The undergraduates who gather around the seminar table at 61 Kirkland St. have a lot on their minds. Not just final papers, athletic matches, and music performances, but a range of issues that run far beyond the daily stresses of college: Refugee resettlement. Human trafficking. Child soldiers. These human rights issues—along with many others—are the challenges that have inspired this group of passionate students to add another course to their jam-packed schedules.
This fall marks the inaugural semester of the Human Rights Scholars Seminar, a biweekly, noncredit class for juniors and seniors with a dedicated interest in human rights-related research. The yearlong course provides a forum for the discussion of human rights scholarship, research methods, and practices."The seminar aims to introduce students to a range of methodologies relevant to human rights research, to put them in touch with ongoing human rights research by faculty and leading experts in the field, and to give them an opportunity to discuss this material in a small, interdisciplinary group context,” said Jacqueline Bhabha, director of the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies (UCHRS).
Conceived and developed by UCHRS committee members, the course is one of many Harvard initiatives to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The seminar is led by Cosette Creamer, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government and a J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School."For me... the most rewarding aspect of teaching this seminar is what I hope is also the most rewarding aspect for the students: a broadened perspective on how to think about conducting human rights research," Creamer said.Entry to the seminar was determined by a competitive application process in September. The group numbers 24 students from a variety of concentrations, including government, history and literature, social studies, and biology.Sara O’Rourke ’09, a social studies concentrator, applied to the seminar to "learn about the dominant discourse and literature on human rights, and to meet other students whose work has to do with human rights." She is interested in women’s rights, current issues facing Islam, and the relationship between international and domestic law.
On alternate Thursday evenings, Creamer and students like O’Rourke gather to discuss various aspects of human rights scholarship. They have addressed ways to conceptualize human rights, how human rights norms develop, and the relationship between advocacy and scholarship. The class has also considered sociological, anthropological, and political science approaches to human rights research.
"The study of human rights can play a key role in introducing students to ethical dilemmas, normative approaches to their resolution, and cutting-edge contemporary problems and research findings," said Bhabha. "This is an inherently interdisciplinary field which offers students a wide range of disciplinary methodologies and the possibility of engaging with urgent real-life issues in a way that is both academic and practical."The theoretical framework of the course is complemented by practical examples. Students read case studies from leading scholars and enjoy talks by practitioners and researchers whose work is shaping the field. In early November, for example, Tamara Kay, assistant professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, presented her work on the ways in which Sesame Street International helps to promote human rights worldwide. Workshops with scholars and practitioners will continue in the spring.At the most recent course meeting on Nov. 20, the students discussed research methods with Beth A. Simmons, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs and director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. The group analyzed two chapters from Simmons’ forthcoming book, "Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics" (Cambridge University Press, 2009). The text explores how the ratification of international treaties influences state behavior, to see if such treaties actually lead to better protection of human rights. Simmons uses both qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate issues such as equality for women, the prevalence of torture, and children’s rights.
Simmons answered questions about how she came to the topic, why she chose certain case studies, and the challenges of approaching human rights research from a social science perspective. She also recounted the difficulties of translating, or "coding," qualitative descriptions of human rights violations into a quantitative system for statistical analysis."I fully expect that this book will make people mad," she said. "There are those who will have a moral reaction—‘Why should we be quantifying human suffering? Is it not dehumanizing to cram this information into a regression?’
"I don’t want to belittle that point of view," she continued. “But my goal is to systemize the data as best we can to get a broad sense for what’s going on, so that we can add to—not supplant—the literature and accounts we have of individual cases of suffering. This will enable us to provide a different kind of reference."In addition to the workshops with scholars such as Simmons, the seminar also provides undergraduates the opportunity to present their own research projects. Many of the students are working on a junior essay, senior thesis, or independent project that is focused on human rights issues.O’Rourke, for example, is writing her thesis on the French Muslim Council, the official interlocutor between the Muslim community and the French state. She is exploring the politics of recognition and political representation in relation to national narrative.
"It has been rewarding to have a place where I can discuss ideas with students from a variety of fields and with a variety of interests, but who all share a common foundation—a deep interest in human rights," said O’Rourke.
