Research Library

Domínguez, Jorge I. 2004. “Why and How Did Mexico's 2000 Presidential Election Campaign Matter?”.Abstract

[in Jorge I. Domínguez and Chappell Lawson, eds., Mexico's Pivotal Democratic Election: Candidates, Voters, and the Presidential Campaign of 2000 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), pp. 321-344]

Mexico's 2000 presidential election campaign mattered. It closed the breach between Fox and old–line panistas, somewhat distrustful of his candicacy. It stimulated PAN voters to turn out at rates higher than those of PRI supporters on election day. It solidified the Cáredenas base in the PRD. It demoralized the PRI machinery. It detached voters from Labastida, leading them to vote for another candidate or to stay home on election day. It informed opposition strategic voters to support Fox. The proportion of voters influenced by the campaign to change their voting preference was at least two to three times greater than in U.S. presidential campaigns and at least twice Fox's margin of victory. In fact, the proportion of strategic voters alone gave Fox nearly all of his margin of victory.

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Rosen, Stephen Peter. 2004. War and Human Nature. Princeton University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Why did President John F. Kennedy choose a strategy of confrontation during the Cuban missile crisis even though his secretary of defense stated that the presence of missiles in Cuba made no difference? Why did large numbers of Iraqi troops surrender during the Gulf War even though they had been ordered to fight and were capable of doing so? Why did Hitler declare war on the United States knowing full well the power of that country?

War and Human Nature argues that new findings about the way humans are shaped by their inherited biology may help provide answers to such questions. This seminal work by former Defense Department official Stephen Peter Rosen contends that human evolutionary history has affected the way we process the information we use to make decisions. The result is that human choices and calculations may be very different from those predicted by standard models of rational behavior.

This notion is particularly true in the area of war and peace, Rosen contends. Human emotional arousal affects how people learn the lessons of history. For example, stress and distress influence people's views of the future, and testosterone levels play a role in human social conflict. This thought-provoking and timely work explores the mind that has emerged from the biological sciences over the last generation. In doing so, it helps shed new light on many persistent puzzles in the study of war.

Arreguin-Toft, Ivan, and Monica Duffy Toft. 2004. “'Peace with honor' in Iraq”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

IMAGINE the following speech explaining to the American people why we are in Iraq: "Why are we in Iraq?

"We are there because we have a promise to keep. Since 2003 we offered support to the people of Iraq. We have helped to build, and we have helped to defend. Thus, over the past year, we have made a national pledge to help Iraq defend its independence.

"And I intend to keep that promise.

"To dishonor that pledge, to abandon this small and brave nation to its enemies, and to the terror that must follow, would be an unforgivable wrong.

"We are also there to strengthen world order . . .

"There are those who wonder why we have a responsibility there. Well, we have it there for the same reason that we have a responsibility for the defense of Europe. World War II was fought in both Europe and Asia, and when it ended we found ourselves with continued responsibility for the defense of freedom. . . . "

This speech sounds familiar, and not just because we hear many of the same sentiments from our leaders today. Change the name of the country and the date, and you'll have a speech given by President Lyndon Johnson at Johns Hopkins University in May 1965. The country in question then was Vietnam, and by the time of the commitment of US ground forces in March of that year, the war to save South Vietnam's independence was already lost. Furthermore, it had never been a war that could be won by military means alone. Although many in the Johnson administration recognized this at the time, then as now, the weight of institutional inertia restricted nonmilitary support to mere rhetoric.

President George Bush was wrong to commit US armed forces to the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Even had he been justified in doing so -- had Iraq possessed operational weapons of mass destruction -- the lack of planning to manage post-Hussein Iraq, to balance military and nonmilitary approaches to reconstructing Iraq, would have doomed our efforts there to failure. This is why we, along with more than 650 fellow academics and former foreign policy practitioners of all partisan stripes have signed an open letter of protest to the American people. (It is available online at

President Bush can no more succeed with our current approach in Iraq than LBJ did in Vietnam. This is true even though Bush is not hindered by a superpower rival or an ambitious plan to eliminate domestic poverty.

