This paper focuses on the dilemma that humanitarian non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) face in their efforts to gain access to populations
caught up in current wars. Narrow and broad concepts of humanitarian protection
are discussed and it is argued that despite high levels of professionalism,
the space for humanitarian action has constricted sharply since the events
surrounding the attacks of 11 September 2001. Increasingly, aid workers are
now being viewed with suspicion as agents of the great powers and assertions
of humanitarian neutrality are not heeded or rejected. Non-governmental
organizations have evolved a range of options to address this problem, but there is an urgent need to work collectively to find more durable and coherent solutions.
I provide evidence that undervaluation (a high real exchange rate) stimulates economic growth. This is true particularly for developing countries,
suggesting that tradable goods suffer disproportionately from the distortions
that keep poor countries from converging. I present two categories of explanations as to why this may be so, focusing on (a) institutional/contractual
weaknesses, and (b) market failures. A formal model elucidates the linkages
between the level of the real exchange rate and the rate of economic growth.
For two hundred years, social science has provided the lens through which people view society and the visions animating most demands for political reform – at least since Adam Smith’s efforts to unleash the ‘invisible hand’ of the market without destroying the moral sentiments of society.1 However, the perspectives of social science shift, as each new generation questions its predecessors, with import for politics as well as the academy. From time to time, therefore, we should reflect on them. In this essay I do so from the perspective of political science, mainly about American scholarship and with no pretense to comprehensiveness, but with a focus on the disciplinary intersections where so many have found Archimedean points. Intellectual developments in any one field are often ‘progressive’ in the scientific sense of that term.2 But something can be lost as well as gained in the course of them, and there is reason for concern about the fate of social science over the past twenty-five years. What has been lost becomes clear only if we revisit the path taken.
Prevailing theories in political economy hold that a coalition or political party, acting
through parliament, can break down institutions of stable shareholding. In spite of
extremely favourable conditions in the late 1990s—the election and durable rule of a
leftist government supported by a transparency coalition, a bureaucratic elite that
favoured institutional change, and substantial state shareholdings which the government
could privatize in pursuit of its objectives—these reforms failed to affect the
concentration of shareholdings among the largest private companies in Italy. This
disjuncture between legal change and actual practice in Italian corporate governance
suggests that current theories of institutional change in corporate governance systems
are incomplete. The focus of inquiry needs to turn to the political resources of those who
support the existing system: managers and large shareholders.
The varieties of capitalism literature has put skill systems at the center of
comparative politics. Yet its claims about skill specificity are driven by two
large coordinated economies, Germany and Japan. This article examines
political change of skills in two small coordinated economies. Switzerland
has expanded its general skills orientation, whereas Austria retains a highly
specific skills system. The cause of this divergence is the different interests
of small and large employers: Small employers are more cost sensitive than
are large employers, which leads them to oppose the introduction of more
general education. The study also shows that the primary measure of skill
specificity used in quantitative work—vocational training share—is unreliable.
It fails to distinguish between secondary and tertiary vocational training,
which have opposite effects on skill specificity. The article develops and
justifies an alternative measure—tertiary vocational training—that better predicts
the skills clusters observed in advanced capitalism.
This essay explores the impact of the end of the Cold War on the counter-refugee-crisis
policies of the United Nations and its strongest member states. I argue that during the ColdWar, state interests were subordinated to the refugee interests for two reasons. First, refugees were fewin number and tended to be educated, skilled, and informed (valuable). Second, the WWII experience of the Holocaust in Europe led to the institutionalization
of concern for the fate of persecuted groups at the expense of state interests. After the
end of the Cold War, however, a number of the Soviet Union’s allies and successor
states began to fail, and these state failures, combined with unprecedented access to
information about living conditions abroad, led to refugee flows that impacted powerful
states. Whereas the preferred counter-refugee crisis policy during the Cold War was
resettlement, after the Cold War it shifted to repatriation: voluntary repatriation in
the best cases, and forced repatriation in the worst. The essay’s primary focus is an
assessment of the consequences of this policy shift from resettlement to repatriation
of refugees. After introducing a number of important empirical findings regarding the
frequency and scale of contemporary refugee crises, I conclude that although in some
cases the policy of supporting voluntary repatriation is a good thing, it may have the
unintended consequence of involuntary or forced repatriations as receiving states feel
little compulsion to resettle these refugees within their borders.