Samuel P. Huntington, Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, was one of the giants of political science worldwide during the past half century. He had a knack for asking the crucially important but often inconvenient question. He had the talent and skill to formulate analyses that stood the test of time.The book that brought him to the public eye, and public controversy, The Clash of Civilizations (1996), painted on the broadest global canvas. It focused on the significance of religious and other cultural values as ways of understanding cohesion and division in the world. It was the intellectual foundation in 2003 for his opposition to the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq. This book anticipated reasons for challenges and tragedies that unfolded in Iraq during the past five years.Among political scientists, two other books were particularly influential. His Political Order in Changing Societies (1968) challenged the orthodoxies of the 1960s in the field of development. Huntington showed that the lack of political order and authority were among the most serious debilities the world over. The degree of order, rather than the form of the political regime, mattered most. Moreover, it was false that "all good things go together" because the relationships between political order, democracy, economic growth, and education often created complex challenges and often undercut each other. In the decades the followed, this book remained the most frequently assigned text in research university seminars to introduce graduate students to comparative politics.Huntington's The Third Wave (1991) looked at similar questions from a different perspective, namely, that the form of the political regime—democracy or dictatorship—did matter. The metaphor in his title referred to the cascade of dictator-toppling democracy-creating episodes that peopled the world from the mid 1970s to the early 1990s, and he gave persuasive reasons for this turn of events well before the fall of the Berlin wall.
Huntington's first book, The Soldier and the State (1957), examined the question of civilian authority over the armed forces, or the lack thereof. Huntington's principal interest was to understand what he called professional "objective civilian control" over the military in the United States but, in so doing, he shed much light on the successful evolution of civilian authority over the military historically in Europe and also in communist countries.Huntington's books revealed his mind but ordinarily he made readers work harder to figure out how he felt. He was a highly disciplined author, a stylist of English language prose, and a master craftsman of arguments and their texts. Yet, in his last book, Who Are We? (2004), he left no doubt where he stood on the question that then concerned him. He was an American patriot, and he would like to be remembered for this faith as well.Samuel Huntington graduated from Yale College in 1946 and earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard in 1951. He spent the rest of his career teaching at Harvard, except for a period at Columbia University from 1958 to 1962. He served as Chairman of the Harvard Government Department (1967-69; 1970-71) and as director of the (Weatherhead) Center for International Affairs (1978-1989). He founded Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and served as its director from 1989-1999. He was the Chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (1996-2004). Mentor to generations of scholars in widely divergent fields, he was the author or co-author of a total of seventeen books, on American government, democratization, national security and strategic issues, political and economic development, cultural factors in world politics and American national identity. He wrote insightfully about war and peace, development and decay, democracy and dictatorship, cultures and structures, migration and displacement, and many other topics. His graduate students teach at the world's leading research universities and have served in governments and international organizations. Shy in demeanor, Huntington was feisty at seminars and conferences, welcoming debate, and relished the exploration, critique, and defense of complex ideas.A life-long Democrat, he was foreign policy advisor to Vice President Hubert Humphrey in his 1968 presidential campaign and served in the Carter Administration on the National Security Council staff as Coordinator of Security Planning (1977-78). He also co-founded and edited Foreign Policy magazine. He served as president of the American Political Science Association (1986-1987) and received the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas for Improving World Order.Related Links
This article examines why and how environmental activists, despite considerable
political weakness and disproportionally few resources, won substantive negotiating
concessions that far outstripped labor achievements during NAFTA’s negotiation.
Despite a trade policy arena hostile to their demands, environmentalists gained official
recognition for the legitimacy of their claims, obtained a seat at the negotiating table,
turned a previously technocratic concern into a highly visible populist issue, and won an
environmental side agreement stronger than its labor counterpart. We argue that this
unexpected outcome is best explained by environmentalists’ strategic use of mechanisms
available at the intersection of multiple fields. While field theory mainly focuses on
interactions within a particular field, we suggest that the structure of overlap between
fields—the architecture of field overlap—creates unique points of leverage that render
particular targets more vulnerable and certain strategies more effective for activists. We
outline the mechanisms associated with the structure of field overlap—alliance
brokerage, rulemaking, resource brokerage, and frame adaptation—that enable activists
to strategically leverage advantages across fields to transform the political landscape.