President Johnson recognized the hopelessness of our position in Vietnam well before the failed Tet offensive of 1968 and well before March of that year, when he declared he would not stand for reelection. Then as now, the United States tried to train and equip a domestic armed force capable of providing security. But, with little international support, the insurgents were able to portray South Vietnam's military as lackeys of US imperial interests.

Then as now, the United States tried to use its unmatched technology to support combat missions to surround and destroy insurgent strongholds, only to find their foes slip away, sometimes across international borders to safe areas in neighboring states. Then as now, in spite of their best efforts, US forces continually injured and killed noncombatants, thereby expanding the pool of supporters, informers, and future recruits for the insurgents.

In the end, the war in Vietnam became exactly what the North Vietnamese propaganda machine had always (at first wrongly) claimed it to be: an antisocial war. It became a war that pitted the US military against the people of another country. Whatever the justice of the original mission, the character of the war changed, and it became an unjust war. President Johnson, to his credit, refused to preside over the continuance of that war.

It fell instead to President Nixon to manage "peace with honor": declaring a US victory and then abandoning South Vietnam to its own compromised resources. This is now the Bush administration's best course in Iraq. The only other remaining policy option is to expand military service, and if history is any guide, providing security in Iraq will require an army of at least a million soldiers. Unfortunately, due to the more widespread and intensified threat we now face, a future Bush administration may attempt to do both.

In the meantime, Al Qaeda remains dangerous, North Korea has nuclear weapons, and Iran is bent on acquiring them. And until we rethink our policy, American men and women, along with the Iraqi citizens whose freedom Bush so doggedly claims to defend, will continue to die in a war we never needed to fight.

Ivan Arreguin-Toft is a fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a lecturer at Wellesley College. Monica Duffy Toft is an associate professor of public Policy at the Belfer Center and assistant director of Harvard's John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies.
Robinson, James A. 2004. “State Formation and Governance in Botswana”.Abstract

Our analysis begins with the puzzle: how did Botswana develop a legal–rational state? We suggest that three key interlinked factors were important. First, during the pre–colonial period the Tswana developed local states with relatively limited kingship or chiefship and with a political structure that was able to integrate people of other ethnic groups such as Kalanga. Second, facing the onslaught first of the Boers, next of the British South African Company, and finally of the Union of South Africa, Tswana political elites attempted to maintain a good measure of independence by defensively modernizing. (The Tswana were not unique in this British Africa, either in the types of political institutions they evolved, or in their desire to modernize. What is unique about Botswana is they way that local state elites were coordinated in the whole of colonial national territory, pursuing similar policies to fend off the most pernicious effects of colonialism.) Finally, the political elites in both local states before independence and the national state at independence heavily invested in the country?s most important economic activity, ranching. This gave them a strong incentive to promote rational state institutions and private property. Moreover, the integrative nature of traditional Tswana political institutions reduced the likelihood that alternative groups would aggressively contest the power of the new unitary state.

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Kay, Tamara. 2004. “Abortion, Race, and Gender in Nineteenth-Century America.” American Sociological Association. American Sociological Association. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Many sociologists have considered the intersection of race and gender in the production of social life, but while works on “intersectionality” have offered a useful paradigm for analyzing the experience of individual persons, a model for understanding how structures interact remains unclear. Appropriating Sewell’s (1992) argument that structures consist of cultural schemas applied to resources, this article develops a more nuanced approach to intersectionality. It presents the argument that because the basis of race and gender as social structures is the inscription of cultural schemas on bodies, and because racial reproduction is predicated on the continued creation of these culturally inscribed bodies, race and gender as social structures necessarily intersect at the level of biological reproduction. The study uses this theoretical insight to analyze how physicians and suffragists contested the meaning of, and policy regarding, abortion in nineteenth-century America. While most histories of abortion argue that nineteenth-century abortion politics concerned gender relations, this article argues that what was at stake was Anglo-Saxon control of the state and dominance of society. Abortion politics contested the proper use of a valuable social resource, the reproductive capacity of Anglo-Saxon women.
Co-author Nicola Beisel is a professor of sociology at Northwestern University.
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Frankel, Jeffrey. 2004. “External Opening and the World Trading System”.Abstract

