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  • Author: Jimmy Carter, Jennifer McCoy, George Price, Robert Pastor
  • Publication Date: 07-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The Carter Center and UNDP co-sponsored a Conference in Nicaragua on July 4-5, 1995 to accelerate resolution of the property problem that has entangled the country's politics and impeded its economic development and democratic consolidation. The culmination of more than one year of intensive analysis and numerous expert missions to Nicaragua by the Carter Center, in collaboration with the UNDP Property Project, the Conference brought together for the first time a group of Nicaraguan leaders representing the entire spectrum of affected interests. With Sandinista leaders sitting next to persons whose property was confiscated in the revolution, the meeting was a visible reminder of the remarkable transformation of Nicaragua from a society torn by war in the 1980s to one committed to the search for solutions to national problems through peaceful, legal means. Hosted by the UNDP and chaired by Jimmy Carter and George Price, the meeting provided an important boost to the Nicaraguan leaders to formulate a definitive solution to the property issue. The conference identified the elements of a package solution and the next steps needed to resolve the complex property problem. During the course of the day and a half meeting, significant consensus emerged on a number of general principles: including that small beneficiaries of urban and agrarian reforms should be protected, that former owners should be compensated with improved bonds, and that recipients of larger properties should either pay for or return those properties (see Appendices 1 and 2). In conversations on the issue of U.S. property claims, Nicaraguan officials explained the progress that has been made on resolving the claims of U.S. citizens, of which one-third to one-half were Nicaraguans who were alleged to have been associates of the former Somoza government and are now U.S. citizens. Former president Carter proposed a Follow-up Commission of representatives of the groups at the Conference to meet immediately to translate the consensus and the general proposals into specific decisions and laws. The 18-person Commission was selected and met on July 14 under the auspices of the UNDP. All parties attended, and the Commission moved expeditiously to develop concrete proposals in two subcommittees: (a) to provide security for small property holders and (b) to increase the value of the bonds. The entire group also discussed large property issues, expanding the privatization program, and ways to address abuses. The Commission set a deadline to complete all their work in three months.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Central America, North America, Nagasaki
  • Author: Robert A. Pastor
  • Publication Date: 03-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Independent candidates and representatives from 27 political parties contested more than 2,000 municipal and Parliamentary postions in elections in Haiti on June 25, 1995. In the pre-election period, the Provisional Election Council (CEP) judged the qualifications of nearly 12,000 candidates, and disqualified about one thousand without explanations. The process was so prolonged and contentious that the ballots had to be changed up to the last days, and there were numerous mistakes. The CEP's erratic performance led three parties to boycott the election, and virtually all to question the CEP's judgment and independence. The unresponsiveness of the CEP to legitimate complaints raised by the political parties sowed seeds of distrust in the electoral process.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 04-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: With the first peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another in Nicaraguan history in 1990, Nicaraguans ended a decade-long civil war and began a process of reconciliation. Within the space of a year, the army was shrunk from 96,000 to less than 15,000 troops, the Nicaraguan Resistance was demobilized, and new forms of dialogue between previously hostile groups emerged. Nevertheless, economic recovery remained elusive in the face of hyperinflation, high expectations and competing demands among organized groups, and a lack of confidence among investors and producers. Disputes over property have played a significant role in Nicaragua's recent political and economic experience, and are a fundamental factor in its future economic recovery and political reconciliation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, International Law, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Thomas Chronopoulos
  • Publication Date: 12-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: In the period between 1758 and 1834 repertoires of contention in Britain changed from parochial, particular, and bifurcated to cosmopolitan, modular, and autonomous. In other words, eighteenth century actions "that included a good deal of ceremonial, street theater, deployment of strong visual symbols, and destruction of symbolically charged objects" through the course of time lost their relative predominance and instead "demonstrations, strikes, rallies, public meetings, and similar forms of public interaction came to prevail during the nineteenth century." These new routines for the eighteenth century contentious events are the ones that ordinary people in the United States and Western Europe still to this date principally employ to make claims. This conclusion merges from a systematic study of more than 8,000 contentious gatherings, in Southern England (1758-1820) and Great Britain as a whole (1828-1834).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, England
  • Author: Mustafa Emirbayer, Jeff Goodwin
  • Publication Date: 10-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: In 1980, Jack Goldstone wrote an influential review essay entitled "Theories of Revolution: The Third Generation." Goldstone noted that a "third generation" of theorists had emerged during the 1970s, one that placed special emphasis on the causal role of political and economic "structures" in social revolutions, especially states, transnational forces, and peasant communities. (By contrast, "second generation" theorists emphasized the role of diffuse "social strains" and their social-psychological consequences) Today, it seems increasingly apparent that this third generation, despite its impressive theoretical contributions, has largely run its course. In fact, as John Foran has recently noted, "the first signs of a new school may be appearing on the intellectual horizon." This new perspective, Foran and many other scholars agree, ought to focus much more attention on culture and ideology (as well as on agency) than did the third generation, but without losing sight of the important role played by political and economic structures.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 06-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Demilitarization and de-escalation of violent conflicts have seemed to prevail during the last decade. The most significant event -- the collapse of the Soviet Union with the end of the Cold War--has stimulated scholars of international relations (IR) to retest the power of major theories to both explain and forecast the shift in the Soviet Union' 5 foreign policy from competition to cooperation with the U.S. (similar to shifts undergone by other states). Scholars generally agree that the economic crisis in the Soviet Union in a world system dominated by the U.S. played a key role in the former superpower's failure to extract the domestic resources needed to maintain its position of rivalry vis-à-vis the U.S., thus propelling it to embark on a new road. Still, scholars have debated with respect to the shift's timing and the origins of the trajectory opted for by the Soviet Union toward cooperation relative to other options, such as further competition as a means of ongoing internal-state extraction and control. This debate also highlights the analytical weaknesses of the realism/neorealism school of thought when taken against the background of the collapse of the bipolar, competitive world system on which this school has staked so much.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 12-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Observation of state-military relations in Israel reveals an apparent paradox: Within a period of about seventy years, the more the militarization of Israeli society and politics gradually increased, the more politicians were successful in institutionalizing effective control over the Israel Defence Forces (IDF, and the pre-state organizations). Militarization passed through three main stages: (1) accepting the use of force as a legitimate political instrument during the pre-state period (1920-1948), subsequent to confrontation between pacifism and activism; (2) giving this instrument priority over political-diplomatic means in the state's first years up to the point in which (3) military discursive patterns gradually dominated political discourse after the 1967 War. At the same time, political control over the IDF was tightened, going from the inculcation of the principle of the armed forces' subordination to the political level during the pre-state period to the construction of arrangements working to restrain the military leverage for autonomous action.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Charles Tilly
  • Publication Date: 05-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Observation of state-military relations in Israel reveals an apparent paradox: Within a period of about seventy years, the more the militarization of Israeli society and politics gradually increased, the more politicians were successful in institutionalizing effective control over the Israel Defence Forces (IDF, and the pre-state organizations). Militarization passed through three main stages: (1) accepting the use of force as a legitimate political instrument during the pre-state period (1920-1948), subsequent to confrontation between pacifism and activism; (2) giving this instrument priority over political-diplomatic means in the state's first years up to the point in which (3) military discursive patterns gradually dominated political discourse after the 1967 War. At the same time, political control over the IDF was tightened, going from the inculcation of the principle of the armed forces' subordination to the political level during the pre-state period to the construction of arrangements working to restrain the military leverage for autonomous action.
  • Topic: Education, Industrial Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Israel
  • Author: Mustafa Emirbayer, Ann Miscbe
  • Publication Date: 01-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: The concept of agency has become a source of increasing strain and confusion in social thought. Variants of action theory, normative theory, and political-institutional analysis have defended, attacked, buried, and resuscitated the concept in often contradictory and overlapping ways. At the center of the debate, the term "agency" itself has maintained an elusive, albeit resonant, vagueness; it has given rise to a long list of associated (and often equally vague) terms, such as selthood, motivation, will, purposiveness, intentionality, choice, initiative, freedom, and creativity. Yet despite the growing numbers of recent theorists -- ranging from Jeffrey Alexander, Anthony Giddens, and Pierre Bourdieu to Jurgen Habermas and James Coleman -- who have addressed the so-called "structure and agency problem," the concept of agency itself has been surprisingly neglected. In the struggle to demonstrate the interpenetration of agency and structure, most theorists have failed to distinguish agency as an analytical category in its own right -- with distinctive theoretical dimensions and temporally variable social manifestations. The result has been a flat and impoverished conception that, when it escapes the abstract voluntarism of rational choice theory, tends to remain so tightly bound to structure that one loses sight of the different ways in which agency actually shapes social action.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Imtiaz Hussain
  • Publication Date: 03-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: Extending a previous investigation of farm dispute settlement under the Canadian-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1989 to include the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, this study inquires if regionalism in this part of the world threatens the sovereignty of national trade laws and multilateral provisions. The adjudication process, spelled out by Chapter 19 of the two free trade agreements, is singled out and disaggregated into four stages for analysis. This, in turn, allows for (a) a reassessment of the sovereignty-supranational theoretical debate; and (b) undertaking a comparative study of the national trade relief laws in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Whereas extant works, almost exclusively of disputes under G.A.T.T., find that supranational rules influence outcomes more than the pursuit of sovereign interests by states, the preliminary findings of this study suggest that both forces are equally strong in North America. By and large, they suggest that reciprocal relations between states, regional entities, and multilateral organizations are necessary for the viable operation of each; yet this necessity may, in the long-term, constrain the multilateral organization more than the regional. This interpenetrating relationship is unique, and the source of institutional innovations of relevance to the pursuit of both state sovereignty and supranationalism.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, South America, North America, Mexico