, economics, and science. The release of Capitalist Solutions could not have been timed more perfectly: It coincides with the rise of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that focuses on “corporate greed” and the alleged evils of income inequality. Whereas many “Occupiers” call for more government involvement in various areas of the economy—including welfare support and subsidies for mortgages and student loans—Bernstein argues forcefully that government interference in the market caused today's economic problems and that capitalism is the solution. The introductory essay reviews Ayn Rand's basic philosophical theories, with an emphasis on her ethics of egoism and her politics of individual rights. Bernstein harkens back to this philosophical foundation throughout his book, applying it to the issues of the day. . . .
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Health
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Merry Christmas, readers! And welcome to the Winter 2011 issue of The Objective Standard. I'd like to begin by congratulating Antonio Puglielli, the winner of the second annual TOS essay contest. Mr. Puglielli's entry, “'Dog Benefits Dog': The Harmony of Rational Men's Interests,” won him $2,000 and publication of his essay in TOS (see p. 67). Second place went to Caleb Nelson (winning $700) and third place to Deborah B. Sloan (winning $300). Congratulations to Mr. Nelson and Ms. Sloan, as well! As Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich vie for the GOP presidential nomination, and as Republicans marshal efforts to secure as many Senate seats as possible, advocates of liberty need to keep an eye on the one principle that unifies our political goals and grounds them in moral fact. In “The American Right, the Purpose of Government, and the Future of Liberty,” I identify that principle and discuss its application to issues of the day, including “entitlement” spending, corporate bailouts, and the Islamist threat. If you wonder which side of the abortion debate has the facts straight—or why the issue should matter to anyone other than pregnant women—you will find answers in “The Assault on Abortion Rights Undermines All Our Liberties,” by Diana Hsieh and Ari Armstrong. And if you already know the answers, I think you'll agree that this is the article to circulate on this matter. You may think that Steve Jobs was an impatient man, and you may know of evidence to support that idea, but in Daniel Wahl's “The Patience of Jobs,” you'll discover that Jobs, once again, breaks the mold. He was not patient, yet he was. How can that be? (Hint: The answer has nothing to do with Buddhism.) Get ready to fall in love with Linda Mann's still lifes and her manner of discussing them. Why do they grab your attention? Why do they hold it? Why are they so fascinating and rich and beautiful? I press Ms. Mann for answers, and she delivers. The interview is accompanied by color images of the paintings discussed. What's so great about the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.? Sanctum sanctorum—it's the holy of holies—says Lee Sandstead, and he has facts and photos to prove it. Chris Wolski reviews the movie The Help, directed by Tate Taylor. And the books reviewed in this issue are: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House, by Herman Cain (reviewed by Gideon Reich); American Individualism—How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party, by Margaret Hoover (reviewed by Michael A. LaFerrara); Disabling America: The Unintended Consequences of the Government's Protection of the Handicapped, by Greg Perry (reviewed by Joshua Lipana); The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law, by Timothy Sandefur (reviewed by Loribeth Kowalski); Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, by Nicholas Wapshott (reviewed by Richard M. Salsman); Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas, by Andrew Bernstein (reviewed by Ari Armstrong); Toyota Under Fire: Lessons for Turning Crisis into Opportunity, by Jeffrey K. Liker and Timothy N. Ogden (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); Dare to Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh, Atheist and Republican, by Bryan Niblett (reviewed by Roderick Fitts). This issue of TOS completes our sixth year of moving minds with the ideas on which a culture of reason and freedom depend. Our seventh year will be, as every year is, bigger and better than the last, and we thank you for your continued business and support. We couldn't do what we do without you. Have a joyful Christmas, a happy New Year, and a prosperous 2012. —Craig Biddle
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: New York, America, Washington
  • 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: Sean Turnell
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Myanmar has been under military rule in various guises for nearly fifty years. The most durable and unyielding of the authoritarian regimes in Southeast Asia, Myanmar's military rulers have expertly exploited circumstances and methods that prolong their rule, even as they have failed to deliver genuine economic growth and development. Their methods include ruthlessly suppressing dissent, inciting ethnic divisions and fears of external threats and making implicit bargains with neighboring states and domestic elites over the spoils available to a rentier state. Myanmar's emergence in recent years as a significant regional supplier of natural gas has dramatically increased the country's distributable economic rents, thus exacerbating the country's political stasis. This article examines the ways in which Myanmar's military regime has maintained its rule through the exploitation of these methods, but with a particular focus on the impacts of the country's exploitable energy and resource wealth and its implications for Myanmar's economic development and political transition.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: B. R. Myers