Do shifts in the distribution of ethnic group populations within a multinational state make civil war more likely? This article tests the proposition that they do using the competing logic of two core theories of interstate politics: power transition (PTT) and balance of power theory (BPT). The universe of potential population transition types are reduced to nine, and the logic of each of the competing explanations of war likelihood are reduced to four testable hypotheses. Overall, PTT fares better than BPT; although the article concludes that, as is the case at the interstate level, the key determinate of war likelihood rests more with how power is perceived than with raw changes in its distribution across the spectrum of meaningful political actors. Finally, the article offers a useful framework for further specifying the conditions under which population shifts alter the likelihood of an escalation to civil war.
When future economic historians write their textbooks, they will no
doubt marvel at the miraculous turn the world economy took after 1950.
Over the long stretch of history, neither the Industrial Revolution nor the
subsequent economic catch-up of the United States and other “western
offshoots” looks as impressive (Figure 1). The period since 1950 has
witnessed more rapid economic growth than any other period before,
with only the classical gold standard era between 1870 and 1913 coming
close. Even more striking, there has been a quantum jump in the growth
rate of the most rapidly growing countries since 1950. Prior to 1950,
growth superstars experienced growth rates that barely surpassed 2
percent per annum (in per capita terms) over long stretches. Compare
this with the post-1950 growth champions: Japan, South Korea, and
China; each grew at 6-8 percent per annum during 1950-73, 1973-90,
and 1990-2005, respectively. Even allowing for the shorter time slices,
this indicates that the world economy became a much more enabling
environment for economic growth after 1950. Clearly, the architects of
this new world economic system got something right.
When local cost discovery generates knowledge spillovers, specialization
patterns become partly indeterminate and the mix of goods that a country produces
may have important implications for economic growth. We demonstrate this proposition
formally and adduce some empirical support for it. We construct an index of
the "income level of a country’s exports," document its properties, and show that it
predicts subsequent economic growth.
It is tempting, but wrong, to infer from the failures of the EU draft constitution
that all reforms based on increasing citizen participation in the European Union are doomed
to fail. Andrew Moravcsik’s trenchant dismissal of the constitutional project commits this error. Moravcsik’s sweeping claims, based on what he calls empirical social science, speak well beyond the evidence on democratic institutional innovations. Participatory measures such as consultative Citizens’ Assemblies may articulate a citizens’ perspective that can
help to anchor the democratic legitimacy of the EU. We do not know if such innovations
can resolve the problems of the democratic deficit, but we do know that empirical social
science has not spoken decisively on the issue. It is worth examining their democratic
potential rather than dismissing them outright.
Individually or in combination, two federal policies have the potential to transform the American racial and ethnic hierarchy more than any other policy changes since the civil rights movement. They are the Immigration Act of 1965 and the introduction of the "mark one or more" instruction in the race question on the 2000 census. Unlike the civil rights activities of the 1940s through 1960s, the first change was not intended to overturn the racial order and the second was a response to a process of transformation already underway. Both were, and remain, highly dependent on the isolated choices of many people around the world, as well as strategies of political and business leaders and economic or other forces outside anyone's control. Because the long-term effects of these policies have not played out fully, their ultimate outcomes will remain unclear for a long time—but they could be substantial.
The Israel Lobby, by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in theLondon Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy.
Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds. This exceptional relationship is due largely to the political influence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America’s posture throughout the Middle East—in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America’s national interest nor Israel’s long-term interest. The lobby’s influence also affects America’s relationship with important allies and increases dangers that all states face from global jihadist terror.Writing in The New York Review of Books, Michael Massing declared, “Not since Foreign Affairs magazine published Samuel Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ in 1993 has an academic essay detonated with such force.” The publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is certain to widen the debate and to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.
It is now nearly five years since President Bush promulgated what has become known as "the Bush Doctrine". The seminal document, published above the President’s signature twelve months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and entitled National Security Strategy of the United States, argued that because "deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network or murderous dictator … constitute as grave a threat as can be imagined", the President as commander-in-chief should, at his discretion, "act preemptively" to forestall or prevent any such threat. "As a matter of common sense and self-defense", the President stated, the United States would “act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed” and before they reached America’s borders. NSS-2002 asserted not only the principle of preemption but also the principle of unilateralism. "While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community," the document declared, "we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary..." At the time, and subsequently, the two principles of preemption and unilateralism were widely criticized as dangerous novelties in American foreign policy.
