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  • Author: Barack Obama
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: President Obama gave this address on December 1, 2009 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, War, Armed Struggle, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, New York
  • Author: Stefano Guzzini
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Power is a central concept in theories of International Relations. Its explanatory role shows in such a key concept as the 'balance of power' which predicts that allied groups of states will tend to balance their respective powers. But it also plays an important role for understanding the outcome of conflicts, since here 'power' has often been likened to a 'cause': getting someone else to do what he/she would not have otherwise done. Knowing power distributions therefore is said to explain state behaviour and the outcome of their interaction. Such power analysis must assume the measurability of power. Unfortunately, as this Working Paper argues, such measure is of no avail, not because we have not yet thought enough about it, but because it is not possible. There are two main reasons. First, because of the missing fungibility of power resources, no standard of measure can be established. And secondly, for understanding power phenomena and the very value of such resources in the first place, we need to analyse legitimacy, which is, however, not reducible to any objective measure. Still, since power as a measurable fact appears crucial in the language and bargaining of international politics, measures of power are agreed to and constructed as a social fact: diplomats must agree first on what counts before they can start counting. The second part of the paper therefore moves the analysis of power away from the illusion of an objective measure to the political battle over defining the criteria of power, which in turn has political effects. In other words, besides understanding what power means, one has also to assess what its understanding, if shared, does. Being tied to the idea of responsibility in our political discourse ('ought implies can'), the act attributing power to actors asks them to justify their action or non-action: it 'empowers' certain actions. The paper illustrates such interactive effects by discussing the present debate about US power, showing the way we conceive power, if it becomes shared, implies and legitimates particular foreign policy action.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthew C. Waxman
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The collective international failure to stop genocidal violence and result - ing humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan prompts the familiar question of whether the United States or, more broadly, the international community has the political will and capabilities necessary to deter or stop mass atrocities. It is well understood that mobilizing domestic and international political support as well as leveraging diplomatic, economic, and maybe even military tools are necessary to stop mass atrocities, though they may not always be enough. Other studies have focused, therefore, on what steps the United States and its international partners could take to build capabilities of the sort needed to prevent, stop, and remedy these crimes. This report approaches the problem from a different angle and asks whether the current international legal regime with regard to the use of military force—that is, international law regulating the resort to armed intervention—is appropriate and effective in deterring and stopping mass atrocities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Genocide, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Sudan
  • Author: Paul B. Stares, Micah Zenko
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since taking office, the Obama administration has repeatedly affirmed its intent to prevent potential future international crises from becoming the source of costly new U.S. military commitments. In one of the earliest foreign policy pronouncements of the new administration, Vice President Joseph R. Biden declared: “We'll strive to act preventively, not preemptively, to avoid whenever possible or wherever possible the choice of last resort between the risks of war and the dangers of inaction. We'll draw upon all the elements of our power—military and diplomatic; intelligence and law enforcement; economic and cultural—to stop crises from occurring before they are in front of us.” Not long afterward, General James L. Jones, in his first speech as national security adviser, echoed much the same objective: “We need to be able to anticipate the kind of operations that we should be thinking about six months to a year ahead of time in different parts of the world to bring the necessary elements of national and international power to bear to prevent future Iraqs and future Afghanistans.” And in a major speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in August 2009, President Barack Obama also declared that “one of the best ways to lead our troops wisely is to prevent the conflicts that cost American blood and treasure tomorrow.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Ulla Holm
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Gaullist French president Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that France has to break with French past policies. The break refers to the launch of a new French European policy, re-enter in NATO's military integrated structure, up-grading of human rights in international politics and a new World Order. However, the analysis demonstrates that Sarkozy does not break with the past. Sarkozy's activism, his permanent speed and change of issue hide the fact that he continues Charles de Gaulle's and late president Francois Mitterrand's European and foreign policy which was guided by the concept of a 'European Europe', a multipolar world, France being allied to the US but not aligned and France as a politically visible actor in Europe and in international politics. The means to accomplish French European and foreign policy visions changes according to the specific European and international situation. The re-enter in NATO's Military integrated structure is such a change, but Sarkozy does not break with the past concept of not being automatically aligned with the US. Sarkozysm exists, but as we argue in this working paper Sarkozysm is an amalgam of past policies whose purpose is to satisfy all French societal layers and to strike a balance between Gaullism and Mitterrandism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France
  • Author: Marina Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Any effective diplomatic approach to Iran must involve a regional strategy. While Iran's nuclear program is presently the most urgent dimension for the United States and the international community to confront, unless the country can be reintegrated into a normal web of international relations, any progress made on that front is likely to be short-lived. Iran's neighbors — particularly the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which share a concern for Gulf security — can be important players in that process of reintegration. These six states, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, are afraid of Iranian hegemony in the Gulf, but are too small or too timid to challenge their northern neighbor, so they seek to develop normal relations with Tehran while protecting their interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Kuwait, Tehran, Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman
  • Author: Leonard S. Rubenstein
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The stabilization and reconstruction of states emerging from conflict has gained increasing attention in U.S. foreign policy as means to promote well-governed states, avoid future conflict and alleviate the enduring human suffering from war. Over the last two decades, stabilization and reconstruction initiatives supported by the United States and other donors have sometimes included investments in re-establishing – or in some cases, establishing for the first time – a system of health services for the population. Despite the knowledge generated and the encouraging outcomes of many of these programs, however, and the increasing attention to and financial commitments to global health in U.S. foreign assistance, the place and priority of health reconstruction as part of post-conflict U.S. stabilization initiatives remain undefined.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gregory Orfalea
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Barack Obama said in the first presidential primary in Iowa in March 2007: "I'm not running to conform to Washington's conventional thinking-I'm running to challenge it...We've had enough of politicians who put power over principle" Such strong words are downright revolutionary considering how business is normally conducted in this country concerning the Israel-Palestine dispute.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Janne E. Nolan
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: The findings of this first phase of our inquiry raised many questions about how the United States might improve discourse among intelligence and policy professionals in ways that could advance U.S. security interests in the twenty-first century. We were fortunate to receive additional support from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2006 to expand our study, allowing us to focus on the use of diplomatic engagement to protect against emerging security threats to U.S. interests—specifically on the spread of nuclear capabilities among new regional powers. The major purpose of this second inquiry is to examine whether diplomatic engagement is feasible and effective for addressing twenty-first century security challenges and to develop different examples of what such challenges might require.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Intelligence, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The run-up to the announcement of President Obama's new "Af-Pak" strategy provoked a flurry of "new solutions" to the conflict. Promoting reconciliation with the Taliban is one idea that has reappeared—even in the administration's own White Paper on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. While this notion would rightly have been considered ridiculous a few years ago, many in Europe and the United States obviously believe that stabilizing Afghanistan may require just that. In fact, it would be the worst approach at this time—and it is destined to fail so long as key Taliban constituents are convinced that military victory in Afghanistan is inevitable.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Europe, Taliban