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Although North Korea's northern border remains easy to cross, and North Koreans are now well aware of the prosperity enjoyed south of the demilitarized zone, Kim Jong Il continues to rule over a stable and supportive population. Kim enjoys mass support due to his perceived success in strengthening the race and humiliating its enemies. Thanks in part to decades of skillful propaganda, North Koreans generally equate the race with their state, so that ethno-nationalism and state-loyalty are mutually enforcing. In this respect North Korea enjoys an important advantage over its rival, for in the Republic of Korea ethno-nationalism militates against support for a state that is perceived as having betrayed the race. South Koreans' “good race, bad state” attitude is reflected in widespread sympathy for the people of the North and in ambivalent feelings toward the United States and Japan, which are regarded as friends of the republic but enemies of the race. But North Korea cannot survive forever on the public perception of state legitimacy alone. The more it loses its economic distinctiveness vis-à-vis the rival state, the more the Kim regime must compensate with triumphs on the military and nuclear fronts. Another act of aggression against the Republic of Korea may well take place in the months ahead, not only to divert North Korean public attention from the failures of the consumer-oriented “Strong and Prosperous Country” campaign, but also to strengthen the appeasement-minded South Korean opposition in the run-up to the presidential election in 2012.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, North Korea
  • Author: Eusebio Mujal-León
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The Cuban Revolution recently experienced a major transition of leadership as power shifted hands from Fidel Castro to his younger brother, Raúl. Eschewing the role of caretaker, Raúl embarked on an ambitious program aiming to streamline a cumbersome and inefficient state while reforming the economy in ways that will increase agricultural production, encourage self-employment and lead to sustainable economic growth. At the same time, Raúl Castro refashioned the ruling coalition and proposed major changes to the ruling Communist Party, including term limits, leadership rotation and the separation of party and state functions. This article analyzes the emergence of a new Cuban political elite, explores how power is distributed between its military and party wings and examines the major challenges this coalition must overcome if it is to successfully manage the transition from the Castro era and stabilize Cuban autocracy.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Cuba
  • Author: Michael McKeon, Imani Tate
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the past decade the world has been rocked by earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes on a seemingly endless pattern of destruction. From villagers in Haiti to businessmen in Japan, the Earth's population has watched as-within the blink of an eye-lives have ended, families have been torn apart, and whole communities have taken massive hits to their morale. Yet these tragic events broke the hearts of millions across the globe, another phenomenon has revealed itself among the rubble. Out of hope for a more promising future, possibilities for recovery arose from even the most drastic circumstances. Now, more than ever, the resilience exhibited by those who have been weakened by disaster has allowed them to bounce back and prove their true strength to themselves and to the world. Resilience examines resilience from a diverse set of political, economic, and social perspectives. We invite you to enjoy this theme as well as the cutting-edge international affairs analysis included in the other sections of the Journal.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Shadi Hamid
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 25 January 2011, the first day of Egypt's uprising, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton affirmed: "our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable." Eighteen days later, Egypt had a revolution, which concluded when the Egyptian military forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down from his position. After this remarkable turn of events, the Egyptian regime was simultaneously thought to be both more ruthless and more unified. After several years of impressive economic growth, the regime had the support of a powerful emerging business elite. It also had the United States as its primary benefactor. None of that was enough.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Egypt
  • Author: Paul Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: With increasing country demands but a changing supply of water due to climate change, tensions may increase over international water sources in South Asia and China. The article investigates these trends and discusses the existing and potential treaties and impacts of different scenarios on the region's politics and economics.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia
  • Author: Jacqueline Klopp, Job Kikosgui Sang
