One possible outcome of the economic crash of 2008 was that
the majority or mainstream members of a society would direct their anger and
fear against the minority or marginal members of their society.
Commentators on television or the radio would claim, “it’s all the fault of the
immigrants!” or “if we didn’t hand over so much of our tax dollars to the poor,
the economy would not have deteriorated so much,” or “social benefits to
African Americans [or German Turks] have distorted the housing market.”
Citizens would come to believe these assertions, politicians would echo them—and the upshot would be not only a deteriorating national and international
economy but also increased hostility and fear among racial, ethnic, or
nationality groups in a country. Social solidarity would decline, perhaps
Some central questions in the natural and social sciences can't be
answered by controlled laboratory experiments, often considered to be
the hallmark of the scientific method. This impossibility holds for any
science concerned with the past. In addition, many manipulative
experiments, while possible, would be considered immoral or illegal.
One has to devise other methods of observing, describing, and
explaining the world.In the historical disciplines, a fruitful approach has been to
use natural experiments or the comparative method. This book consists
of eight comparative studies drawn from history, archeology, economics,
economic history, geography, and political science. The studies cover a
spectrum of approaches, ranging from a non-quantitative narrative style
in the early chapters to quantitative statistical analyses in the later
chapters. The studies range from a simple two-way comparison of Haiti
and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola, to
comparisons of 81 Pacific islands and 233 areas of India. The societies
discussed are contemporary ones, literate societies of recent
centuries, and non-literate past societies. Geographically, they
include the United States, Mexico, Brazil, western Europe, tropical
Africa, India, Siberia, Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific
islands.In an Afterword, the editors discuss how to cope with
methodological problems common to these and other natural experiments
The Europeans can be proud as they look back on fifty years of peaceful integration.
Nowadays many people in the world see the European Union as a model of how states
and their citizens can work together in peace and in freedom. However, this achievement
does not automatically mean that the EU has the ability to deal with the problems of the
future in a rapidly changing world. For this reason the European Union needs to keep
developing its unity in diversity in a dynamic way, be it with regard to energy issues,
the euro, climate change or new types of conflict. Self-assertion and solidarity are the
fundamental concepts which will shape the forthcoming discourse.“Europe in Dialogue“ wishes to make a contribution to this open debate. The analyses
in this series subject political concepts, processes and institutions to critical scrutiny and
suggest ways of reforming internal and external European policymaking so that it is fit
for the future. However, “Europe in Dialogue“ is not merely trying to encourage an intraEuropean debate, and makes a point of including authors from non-EU states. Looking
at an issue from a different angle or from a distance often helps to facilitate the crucial
change of perspective which in turn makes it possible to continue to develop Europe in
a meaningful way and to engage in a critical and yet courteous discourse with other
civilizations and continents.Download the PDF.
All managers face a business environment in which international and macroeconomic phenomena matter. International capital flows can significantly affect countries' development efforts and provide clear investment opportunities for businesses. During the 1990s and early 2000s, the world witnessed an explosion in capital flows at the global level. Gross foreign assets and liabilities stood at two or three times GDP for many countries, as compared to just two decades ago. This explosive growth, especially in emerging markets, has been fueled both by changes in world politics (e.g., the end of the Cold War, collapse of the Soviet Union, shifting political climate in China, and political changes in Latin America and Asia) and advances in technology. Private capital flows—debt finance, equity capital, and foreign direct investment (FDI)—became larger than current and past official capital flows. This new era of foreign capital mobility has also been characterized by low interest rates in industrial countries, growing external imbalances in the US economy, and the rise of China, all of which posed new challenges to policy management. In 2009, the global economy remained mired in a deep crisis following the subprime meltdown in the US. The situation was also a true testimony of how intertwined individual economies had become over the years. The effect of policies to deal with the ongoing global crisis and new policy choices remain to be seen. Understanding these phenomena—the determinants of capital flows, the effects of foreign capital on host countries, the impact of exchange-rate movements, and the genesis of financial and currency crises—is a crucial aspect to making informed managerial decisions. The cases in this book have been designed to give students an appreciation of the critical role of institutions and policies in affecting patterns of international capital flows and the abilities of government to manage them effectively. The case studies are tied together by two broad themes: (1) the determinants and effects of international capital, and (2) policy-makers' management of these flows. The cases approach these themes by exploring institutional detail in deep local context. The cases expose students to recent key events that have shaped the way economists think about these subjects. The events covered have a clear global perspective as the cases are set in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, as well as the United States. The cases also cover events that occurred during the last three decades as not only do they affect the business environment that managers face today but they also hold important lessons. An important feature the cases reveal is the cyclical nature of international capital flows. Global Capital and National Institutions: Crisis and Choice in the International Financial Architecture is composed of three intellectual segments: (1) Determinants and Effects of International Capital Flows, (2) Policies and Strategies for Harnessing the Benefits of Financial Globalization, (3) Challenges and Policies of Large Economies. Chapter I presents a detailed overview of the cases and readings in the module and relates the cases included to the main patterns of international capital flows in the last thirty years. Finally, the chapter also presents the key insights from the field of international economics covered in the cases as well as the current state of debate among policy-makers.