The purpose of this chapter is to explore how the three concepts of human rights, health and human development have been defined and linked and what implications these linkages have for international policy and practices of international organizations. At the conceptual level, the definitions of development, health and human rights are virtually identical and widely accepted in the abstract. However, even at such a high level of abstraction, distinctions can be made.
Sociological research often examines the effects of social context with hierarchical
models. In these applications, individuals are nested in social
contexts—like school classes, neighborhoods or villages—whose effects are
thought to shape individual outcomes. Although applications of hierarchical
models are common in sociology, analysis usually focuses on inference for
fixed parameters. Researchers seldom study model fit or examine aggregate
patterns of variation implied by model parameters. We present an analysis of
Thai migration data, in which survey respondents are nested within villages
and report annual migration information. We study a variety of hierarchical
models, investigating model fit with DIC and posterior predictive statistics.
We also describe a simulation to study how different initial distributions of
migration across villages produce increasing inter-village inequality in migration.
Previous working paper version titled "Bayesian Analysis of Comparative Survey Data" dated April 2005.Download PDF
President Bush does not seem to know it yet, but his peace plan for the Middle East is moribund. That is my chief impression from a recent three-month journey through the troubled region. A viable Palestinian state will not exist by the time Bush leaves office. Nor will one exist, probably, in the predictable future—not least because of the failures of US policy.Cynicism prevails among Palestinians, and Israelis also. Azmi Bishara, a prominent Palestinian intellectual, decries what he calls “the Palestine settlement industry—that inexhaustible source of quasi-initiatives [and] pseudo-dialogues” that after 41 years of harsh Israeli occupation have led nowhere. To virtually every Palestinian I talked to, Bush's peace process has become a black comedy.To them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has become a forlorn figure, frequently flying to Jerusalem to entreat the Israelis to remove roadblocks and cease building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and then the Israelis blithely do the opposite. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his grandfatherly way has become a nearly pathetic figure—regarded by his own people as an American stooge, dependent on the United States to pay his huge bureaucracy, and constantly disappointed by Bush's refusal to pressure Israel.The Israeli government is split between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the stronger of the two. Olmert fears for the future of Israel as a Jewish state under Palestinian demographic pressure and favors some sort of peace deal, but he will soon resign from office on accusations of corruption. Barak is leisurely in cracking down on settlements and wants to delay a final deal indefinitely.Israeli peace advocates complain that the army in effect has a veto over Olmert and slows down or sabotages civilian orders to remove roadblocks and settlement outposts. Even if an accord is achieved before Bush leaves office, it will probably be no more than a cloudy declaration of goals that would take many years to implement. Olmert has admitted that no agreement on the division of Jerusalem can be reached this year.Bush has done little to satisfy the Palestinians who entrusted their fate to November's Annapolis declaration, which promised “every effort” to conclude an agreement on a two-state solution before the end of 2008. At the White House in April, Abbas told Bush that when the Palestinian negotiators saw the latest Israeli proposals, they laughed. According to the eminent Israeli analyst Akiva Eldar, Olmert and his foreign minister Tzipi Livni demanded all of East Jerusalem except the Temple Mount, much of the Jordan Valley except for a walled enclave around Jericho, and the retention of all settlement clusters, such as Ariel in the heart of the West Bank.The territory reserved for the Palestinians would be a patchwork of Bantustans cut off from Jerusalem with no continuity, no sovereignty, and subject still to incursions by the Israeli Army. A referendum containing such limitations would inevitably be rejected by the Palestinian population.A struggle resumes?When the peace process collapses, as seems so likely, the broad Palestinian struggle will probably resume. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, the dynamic physician who heads the Palestinian National Initiative, told me in Ramallah that he hopes the struggle will be Gandhian and peaceful. But Nasser al-Qudawi, Yasser Arafat's nephew, thinks not.“The resistance will resume,” Qudawi told me, “but it will bring more splintering of Palestinian society, more extremism, and more blood.” In the West Bank, Hamas and Islamic Jihad may flourish. Will Hamas fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank?Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants have launched thousands of primitive Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel since 2000, killing 17 Israeli civilians, wounding scores, and destroying much property. Yet more than 2,000 Palestinian civilians, many of them children, have been killed by Israeli retaliatory attacks, and it is heart-rending to tour tiny Gaza and witness the devastation.In the north of the Gaza Strip sits a lake of human waste. It exudes the stench of excrement and is threatening to burst because the Israelis have rationed the importation of cement. The waste seeps into the ground of Gaza and pollutes the aquifers, causing rampant diarrhea and infestations that afflict children most.At Khan Younis near the sea, buildings chopped in half by Israeli bombs are still inhabited, and laundry hangs from the ruins. A man named Ahmed, who has lost a leg, invites me upstairs into his flat to meet his wife and 10 children. The ceiling sags. “Aren't you afraid it will collapse?” I ask. “We have nowhere else to go," he answers.Since Hamas chased Abbas's secular government out of Gaza in June 2007, it has governed the Strip untainted by the Fatah faction's corruption and with modest benefits to the population of 1.5 million. Women feel compelled to wear the veil, the sexes are rigidly separated, and the judiciary can be severe. Sharia law has not been officially introduced, but the trend is toward more Islamization.The Internet is monitored for pornography, but Hamas has cracked down on more radical Islamist groups that have attacked Internet café's. The police seem everywhere, but they have generally imposed order. Hamas's rivalry with Fatah remains savage. Despite recent efforts at reconciliation, blood continues to be shed between them.The role of HamasSheikh Ahmed Yassin, the mystical quadriplegic who founded Hamas, said that the fate of Israel must be left to the will of God and future generations of Palestinians. But in June 2006 Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared Hamas's willingness to sign a document jointly with all Palestinian factions that it accepts Israel's existence. Hamas will not formally recognize Israel, preferring to offer only a hudna, a truce of 10 or even 30 years. But Hamas would accept a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that produces an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders.Israel and the United States have shunned Hamas until it explicitly recognizes Israel, and they have discouraged Abbas from negotiating with it. Bush regards Hamas not as a government but as purely a terrorist organization, as if any peace could be achieved by excluding more than a third of the Palestinian people. Barak believes that in good time and by brute force he can emasculate Hamas and crush its governance of Gaza.Yet in mid-June, Israel accepted a cease-fire of six months in Gaza mediated by the Egyptians. The agreement won Israel a reprieve from Qassam rockets, and Hamas a suspension of Israel's military attacks and an easing of its economic blockade of Gaza. The deal was acclaimed in the Arab world, and deplored in Israel, as a victory for Hamas.Hamas did not surrender in Gaza; its crude rockets forced Israel to sue for calm. To Palestinians, Hamas proved its creed that Israel understands only the language of force. Not only have Israel and the United States failed to topple the Hamas government, but Hamas has forced Israel to deal with it—even as President Abbas has achieved so little in his negotiations with Israel.The Israelis fear that Hamas will use the calm to regroup its militia of perhaps 15,000 men and import more arms, and they may be right. The asymmetrical warfare between Israel and Hamas may continue in cycles, periods of quiet interspersed with periods of great violence and attrition, for many years. The Palestinians of Gaza have proved their capacity to absorb suffering. Though the West Bank is more bourgeois, it may come to do likewise under the banner of resistance.Many secular Palestinian intellectuals have despaired of a two-state solution and have resumed their old dream of a unitary, democratic state for Jews and Arabs in all of historical Palestine. But there might still be a meager chance of achieving a two-state solution, depending on the will of the next US president.Will he exert effective pressure not only on the Palestinians to end all violence, but on Israel to evacuate the settlements and retreat substantially to the borders of 1967? Should he do so, he will need also to create a formula to include Hamas in the solution if he truly wants peace. Paradoxically, the key to peace may be held by Hamas.Edward R.F. Sheehan is a former fellow of Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
The enlargement of NATO to include Georgia and Ukraine could become the most dangerous spoiler in relations between Russia and the west next year. It would also set the new US president off to a bad start. If NATO’s foreign ministers were to decide in December that the two former Soviet republics were ready for the membership action plan and if Russia retaliated by freezing its relations with the alliance, that would create a lose-lose situation for everybody—for NATO, for Russia and, ultimately, also for Kiev and Tbilisi.