Countries can still reap substantial economic benefits from external opening – an estimated 0.3 % increase in income over 20 years for each .01 increase in the ratio of trade to GDP. Non–economic effects of trade are more complicated. Taking the case of SO2 pollution, trade can be on net beneficial, while for CO2 the outlook is worse, absent effective global governance, due to the international free rider problem. The paper considers what should be priorities for the form and content of trade negotiations. The conclusion is to favor multilateral negotiations, as in the WTO. The author's back–of–the–envelope attempt to take into account dynamic gains says that the increase in welfare from a truly successful Doha Round might be 2% of global income. Environmental issues increasingly need to be addressed through multilateral institutions as well; they cannot be addressed through the assertion of national sovereignty.

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Working Paper 04–07, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, October 2004. 

Cooper, Richard N. 2004. “A Glimpse of 2020”.Abstract

To help get our bearings in a complex and ever-changing world, it is useful to ask what the world will look like in a decade or two. Forecasting the future accurately is of course impossible. And of course we cannot forecast surprises, by definition. But by projecting known trends and tendencies, it is possible to say a remarkable amount about the broad outlines of the world one to two decades from now. In particular, we can identify with high confidence four factors, which we hardly notice from year to year, but which accumulate relentlessly over time, such that by 2020 they will have profoundly transformed the world as we now know it. The four factors are population growth, growth in per capita income, increasing international mobility among national firms and individuals, made possible and driven by both technological changes in transportation and communication, and the aging of existing political leaders (as well as everyone else).

For concreteness, I will focus below on the year 2020. The year should not be taken literally, but as the rough mid–point of one to two decades from now. That looks beyond the immediate issues of today, and allows the cumulation of small annual changes in the trends mentioned above. But it is also a comprehensible distance into the future, the same distance as the year 1988, which many adults can remember, is into the past.

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Desai, Mihir A. 2004. “Old Rules and New Realities: Corporate Tax Policy in a Global Setting”.Abstract

This paper reassesses the burden of the current U.S. international tax regime and reconsiders well–known welfare benchmarks used to guide international tax reform. Reinventing corporate tax policy requires that international considerations be placed front and center in the debate on how to tax corporate income. A simple framework for assessing current rules suggests a U.S. tax burden on foreign income in the neighborhood of $50 billion a year. This sizeable U.S. taxation of foreign investment income is inconsistent with promoting efficient ownership of capital assets, either from a national or a global perspective. Consequently, there are large potential welfare gains available from reducing the U.S. taxation of foreign income, a direction of reform that requires abandoning the comfortable, if misleading, logic of using similar systems to tax foreign and domestic income.

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Copelovitch, Mark. 2004. “Private Debt Composition and the Political Economy of IMF Lending”.Abstract

Over the last two decades, the International Monetary Fund has provided developing countries with over $400 billion in conditional loans, ranging in size from less than $10 million to over $30 billion. What explains the significant variation in the amount and terms (conditionality) of these loans? Why do some countries get a better deal from the IMF, while others receive less Fund credit on more stringent terms? I argue that IMF lending behavior is driven by the interests of and interaction between three key actors: the IMF?s professional staff, the Fund?s five largest member-states (the "G-5"), and private international creditors. Each of these actors influences the IMF policymaking process, but none exercises complete control. Furthermore, these actors? preferences are not constant; rather, they vary over time and across cases based on the composition of a prospective Fund borrower?s private international debt. Changes in debt composition – specifically, differences in the instruments (commercial bank loans vs. bonds) and maturity (short– vs. long–term) of a borrower country?s external debt – shape the preferences of all three key actors over the size and terms of IMF lending packages. Using a new time–series cross–sectional dataset developed for this project, I find that differences in the amount and concentration of G–5 bank exposure, along with changes in the instruments and maturity of a borrower country?s private external debt, have had significant and substantive effects on the size and terms of short–term IMF loans from 1984–2003. Moreover, these effects are at least as large as those of other economic and political factors identified in the literature as important determinants of IMF lending. Ultimately, these results suggest the need to move beyond one–dimensional explanations of Fund policymaking that privilege a single economic or political variable in favor of a more complex and dynamic understanding of the political economy of IMF lending.

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Working Paper 04–05, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, October 2004. 

Norris, Pippa, and Ronald Inglehart. 2004. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. Cambridge University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Seminal thinkers of the nineteenth century—Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud—all predicted that religion would gradually fade in importance and cease to be significant with the emergence of industrial society. The belief that religion was dying became the conventional wisdom in the social sciences during most of the twentieth century.

During the last decade, however, the secularization thesis has experienced the most sustained challenge in its long history. Critics point to multiple indicators of religious health and vitality today, from the continued popularity of churchgoing in the United States, to the emergence of New Age spirituality in Western Europe, the surge of fundamentalist movements and Islamic parties in the Muslim world, the evangelical revival sweeping through Latin America, and the widespread ethno-religious conflicts in international affairs.

The traditional secularization thesis needs updating. Religion has not disappeared and is unlikely to do so. Nevertheless, the concept of secularization captures an important part of what is going on. This book develops a theory of secularization and existential security, building on key elements of traditional sociological theories and revising others. This book demonstrates that: (1) The publics of virtually all advanced industrial societies have been moving toward more secular orientations during the past fifty years; but (2) The world as a whole now has more people with traditional religious views than ever before—and they constitute a growing proportion of the world's population. Though these two propositions may seem contradictory, they are not. The fact that the first proposition is true, helps account for the second?because secularization has a surprisingly powerful negative impact on human fertility rates.

The critiques of secularization draw their evidence mainly from the United States (which happens to be a strikingly exceptional case) rather than comparing systematic evidence across a broad range of both rich and poor societies. This book draws on a massive base of new evidence generated by the four waves of the World Values Survey executed from 1981 to 2001 in eighty societies, covering all of the world's major faiths. Examining religiosity from a broader perspective and in a wider range of countries than ever before, this book demonstrates that religiosity persists most strongly among vulnerable populations, especially those in poorer nations and in failed states, facing personal survival-threatening risks. Exposure to physical, societal and personal risks drives religiosity. Conversely, a systematic erosion of religious practices, values and beliefs has occurred among the more prosperous strata in rich nations.

Sacred and Secular is essential reading for anyone interested in comparative religion, sociology, public opinion, political behavior, political development, social psychology, international relations, and cultural change.

Watson, James L. 2004. “Virtual Kinship, Real Estate, and Diaspora Formation - The Man Lineage Revisited (a Presidential Address to the Association for”.Abstract

Unlike our historian friends, anthropologists do not have the luxury of drawing a line in the sands of time and declaring a closure date for our research. Ethnography never ends. Even the demise of the original field–worker does not conclude the enterprise, given the inevitability of re–studies (usually conducted by younger scholars eager to overthrow past paradigms). This article is a product of contemporary ethnography; it describes a project that has a beginning but no clear end. At some point during the 1990s, the research took on a life of its own and, if anyone is in charge, it is certainly not the ethnographer. In many respects, therefore, the project parallels the digital revolution: decentered, unpredictable, and "out of control."

My address focuses on the long–term consequences of international migration and the historical dynamics of diaspora formation. The research is longitudinal in the sense that it tracks a single, tightly bound kinship group during thirty–five years of field research. From its inception, this has been what anthropologists refer to as a multisited ethnography, even though that term had not been invented when the research began (see Marcus 1995). The project started in 1969 as a "typical" (for that era) village study, focusing on a Cantonese community of two thousand people.

Caselli, Francesco, Alberto Giovannini, and Timothy Lane. 2004. “Fiscal Discipline and the Cost of Public Debt Service: Some Estimates for OECD Countries”.Abstract

Is there any systematic explanation of variations in the cost of debt servicing over time and across countries? This paper examines the influence of fiscal variables on borrowing costs in a panel of OECD countries, showing that these variables have a significant role. In particular, an improvement of the primary fiscal balance and a reduction in the stock of outstanding debt are associated with significant reductions in debt servicing costs, amplifying the effects of primary adjustment on the fiscal position. These effects appear to be non–linear: more pronounced for highly–indebted countries. A significant country–specific component remains, however; several explanations for this component are discussed, including debt management and market infrastructure.

