Research Library

2013
Mylonas, Harris. 2013. Wither Nation-Building?. e-International Relations. Website
Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era
Nye, Joseph S., Jr. 2013. Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era. Princeton University Press. WebsiteAbstract
This book examines the foreign policy decisions of the presidents who presided over the most critical phases of America's rise to world primacy in the twentieth century, and assesses the effectiveness and ethics of their choices. Joseph Nye, who was ranked as one of Foreign Policy magazine's 100 Top Global Thinkers, reveals how some presidents tried with varying success to forge a new international order while others sought to manage America's existing position. Taking readers from Theodore Roosevelt's bid to insert America into the global balance of power to George H. W. Bush's Gulf War in the early 1990s, Nye compares how Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson responded to America's growing power and failed in their attempts to create a new order. He looks at Franklin D. Roosevelt's efforts to escape isolationism before World War II, and at Harry Truman's successful transformation of Roosevelt's grand strategy into a permanent overseas presence of American troops at the dawn of the Cold War. He describes Dwight Eisenhower's crucial role in consolidating containment, and compares the roles of Ronald Reagan and Bush in ending the Cold War and establishing the unipolar world in which American power reached its zenith.The book shows how transformational presidents like Wilson and Reagan changed how America sees the world, but argues that transactional presidents like Eisenhower and the elder Bush were sometimes more effective and ethical. It also draws important lessons for today's uncertain world, in which presidential decision making is more critical than ever.
Nye, Joseph S., Jr. 2013. Do Presidents Really Steer Foreign Policy?. The Atlantic. Website
Sen, Amartya. 2013. Why India Trails China. New York Times. Website
Nye, Joseph S. 2013. Ethiopia: Brics Without Mortar. All Africa. Website
Feldman, Noah. 2013. The Supreme Court Decides to See No Evil Abroad. Bloomberg. Website
Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era
Hall, Peter A, and Michèle Lamont. 2013. Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era. Cambridge University Press. WebsiteAbstract
What is the impact of three decades of neoliberal narratives and policies on communities and individual lives? What are the sources of social resilience? This book offers a sweeping assessment of the effects of neoliberalism, the dominant feature of our times. It analyzes the ideology in unusually wide-ranging terms as a movement that not only opened markets but also introduced new logics into social life, integrating macro-level analyses of the ways in which neoliberal narratives made their way into international policy regimes with micro-level analyses of the ways in which individuals responded to the challenges of the neoliberal era. The book introduces the concept of social resilience and explores how communities, social groups, and nations sustain their well-being in the face of such challenges. The product of ten years of collaboration among a distinguished group of scholars, it integrates institutional and cultural analysis in new ways to understand neoliberalism as a syncretic social process and to explore the sources of social resilience across communities in the developed and developing worlds.
A Journey With Margaret Thatcher: Foreign Policy Under The Iron Lady
Renwick, Robin. 2013. A Journey With Margaret Thatcher: Foreign Policy Under The Iron Lady. Bitback Publishing. WebsiteAbstract
A Journey with Margaret Thatcher is an extraordinary insider’s account of British foreign policy under Margaret Thatcher by one of her key advisers. Providing a closeup view of the Iron Lady in action, former high-ranking diplomat Robin Renwick examines her diplomatic successes – including the defeat of aggression in the Falklands, what the Americans felt to be the excessive influence she exerted on Ronald Reagan, her special relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev and contribution to the ending of the Cold War, the Anglo-Irish agreement, her influence with de Klerk in South Africa and relationship with Nelson Mandela – and what she herself acknowledged as her spectacular failure in resisting German reunification. He describes at first hand her often turbulent relationship with other European leaders and her arguments with her Cabinet colleagues about European monetary union (in which regard, he contends, her arguments have stood the test of time better and are highly relevant to the crisis in the eurozone today). Finally, the book tells of her bravura performance in the run up to the Gulf War, her calls for intervention in Bosnia and the difficulties she created for her successor. While her faults were on the same scale as her virtues, Margaret Thatcher succeeded in her mission to restore Britain’s standing and influence, in the process becoming a cult figure in many other parts of the world.