An already nationalistic Russia would fall prey to its fear of being encircled again and it would dangerously isolate itself from the west. The alliance, in turn, would revert to its 20th-century raison d’être—containing an increasingly hostile Russia—instead of focusing on more crucial tasks, including its adaptation to the new security challenges. This would further exacerbate the rifts within the European Union over its Russia policy.
But in a different scenario, could Georgia’s and Ukraine’s legitimate aspiration to join the alliance turn a potential spoiler into a win-win situation for both NATO and Russia?
Yes, it could, but only if both sides show political courage. Contrary to today’s received wisdom, Georgia’s and Ukraine’s wish to join the alliance could provide the right conditions for two positive developments: NATO could at last shake off its legacy as a cold war and anti-Russian alliance; and a new mindset could take hold in Russia, involving a vision of security based on co-operation, not on competition or on spheres of influence.
How can this be achieved? A strategy based on three elements could work. First, the US, NATO, Russia, the EU and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe should forge a new compact jointly to manage security threats in their common neighbourhood, which stretches from Ukraine, through the Caucasus to Central Asia (an area whose geostrategic importance has grown as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan). The group of these organizations would share responsibility for combating common threats in the area, ranging from terrorism to Islamic fundamentalism, to drug-trafficking and organized crime. They would also commit themselves to finally resolving the frozen conflicts in Transnistria, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh.Russia has been resentful of the west since the end of the cold war, claiming that it is unfairly treated as a junior partner and demanding formal recognition as an equal. A new security compact would grant Russia that status: the sharing of power between Russia, the EU, NATO, the US and the OSCE would go hand in hand with shared responsibility for “securing security”. The new compact should complement these institutions, not replace them.
Second, within this new co-operative security framework Russia would shelve its opposition to Georgia and Ukraine accessing the membership access plan. In fact, if NATO becomes part of a larger, co-operative security framework in which Russia is an equal partner, Moscow should have nothing to fear from Georgian or Ukrainian membership. Indeed, Moscow would benefit from the fact that NATO membership would encourage its two neighbors to become more responsible regional players. Russia would thus boost its legitimacy in the eyes of the “new” Europe, which still mistrusts it and sees it as a sovereign democracy bent on denying sovereignty to others.
Finally, in return for Russia shelving its opposition to the membership access plan, both Georgia and Ukraine would commit to negotiating new bilateral pacts of friendship and co-operation with Russia to consolidate trust.Implementing such a strategy depends on both the west and Russia showing the political will to do so. In just over a year we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the end of the cold war. What better way could there be to dispel the tensions between Russia and the west than to work together in addressing the common challenges of the 21th century? A US-Russia-NATO-EU-OSCE summit and the signing of a new Eurasian security charter could help to consign this hangover from the past to the archives and allow us to start afresh. It is high time that happened. A reformulation of the terms of security co-operation between the west and Russia in their common neighbourhood would also bode well for future co-operation in other hot areas, with Iran and Afghanistan heading the list.
Demographic Forecasting introduces new statistical tools that can greatly improve forecasts of population death rates. Mortality forecasting is used in a wide variety of academic fields, and for policymaking in global health, social security and retirement planning, and other areas. Federico Girosi and Gary King provide an innovative framework for forecasting age-sex-country-cause-specific variables that makes it possible to incorporate more information than standard approaches. These new methods more generally make it possible to include different explanatory variables in a time-series regression for each cross section while still borrowing strength from one regression to improve the estimation of all. The authors show that many existing Bayesian models with explanatory variables use prior densities that incorrectly formalize prior knowledge, and they show how to avoid these problems. They also explain how to incorporate a great deal of demographic knowledge into models with many fewer adjustable parameters than classic Bayesian approaches, and develop models with Bayesian priors in the presence of partial prior ignorance. By showing how to include more information in statistical models, Demographic Forecasting carries broad statistical implications for social scientists, statisticians, demographers, public-health experts, policymakers, and industry analysts.
In 1700, Latin America and British North America were roughly equal in economic terms. Yet over the next three centuries, the United States gradually pulled away from Latin America, and today the gap between the two is huge. Why did this happen? Was it culture? Geography? Economic policies? Natural resources? Differences in political development? The question has occupied scholars for decades, and the debate remains a hot one. In Falling Behind, Francis Fukuyama gathers together some of the world's leading scholars on the subject to explain the nature of the gap and how it came to be. Tracing the histories of development over the past four hundred years and focusing in particular on the policies of the last fifty years, the contributors conclude that while many factors are important, economic policies and political systems are at the root of the divide. While the gap is deeply rooted in history, there have been times when it closed a bit as a consequence of policies chosen in places ranging from Chile to Argentina. Bringing to light these policy success stories, Fukuyama and the contributors offer a way forward for Latin American nations and improve their prospects for economic growth and stable political development. Given that so many attribute the gap to either vast cultural differences or the consequences of U.S. economic domination, Falling Behind is sure to stir debate. And, given the pressing importance of the subject in light of economic globalization and the immigration debate, its expansive, in-depth portrait of the hemisphere's development will be a welcome intervention in the conversation.
There is a rich collection of case studies examining the relationship between
democratization, women’s movements, and gendered state outcomes, but the variation
across cases is still poorly understood. In response, this article develops a theoretically-grounded
comparative framework to evaluate and explain cross-national variations in
the gendered outcomes of democratic transitions. The framework highlights four
theoretical factors—the context of the transition, the legacy of women’s previous
mobilizations, political parties, and international influences—that together shape the
political openings and ideologies available to women’s movements in transitional states.
Applying the framework to four test cases, we conclude that women’s movements are
most effective at targeting democratizing states when transitions are complete, when
women’s movements develop cohesive coalitions, when the ideology behind the transition
(rather than the ideology of the winning regime) aligns easily with feminist frames, and
when women’s past activism legitimates present-day feminist demands. These findings
challenge current conceptualizations of how democratic transitions affect gender in state
institutions and provide a comparative framework for evaluating variation across
There are good reasons to be skeptical—even cynical—about the outcome of the Annapolis Conference and pessimistic about the prospects of achieving a negotiated agreement by the end of this year. Yet, granting the vagueness of the commitments made in Annapolis and the discouraging effect of subsequent actions on the ground that have undermined the peace process, the conference has opened up the best opportunity since the failure of the Camp David summit for a return to a serious negotiation of a final agreement on a two-state solution. I saw such an opportunity, for example, in a February statement by Haim Ramon that Israel hoped to reach agreement with its Palestinian negotiating partners by the end of 2008 on a "declaration of principles" for peace, but not on a detailed peace treaty.
This article investigates how migrant social capital differentially influences individuals’ migration and cumulatively generates divergent outcomes for communities. To combine the fragmented findings in the literature, the article proposes a framework that decomposes migrant social capital into resources (information about or assistance with migration), sources (prior migrants), and recipients (potential migrants). Analysis of multilevel and longitudinal data from 22 rural villages in Thailand shows that the probability of internal migration increases with the available resources, yet the magnitude of increase depends on recipients’ characteristics and the strength of their ties to sources. Specifically, individuals become more likely to migrate if migrant social capital resources are greater and more accessible. The diversity of resources by occupation increases the likelihood of migration, while diversity by destination inhibits it. Resources from weakly tied sources, such as village members, have a higher effect on migration than resources from strongly tied sources in the household. Finally, the importance of resources for migration declines with recipients’ own migration experience. These findings challenge the mainstream account of migrant social capital as a uniform resource that generates similar migration outcomes for different groups of individuals or in different settings. In Nang Rong villages, depending on the configuration of resources, sources, and recipients, migrant social capital leads to differential migration outcomes for individuals and divergent cumulative migration patterns in communities.
This latest edition of this acclaimed text examines four themes vital to building market-oriented democracies in Latin America: the development of democratic institutions, globalization's impact, socio-political integration, and market reforms. Within these broad themes, the contributors explore how issues such as the performance of political parties, civilian control of the military, human rights protections, and executive-legislative relations are playing out in eight countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. They find a mixed record on many fronts and discuss the uncertain state of democracy in several Latin American states in light of recent institutional setbacks and attempts to overhaul the political sphere. Edited by Jorge I. Domínguez and Michael Shifter and featuring contributions from more than a dozen leading scholars of democratization studies, this volume provides a concise and up-to-date measure of the quality of democracy in Latin America.
A growing body of research demonstrates powerful effects of international organizations on national policy, and the literature on international conflict is increasingly adopting a network perspective on international organizations, but we still know little about the network structure of the world polity itself. This is surprising in light of the theoretical implications of world polity theory, world systems theory, and the world civilizations approach to the structure of the world polity. Using data on a set of prominent intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), along with a comparison to the complete population of IGOs, this study examines the world polity as a network structured by symbolic and material conflict. Network analysis reveals a contradictory duality in the structure of the world polity: while states are densely interconnected through international organizations, these international organizations are only sparsely interconnected. Contrary to world polity theory, world system position and world civilization predict position in the world polity. These results show that, in neglecting the network structure of the world polity, previous research has underestimated the extent of structural inequality in the world polity. Because embeddedness in the world polity has such powerful effects on state policies, international trade, and international conflict, the centralization and fragmentation of the world polity may have disintegrative implications for world politics.
Even after his death in April 2007, Boris Yeltsin remains the most controversial figure in recent Russian history. Although Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the decline of the Communist party and the withdrawal of Soviet control over eastern Europe, it was Yeltsin-Russia’s first elected president-who buried the Soviet Union itself. Upon taking office, Yeltsin quickly embarked on a sweeping makeover of newly democratic Russia, beginning with a program of excruciatingly painful market reforms that earned him wide acclaim in the West and deep recrimination from many Russian citizens. In this, the first biography of Yeltsin’s entire life, Soviet scholar Timothy Colton traces Yeltsin’s development from a peasant boy in the Urals to a Communist party apparatchik, and then ultimately to a nemesis of the Soviet order. Based on unprecedented interviews with Yeltsin himself as well as scores of other Soviet officials, journalists, and businessmen, Colton explains how and why Yeltsin broke with single-party rule and launched his drive to replace it with democracy. Yeltsin’s colossal attempt to bring democracy to Russia remains one of the great, unfinished stories of our time. As anti-Western policies and rhetoric resurface in Putin’s increasingly bellicose Russia, Yeltsin offers essential insights into the past, present, and future of this vast and troubled nation.
During elections in many countries, political parties distribute particularistic benefits to
individuals. The existing literature reveals that parties choose from at least five distinct
strategies when distributing benefits, but fails to explain how parties allocate resources
across these strategies. Our formal model provides insight into this key question. Most
studies focus exclusively on "vote buying," a strategy by which parties reward voters for
switching their votes. Our model first shows how parties trade off between "vote buying"
and "turnout buying," a strategy by which parties reward supporters for showing up at the
polls (Nichter 2008). We then show how parties combine these and other commonly
The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs has established a new
Program on Transatlantic Relations, thanks to a donation by Pierre
Keller of Geneva. Keller was a fellow in 1979–80 at the then–Center for
International Affairs, as part of a program that welcomes senior-level
diplomats, politicians, military officers, and private-sector
professionals to the University for a year of scholarly activity and
Keller’s donation consists of an endowment for a visiting professorship
to be taken up by a scholar or public servant who has distinguished him
or herself through academic research, teaching, or public service in
the field of trans-Atlantic relations. Incumbents of the professorship
will use their appointments to carry out research with special emphasis
on issues relevant to the political future of U.S.-European affairs and
to teach a course in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences or the Harvard
Kennedy School (HKS). Keller has also committed operational funds for
five years to establish and help sustain the program.
Another donation, by the Janssen family of Brussels, will complement
Keller’s commitment by supporting both an annual Paul Henri Spaak
Lecture by a prominent European and the presence of occasional speakers
for the Weatherhead Center’s Seminar on Transatlantic Relations, as
well as for speakers from the European Union in joint activities with
the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and HKS.
“At a time when attention shifts more and more to Asia, the Middle
East, and Africa, as well toward global issues,” said Beth A. Simmons,
Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs and director of the
Weatherhead Center, “the generous gifts of Pierre Keller and the
Janssen family enable us to strengthen research and teaching on
trans-Atlantic and European affairs in cooperation with important
sister institutions at Harvard.”
The Weatherhead Center has appointed Karl Kaiser, a Ralph I. Straus
Fellow at the center and an adjunct professor of public policy at HKS,
as the program’s founding director. An advisory committee chaired by
Buttenwieser University Professor Stanley Hoffmann is also comprised of
the Weatherhead Center’s Steven Bloomfield, Richard Cooper, Karl
Kaiser, and Beth Simmons; the Kennedy School’s Ashton Carter and Joseph
Nye Jr.; and the Center for European Studies’ Patricia Craig, Peter
Hall, and Charles Maier. It thus reflects the highly cooperative scope
of this effort.
The first Pierre Keller Visiting Professor is likely to be appointed for spring 2009.
For all the attention globalization has received in recent years, little consensus has emerged concerning how best to understand it. For some, it is the happy product of free and rational choices; for others, it is the unfortunate outcome of impersonal forces beyond our control. It is in turn celebrated for the opportunities it affords and criticized for the inequalities in wealth and power it generates.David Singh Grewal’s remarkable and ambitious book draws on several centuries of political and social thought to show how globalization is best understood in terms of a power inherent in social relations, which he calls network power. Using this framework, he demonstrates how our standards of social coordination both gain in value the more they are used and undermine the viability of alternative forms of cooperation. A wide range of examples are discussed, from the spread of English and the gold standard to the success of Microsoft and the operation of the World Trade Organization, to illustrate how global standards arise and falter. The idea of network power supplies a coherent set of terms and concepts—applicable to individuals, businesses, and countries alike—through which we can describe the processes of globalization as both free and forced. The result is a sophisticated and novel account of how globalization, and politics, work.
David Singh Grewal holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and is currently a
doctoral student in the Department of Government, Harvard University
and former fellow (2006-07) of the Project on Justice, Welfare, and Economics.
Among political scientists, the study of urban politics, whether within one nation or cross nationally, resembles the comparative study of national politics—with one crucial exception. In both the urban field and the comparative field, scholars typically come to know one or several localities very well... Clarence Stone is in the latter camp, with disturbingly few peers in political science scholarship on urban politics. He is deeply knowledgeable about Atlanta, Georgia, having studied its political development for decades. He is familiar with a dozen other American cities, having studied their educational reform efforts for years.With coauthors or independently, he has developed broad theoretical frameworks—regime analysis, the “power to” approach, the systemic bias of power and inequality, the centrality of agenda setting and coordination, the urgent need for democratic decision making—that explain actions and outcomes not only in his cities but in many others as well. All of this work is undergirded by a few simple, clear principles about human nature and the conduct of social science that are easy to state and surprisingly fecund.
In the last 20 years, orphan drug legislation (ODL) has been adopted in several countries
around the world (USA, Japan, Australia, and the European Union) and has successfully
promoted R&D investments to develop new pharmaceutical products for the treatment of rare
diseases. Without these incentives, many life-saving new drugs would have not been
developed and produced.For economic reasons, the development of medicines for the treatment of diseases prevalent
in the developing world (or tropical diseases) is lagging behind. Among several factors, the
low average per-capita income makes pharmaceutical markets in developing countries appear
relatively unprofitable and therefore unattractive for R&D-oriented companies.The case of ODL may offer some useful insights and perspectives for the fight against
neglected tropical diseases. First, the measures used in ODL may also be effective in boosting
R&D for neglected tropical diseases, if appropriately adapted to this market. Second,
small-sized companies, which have played a successful role in the development of orphan
drugs for rare diseases, may also represent a good business strategy for the case of tropical