The vicissitudes of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since 1967 are analyzed using attitudes and related concepts
where relevant. The 1967 war returned the two peoples' zero-sum conflict around national identity to its origin as a conflict within the land both peoples claim. Gradually, new attitudes evolved regarding the necessity and possibility of negotiations toward a two-state solution based on mutual recognition, which became the building stones of the 1993 Oslo agreement. Lacking a commitment to a final outcome, the Oslo-based peace process was hampered by reserve options, which increased avoidance at the expense of approach tendencies as the parties moved toward a final agreement. The resulting breakdown of the process in 2000 produced clashing narratives, reflecting different anchors for judgment and classical mirror images. Public support for violence increased, even as public opinion continued to favor a negotiated two-state solution. Reviving the peace process requires mutual reassurance about the availability of a partner for negotiating a principled peace based on a historic compromise that meets the basic needs and validates the identities of both peoples.
Social-psychological concepts and findings have entered the mainstream of theory and research in international relations. Explorations of the social-psychological dimensions of international politics go back at least to the early 1930s. Research on foreign policy decision making and the cognitive, group, and organizational factors that help to shape it, negotiation and bargaining, enemy images, public opinion in the foreign policy process, deterrence and other forms of influence in international politics, and reconciliation draws extensively on social-psychological research and theory.
Did our pre-industrial ancestors have incomes and life expectancies as unequal as they
are today? Or is inequality largely the result of the Industrial Revolution? For want of
sufficient data, these questions have not yet been answered. This paper infers inequality
for 15 ancient, pre-industrial societies using what are known as social tables, stretching
from the Roman Empire 14 AD, to Byzantium in 1000, to England in 1688, to Nueva
España in 1790, to China in 1880 and to British India in 1947. It applies two new
concepts in making those assessments—what we call the inequality possibility frontier
and the inequality extraction ratio. Rather than simply offering measures of actual
inequality, we compare the latter with the maximum feasible inequality (or rent) that
could have been extracted by the elite. The results, especially when compared with
modern countries the world round, give new insights in to the connection between
inequality and economic development in the very long run.
The heated debate about the Palestinian issue and Israeli actions in the occupied territories often confronts me with a dilemma. To begin with, I have trouble with any attempt to structure the issue as one between supporters of Israel versus supporters of the Palestinian cause. I consider myself to be both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian. Moreover, I consider many of the protagonists in these debates—whichever side they claim to support—to be working against the interests of both sides in this tragic conflict. In particular, I am profoundly alienated by the rhetoric of some elements on both sides of the debate: both by those who use their totally legitimate criticism on Israeli policies and practices as a warrant for anti-Semitic pronouncements and by those who use the totally appropriate rejection of anti-Semitism an other forms of racism in any decent society as a weapon to delegitimize all criticism of Israeli policies and practices.
This paper asks whether history can inform modern debate about immigration’s impact
on high wage economies. It examines the relationship between migration’s labor market
impact and capital flows before 1914, the first global era. It then assesses the effects of
immigration on wages and employment with and without international capital mobility
today, in the second global era. It then explores the links between these economic
relationships, welfare burdens, and immigration policy. It concludes with an explanation
for the apparent difference in immigration’s impact in the two global eras, and thus on
Models of nomination politics in the US often find "gridlock" in equilibrium because of the super-majority
requirement in the Senate for the confo rmation of presidential nominees. A blocking coalition often prefers
to defeat any nominee. Yet empirically nominations are successful. In the present paper we explore the
possibility that senators can be induced to vote contrary to their nominal (gridlock-producing) preferences
through contributions from the president and/or lobbyists, thus breaking the gridlock and con forming the
nominee. We model contributions by the president and lobbyists according to whether payment schedules
are conditioned on the entire voting pro file, the vote of a senator, or the outcome. We analyze several
extensions to our baseline approach, including the possibility that lobbyists may find it more productive
to offer inducements to the president in order to affect his proposal behavior, rather than trying to induce
senators to vote for or against a given nominee.
We consider the consequences of the Senate electoral cycle and bicameralism for distributive
politics, introducing the concept of contested credit claiming, i.e. that members of a states
House and Senate delegations must share the credit for appropriations that originate in
their chamber with delegation members in the other chamber. Using data that isolates
appropriations of each chamber, we test a model of the strategic incentives contested credit
claiming creates. Our empirical analysis indicates that the Senate electoral cycle induces
a back-loading of benefi ts to the end of senatorial terms, but that the House blunts this
tendency with countercyclical appropriations. Our analysis informs our understanding of
appropriations earmarking, and points a way forward in studying the larger consequences of