Kelly, Catherine, and Jason Warner. 2013. Why the U.S. Military Should Care About African Opposition Parties. Council of Foreign Relations. WebsiteAbstract
Sub-Saharan Africa is an increasingly important theater of operation for the U.S. military. From al-Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and Ansar Dine, the Department of Defense is recognizing that Africa will be a vital strategic battlefield in the next century. Yet in discussions of future African security policy, the potential role of opposition political parties in Africa has received virtually no attention. Following are three reasons why the Department of Defense should pay close attention to African opposition parties. 1) Opposition parties can be barometers of domestic opinion about foreign presence. Opposition parties’ rhetoric on US foreign policy and intervention—when it exists—can reveal local attitudes that incumbent governments may not openly share. This is especially helpful in countries such as Djibouti, Niger, and Ethiopia, where the U.S. military is currently engaged in a wide range of activities including military training, crisis management exercises, drone activities against al-Qaeda, and operating the United States’ only military base on the continent; Camp Lemonnier. Foreign policy debates tend to have scant prominence in African elections, precisely because of the limited range of choices available to some of the world’s weakest states. But major opposition party leaders almost invariably have more social and cultural capital than foreign diplomats, and thus have the potential to function as intermediaries between the US government and the wider African public on potentially contentious issues. 2) Today’s opponents could be tomorrow’s incumbents. Being cordial to (and even cautiously supportive of) opposition parties is deeply important in states where regime changes—electoral or otherwise—are likely. The absence of such a contingency plan in the event of a regime transition limits US policy options. In late March 2012, for instance, the United States offered few critiques as Djibouti’s president, Ismail Omar Guelleh, repressed supporters of the Union for National Salvation (USN) opposition coalition. Were the USN ever to control the presidency, the United States could potentially face expulsion from the U.S. military base Camp Lemonnier. Given Djibouti’s geographic proximity to volatile and strategically important countries in the Horn of Africa, the loss of such a geostrategic foothold would profoundly undermine the United States’ already modest security assistance capabilities throughout the region. 3) Certain opposition members are potential interlocutors on issues of conflict and terrorism. Major opposition party leaders can play integral roles in local conflict resolution efforts, and often exhibit the capacity to encourage or stem particular antagonistic behaviors among the populace. For instance, the leaders of six major opposition parties in southern Sudan recently joined rebel groups in “endorsing peaceful and armed opposition to Sudan’s government;” and in Kenya’s 2007 elections, ethnic violence, allegedly fueled by certain ruling and opposition party leaders, reduced regional stability and inflicted devastating human costs. Although opposition leaders in these contexts can at times exacerbate delicate security situations, their social networks could also potentially facilitate the resolution of other US security concerns. To this end, Eritrea’s opposition parties—some of which apparently launched an unsuccessful coup attempt in January 2013—could be the key to the United States acquiring domestic leverage on President Isaias Afewerki, a known source of regional instability in the Horn of Africa. This said, although opposition parties might have some role in mediating security outcomes, opposition leaders are almost never the most central players involved in such instances, nor are they necessarily tied to insurgencies that serve as the core security concerns of most African regimes. Nevertheless, cultivating opposition leaders as potential participants in peacebuilding, transparency, or counterterrorism measures could indeed increase the quality of human and state security on the continent. In summary, although democratization is not yet the norm in Africa, the trends towards greater political opening across the continent signal new opportunities for U.S. military engagement. As such, though it is the Department of State that invariably shoulders the responsibility for crafting US diplomatic policy regarding opposition parties, the Department of Defense—a silent observer on the political front—should be deeply cognizant of the security implications bound up in the politics of African opposition parties. Indeed, given the unavoidable US reliance on a mix of authoritarian and democratic allies for security-related initiatives in Africa, an effective US security strategy must continue evolving to take heed of the unique roles played by opposition parties on the continent.
Zhukov, Yuri. 2013. Trouble in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: The Coming Dash for Gas. Foreign Affairs. Website
Kelly, Catherine. 2013. The 2012 Legislative Elections in Senegal. Electoral Studies. WebsiteAbstract
On July 1, 2012, Senegal held legislative elections to select all 150 members of the twelfth National Assembly, the lower chamber—and the only fully elected one—in this West African country of approximately twelve million people. The legislative elections followed a hotly contested presidential election in which Abdoulaye Wade, president over the last twelve years, sought a controversial third term and lost by a historic margin. Wade and other leaders of his Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) sought a legislative majority that would force the new president, Macky Sall, into cohabitation.Full PDF
Liviatan, Ofrit. 2013. From Abortion to Islam: The Changing Function of Law in Europe's Cultural Debates. Fordham International Law Journal. WebsiteAbstract
The Article rethinks law’s role in present-day European debates over Islam in light of its calming effects on the once fiercely-fought abortion reforms across Western Europe. Using examples from Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland the article demonstrates that the role of the legal process in each of these culture-based debates diverged along its two social functions. Reflecting growing public anxieties, legal actions concerning Muslims typically focused on generating social and cultural change, foreclosing the likelihood of political compromises. In contrast, at the time of abortion reform legal measures acted as mechanisms of social and cultural order, contributing to the pacification of the fierce public controversies even as moral disagreements over abortion endured. Drawing on this comparison, the article suggests that Europe’s constitutional review processes present a compromise-building path to deliberate contemporary conflicts over Islam. The Article proceeds in three parts. Part II and III analyze the legal developments in the context of Islam and abortion across Western Europe, revealing a contrasting dynamics in the roles of the legal process in each of these debates. Part IV assesses the effects of the legal process in each of the debates and rules out alternative explanations for this divergence. It argues that the factor of time or European secularization cannot account for the current intensity-difference in each of these debates. The article concludes by proposing a path to launch the currently absent constitutional conversation over Islamic-based tensions in Western Europe. Modeled on abortion reform, constitutional courts should reach beyond proportional balancing and dictate policy frameworks addressing both the roots of Muslim disadvantages and the anxieties of the European public.
Beckert, Sven. 2013. In History Departments, It’s Up With Capitalism. New York Times. Website
Hicks, Donna. 2013. Declare Dignity: Donna Hicks at TEDxStormont. TEDTalks. Website
Steiner, Gerald. 2013. Competences for Complex Real-World Problems: Toward an Integrative Framework.Abstract
Which competences enable problem solvers to successfully deal with complex real-world challenges such as the current economic and financial crises and in so doing, inspire innovation and sustainable development of society? Despite the importance of these questions, and although competences have become more center stage in management strategy, human resource development, and public policy/public administration research, a general theory of problem solving competence has remained elusive, largely because of insular single-disciplinary approaches. Embedded in a comprehensive review of management strategy, human resource development, and public policy/public administration theories, and by contrasting American and Central-European schools of thought, I discuss the theoretical formulations of previous competence frameworks, the empirical support for these frameworks, and their limitations in solving complex realworld problems. I outline how constituents of competence such as abilities, knowledge, and skills are entrenched within a multifaceted environment and influenced by the individual’s mental model(s). Finally, I develop a five-dimensional framework of competences needed to solve complex real-world problems, which considers both individual and collaborative aspects. The five core dimensions of this new competence framework are (1) personal competence; (2) professional domain competence; (3) systemic competence; (4) creativity competence; and (5) sociocultural (collaborative) competence. This paper is aimed at fostering further theory development and stimulating future research in the field of competence development.
Varshney, Ashutosh. 2013. The Boston Question. Indian Express. Website
Weber, Thomas. 2013. Don't Risk Auschwitz Trials Ending in Fiasco. Haaretz. Website
Feldman, Noah. 2013. China’s New Leader Follows Katy Perry’s Tune. Bloomberg. Website
Cool War: The Future of Global Competition
Feldman, Noah R. 2013. Cool War: The Future of Global Competition. Random House. WebsiteAbstract
The Cold War seemingly ended in a decisive victory for the West. But now, Noah Feldman argues, we are entering an era of renewed global struggle: the era of Cool War. Just as the Cold War matched the planet’s reigning superpowers in a contest for geopolitical supremacy, so this new age will pit the United States against a rising China in a contest for dominance, alliances, and resources. Already visible in Asia, the conflict will extend to the Middle East (US-backed Israel versus Chinese-backed Iran), Africa, and beyond.Yet this Cool War differs fundamentally from the zero-sum showdowns of the past: The world’s major power and its leading challenger are economically interdependent to an unprecedented degree. Exports to the US account for nearly a quarter of Chinese trade, while the Chinese government holds 8 percent of America’s outstanding debt. This positive-sum interdependence has profound implications for nations, corporations, and international institutions. It makes what looked to be a classic contest between two great powers into something much more complex, contradictory, and badly in need of the shrewd and carefully reasoned analysis that Feldman provides.To understand the looming competition with China, we must understand the incentives that drive Chinese policy. Feldman offers an arresting take on that country’s secretive hierarchy, proposing that the hereditary “princelings” who reap the benefits of the complicated Chinese political system are actually in partnership with the meritocrats who keep the system full of fresh talent and the reformers who are trying to root out corruption and foster government accountability. He provides a clear-eyed analysis of the years ahead, showing how China’s rise presents opportunities as well as risks. Robust competition could make the US leaner, smarter, and more pragmatic, and could drive China to greater respect for human rights. Alternatively, disputes over trade, territory, or human rights could jeopardize the global economic equilibrium—or provoke a catastrophic “hot war” that neither country wants.The US and China may be divided by political culture and belief, but they are also bound together by mutual self-interest. Cool War makes the case for competitive cooperation as the only way forward that can preserve the peace and make winners out of both sides.
Radical Egalitarianism: Local Realities, Global Relations
Tambiah, Stanley J, MJ Fischer, Michael, Felicity Aulino, and Miriam Goheen. 2013. Radical Egalitarianism: Local Realities, Global Relations. Fordham University Press. WebsiteAbstract
In this volume, leading scholars in anthropology, religion, and area studies engage global and local perspectives dialectically to develop a historically grounded, ethnographically driven social science. The book's chapters, drawing on research in East and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, are also in conversation with the extensive work of editor and contributor Stanley J. Tambiah: They all investigate some aspect of what Tambiah has called "multiple orientations to the world." The implicit focus throughout is on human cultural differences and the historically constituted nature of the political potentialities (both positive and negative) that stem from these. As a whole, then, the volume promotes an approach to scholarship that actively avoids privileging any one conceptual framework or cultural form at the expense of recognizing another-a style of inquiry that the editors call "radical egalitarianism." Together, these scholars encourage a comparative examination of contemporary societies, provide insights into the historical development of social scientific and sociopolitical categories, and raise vital questions about the possibilities for achieving equality and justice in the presence of competing realities in the global world today. Michael M.J. Fischer's Afterword provides a brilliant exegesis of Tambiah's multifaceted oeuvre, outlining the primary themes that inform his scholarship and, by extension, all the chapters in this book.