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  • Author: George Vasilev
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: A notable feature of nationalism’s contemporary resurgence is the increasing eagerness that governments have shown to support and shape the political causes of populations living abroad whom they conceive of as ethnic kindred. Governments engaged in such “kin state activism” assume a natural entitlement to speak for and assert authority over minorities and diasporas in other states, invoking a belief in common territorial, cultural, and even biological origins as a moral basis for that entitlement. A striking example of the trend is the Russian government’s declaration that it will defend the interests of ethnic Russians wherever they may be and regardless of their citizenship.1 The government has made good on this intention since 2014 through the invasion of Crimea and through support for pro-Russia secessionist fighters in eastern Ukraine. Russian officials have also made thinly veiled threats to apply the doctrine in Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, where large Russian-speaking minorities reside and maintain strained relations with authorities.2 Kin state activism has also become increasingly apparent in other contexts, even though it has not involved the military coercion and flagrant disregard for international law characterizing Russia’s interventions. Examples that have made headlines recently include Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz (Federation of Young Democrats) party’s cross-border political collaborations with Romania’s Hungarians,3 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s appeal to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to take action against the discrimination of Greece’s predominantly ethnic Turkish Muslims,4 and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović’s lobbying for electoral reform in Bosnia so that ethnic Croats there can gain increased representation.5 These and other examples typify a trend in which governments are more stridently assuming a right to protect, counsel, represent, politically organize, indoctrinate, naturalize, financially support, advocate for, and even govern populations beyond state jurisdictions on the basis of an ethnic conception of shared identity.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Minorities, Citizenship, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Croatia
  • Author: Karin Aggestram, Annika Bergman-Rosamond
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: In 2015 the world’s first self-defined feminist government was formed in Sweden. As part of that ambitious declaration, Sweden also became the first state ever to publicly adopt a feminist foreign policy, with a stated ambition to become the "strongest voice for gender equality and full employment of human rights for all women and girls." To be sure, launching a feminist foreign policy is a radical policy change. At the same time, this policy is embedded in the broader global efforts to promote gender equality in the international arena, which we have seen evolving over the past few decades in the aftermath of the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. The resolution "reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response, and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Gender Issues, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Humanitarian Intervention, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Author: Stephen M. Walt
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Special Responsibilities: Global Problems and American Power, Mlada Bukovansky, Ian Clark, Robyn Eckersley, Richard Price, Christian Reus-Smit, and Nicholas Wheeler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 290 pp., $29.99 paper. Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright famously described the United States as the “indispensable nation,” entitled to lead because it “sees further than others do.” She was one of the many government officials who believed their country had “special responsibilities,” and was therefore different in some way from other states. Such claims are sometimes made to rally domestic support for some costly international action; at other times they are used to exempt a great power from norms or constraints that weaker states are expected to follow.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: James W. Nickel
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Like people born shortly after World War II, the international human rights movement recently had its sixty-fifth birthday. This could mean that retirement is at hand and that death will come in a few decades. After all, the formulations of human rights that activists, lawyers, and politicians use today mostly derive from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the world in 1948 was very different from our world today: the cold war was about to break out, communism was a strong and optimistic political force in an expansionist phase, and Western Europe was still recovering from the war. The struggle against entrenched racism and sexism had only just begun, decolonization was in its early stages, and Asia was still poor (Japan was under military reconstruction, and Mao's heavy-handed revolution in China was still in the future). Labor unions were strong in the industrialized world, and the movement of women into work outside the home and farm was in its early stages. Farming was less technological and usually on a smaller scale, the environmental movement had not yet flowered, and human-caused climate change was present but unrecognized. Personal computers and social networking were decades away, and Earth's human population was well under three billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Andrew Gilmour
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Ever since the Charter of the United Nations was signed in 1945, human rights have constituted one of its three pillars, along with peace and development. As noted in a dictum coined during the World Summit of 2005: "There can be no peace without development, no development without peace, and neither without respect for human rights." But while progress has been made in all three domains, it is with respect to human rights that the organization's performance has experienced some of its greatest shortcomings. Not coincidentally, the human rights pillar receives only a fraction of the resources enjoyed by the other two—a mere 3 percent of the general budget.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Jens Bartelson
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Sovereignty apparently never ceases to attract scholarly attention. Long gone are the days when its meaning was uncontested and its essential attributes could be safely taken for granted by international theorists. During the past decades international relations scholars have increasingly emphasized the historical contingency of sovereignty and the mutability of its corresponding institutions and practices, yet these accounts have been limited to the changing meaning and function of sovereignty within the international system. This focus has served to reinforce some of the most persistent myths about the origin of sovereignty, and has obscured questions about the diffusion of sovereignty outside the European context.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sir Richard Jolly
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: As of 2007 the world economy has been caught in the worst crisis since the 1930s. Yet after two years of only partly successful efforts to mobilize and coordinate global action of financial control and stimulus, ending with the G-20 meeting of March 2009, responsibility for corrective economic initiatives has essentially been left to individual countries, supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU). Moreover, such support has been usually conditional on countries following financial policies of tough austerity. The United States took some actions to stimulate its economy, but by many accounts these were insufficient. Most of Europe has not even attempted stimulus measures and has been in a period of economic stagnation, with falling real incomes among the poorest parts of the population. Although some signs of “recovery” have been heralded in 2013 and 2014, growth has mostly been measured from a lower base. There is little evidence of broad-based economic recovery, let alone improvements in the situation of the poor or even of the middle-income groups.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: James Bohman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: In Just Freedom, Philip Pettit undertakes significant revisions of some of his republican commitments. The book has many new and innovative ideas, but most of all this work sharpens Pettit's thinking on the role of democracy in republicanism, and on the often positive interaction between the two. Above all, it seems to me that Pettit's own account of basic freedoms has become broader and wider, and now includes a cosmopolitan conception of what we owe other human beings, whoever they are.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Steve Vanderheiden
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: With the failure of the international community to negotiate a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol in late 2011, and with little prospect of U.S. ratification of any treaty framework that includes binding green¬house emission targets, hope for a sustainable and effective international climate policy appears dim. As of 2012, only Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union continue to endorse binding post-Kyoto greenhouse emissions targets, with countries representing half the emissions controlled under Kyoto rejecting any further binding mitigation commitments in the absence of a treaty framework that includes the United States. Further, the remaining commitments are likely to be tested by political and economic turmoil that strains the ability of the governments to maintain them. While the "roadmap" that emerged from the seventeenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-17)of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)-held in Durban, South Africa-calls for a post-Kyoto treaty to be negotiated by 2015 and to take effect by 2020,ongoing reluctance by China, India, and the United States to accept binding emissions caps threatens to frustrate progress toward any such future agreement. Given the rapidly closing window of opportunity to begin reversing current trends of increasing global emissions and to eventually stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at levels that would prevent the dire consequences predicted by "business as usual" trajectories, significant mitigation action remains urgently needed, with climate change adaptation programs becoming increasingly important.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand
  • Author: Nader Hashemi
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring of 2011 is widely viewed today as one of the great historical moments of political transformation. Comparisons have been made to the European revolutions of 1848 and the post-cold war democratic transitions in Eastern Europe, while some have spoken of a possible "fourth wave" of democratization. These analogies make sense given that longstanding dictators who seemed impervious to political change, in a region known for persistent authoritarianism, were suddenly toppled by largely nonviolent protesters invoking the universal themes of political freedom, dignity, and social justice. From the outset, however, the Arab Spring was met by a small chorus of criticism and contempt from prominent intellectuals, writers, and politicians.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia