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  • Author: David E. Spiro
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Mershon Center
  • Abstract: Several interesting observations came out of our first conference. We realized that the mainstream academic view on the Middle East peace process has changed dramatically—from a belief that there would never be a peace to confidence that the peace process would not be derailed. In trying to make predictions that are not driven by newspaper headlines, we used a fairly uncontroversial laundry list of systemic variables, but we could not agree on which way they would effect the outcome. My aim in this memorandum is to review my past views on the Middle East peace process as an exercise in exploring what changed—both in the Middle East, and in my own implicit assumptions. I will amend my conclusions about the past by examining what has happened since the Oslo Accords. Finally, I will suggest, by way of conclusion, what driving forces will affect the future.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Janice Stein
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Mershon Center
  • Abstract: The two-state solution includes continuing but declining violence over time against Israeli and Palestinian civilians as the Palestinian state becomes entrenched and its legitimacy and authority grows, Palestinian leaders develop a commitment to the status quo, and the opposition in Israel reluctantly accepts the permanence of a Palestinian state. If the Palestinian state is poorly institutionalized, violence against Palestinian and Israeli citizens may well increase over time.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Don Sylvan
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Mershon Center
  • Abstract: Steve asked each of us to do the following: "Each participant will return to the next meeting with arguments on these seven driving forces. These arguments will include: Logic: what is the causal logic by which the driving force impacts on the intervening and dependent variables. Probability: what is the probability estimate of the effect. Hierarchy: is there an identifiable hierarchy among these driving forces.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Steven Weber
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Mershon Center
  • Abstract: The election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister of Israel threw into flux the Middle East peace process. What in early 1996 seemed to many observers the almost inevitable "working out" of a decades-long conflict that had gradually become unsustainable on all sides, was by late 1996 seen more clearly as part of a contingent unfolding set of events which could drive the region in more than one direction, including backwards toward explicit conflict and even war. This presents unique theoretical, analytic, and policy opportunities.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 11-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, was a pioneer in the movement for African independence. In past centuries, its territory was home to a series of powerful and technically-advanced societies, renowned for their artistic, commercial, and political achievements.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Publication Date: 07-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: Electronic networks—and particularly the new tools of e-mail and the World Wide Web (see below for an overview of basic concepts and a glossary with short definitions)—have great potential for enhancing global democratic access to policy-making processes. But de facto access to effective use of these technologies is biased in all the predictable directions: by race, gender, economic status, and location. Africa, to date the least connected continent, is particularly disadvantaged. By cutting the costs of long-distance communication, however, the information revolution is also opening up new possibilities. How well Africa and Africa's friends take advantage of these opportunities will depend at least as much on our collective capacity to learn as on the material resources available to us.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Salih Booker
  • Publication Date: 03-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Policy Information Center
  • Abstract: Recent Congressional action to significantly cut aid to Africa is only one sign among many of a trend to reduce U.S. involvement on the continent. How much further Africa is marginalized in the U.S. will ultimately depend on the ability of Africa's multiple constituencies to reverse this trend. Nevertheless, events on the continent are likely to compel a greater commitment of resources than U.S. policymakers currently contemplate. And engagement at any level needs to be based on clear identification of U.S. interests in Africa and well-defined criteria for establishing priorities.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Ronald McKinnon, Kazuko Shirono, Kenichi Ohno
  • Publication Date: 12-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: From 1971 through mid-1995, the yen continually appreciated against the U.S. dollar because the Japanese and American governments were caught in a mutual policy trap. Repeated threats of a trade war by the United States caused the yen to ratchet up in 1971-73, 1977-78, 1985-87, and 1993 to mid-1995. While temporarily ameliorating commercial tensions, these great appreciations imposed relative deflation on Japan without correcting the trade imbalance between the two countries. Although resisting sharp yen appreciations in the short run, the Bank of Japan validated this syndrome of the ever-higher yen by following a monetary policy that was deflationary relative to that established by the U.S. Federal Reserve System. The appreciating yen was a forcing variable in determining the Japanese price level. After 1985, this resulted in great macroeconomic instability in Japan--including two endaka fukyos (high-yen-induced recessions).
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: K.C. Fung, Lawrence Lau
  • Publication Date: 04-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: There are huge discrepancies between the official Chinese and U.S. estimates of the bilateral trade balance. The discrepancies are caused by different treatments accorded to re-exports through Hong Kong, re-export markups, and trade in services. Deficit-shifting between China, on the one hand, and Hong Kong and Taiwan, on the other, due to direct investment in China from Taiwan and Hong Kong, is partly responsible for the growth in the China United States bilateral trade deficit.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Asia, Hong Kong
  • Author: Donald Emmerson, Henry Rowen, Michel Oksenberg, Daniel Okimoto, James Raphael, Thomas Rohlen, Michael H. Armacost
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, the power and prestige of the United States in East Asia have suffered a worrisome degree of erosion. The erosion is, in part, the by-product of long-run secular trends, such as structural shifts in the balance of power caused by the pacesetting growth of East Asian economies. But the decline has been aggravated by shortcomings in U.S. policy toward East Asia, particularly the lack of a coherent strategy and a clear-cut set of policy priorities for the post-Cold War environment. If these shortcomings are not corrected, the United States runs the risk of being marginalized in East Asia--precisely at a time when our stakes in the region are as essential as those in any area of the world. What is needed, above all, is a sound, consistent, and publicly articulated strategy, one which holds forth the prospect of serving as the basis for a sustainable, nonpartisan domestic consensus. The elements of an emerging national consensus can be identified as follows:
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia