The Cold War and the early post-Cold War periods were relatively easy to define and comprehend. The first was roughly the struggle between two superpowers forming a bipolar system where almost every state had to choose a side. What followed was a period described by Fukuyama as “The End of History” announcing the triumph of liberal ideas. The US was a global hegemon: selecting when to intervene, expanding NATO’s reach, and dominating international institutions. Following the 9/11 attacks unilateralism was exposed and thereafter multilateralism appeared—with its limitations. Today, “regional multilateralism” may be the next paradigm that can bring about peace, cooperation, and stability in global affairs.
The rise and fall of US hegemony during the 1990s has been documented. The Unipolar moment, a Foreign Affairs article by Charles Krauthammer, encapsulates the main point in the title. It was a moment. Once this “moment” was over, Fareed Zakaria and others have been imagining a “post-American world.”
U.S. power and its global role remain at the core of the contemporary discussion. America still is—and probably will remain for a long time - the world’s undisputed leader in military, economic and technological power. However, the politics of austerity at home and pressing realities abroad necessitate a new U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. cannot go it alone.
Indeed, the US has been refocusing its foreign policy and Obama has been using the term multilateralism repeatedly. Multilateralism is a prudent strategy for the U.S. and the international system at large, however it is incomplete. Multilateralism has reached its limits when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program, recognition of Palestine, the six party talks on North Korea, and Kosovo’s independence—to name just a few thorny issues.
In a world of diminished US involvement and unsuccessful multilateralist endeavors, an alternative vision for global engagement is necessary. Instead we are faced with a reluctant China, an unprepared India, an European Union in the midst of a financial debacle and a host of regional powers that focus on their neighborhood rather than claiming a global role. Given these realities, regional multilateralism can serve as the way out from this dead end.
Regionally, the Middle East is as explosive as ever. The Western Balkans are doubtful about their future within the European Union and may again implode. The African continent has many ongoing conflicts and even more potential ones unresolved. In Latin America at least two alternative visions for the region are competing. The Far East is actively searching ways to live with the rise of China. These and other contemporary problems can be better solved at the regional rather than the bilateral or global levels.
This context highlights the importance of regional integration and multilateralism. Regional multilateralism is building on these very ideas. Bringing these two together is necessary in today’s world. The buds of regional integration are everywhere in the making but they have not yet been clearly connected with the principles of multilateralism.
The EU serves as an example of regional integration and others are following its steps. The African Union has also stepped up its peacekeeping efforts and moved toward further economic integration. However, the quest for regional multilateralism should not be confined by a conventional understanding of geography. For instance, Russia may be a force for stability both in the Far East and Central Asia, China may have a stake in the affairs of Latin America and Africa, and different parts of what we call the Middle East may integrate with parts of Central Asia or Europe. The very prospect of Turkey joining the EU may be a sign of such developments.
Cross-regional cooperation is key to regional multilateralism. The transatlantic dialogue model between the US and Europe can and should be exported. For instance, in the Far East the U.S. and the EU both cooperate with ASEAN. China and Russia have extended their ties through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This however did not prevent Russia from establishing the Eurasian Union, in a way reclaiming its sphere of influence. The Middle East, on the other hand, is in dire need of broader—albeit imaginative—regional integration.
The inability of any one power to confront global challenges will lead responsible powers into the fold of regional multilateralism. The transition will be facilitated if it builds on existing regional integration structures. This way, every state will ultimately become a stakeholder in the international system.
For that to happen, regional leaders need to operate as focal points. They need to listen, persuade and inspire insiders, while coordinating with outsiders. This process is different from the traditional spheres of influence system. It is based not on Monroe Doctrine-type of arrangements and coercion but rather on reassuring security umbrellas and mutually beneficial trade blocs.
Within this new paradigm, emerging regional leaders—such as China, Russia, India, Japan, Brazil, Turkey, and South Africa—will play a more significant role within their regions while at the same time will take part in cross regional and global issues.
More than half a century after John F. Kennedy dismissed the role that his Catholic faith would play when he was elected president, today’s candidates for the nation’s highest executive office still have to navigate the electoral implications of religion.
In a talk sponsored by Harvard Divinity School (HDS), four religious scholars took up the question of “Religion and the Election: Does it Matter?”
The panelists suggested that while the faith of any individual candidate seems less important now to the electorate, Americans remain attracted to candidates whose values mesh with their own views, which are largely informed by specific religious traditions. Religion can help to shed light on important election issues, the panelists agreed, but a couple of them worried that religion can also be a means of defining voters too narrowly.Religion and election issues
For panelist J. Bryan Hehir, politics and religion “certainly should be” connected in domestic policy, foreign policy, and health care. Those issues are part of the secular debate, he said, but should also be discussed in “religious moral terms.”
Concern for the poor, a tenet of the Catholic Church that focuses on the welfare of society’s powerless, is useful when thinking about debt reduction and fiscal policy, said Hehir. The same principle is helpful in foreign policy and in nonproliferation, an issue “inherently discriminatory” when viewed through an ethical lens. “We’ve got to deal with the question, in the wider perspective of the world,” said Hehir, the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at Harvard Kennedy School, “of how to reduce the privileges that come with nuclear weapons.”
Religion can also offer a multidimensional perspective on health care, he said, including the “social justice” question of medical coverage in the United States.
A Jewish perspective
The nation’s Jewish population is also a cultural community drawn together around common concerns, said Boston College Theology Professor Ruth Langer. Unsurprisingly, its top concern is Israel. According to Langer, Jewish voters in the United States want a candidate who will support that nation and a viable peace process. They also want someone well-versed in the nuances of international affairs.
Over the past four years, many in the Jewish community have developed “deep concerns” about President Barack Obama’s level of understanding of the political and emotional complexities of the region, said Langer.
Mitt Romney’s candidacy and a hit Broadway musical have brought Mormonism into the spotlight, both in the election and in popular culture. Such exposure has shown a diversity among Mormons, one that could have political implications, said Max Perry Mueller, a Ph.D. candidate at HDS and associate editor of the online news journal Religion & Politics.While a recent Pew Research Center poll said that 74 percent of Mormons are leaning toward voting Republican, Mueller painted a more diverse political and ideological picture of the members of the Mormon Church, one that includes subsets like Mormons for Obama.Defining evangelicals
According to another scholar, evangelicals are also diverse. Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, and professor of religion and society at HDS, deconstructed the popular belief that evangelicals are largely white, conservative, and middle class.Instead, the term, argued Walton, includes those to the far right concerned with Christian Reconstructionism, progressives on the left whose evangelical tradition is tied closely to social justice, and many people in between who defy easy classification.“In 2006, 38 percent of Americans self-identified as evangelicals, yet when measured against the nine-point criteria derived from the belief statement of the National Association of Evangelicals, only 8 percent would qualify as evangelicals.”
Those evangelicals, said Walton, are “less likely to be married, they have lower household incomes, they are less Southern, they are less conservative, they are less Republican, and they are less white.
“When one considers all of these factors,” he said, “does the evangelical vote really matter at all? Or is it just something created by the infotainment news cycle to be a nice story about the ways evangelicals impact national elections as long as we define them in a particular sort of way?”
Two decades ago affairs between the United States and Cuba had seen little improvement from the Cold War era. Today, U.S.–Cuban relations are in many respects still in poor shape, yet some cooperative elements have begun to take hold and offer promise for future developments. Illustrated by the ongoing migration agreement, professional military-to-military relations at the perimeter of the U.S. base near Guantánamo, and professional Coast Guard-Guardafrontera cooperation across the Straits of Florida, the two governments are actively exploring whether and how to change the pattern of interactions.
The differences that divide the two nations are real, not the result of misperception, and this volume does not aspire to solve all points of disagreement. Drawing on perspectives from within Cuba as well as those in the United States, Canada, and Europe, these authors set out to analyze contemporary policies, reflect on current circumstances, and consider possible alternatives for improved U.S.-Cuban relations. The resulting collection is permeated with both disagreements and agreements from leading thinkers on the spectrum of issues the two countries face—matters of security, the role of Europe and Latin America, economic issues, migration, and cultural and scientific exchanges in relations between Cuba and the United States. Each topic is represented by perspectives from both Cuban and non-Cuban scholars, leading to a resource rich in insight and a model of transnational dialogue.
Dionysius the Areopagite, the early sixth-century Christian writer, bridged Christianity and neo-Platonist philosophy. Bringing together a team of international scholars, this volume surveys how Dionysius’s thought and work has been interpreted, in both East and West, up to the present day.
One of the first volumes in English to survey the reception history of Dionysian thought, both East and West
Provides a clear account of both modern and post-modern debates about Dionysius’s standing as philosopher and Christian theologian
Examines the contrasts between Dionysius’s own pre-modern concerns and those of the post-modern philosophical tradition
Highlights the great variety of historic readings of Dionysius, and also considers new theories and interpretations
Analyzes the main points of hermeneutical contrast between East and West
Africa is largely agrarian and the performance of agriculture shapes the performance of its economies. It has long been argued that economic development in Africa is strongly conditioned by politics. Recent changes in Africa’s political systems enables us to test this argument and, by extension, broader claims about the impact of political institutions on economic development. Building on a recent analysis of total factor productivity growth in African agriculture, we find that the introduction of competitive presidential elections in the last decades of the 20th Century appears to have altered political incentives, resulting in policy reforms that have enhanced the performance of farmers.
The monarchical presidential regimes that prevailed in the Arab world for so long looked as though they would last indefinitely—until events in Tunisia and Egypt made clear their time was up. The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life exposes for the first time the origins and dynamics of a governmental system that largely defined the Arab Middle East in the twentieth century.Presidents who rule for life have been a feature of the Arab world since independence. In the 1980s their regimes increasingly resembled monarchies as presidents took up residence in palaces and made every effort to ensure their sons would succeed them. Roger Owen explores the main features of the prototypical Arab monarchical regime: its household; its inner circle of corrupt cronies; and its attempts to create a popular legitimacy based on economic success, a manipulated constitution, managed elections, and information suppression.Why has the Arab world suffered such a concentration of permanent presidential government? Though post-Soviet Central Asia has also known monarchical presidencies, Owen argues that a significant reason is the “Arab demonstration effect,” whereby close ties across the Arab world have enabled ruling families to share management strategies and assistance. But this effect also explains why these presidencies all came under the same pressure to reform or go. Owen discusses the huge popular opposition the presidential systems engendered during the Arab Spring, and the political change that ensued, while also delineating the challenges the Arab revolutions face across the Middle East and North Africa.
One of the most dramatic changes in the fiscal federalism landscape during the postwar period has been the rapid growth in state budgets, which almost tripled as a share of GDP and doubled as a share of government spending between 1952 and 2006. We argue that the greater role of states cannot be easily explained by changes in Tiebout forces of fiscal competition, such as mobility and voting patterns, and are not accounted for by demographic or income trends. Rather, we demonstrate that much of the growth in state budgets has been driven by changes in intergovernmental interactions. Restricted federal grants to states have increased, and federal policy and legal constraints have also mandated or heavily incentivized state own-source spending, particularly in the areas of education, health and public welfare. These outside pressures moderate the forces of fiscal competition and must be taken into account when assessing the implications of observed revenue and spending patterns.
There is growing concern over the rising share of the US economy devoted to health care spending. Fueled in part by demographic transitions, unchecked increases in entitlement spending will necessitate some combination of substantial tax increases, elimination of other public spending, or unsustainable public debt. This massive increase in health spending might be warranted if each dollar devoted to the health care sector yielded real health benefits, but this does not seem to be the case. Although we have seen remarkable gains in life expectancy and functioning over the past several decades, there is substantial variation in the health benefits associated with different types of spending. Some treatments, such as aspirin, beta blockers, and flu shots, produce a large health benefit per dollar spent. Other more expensive treatments, such as stents for cardiovascular disease, are high value for some patients but poor value for others. Finally, a large and expanding set of treatments, such as proton-beam therapy or robotic surgery, contributes to rapid increases in spending despite questionable health benefits. Moving resources toward more productive uses requires encouraging providers to deliver and patients to consume high-value care, a daunting task in the current political landscape. But widespread inefficiency also offers hope: Given the current distribution of resources in the US health care system, there is tremendous potential to improve the productivity of health care spending and the fiscal health of the United States.
We investigate how the link between individual schooling and political participation is affected by country characteristics. Using individual survey data, we ﬁnd that political participation is more responsive to schooling in land-abundant countries and less responsive in human capital - abundant countries, even while controlling for country political institutions and cultural attitudes. We ﬁnd related evidence that political participation is less responsive to schooling in countries with a higher skill premium, as well as within countries for individuals in skilled occupations. The evidence motivates a theoretical explanation in which patterns of political participation are inﬂuenced by the opportunity cost of engaging in political rather than production activities.
Amartya Sen, the winner of the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, has been decorated with the title of Chevalier in France’s Legion of Honor. Currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and a professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University, Sen has been honored for his contributions to the measurement of economic progress in France.The Legion of Honor, created in 1802 by Napoleon, is France’s highest public decoration, and though normally reserved for French nationals who have served the country in a military or civil capacity, the title is also given to noncitizens as recognition of an extraordinary service to France.Upon the request of former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, Sen served as chair adviser of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. This commission transformed the way in which French policy decisions are formed by underlining the importance of measuring progress by more than just GDP, instead focusing on overall quality of life and factors such as crime, environment, health care access, and income inequality.Sen has gained international recognition as an academic who has played a serious role on the political stage. His work on the causes of famine, inspired by his childhood in India, has helped to change public perceptions of starvation by demonstrating how famine can occur even when domestic food production has not decreased. Moreover, he aided in the creation of the United Nations’ Human Development Index, which addresses the argument that simple measures of GNP are not adequate indicators of global living standards.Throughout his extraordinary career, Sen seems to never shy from a battle, working tirelessly to promote human rights, gender equality, and justice within the context of globalization. As an author, he has written countless books on economics and philosophy, including topics such as welfare economics, development economics, public health, gender studies, and social choice theory, a philosophical foundation backed by mathematics that earned him the Nobel Prize. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages and continue to garner international attention.An Indian citizen, Sen was born in Santiniketan, India, and he studied at the Presidency College, Calcutta, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. Having dedicated his career to the study and teaching of economics and philosophy, he has taught at many esteemed universities including Jadavpur University Calcutta, the Delhi School of Economics, and the London School of Economics, and he was also Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University. Currently a senior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is also a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, an institution where he was master from 1998 to 2004.Additionally, Sen has served as the president of the Econometric Society, the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association, and the International Economic Association. Formerly the honorary president of Oxfam International, he is now its honorary adviser. He has received honorary doctorates from major universities on four continents, and has won numerous awards throughout his career.
On 25 March 2012, Macky Sall of the Alliance for the Republic (APR)
won the second round of Senegal’s presidential election with 65.8 percent
of the vote, handily defeating incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade
of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), who had won the most votes
in the first round. In contrast to a tumultuous campaign season, election
day itself was relatively peaceful. Wade graciously accepted defeat,
phoning Sall to congratulate him several hours after the polls closed.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy called this gesture “proof of [Wade’s]
attachment to democracy.” This appraisal is too generous, however.
The peaceful turnover followed months of protests and violent repression,
as well as a rumored intervention by military officials to force
Wade to accept defeat after the second-round voting. Debates about
the constitutionality of Wade’s candidacy, as well as an earlier change
that he had proposed in the election law, helped to generate this turmoil,
which included at least ten deaths, dozens of arrests, and many injuries.
Quietly, with little apparent notice from even the strongest advocates for global mental health, China is undertaking the world’s largest - and arguably most
important - mental health services demonstration project, a project focused on providing comprehensive care for persons with severe mental illnesses. As
Professor Ma indicates in her short report, the ‘686 Project’ was launched as part of China’s commitment to rebuild its public health infrastructure following the
SARS epidemic, and has now moved beyond the initial pilot phase into a process of scaling up community mental health services throughout the country. China
is currently moving toward passage of its first national mental health law, so the project has profound implications for mental health policy in the country. It
will also provide useful models for the development of mental health policies in other countries with limited mental health personnel.
Un rapport de l’ONU du 29 août 2012 met en garde le gouvernement français concernant les évacuations collectives, les rapatriements forcés et les expulsions des communautés Roms, qui risquent de placer des familles entières dans une situation de “grande vulnérabilité.”S’étant fait ainsi “tirer les oreilles,” le ministre français de l’Intérieur, Manuel Valls, s’en prend à son tour à la Roumanie. “Je veux comprendre pourquoi des politiques puissantes ne sont pas menées [en Roumanie] pour intégrer ces populations,” a-t-il déclaré à Europe 1, en annonçant qu’il se rendrait sur place à la mi-septembre, accompagné du ministre délégué aux Affaires européennes, Bernard Cazeneuve.Mais qu’entend donc Monsieur le ministre par de “puissantes politiques d’intégration"? “Puissantes” comment Comme celles qui ont été menées à l’époque des nazis (déportations, expulsions massives et évacuations forcées), des communistes ou bien à l’époque féodale (esclavage)? Ces politiques ne sont plus pratiquées en Roumanie et nous espérons sincèrement qu’elles ne seront plus jamais appliquées ni en Roumanie, ni en France, ni ailleurs.
En revanche, Messieurs les ministres peuvent prendre le modèle roumain des “puissantes politiques d’intégration” pour l’introduire en France! Récapitulons:
1- La politique d’intégration la plus forte et la plus efficace est l’octroi de la citoyenneté, une pratique courante en Roumanie. Toutes les autres “politiques d’intégration” en découlent d’un point de vue législatif.
Les Roms sont des populations nomades, c’est l’une de leurs caractéristiques. Ceux qui se trouvaient sur le territoire de la Roumanie à l’avènement du communisme ont été contraints d’y rester et de restreindre leurs migrations aux frontières du rideau de fer pendant cinquante ans. C’était en effet “une puissante politique d’intégration" par la contrainte, et certains Roms ont perdu leur identité dans cette lutte contre le système communiste. Mais la plupart n’ont jamais renoncé à leurs traditions, et les perpétuent encore aujourd’hui. Les Roms de la Roumanie contemporaine sont citoyens de l’Union européenne, et devraient donc bénéficier de la liberté de circulation et d’établissement sur le territoire de l’UE. C’est loin d’être le cas: les Roms sont “la minorité la plus marginalisée en Europe”, comme le souligne – entre autres – Rita Izsák, expert de l’ONU sur la question des minorités.
La solution est la citoyenneté multiple: roumaine, française, néerlandaise, etc. Ainsi, où qu’ils se trouvent en UE, ces nomades bénéficieraient d’une protection contre la discrimination, qu’elle vienne des autorités ou des populations xénophobes. En somme, la destruction des camps de Roms en France, les expulsions massives et les rapatriements collectifs forcés ne seraient plus qu’un cauchemar dont nous nous réveillerions tous ensemble.
2- En ce qui concerne le marché du travail, la Roumanie ne peut guère se vanter d’élargir la liste de professions auxquelles les Roms peuvent accéder, pour la simple raison qu’il n’y a aucune restriction à cet égard. Si les Roms ont accès à tous les métiers et professions, comment élargir la liste? Malheureusement, la France offre actuellement le plus édifiant exemple d’hypocrisie, en claironnant avoir élargi la liste des métiers que les Roms peuvent exercer. L’existence même d’une liste restrictive nous renvoie au début de l’Holocauste en Roumanie, avec les listes de professions que pouvaient exercer les Juifs.
Et puis comment un individu peut-il occuper un emploi stable et le conserver si sa vie se déroule dans une précarité au-delà de toute imagination, s’il ne sait pas où vont dormir ses enfants à la nuit tombée, si son abri est démoli tous les trois mois par la police française et que sa famille est obligée de déménager chaque semaine d’un hôtel social à un autre?
3- Éviter toute idée de ghetto est une autre politique d’intégration en Roumanie. Dans les villes, dans les villages, les propriétés immobilières des Roms se trouvent aux côtés de celles des Roumains. Par comparaison, l’idée de ces “villages d’intégration” en France paraît navrante, car la ghettoïsation contribue à la marginalisation.
4- En Roumanie, l’assistance médicale des Roms se déroule dans les mêmes hôpitaux et auprès des mêmes médecins de famille que pour les Roumains. Comme tous les citoyens, ils sont inscrits dans le système national d’assurance-maladie.
5- Les enfants des Roms étudient dans les mêmes écoles que les Roumains, mais ils ont aussi des classes d’enseignement dans leur langue maternelle. Il y a des mesures de discrimination positive: des places dans les lycées et facultés leur sont réservées. La France pourrait reprendre cet exemple des cours en langue maternelle pour les enfants roms.
6- La préservation des traditions et des structures traditionnelles est un autre exemple que la France peut prendre sur la Roumanie. Il serait essentiel que le ministre français de l’Intérieur rencontre à Bucarest non seulement des Roumains, mais aussi les représentants des structures traditionnelles des Roms : le roi Cioabă, l’empereur Iulian, les membres du “stabor” [la “cour” de justice des Roms], les chefs des différents clans, etc.
Le problème des Roms n’est plus actuellement seulement un problème roumain, mais un problème européen qui tend à se mondialiser. La Roumanie a appliqué et continue d’appliquer les “puissantes politiques d’intégration” énumérées ci-dessus, mais elle n’a aucune chance de devenir un paradis pour les Roms. Le niveau de vie très bas pousse ces nomades vers des pays plus prospères. Il est tout à fait normal qu’ils préfèrent le meilleur niveau de vie. Et dans l’espace européen, on a pu constater que la nationalité roumaine à elle seule est insuffisante pour protéger de la discrimination ces éternels nomades.
Developing countries traditionally experience pass-through of exchange rate changes that is greater and more rapid than high-income countries experience. This is true equally of the determination of prices of imported goods, prices of local competitors’ products, and the general CPI. But developing countries in the 1990s experienced a rapid downward trend in the degree of pass-through and speed of adjustment, more so than did high-income countries. As a consequence, slow and incomplete pass-through is no longer exclusively a luxury of industrial countries. Using a new data set - prices of eight narrowly defined brand commodities, observed in 76 countries - we find empirical support for some of the factors that have been hypothesized in the literature, but not for others. Significant determinants of the pass-through coefficient include per capita incomes, bilateral distance, tariffs, country size, wages, long-term inflation, and long-term exchange rate variability. Some of these factors changed during the 1990s. Part (and only part) of the downward trend in pass-through to imported goods prices, and in turn to competitors’ prices and the CPI, can be explained by changes in the monetary environment - including a fall in long-term inflation. Real wages work to reduce pass-through to competitors’ prices and the CPI, confirming the hypothesized role of distribution and retail costs in pricing to market. Rising distribution costs, due perhaps to the Balassa-Samuelson-Baumol effect, could contribute to the decline in the pass-through coefficient in some developing countries.
The 2008/09 World Financial Crisis underlined the importance of social responsibility for the sustainable functioning of economic markets. Heralding an age of novel heterodox economic thinking, the call for integrating social facets into mainstream economic models has reached unprecedented momentum. Financial Social Responsibility bridges the finance world with society in socially conscientious investments. Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) integrates corporate social responsibility in investment choices. In the aftermath of the 2008/09 World Financial Crisis, SRI is an idea whose time has come. Socially conscientious asset allocation styles add to expected yield and volatility of securities social, environmental and institutional considerations. In screenings, shareholder advocacy, community investing, social venture capital funding and political divestiture, socially conscientious investors hone their interest to align financial profit maximization strategies with social concerns. In a long history of classic finance theory having blacked out moral and ethical considerations of investment decision making, our knowledge of socio-economic motives for SRI is limited. Apart from economic profitability calculus and strategic leadership advantages, this article sheds light on socio-psychological motives underlying SRI. Altruism, need for innovation and entrepreneurial zest alongside utility derived from social status enhancement prospects and transparency may steer investors’ social conscientiousness. Self-enhancement and social expression of future-oriented SRI options may supplement profit maximization goals. Theoretically introducing potential SRI motives serves as a first step towards an empirical validation of Financial Social Responsibility to improve the interplay of financial markets and the real economy. The pursuit of crisis-robust and sustainable financial markets through strengthened Financial Social Responsibility targets at creating lasting societal value for this generation and the following.
This special issue offers a first systematic qualitative cross-national exploration of how diverse minority groups respond to stigmatization in a wide variety of contexts. This research is the culmination of a coordinated study of stigmatized groups in Brazil, Israel, and the USA, as well as of connected research projects conducted in Canada, France, South Africa, and Sweden. The issue sheds light on the range of destigmatization strategies ordinary people adopt in the course of their daily life. Articles analyze the cultural frames they mobilize to make sense of their experiences and to determine how to respond; how they negotiate and transform social and symbolic boundaries; and how responses are enabled and constrained by institutions, national ideologies, cultural repertoires, and contexts. The similarities and differences across sites provide points of departure for further systematic research, which is particularly needed in light of the challenges for liberal democracy raised by multiculturalism.Related Links
Africa experienced a wave of democratization over the past 20 years and this increase in democracy, we find, positively and significantly affects income per capita. Our dynamic panel data results suggest that countries only slowly converge to their long-run income values as predicted by current democracy levels, however: African countries may therefore be currently too democratic relative to their income levels. In keeping with this possibility, a significant number of countries experience political ‘back sliding’: elections are won by the use of illicit tactics, term limits on political leaders have been overturned and there have been unconstitutional seizures of power.
Empirical testing of competing theories lies at the heart of social science research. We demonstrate that a well-known class of statistical models, called finite mixture models, provides an effective way of rival theory testing. In the proposed framework, each observation is assumed to be generated either from a statistical model implied by one of the competing theories or more generally from a weighted combination of multiple statistical models under consideration. Researchers can then estimate the probability that a specific observation is consistent with each rival theory. By modeling this probability with covariates, one can also explore the conditions under which a particular theory applies.We discuss a principled way to identify a list of observations that are statistically significantly consistent with each theory and propose measures of the overall performance of each competing theory. We illustrate the relative advantages of our method over existing methods through empirical and simulation studies.
The 2012 general election campaign is likely to be a fight for every last vote, which means that it will also be a fight over who gets to cast one.
Partisan skirmishing over election procedures has been going on in state legislatures across the country for several years. Republicans have called for cutbacks in early voting, an end to same-day registration, higher hurdles for ex-felons, the presentation of proof-of-citizenship documents and regulations discouraging registration drives. The centerpiece of this effort has been a national campaign to require voters to present particular photo ID documents at the polls. Characterized as innocuous reforms to preserve election integrity, beefed-up ID requirements have passed in more than a dozen states since 2005 and are still being considered in more than 20 others.
Opponents of the laws, mostly Democrats, claim that they are intended to reduce the participation of the young, of the poor and of minorities, who are most likely to lack government-issued IDs—and also most likely to vote Democratic.
Conflict over exercising the right to vote has been a longstanding theme in our history. The overarching trend, which we celebrate, has been greater inclusion: property requirements were dropped; racial barriers were formally eliminated; women were enfranchised.Yet there have always been counter trends. While the franchise expanded during some moments and in some places, it contracted in others, depriving Americans of a right they had once held. Between 1790 and 1850 - the period when property requirements were being dropped—four Northern states disenfranchised African-American voters, and New Jersey halted a 17-year experiment permitting women to vote. During this same period, nine states passed laws excluding “paupers” from political rights.
After Reconstruction, both major political parties attempted to constrict the electorate, albeit in different locales. In the South—as is well known—Democratic state legislatures employed a variety of devices, including literacy tests, poll taxes, “understanding” clauses and, eventually, Democratic primaries restricted to whites. As a result, African Americans were largely excluded from electoral participation from the 1890s until the 1960s.
In the North, similar, if less draconian, legal changes, generally sponsored by Republicans, targeted (among others) the millions of immigrant workers pouring into the country. In 1921, for example, New York State adopted an English-language literacy requirement for voters that remained in force (and was enforced) for decades. Almost invariably, these new limits on the franchise were fueled by partisan interests and ethnic or racial tensions; they were embraced by respectable Americans, like the eminent historian Francis Parkman, who had come to view universal suffrage as a “questionable blessing.”
Many of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century laws operated not by excluding specific classes of citizens but by erecting procedural obstacles that were justified as measures to prevent fraud or corruption. It was to “preserve the purity of the ballot box” that legislatures passed laws requiring voters to bring their sealed naturalization papers to the polls or to present written evidence that they had canceled their registration at any previous address or to register annually, in person, on one of only two Tuesdays.
The new procedures were widely recognized, by both their advocates and their targets, as having a far greater impact on some groups of voters—immigrants, blue-collar workers, the poor—than on others, and they often succeeded. In Pittsburgh in 1906, a personal registration law, sponsored by Republicans to check the influence of a crusading reformer, cut the number of registered voters in half.
In the 1930s, “pauper exclusion” laws were invoked to disenfranchise jobless men and women who were receiving relief. In 2000, Massachusetts disenfranchised prisoners after they formed an organization to promote inmate rights.
The targets of exclusionary laws have tended to be similar for more than two centuries: the poor, immigrants, African Americans, people perceived to be something other than “mainstream” Americans. No state has ever attempted to disenfranchise upper-middle-class or wealthy white male citizens.
The current wave of procedural restrictions on voting, including strict photo ID requirements, ought to be understood as the latest chapter in a not always uplifting story: Americans of both parties have sometimes rejected democratic values or preferred partisan advantage to fair democratic processes. Acknowledging the realities of our history should lead all of us to be profoundly skeptical of laws that burden, or impede, the exercise of what Lyndon B. Johnson called “the basic right, without which all others are meaningless.” More is at stake here than the outcome of the 2012 election. Even a cursory survey of world events over the last 20—or 100—years makes plain that democracies are fragile, that democratic institutions can be undermined from within. Ours are no exception.
I did a brief interview for All Things Considered last Friday, on the topic of media handling of the current war scare over Iran. Here's a link to the story, which ran over the weekend.The interview got me thinking about the issue of media coverage of this whole business, and I'm sorry to say that most mainstream news organizations have let us down again. Although failures haven't been as egregious as the New York Times and Washington Post's wholesale swallowing of the Bush administration's sales pitch for war in 2002, on the whole the high-end media coverage has been disappointing. Here are my Top Ten Media Failures in the 2012 Iran War Scare.#1: Mainstreaming the war. As I've written before, when prominent media organizations keep publishing alarmist pieces about how war is imminent, likely, inevitable, etc., this may convince the public that it is going to happen sooner or later and it discourages people from looking for better alternatives. Exhibits A and B for this problem are Jeffrey Goldberg's September 2010 article in The Atlantic Monthly and Ronan Bergman's February 2012 article in the New York Times Magazine. Both articles reported that top Israeli leaders believed time was running out and suggested that an attack might come soon.#2: Loose talk about Iran's “nuclear [weapons] program.” A recurring feature of Iran war coverage has been tendency to refer to Iran's “nuclear weapons program” as if its existence were an established fact. U.S. intelligence services still believe that Iran does not have an active program, and the IAEA has also declined to render that judgment either. Interestingly, both the Times' public editor Arthur Brisbane and Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton have recently chided their own organizations for muddying this issue.
#3: Obsessing about Ahmadinejad. A typical insertion into discussions of Iran is to make various references to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, usually including an obligatory reference to his penchant for Holocaust denial and his famously mis-translated statement about Israel “vanishing from the page of time.” This feature is often linked to the issue of whether Iran's leaders are rational or not. But the obsession with Ahmadinejad is misleading in several ways: he has little or no influence over Iran's national security policy, his power has been declining sharply in recent months, and Supreme Leader Ali Khameini - who does make the key decisions - has repeatedly said that nuclear weapons are contrary to Islam. And while we're on the subject of Iranian “rationality,” it is perhaps worth noting that its leaders weren't goofy enough to invade Iraq on a pretext and then spend trillions of dollars fighting an unnecessary war there.
#4: Ignoring Iranian weakness. As I've noted before, Iran is not a very powerful country at present, though it does have considerable potential and could exert far more international influence if its leaders were more competent. But its defense budget is perhaps 1/50th the size of U.S. defense spending, and it has no meaningful power-projection capabilities. It could not mount a serious invasion of any of its neighbors, and could not block the Strait of Hormuz for long, if at all. Among other things, that is why it has to rely on marriages of convenience with groups like Hezbollah or Hamas (who aren't that powerful either). Yet as Glenn Greenwald argues here, U.S. media coverage often portrays Iran as a looming threat, without offering any serious military analysis of its very limited capabilities.#5: Failing to ask why Iran might want a bomb. Discussions of a possible war also tend to assume that if Iran does in fact intend to get a nuclear weapon, it is for some nefarious purpose. But the world's nine nuclear powers all obtained these weapons first and foremost for deterrent purposes (i.e., because they faced significant external threats and wanted a way to guarantee their own survival). Iran has good reason to worry: It has nuclear-armed states on two sides, a very bad relationship with the world's only superpower, and more than three dozen U.S. military facilities in its neighborhood. Prominent U.S. politicians repeatedly call for “regime change” there, and a covert action campaign against Iran has been underway for some time, including the assassination of Iranian civilian scientists.
#6: Failing to consider why Iran might NOT want a bomb. At the same time, discussions of Iran's nuclear ambitions often fail to consider the possibility that Iran might be better off without a nuclear weapons capability. As noted above, Supreme Leader Khameini has repeatedly said that nuclear weapons are contrary to Islam, and he may very well mean it. He could be lying, but that sort of lie would be risky for a regime whose primary basis for legitimacy is its devotion to Islam. For another, Iran has the greatest power potential of any state in the Gulf, and if it had better leadership it would probably be the strongest power in the region. If it gets nuclear weapons some of its neighbors may follow suit, which would partly negate Iran's conventional advantages down the road. Furthermore, staying on this side of the nuclear weapons threshold keeps Iran from being suspected of complicity should a nuclear terrorist attack occur somewhere. For all these reasons, I'd bet Iran wants a latent nuclear option, but not an actual nuclear weapon. But there's been relatively little discussion of that possibility in recent media coverage.#7: Exaggerating Israel's capabilities. In a very real sense, this whole war scare has been driven by the possibility that Israel might feel so endangered that they would launch a preventive war on their own, even if U.S. leaders warned them not to. But the IDF doesn't have the capacity to take out Iran's new facility at Fordow, because they don't have any aircraft that can carry a bomb big enough to penetrate the layers of rock that protect the facilities. And if they can't take out Fordow, then they can't do much to delay Iran's program at all and the only reason they might strike is to try to get the United States dragged in. In short, the recent war scare-whose taproot is the belief that Israel might strike on its own-may be based on a mirage.#8: Letting spinmeisters play fast and loose with facts. Journalists have to let officials and experts express their views, but they shouldn't let them spout falsehoods without pushing back. Unfortunately, there have been some egregious cases where prominent journalists allowed politicians or government officials to utter howlers without being called on it. When Rick Santorum announced on Meet the Press that “there were no inspectors” in Iran, for example, host David Gregory didn't challenge this obvious error. (In fact, Iran may be the most heavily inspected country in the history of the IAEA).
Even worse, when Israeli ambassador Michael Oren appeared on MSNBC last week, he offered the following set of dubious claims, without challenge:“[Iran] has built an underground nuclear facility trying to hide its activities from the world. It has been enriching uranium to a high rate [sic.] that has no explanation other than a military nuclear program - that has been confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency now several times. It is advancing very quickly on an intercontinental ballistic missile system that's capable of carrying nuclear warheads.”
Unfortunately, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell apparently didn't know that Oren's claims were either false or misleading. 1) Iran's underground facility was built to make it hard to destroy, not to “hide its activities,” and IAEA inspectors have already been inside it. 2) Iran is not enriching at a "high rate" (i.e., to weapons-grade); it is currently enriching to only 20% (which is not high enough to build a bomb). 3) Lastly, Western intelligence experts do not think Iran is anywhere near to having an ICBM capability.In another interview on NPR, Oren falsely accused Iran of “killing hundreds, if not thousands of American troops,” a claim that NPR host Robert Siegel did not challenge. Then we got the following exchange:
Oren: “Imagine Iran which today has a bunch of speedboats trying to close the Strait of Hormuz. Imagine if Iran has a nuclear weapon. Imagine if they could hold the entire world oil market blackmailed. Imagine if Iran is conducting terrorist organizations through its terrorist proxies - Hamas, Hezbollah. Now we know there's a connection with al-Qaida. You can't respond to them because they have an atomic weapon.”
Siegel: “Yes. You're saying the consequences of Iran going nuclear are potentially global, and the consequences of a U.S. strike on Iran might also be further such attacks against the United States...”
Never mind the fact that we have been living in the nuclear age for some 60 years now, and no nuclear state has even been able to conduct the sort of aggressive blackmail that Oren suggests Iran would be able to do. Nuclear weapons are good for deterrence, and not much else, but the news media keep repeating alarmist fantasies without asking if they make sense or not.Politicians and government officials are bound to use media moments to sell whatever story they are trying to spin; that's their job. But It is up to journalists to make this hard, and both Mitchell and Siegel didn't. (For another example of sloppy fact-checking, go here).#9. What about the human beings? One of the more bizarre failures of reporting on the war debate has been the dearth of discussion of what an attack might mean for Iranian civilians. If you take out some of Iran's nuclear facilities from the air, for example, there's a very real risk of spreading radioactive material or other poisonous chemicals in populated areas, thereby threatening the lives of lots of civilians. Yet when discussing the potentially dangerous consequences of a war, most discussions emphasize the dangers of Iranian retaliation, or the impact on oil prices, instead of asking how many innocent Iranian civilians might die in the attack. You know: the same civilians we supposedly want to liberate from a despotic clerical regime.#10. Could diplomacy work? Lastly, an underlying theme in a lot of the coverage is the suggestion that diplomacy is unlikely to work, because it's been tried before and failed. But the United States has had very little contact with Iranian officials over the past thirty years, and only one brief set of direct talks in the past three years. Moreover, we've insisted all along that Iran has to give up all nuclear enrichment, which is almost certainly a deal-breaker from Tehran's perspective. The bottom line is that diplomacy has yet to succeed - and it might not in any case - but it's also never been seriously tried.I'm sure you can find exceptions to the various points I've made here, especially if you move outside major media outlets and focus on online publications and the blogosphere. Which may be why more people are inclined to get their news and analysis there, instead of from the usual outlets. But on the whole, Americans haven't been well-served by media coverage of the Iran debate. As the president said last week, “loose talk” about an issue like this isn't helpful.
This review discusses North American and European research from the sociology of valuation and evaluation (SVE), a research topic that has attracted considerable attention in recent years. The goal is to bring various bodies of work into conversation with one another in order to stimulate more cumulative theory building. This is accomplished by focusing on (a) subprocesses such as categorization and legitimation, (b) the conditions that sustain heterarchies, and (c) valuation and evaluative practices. The article reviews these literatures and provides directions for a future research agenda.
Better training, closer coordination among relief agencies, and a bigger dose of humility while working in unfamiliar cultures would help humanitarian aid workers, and make more of the billions of dollars spent each year on assistance, according to Harvard specialists with experience in the field.Harvard Public Health editor Madeline Drexler spoke with Jennifer Leaning, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, a 30-year veteran in the field and a leading writer and scholar; Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) director Michael VanRooyen, who has launched relief efforts in more than 30 countries struck by war and disaster; and Parveen Parmar, associate director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital International Emergency Medicine Fellowship and an associate faculty member at HHI, who set out on her first humanitarian mission in 2010.
Q: Why doesn’t humanitarian aid money trickle down to the people most in need?
VanRooyen: When the NGO machine steps into a large-scale humanitarian emergency, it quickly provides water and sanitation services, food aid, health care, housing, and security. Most organizations don’t effectively prepare for long-term sustainability — they don’t build water delivery systems for the city, they don’t build housing that will last, they don’t build infrastructure for program delivery. In many ways, the NGO community creates an alternate economy, and much of the money is spent on the delivery of emergency services. So it’s a valid complaint from local residents: “Where did all the money go? We don’t have pipes, we don’t have ditches, we don’t have farmland, we don’t have tools.”
On the other hand, it is difficult to deliver resources directly to affected individuals and families. And money delivered to a nonfunctional or nonexistent government rarely gets to the people in need. Those who argue that the humanitarian field needs to get more cash to recipients should instead be saying, “We need to spend more money to plan and understand where the next humanitarian catastrophes are going to be, so that we can prevent them.”
Q: What was the most difficult environment in which you delivered humanitarian assistance?Leaning: I was in Mogadishu, Somalia, in January ’92, during the height of the terrible internecine war that persists to this day. The fighting in Mogadishu was a combination of direct slaughter and indiscriminate firing of very heavy weapons on a city built of sandy concrete. Essentially, the city crumbled. People were trapped, killed, mutilated, and brought to hospitals that were completely unequipped to handle complex casualties.
The humanitarian teams were fraying under the stress. People were very strung out, just trying to put one foot in front of another, not get killed themselves. They were traumatized, overwhelmed, intimidated, and having great difficulty practicing according to the standards in which they had been trained. They were hungry, sleep-deprived, in a chronic state of anxiety. No matter what they did, they knew there would be high mortality. Hardly anyone had the capacity to rise above the melee and say, “We’ve got to do things differently.” It was hell.
Q: What was one of the more satisfying humanitarian operations you’ve been involved in?
Parmar: In Pakistan during the 2010 floods, I worked closely with relief partners in the region—Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Muslim Aid, and Islamic Relief, among others. We collaborated to avoid duplication of services in an often-chaotic environment, filled with misinformation. MSF, for example, referred us to local staff as they were scaling down in the region, and shared data they’d collected during their operations. This level of coordination is unique in crisis and conflict settings. It reflects new initiatives to improve collaboration among humanitarian actors. The organization I represented also worked closely with the national government and local health departments, which strengthened the sustainability and impact of our efforts. Though our coordination was imperfect, it saved lives and sped aid to those who most needed it.
Q: When does humanitarian aid work well — and when does it not?
Leaning: This enterprise works well at dealing with refugees and internally displaced peoples who are not close to major cities. Cities can be messy — a lot of people, marketplaces, complex trade, networks of crime and corruption. Humanitarians do well when they have a clearer geographic and cognitive space in which to set up and provide hospitals, feeding stations, shelter, water, sanitation, education, and minimum livelihood options. In this operational context, humanitarian aid workers try to nurture new and existing leadership, bring together people who were stranded and separated, establish community conversations about what to do next, and bring everybody to a place where they have a breather from horrible, life-threatening concerns and can begin to make sense of their next steps in their lives. These actions are much more difficult to accomplish when the people in most acute emergency need are mixed in with the more chronic needs and established systems in large urban areas.The humanitarian community also does not do well when it enters a deeply complicated society that has its own serious fault lines — great numbers of people already in serious need—and then tries to cope with new fault lines and new layers of need. The 2010 Haiti earthquake was slam-dunk the worst-case example of failures in humanitarian effectiveness. On the one hand, it was a massive disaster that created a massive humanitarian crisis. On the other, Haiti was already struggling with severe and entrenched social and economic chronic crises not amenable to an emergency response.
Q: Should humanitarianism be a profession?VanRooyen: Yes, it should. Think of it this way: How do you train a business student to lead Lockheed Martin? In the same way, how do you train people to work in humanitarian environments that are fluid and difficult? We need to recognize humanitarian assistance as a unique and specialized discipline. Students must know not only about humanitarian principles and the basic provision of services, but also about finance, personnel, diplomacy, culture, and very practical matters of security. They also need to be creative and to lead. The toughest challenge is teaching leadership.Today, the humanitarian assistance community doesn’t have a university that brings in entry-level people and apprentices them into the field. That’s what our Lavine Family Humanitarian Studies Initiative (HSI) and our new Humanitarian Academy at HSPH are all about.
Q: What advice would you give to students who want to become humanitarian professionals?VanRooyen: As a physician, my medical expertise is not the thing that makes me useful in the field. Many of the challenges in providing humanitarian assistance are around organization and logistics: getting resources from one place to another. You need to know how to organize, move materials, build programs, manage logistics.Parmar: You need humility, above all. You need to recognize that you’re a foreigner in somebody else’s world—that they’re the experts and you’re a visitor. Diplomacy is essential. Change isn’t made by being bullheaded or adventurous. It’s made by collaborating with the people who will live with the consequences of the crisis long after you leave.
Q: Do humanitarians often encounter a “headline mentality” in regard to disasters?
Parmar: When I was waiting for my plane to Pakistan, I watched hours of CNN in airport lounges. Millions of people had been affected by the massive floods in that country — people were literally living on roadsides and in flooded fields under tarps with the few belongings they had, little to no food, no security, no privacy, their kids out in the road. But in the hours of waiting for my plane, the floods weren’t mentioned once. Despite the scale of the disaster, the immediate mortality from the flood was relatively low, when compared to Haiti or other recent disasters. As a result, the Pakistan floods quickly fell out of the international spotlight—though aid was still sorely needed.
Q: How can a humanitarian worker stay sane in the midst of turmoil?Leaning: Do not be dismayed by external criticism of the humanitarian enterprise, much of which is moderately well founded, nor by the internal self-reflections and criticism, which are also valid and important. These arise because the work is rapidly evolving. This is a powerful and relevant undertaking that is now moving into a new generation of challenges and is going to require a new generation of people prepared to deal in complex systems.An important common denominator for all students going into the humanitarian field is that they understand the ethical and the human rights issues. That is very necessary, because you’re going to go into highly ambiguous settings. Students need to know how to determine what path they should take in complicated situations where questions of right and wrong are embedded in questions of safety and security and practicality. To do this work, aid workers must learn where they themselves stand in terms of their principles and lines of action.
Q: What keeps you going?Leaning: What keeps me going is I know that people in need, who are trapped and suffering, actually care about whether the world cares. We are now sufficiently globalized that even the most remote community that falls into a calamity can discern the difference between being isolated or having the world pay attention. We are reestablishing what it is to be part of the human community. It’s a universal handshake.
Parmar: I was talking recently to a resident who said, “I can’t do global health work, because I can’t deal with the reality that if I took care of this person in Boston, they would live, but in a crisis-affected region, they’re going to die because there are no resources. That’s fundamentally wrong.” My response was, “You’re absolutely right. But we have to do something.’’
After a patently sham trial, a Turkish court on Friday handed down lengthy jail sentences to more than 300 military officers convicted of planning a coup, code-named Sledgehammer, in 2003.Turkey’s courts have been working overtime to throw government opponents of all political stripes behind bars. Since 2007, the government has run a series of trials against an alleged ultra-nationalist terrorist organization called Ergenekon, charging lawyers, politicians, academics, journalists and military officers with plotting to overthrow the government. In separate cases, thousands of Kurdish politicians and activists are on trial—nearly 1,000 among them detained—for alleged links with terrorist activities. Turkey holds more journalists in jail than China and Iran combined.In terms of sheer drama, few match the Sledgehammer case. In a trial that began in 2010, 365 serving and retired high-ranking military officials—including my father-in-law, Çetin Dogan—and two civilians are charged with planning the coup. Prosecutors allege that the plotters planned to bomb mosques, down a Turkish fighter jet in a false-flag operation, take over hospitals and pharmacies, close nongovernmental organizations, arrest journalists and politicians, and ultimately appoint a handpicked cabinet.
Yet the “incriminating documents” the court relied on to issue Thursday’s verdict were forged and have been used to frame the defendants. American, German and Turkish forensic analysts hired by the defense have independently confirmed the forgery.
The prosecution asserted that the coup was planned in 2003, citing unsigned documents on compact discs it claims were produced by the defendants at the time. However, even though the last-saved dates on these documents appear as 2002-2003, they were found to contain references to fonts and other attributes that were first introduced with Microsoft Office 2007. Hence the documents could not have been created before mid-2006, when the software was released. The handwriting on the CDs was similarly found to be forged. In addition, many defendants have proved that they were outside Turkey or hundreds of miles away from work at the time they are alleged to have prepared these documents or attended coup-planning meetings. The documents also contain countless anachronisms, such as names of organizations and places that didn’t yet exist in 2003 or were changed after that time.
All this evidence leaves room for only one conclusion: The alleged coup plot is fabricated.This conclusion has long been obvious to the Turkish military. In response to the mass arrest of their colleagues, the chief of Turkey’s armed forces and the heads of Turkey’s army, navy and air force resigned together on one symbolic day last summer. The case is widely seen as the means by which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decapitated the military, a powerful institution that has long opposed Islamist forces in Turkish society.
Most alarming is the Turkish court’s evident complicity with the forgery. In violation of both Turkish and international law, the court rejected all defense requests for independent authentication of the evidence, ignoring the numerous anachronisms and other indications of forgery. It refused to allow the defense to call key witnesses, including the former commander of the land forces whom the prosecution credited with preventing the coup even though he has publicly denied any knowledge of it. It violated attorney-client confidentiality by installing microphones on courtroom ceilings. Of the 365 defendants, 250 were held in prison; most have been jailed since the trial started 20 months ago.
Beyond preventing defendants from establishing their innocence, the judges have lodged criminal complaints against defendants and their lawyers for statements they made during trial that the judges disliked, leading to additional indictments against several. The wives of two defendants have been indicted for a peaceful demonstration outside the prison compound where the trial has been held. And the Turkish government has publicly acknowledged its real motives by forcing 34 defendants to retire from the military before the judges reached a verdict.Outraged at these abuses, family members of the defendants have filed a petition with the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, seeking a declaration that the 250 imprisoned defendants have been detained in violation of international law. Given the weight of the evidence, I believe the working group, composed of experts in international law, will conclude that the defendants have been detained illegally and will call for their release. As redress doesn’t seem possible in Turkey, the working group could provide the independent and impartial review that is urgently needed.
I hope that the world will more closely focus on the gross miscarriage of justice taking place in Turkey. While Turkey touts itself as a leader of democratic freedoms in the Middle East, its actions in this and similar cases indicate otherwise. Let us hope that shining a light on these flagrant manipulations will hasten the day that the rule of law becomes more firmly established in Turkey.
One of the refreshing aspects of Christopher Layne’s work over the years has been his willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. But now, he is in the awkward position of being part of a new conventional wisdom. Recent polls show that in 15 of 22 countries surveyed, most people say that China either will replace or has replaced America as the world’s leading superpower. Even Americans themselves are equally divided about whether China will displace the United States.
Mexican immigration figures have reached its lowest point since 2000. Yet, even if as a whole the US is receiving less Mexican migrants, the opposite is true for cities at the border. In this paper, I present evidence to show that this sui generis migration pattern cannot be understood using traditional explanations of migration dynamics. Instead, Mexicans are migrating because of security issues, fearing drug-related violence and extortion, which has spiked since 2008. I estimate that a total of 264,693 have migrated fearing organized crime activities. By doing so, I combine the literature of migration dynamics with the one of violence and crime, pointing towards ways in which non-state actors shape actions of state members.