The politics of food is changing fast. In rich countries, obesity is now a more serious problem than hunger. Consumers once satisfied with cheap and convenient food now want food that is also safe, nutritious, fresh, and grown by local farmers using fewer chemicals. Heavily subsidized and under-regulated commercial farmers are facing stronger push-back from environmentalists and consumer activists, and food companies are under the microscope. Meanwhile in developing countries, agricultural success in Asia has spurred income growth and dietary enrichment, but agricultural failure in Africa has left one third of all citizens undernourished. The international markets that link these diverse regions together are subject to sudden disruption, as noted when an unexpected spike in international food prices in 2008 caused street riots in a dozen or more countries. In an easy-to-navigate, question-and-answer format, Food Politics carefully examines and explains the most important issues on today's global food landscape, including the food crisis of 2008, famines, the politics of chronic hunger, the Malthusian race between food production and population growth, international food aid, controversies surrounding "green revolution" farming, the politics of obesity, farm subsidies and trade, agriculture and the environment, agribusiness, supermarkets, food safety, fast food, slow food, organic food, local food, and genetically engineered food.Politics in each of these areas has become polarized over the past decade by conflicting claims and accusations from advocates on all sides. Paarlberg's book maps this contested terrain through the eyes of an independent scholar not afraid to unmask myths and name names. More than a few of today's fashionable beliefs about farming and food are brought down a notch under this critical scrutiny. For those ready to have their thinking about food politics informed and also challenged, this is the book to read.Features
Concise, straightforward introduction to the range of phenomena the media has dubbed nullfood politicsnull.
Will act as a counterpoint to the overwhelmingly alarmist literature on the food crisis.
Paarlberg is an expert on food policy, a viewpoint underrepresented in the current popular literature.
Lively writing, highly readable Q&A format; part of the popular What Everyone Needs to Know series.
One possible outcome of the
economic crash of 2008 was that the majority or mainstream members of a society
would direct their anger and fear against the minority or marginal members of
their society. Commentators on
television or the radio would claim, “it’s all the fault of the immigrants!” or
“if we didn’t hand over so much of our tax dollars to the poor, the economy
would not have deteriorated so much,” or “social benefits to African Americans
[or German Turks] have distorted the housing market.” Citizens would come to believe these assertions,
politicians would echo them—and the upshot would be not only a deteriorating
national and international economy but also increased hostility and fear among
racial, ethnic, or nationality groups in a country. Social solidarity would decline, perhaps
is often described as the most and France as one of the least
successful countries in the realm of immigrant incorporation, the question remains
unresolved of how to evaluate a country’s policies for dealing with immigration
and incorporation relative to that of others.Our strategy is to examine the relationships among 1) countries’
policies and practices with regard to admitting immigrants, 2) their educational
policies for incorporating first and second generation immigrants, and 3)
educational achievement of immigrants and their children.We compare eight western industrialized
countries. We find that immigration regimes, educational regimes, and schooling
outcomes are linked distinctively in each country.>States that are liberal, or effective, on one
dimension may be relatively conservative, or ineffective, on another, and
countries vary in their willingness and ability to help disadvantaged people
achieve upward mobility through immigration and schooling. >We conclude that by some normative standards, France has a better immigration regime than does
Overall, this study points to new ways to study immigration and new normative
standards for judging states’ policies of incorporation.
Imagine you could eavesdrop on a dinner party with three of the
most fascinating historical figures of all time. In this landmark book,
a gifted Harvard historian puts you in the room with Churchill, Stalin,
and Roosevelt as they meet at a climactic turning point in the war to
hash out the terms of the peace. The ink wasn't dry when the
recriminations began. The conservatives who hated Roosevelt's New Deal
accused him of selling out. Was he too sick? Did he give too much in
exchange for Stalin's promise to join the war against Japan? Could he
have done better in Eastern Europe? Both Left and Right would blame
Yalta for beginning the Cold War. Plokhy's conclusions, based
on unprecedented archival research, are surprising. He goes against
conventional wisdom—cemented during the Cold War—and argues that an
ailing Roosevelt did better than we think. Much has been made of FDR's
handling of the Depression; here we see him as wartime chief. Yalta
is authoritative, original, vividly–written narrative history.
This timely and important collection of original essays analyzes China’s foremost social cleavage: the rural-urban gap. It is now clear that the Chinese communist revolution, though professing dedication to an egalitarian society, in practice created a rural order akin to serfdom, in which 80 percent of the population was effectively bound to the land. China is still struggling with that legacy. The reforms of 1978 changed basic aspects of economic and social life in China’s villages and cities and altered the nature of the rural-urban relationship. But some important institutions and practices have changed only marginally or not at all, and China is still sharply divided into rural and urban castes with different rights and opportunities in life, resulting in growing social tensions.
The twenty-first century began with a very unequal distribution of power resources. With five percent of the world's population, the United States accounted for about a quarter of the world's economic output, was responsible for nearly half of global military expenditures, and had the most extensive cultural and educational soft-power resources. All this is still true, but the future of U.S. power is hotly debated. Many observers have interpreted the 2008 global financial crisis as the beginning of American decline. The National Intelligence Council, for example, has projected that in 2025, "the U.S. will remain the preeminent power, but that American dominance will be much diminished."Power is the ability to attain the outcomes one wants, and the resources that produce it vary in different contexts. Spain in the sixteenth century took advantage of its control of colonies and gold bullion, the Netherlands in the seventeenth century profited from trade and finance, France in the eighteenth century benefited from its large population and armies, and the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century derived power from its primacy in the Industrial Revolution and its navy. This century is marked by a burgeoning revolution in information technology and globalization, and to understand this revolution, certain pitfalls need to be avoided.First, one must beware of misleading metaphors of organic decline. Nations are not like humans, with predictable life spans. Rome remained dominant for more than three centuries after the peak of its power, and even then it did not succumb to the rise of another state. For all the fashionable predictions of China, India, or Brazil surpassing the United States in the next decades, the greater threat may come from modern barbarians and nonstate actors. In an information-based world, power diffusion may pose a bigger danger than power transition. Conventional wisdom holds that the state with the largest army prevails, but in the information age, the state (or the nonstate actor) with the best story may sometimes win.
For the complete article go to the Foreign Affairs website.
What precisely constitutes an American bourgeoisie? Scholars have grappled with the question for a long time. Economic positions—the ownership of capital, for instance—most obviously define this group but cannot explain the emergence of shared identities or the capacity for collective action: after all, economic interests frequently drove capital-rich Americans apart as they competed for markets or governmental favors. Engaging fundamental questions about American society in the nineteenth century, this book argues that one of the most important factors in the self-definition of the bourgeoisie was its articulation of a shared culture.
On November 1, 2006, Peruvian president Alan García announced he would
be proposing a new law that would include the death penalty as one
sanction for terrorism in the Penal Code. As he
argued, “We are not going to allow Shining Path to return and paint
their slogans on the walls of our universities. Once this law is
approved, anyone who commits the serious crime of terrorism
will find themselves facing a firing squad. A war forewarned does not
Competitive authoritarian regimes—in which autocrats submit to meaningful multiparty elections but engage in serious democratic abuse—proliferated in the post–Cold War era. Based on a detailed study of 35 cases in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and post-communist Eurasia, this book explores the fate of competitive authoritarian regimes between 1990 and 2008. It finds that where social, economic, and technocratic ties to the West were extensive, as in Eastern Europe and the Americas, the external cost of abuse led incumbents to cede power rather than crack down, which led to democratization. Where ties to the West were limited, external democratizing pressure was weaker and countries rarely democratized. In these cases, regime outcomes hinged on the character of state and ruling party organizations. Where incumbents possessed developed and cohesive coercive party structures, they could thwart opposition challenges, and competitive authoritarian regimes survived; where incumbents lacked such organizational tools, regimes were unstable but rarely democratized.
The closed and open economy literatures work on estimating real rigidities, but in parallel. We bring the two literatures together to shed light on this question. We use international price data and exchange rate shocks to evaluate the importance of real rigidities in price setting. We show that consistent with the presence of real rigidities the response of reset-price inflation to exchange rate shocks depicts significant persistence. Individual import prices, conditional on changing, respond to exchange rate shocks prior to the last price change.
Presented at the NBER 25th Macroannual Conference, April 9-10, 2010.Download PDF
In a democracy, knowledge is power.—Jerit et al. 2006, 266
The two simplest truths I know about the distribution of political information in modern
electorates are that the mean is low and the variance high.—Converse 1990, 372
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never
was and never will be.—Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Yancey, 1816
It is rare for countries to give up their currencies and thus
their ability to influence such critical aspects of their economies as
interest and exchange rates. Yet ten years ago a number of European
countries did exactly that when they adopted the euro. Despite some
dissent, there were a number of arguments in favor of this policy
change: it would facilitate exchange of goods, money, and people by
decreasing costs; it would increase trade; and it would enhance
efficiency and competitiveness at the international level. A
decade is an ideal time frame over which to evaluate the success of the
euro and whether it has lived up to expectations. To that aim, Europe and the Euro
looks at a number of important issues, including the effects of the
euro on reform of goods and labor markets; its influence on business
cycles and trade among members; and whether the single currency has
induced convergence or divergence in the economic performance of member
countries. While adoption of the euro may not have met the expectations
of its most optimistic proponents, the benefits have been many, and
there is reason to believe that the euro is robust enough to survive
recent economic shocks. This volume is an essential reference on the
first ten years of the euro and the workings of a monetary union.
Alesina, Alberto. Europe and the Euro. University of Chicago Press, 2010.
A founding dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government,
Allison applies a long, distinguished career in government and academia
to this sobering—indeed frightening—presentation of U.S. vulnerability
to a terrorist nuclear attack. While he begins by asserting such an
attack is preventable, the balance of his text is anything but
reassuring. Allison begins by describing the broad spectrum of groups
who could intend a nuclear strike against the U.S. They range from an
al-Qaeda with its own Manhattan Project to small and determined doomsday
cults. Their tools can include a broad spectrum of weapons, either
stolen or homemade from raw materials increasingly available worldwide.
Once terrorists acquire a nuclear bomb, Allison argues, its delivery to
an American target may be almost impossible to stop under current
security measures. The Bush administration, correct in waging war
against nuclear terrorism, has not, he says, yet developed a
comprehensive counter strategy. Arguing that the only way to eliminate
nuclear terrorism's threat is to lock down the weapons at the source,
Allison recommends nothing less than a new international order based on
no insecure nuclear material, no new facilities for processing uranium
or enriching plutonium and no new nuclear states. Those policies,
Allison believes, do not stretch beyond the achievable, if pursued by a
combination of quid pro quos and intimidation in an international
context of negotiation and a U.S. foreign policy he describes as "humble." A humble policy in turn will facilitate building a world
alliance against nuclear terrorism and acquiring the intelligence
necessary for success against prospective nuclear terrorists. It will
also require time, money and effort. Like the Cold War, the war on
nuclear terrorism will probably be a long struggle in the twilight. But
no student of the fact, Allison asserts, doubts that another major
terrorist attack is in the offing. "We do not have the luxury," he
declares, "of hoping the beast will simply go away."
In 2009 the management of Vale, a Brazilian diversified mining company and the largest iron ore producer in the world, was under pressure from at least two fronts. First, the emergence of China as the most important consumer of iron ore in the last few years had changed the pricing system for iron ore from long-term contracts based on negotiated "benchmark prices" to contracts based on spot prices, usually forcing mining companies to pay for shipping. Second, for Brazil's charismatic president, Lula, a former union leader, Vale's layoffs during the global financial crisis and its perceived move away from Brazil (as Vale increased its exports to China and purchased Chinese vessels to ship iron ore to Asia) were reasons to start an open campaign to pressure Vale and Agnelli to invest in integrated steel mills in Brazil. In October of 2009, the CEO of Vale, Roger Agnelli was going to meet with Lula and had to decide what to do to attenuate these political pressures. What could Agnelli do to deal with political pressures at home? Was the purchase of large vessels to ship iron ore to Asia a good decision at a time when the shipping industry had spare capacity?
International law has enjoyed a recent renaissance as an important subfield of study within international relations. Two trends are evident in the recent literature. First, the obsession with theoretical labels is on the decline. Second, empirical, especially quantitative, work is burgeoning. This article reviews the literature in four issues areas—security, war, and peace; international trade; protection of the environment; and human rights—and concludes we have a much stronger basis for assessing claims about compliance and violation now than was the case only a few years ago. Still, the literature suffers from a few weaknesses, including problems of selection and endogeneity of treaties themselves and an enduring state-centric focus, despite the fact that researchers recognize that nonstate and substate actors influence treaty behavior. Nonetheless, the quality and quantity of new work demonstrates that international law has regained an important place in the study of international politics.