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Deforestation is a complex issue linked not only to economic and social dynamics at both global and local levels but also to questions of power and politics. Nowhere is this more evident than in the ongoing struggle over the Mau Forest in Kenya. This article explores the history of political struggles surrounding the Mau forest and the role that mapping has played in determining the political and ecological landscape of the region.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Kenya
  • Author: Stuart S. Yeh
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: The World Bank and IMF attribute underdevelopment in sub-Saharan Africa to the practice of directing economic activity through centralized planning. They prescribe privatization and economic liberalization to restructure African economies, promote competition, reduce the scope for corruption, and promote good governance. However, inadequate checks on political power permit African elites to subvert these reforms. This article reviews the political economy of sub-Saharan countries as well as a case study of Sierra Leone to illustrate the problem. The analysis suggests the need for an international agency such as the UN to provide the capacity to investigate, expose and check corruption by employing UN inspectors who are immune to pressure from powerful African elites. This type of check on corruption is necessary to promote the rule of law in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Topic: Economics, United Nations, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Randall G. Holcombe, James D. Gwartney
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The freedom to enter into contracts and to direct the use of economic resources one owns are essential to the operation of a market economy. Allowing employees to form unions to bargain collectively over wages and employment conditions is consistent with economic freedom, and any government intervention preventing unionization would be a violation of economic freedom. Nevertheless, American labor law, especially since the 1930s, has altered the terms and conditions under which unions collectively bargain to heavily favor unions over the firms that hire union labor. Labor law has given unions the power to dictate to employees collective bargaining conditions, and has deprived employees of the right to bargain for themselves regarding their conditions of employment. While unions and economic freedom are conceptually compatible, labor law in the United States, and throughout the world, has restricted the freedom of contract between employees and employers.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Vipin Narang
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On November 26, 2008, terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba—a group historically supported by the Pakistani state—launched a daring sea assault from Karachi, Pakistan, and laid siege to India's economic hub, Mumbai, crippling the city for three days and taking at least 163 lives. The world sat on edge as yet another crisis between South Asia's two nuclear-armed states erupted with the looming risk of armed conºict. But India's response was restrained; it did not mobilize its military forces to retaliate against either Pakistan or Lashkar camps operating there. A former Indian chief of Army Staff, Gen. Shankar Roychowdhury, bluntly stated that Pakistan's threat of nuclear use deterred India from seriously considering conventional military strikes. 1 Yet, India's nuclear weapons capability failed to deter subconventional attacks in Mumbai and Delhi, as well as Pakistan's conventional aggression in the 1999 Kargil War. Why are these two neighbors able to achieve such different levels of deterrence with their nuclear weapons capabilities? Do differences in how these states operationalize their nuclear capabilities—their nuclear postures—have differential effects on dispute dynamics?
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia, India, Mumbai
  • Author: Stuart E. Eizenstat, Anthony Luzzatto Gardner
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On December 1, 2009, after nearly a decade of acrimonious debate, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force across the 27 member states of the European Union. The treaty reforms EU institutions, making the organization more accountable to voters and enhancing its ability to address European and global challenges. Over the long term, the treaty may make the EU a more coherent international actor, thereby significantly affecting non-EU countries, including the United States. The Lisbon Treaty is the latest in a long line of EU reform efforts. It is the fifth amendment to the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community, the EU's predecessor. Following the Single European Act of 1986 -- which laid the foundations for Europe's single market, assuring for the first time the free flow of goods, capital, people, and services among the member states -- the EU reformed its institutions and decision-making process through the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997, and the Nice Treaty of 2001. But with the cumulative effect of these amendments widely acknowledged to have complicated decision-making -- and with the organization planning to enlarge from 15 to 25 member states in 2004 -- EU leaders sought to replace the confusing patchwork of EU treaties with a single, overarching constitution. The resulting document, drafted by a constitutional convention in 2002-3, was signed by all EU heads of government in 2004 but was rejected the following year by French and Dutch voters, who feared that a European constitution would limit their countries' national voting rights, sovereignty, and access to EU funds. In 2007, after a two-year "period of reflection," the EU heads of state agreed in Lisbon on a draft treaty that was nearly identical in substance to the constitution but -- in deference to public opinion in some member states -- dropped references to the trappings of statehood (such as an EU flag and an EU anthem) and sought to amend, rather than replace, earlier EU treaties. By November 2009, every EU member state had ratified the treaty.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Charles A. Kupchan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In his inaugural address, U.S. President Barack Obama informed those regimes "on the wrong side of history" that the United States "will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." He soon backed up his words with deeds, making engagement with U.S. adversaries one of the new administration's priorities. During his first year in office, Obama pursued direct negotiations with Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs. He sought to "reset" relations with Russia by searching for common ground on arms control, missile defense, and Afghanistan. He began scaling back economic sanctions against Cuba. And he put out diplomatic feelers to Myanmar (also called Burma) and Syria. Over a year into Obama's presidency, the jury is still out on whether this strategy of engagement is bearing fruit. Policymakers and scholars are divided over the merits and the risks of Obama's outreach to adversaries and over how best to increase the likelihood that his overtures will be reciprocated. Debate continues on whether rapprochement results from mutual concessions that tame rivalries or rather from the iron fist that forces adversaries into submission. Equally controversial is whether the United States should pursue reconciliation with hardened autocracies or instead make engagement contingent on democratization. And disagreement persists over whether diplomacy or economic engagement represents the most effective pathway to peace. Many of Obama's critics have already made up their minds on the merits of his outreach to adversaries, concluding not only that the president has little to show for his efforts but also that his pliant diplomacy demeans the United States and weakens its hand. Following Obama's September 2009 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, in which he called for "a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect" and "new coalitions that bridge old divides," the conservative commentator Michelle Malkin charged that the president had "solidified his place in the international view as the great appeaser and the groveler in chief."
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe, North Korea
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: With Congress debating far-reaching bills to expand federal control of health care, politicians and pundits blaming the economic downturn on allegedly free markets, President Obama fulfilling his promise to "spread the wealth around," and dozens of czars overseeing wide swaths of American life, it seems that capitalism is in retreat. A rousing defense of capitalism, therefore, could not have come at a better time, and that is what Andrew Bernstein provides in his new book, Capitalism Unbound. Bernstein ably defends the achievements of the Industrial Revolution, presents the moral foundation for capitalism, skewers socialism, and indicates in some respects how several disasters-including the recent housing bust-were caused by government meddling in the economy. Capitalism Unbound is an updated and highly condensed version of Bernstein's 2005 book, The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire. With the new book, Bernstein promises "the essential points-presented in a simple, easy to read format" (p. ix). He begins his sixteen-page Prologue, "The Primordial Struggle for Individual Liberty," by mentioning that capitalism rests on the "moral code . . . of an individual's inalienable right to his own life" (p. 1). After recounting the American Revolution as a key example of the furthering of individual rights, Bernstein applies the principle of rights to issues such as contracts, property, and employment. He then defines some key terms, including capitalism ("the system of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned"), freedom (protection "against the initiation of force by either private citizens or the government"), and statism ("the subordination of the individual to the state [and] the repudiation of inalienable individual rights") (pp. 10-11). The prologue concludes with a discussion of some of history's most horrifying instances of statism, including tribal dictatorships, Soviet communism, National Socialism, and Islamic theocracy. The rest of the book is divided into three parts, about the historical, moral, and economic superiority of capitalism, respectively. In Part One, "The Historic Superiority of Capitalism," Bernstein first summarizes the impoverished conditions of preindustrial Europe. He then explains how, inspired by Enlightenment thinkers, innovators of 18th-century England and 19th-century America achieved profound advances in technology and economic production, created goods and services that radically improved the living conditions of the common person, and often amassed fortunes in the process. These productive giants include steam engineer James Watt, steel titan Andrew Carnegie, and oil pioneer John D. Rockefeller, who by the height of his dominance had driven oil prices from fifty-eight cents to eight cents per gallon (p. 52). Bernstein reviews many of the economic advances of the Industrial Revolution, such as the enormous expansion of cotton cloth-spun English cotton increased twenty-four-fold between 1765 and 1784 alone-enabling "hundreds of millions of people worldwide . . . to dress . . . comfortably, cleanly, and hygienically" (pp. 34-35, emphasis removed). . . .
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: William Drozdiak
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: These days, there is a great deal of talk about the dawn of an Asian century -- hastened by the rise of China and India. Meanwhile, the fractious Atlantic alliance, enfeebled by two wars and an economic crisis, is said to be fading away. But the West is not doomed to decline as a center of power and influence. A relatively simple strategic fix could reinvigorate the historic bonds between Europe and North America and reestablish the West's dominance: it is time to bring together the West's principal institutions, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. When NATO's 28 leaders gather in Portugal later this year to draw up a new security strategy for the twenty-first century, they will consider a range of options, including military partnerships with distant allies such as Australia, Japan, and South Korea. Yet the most practical solution lies just down the road from the alliance's sprawling headquarters near the Brussels airport. Genuine cooperation between NATO and the 27-nation European Union would allow Western governments to meld hard power with soft, making both organizations better equipped to confront modern threats, such as climate change, failed states, and humanitarian disasters. A revitalized Atlantic alliance is by far the most effective way for the United States and Europe to shore up their global influence in the face of emerging Asian powers. NOT-SO-FRIENDLY NEIGHBORS Anybody who spends time in Brussels comes away mystified by the lack of dialogue between the West's two most important multinational organizations, even though they have been based in the same city for decades. Only a few years ago, it was considered a minor miracle when the EU's foreign policy czar and NATO's secretary-general decided that they should have breakfast together once a month. An EU planning cell is now ensconced at NATO military headquarters, but there is scarcely any other communication between the two institutions. With Europe and the United States facing common threats from North Africa to the Hindu Kush, it is imperative for Western nations to take advantage of these two organizations' resources in the fields of law enforcement, counterterrorism, intelligence gathering, drug interdiction, and even agricultural policy.
  • Topic: NATO, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, North America, Brussels
  • Author: Robert D. Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The English geographer Sir Halford Mackinder ended his famous 1904 article, "The Geographical Pivot of History," with a disturbing reference to China. After explaining why Eurasia was the geostrategic fulcrum of world power, he posited that the Chinese, should they expand their power well beyond their borders, "might constitute the yellow peril to the world's freedom just because they would add an oceanic frontage to the resources of the great continent, an advantage as yet denied to the Russian tenant of the pivot region." Leaving aside the sentiment's racism, which was common for the era, as well as the hysterics sparked by the rise of a non-Western power at any time, Mackinder had a point: whereas Russia, that other Eurasian giant, basically was, and is still, a land power with an oceanic front blocked by ice, China, owing to a 9,000-mile temperate coastline with many good natural harbors, is both a land power and a sea power. (Mackinder actually feared that China might one day conquer Russia.) China's virtual reach extends from Central Asia, with all its mineral and hydrocarbon wealth, to the main shipping lanes of the Pacific Ocean. Later, in Democratic Ideals and Reality, Mackinder predicted that along with the United States and the United Kingdom, China would eventually guide the world by "building for a quarter of humanity a new civilization, neither quite Eastern nor quite Western."
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia
  • Author: Richard Rosecrance
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Throughout history, states have generally sought to get larger, usually through the use of force. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, countervailing trends briefly held sway. Smaller countries, such as Japan, West Germany, and the "Asian tigers," attained international prominence as they grew faster than giants such as the United States and the Soviet Union. These smaller countries -- what I have called "trading states" -- did not have expansionist territorial ambitions and did not try to project military power abroad. While the United States was tangled up in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, trading states concentrated on gaining economic access to foreign territories, rather than political control. And they were quite successful. But eventually the trading-state model ran into unexpected problems. Japanese growth stalled during the 1990s as U.S. growth and productivity surged. Many trading states were rocked by the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, during which international investors took their money and went home. Because Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and other relatively small countries did not have enough foreign capital to withstand the shock, they had to go into receivership. As Alan Greenspan, then the U.S. Federal Reserve chair, put it in 1999, "East Asia had no spare tires." Governments there devalued their currencies and adopted high interest rates to survive, and they did not regain their former glory afterward. Russia, meanwhile, fell afoul of its creditors. And when Moscow could not pay back its loans, Russian government bonds went down the drain. Russia's problem was that although its territory was vast, its economy was small. China, India, and even Japan, on the other hand, had plenty of access to cash and so their economies remained steady. The U.S. market scarcely rippled.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India, Asia, Vietnam, Germany
  • Author: Richard C. Levin
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The rapid economic development of Asia since World War II -- starting with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, then extending to Hong Kong and Singapore, and finally taking hold powerfully in India and mainland China -- has forever altered the global balance of power. These countries recognize the importance of an educated work force to economic growth, and they understand that investing in research makes their economies more innovative and competitive. Beginning in the 1960s, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan sought to provide their populations with greater access to postsecondary education, and they achieved impressive results. Today, China and India have an even more ambitious agenda. Both seek to expand their higher-education systems, and since the late 1990s, China has done so dramatically. They are also aspiring to create a limited number of world-class universities. In China, the nine universities that receive the most supplemental government funding recently self-identified as the C9 -- China's Ivy League. In India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development recently announced its intention to build 14 new comprehensive universities of "world-class" stature. Other Asian powers are eager not to be left behind: Singapore is planning a new public university of technology and design, in addition to a new American-style liberal arts college affiliated with the National University. Such initiatives suggest that governments in Asia understand that overhauling their higher-education systems is required to sustain economic growth in a postindustrial, knowledge-based global economy. They are making progress by investing in research, reforming traditional approaches to curricula and pedagogy, and beginning to attract outstanding faculty from abroad. Many challenges remain, but it is more likely than not that by midcentury the top Asian universities will stand among the best universities in the world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea
  • Author: Marc Levinson
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Carl J. Schramm
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Mensur Akgün, Sylvia Tiryaki
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite repeated calls and promises, Turkish Cypriots live in economic, political and humanitarian isolation. This paper tries to address one aspect of it and elaborates on the legal basis of these isolationist practices imposed on one side of the island. It challenges the international legal validity of the de facto sanctions. Furthermore, it claims that lifting economic isolation will also serve as a confidence building tool between Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus represented by the Greek Cypriots since such an act will lead to Turkey's reciprocation and the normalization of relations with the Republic of Cyprus. It also argues that neither the UN, nor the EU has ever imposed any sanctions on Turkish Cypriots and the policy of isolation, as such, has only been practiced by the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks. This paper intends to clarify the distinction between sanctions and non-recognition. It also highlights the promises made by the EU to the Turkish Cypriots, in particular, the one made on April 26, 2004, when the Council of the EU proclaimed its commitment to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community.
  • Topic: Economics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece, Balochistan
  • Author: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the cultural politics of European opposition to Turkish accession to the EU. It argues that the foundations of secularism-the powerful a prioris that structure the debate in Europe regarding religion and politics-make it difficult for Europeans to cope with what is often described as an "Islamic challenge" to Europe, both internally and externally. Turkish candidacy makes these stumbling blocks explicit, as Turkey has become the symbolic carrier of domestic European angst about religion, particularly Islam, and politics. Turkish candidacy highlights unfinished business in the social fabric of the core EU members, including what it means to be secular and how religion, including but not limited to Islam, relates to European identity. These sticking points are what the debate over Turkish membership is really about, and it is for this reason that it is culturally-in addition to economically and politically-so contentious.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ş. İlgü Özler
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this book, Asef Bayat explores Islam and democracy especially with regard to what he calls the “post-Islamist” movement in the Muslim world. Instead of asking whether Islam and democracy are compatible, he asks, “under what conditions can Muslims instigate democratization within their countries?” He challenges the Orientalist view on Islamic exceptionalism by not only contesting the validity of the question about the compatibility of democracy and Islam, but also through a very thorough investigation of the post-Islamist movement in Iran and the Islamist movement in Egypt. He defines post-Islamism as a “condition” and a “project” that emphasizes change through religiosity and rights that arises after Islamism runs its course as a legitimate source of hope for political and economic development (p. 10-11). Through his in depth case studies he demonstrates that the state has been successful in suppressing the post-Islamist social movements and their secular and reformist demands for political change in Iran. While the state has been equally successful at suppressing opposition (the political Islamist movement) in Egypt, the Egyptian state has not been able to quell society's turn to Islamism.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran, Egypt