Bader, Chris, and Paul Froese. 2004. “The Fundamental Importance of God's Character: Measuring Religious Effects and Differences”.Abstract

Social scientists often explain religious effects in terms of religious group affiliations. Typically, researchers identify religious groups by denomination or some broader popular categorization, such as "fundamentalist," or "evangelical." To better capture religious differences, Steensland et al. (2000) propose an intricate classification of American denominations which takes into account the theology and historical development of various American religious traditions. In response, we propose to replace the reliance on indirect denominational and other group membership as inferential measures of religiousness with a more appropriate direct measure: conceptions of God. This simple measure predicts church attendance rates, belief in biblical literalism, party identification, abortion attitudes, and sexual morality attitudes. In addition, this indicator provides a means to understand variation within religious traditions. God?s character proves the most straightforward way to describe religious differences and the most efficient way to demonstrate how religion impacts the world.

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Rosales, Juan. 2004. “La Argentina tuvo un golpe de mala suerte, an interview with Jorge Domínguez”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

WASHINGTON.- "Con las crisis recurrentes que ha vivido en los últimos años, la Argentina no se ha convertido en latinoamericana. Se convirtió en sublatinoamericana."

Este concepto, duro para la estima de los argentinos, parte del profesor Jorge Domínguez, uno de los politicólogos más reconocidos de Estados Unidos sobre cuestiones de América latina, que dirige el Centro de Asuntos Internacionales Weatherhead, de la Universidad de Harvard.

Desde su oficina en el campus de Harvard, ubicado en la ciudad de Cambridge, a pocos kilómetros de Boston, Massachusetts, Domínguez dijo a LA NACION que "debería ser un objetivo optimista de la Argentina llegar a tener resultados tan buenos como Brasil, Chile o México".

"Si se hubieran latinoamericanizado a lo Brasil, Chile o México, las cosas no estarían tan mal", sostuvo el politicólogo respecto de la idea de que, después de las crisis económicas, la Argentina comenzó a parecerse más a los países de América latina que a Europa, como buena parte de la dirigencia argentina repitió por décadas.

"Lo triste del caso argentino es que es peor. El país puede ser comparado con los de la región andina, como Bolivia y Ecuador, que han tenido una experiencia similar a la argentina", dijo el profesor de Harvard.

Domínguez, ciudadano norteamericano de origen cubano, considera que el gobierno del presidente George W. Bush desatendió los problemas de América latina. "La prioridad de Bush para la defensa de los regímenes democráticos y constitucionales en el continente ha sido débil", dijo. Y cuestionó el apoyo norteamericano al derrocamiento de Jean-Bertrand Aristide, en Haití, este año, y la fallida promoción del golpe en Venezuela, en 2002.

"Los últimos dos o tres años han sido un período muy difícil, prácticamente, en todo el continente. Sin embargo, no veo la situación como para llegar a un nivel de pánico, que a veces cunde en discusiones sobre el tema", señaló.

En una radiografía de la región, Domínguez dijo que en Brasil "el proceso electoral introdujo una innovación en América latina, que fue el hecho de que hubo, antes de las elecciones, una negociación entre el FMI y la oposición. El primer caso de ese tipo de negociación ocurrió en Corea del Sur, después de la crisis financiera en 1997. En Brasil tuvo un par de consecuencias importantes. La primera fue la consagración de Lula, porque le ayudó a quitarle su única carta al candidato oficialista, José Serra. De pronto, Lula podía ser elegido con el respaldo del FMI", expresó Domínguez.

"La segunda consecuencia es que en el gobierno de Lula se ha venido cumpliendo el acuerdo con el FMI, que ha tenido dimensiones muy positivas. Por ejemplo, la reforma del sistema de jubilación. Es una especie de matrimonio entre el saneamiento de las cuentas fiscales y la posibilidad de desarrollar un programa de un presidente socialdemócrata", añadió.

Entonces, surge de inmediato la pregunta sobre la Argentina. "En el caso argentino, en el que parecía que todo salía mal, hay cosas que dentro de un contexto terrible no salieron tan mal. No hubo un golpe de Estado. Por la experiencia argentina, no era algo descartable, ya que, en circunstancias parecidas, hace rato que hubieran venido ocurriendo múltiples golpes de Estado. Cuando la frase que pedía «que se vayan todos» calaba en la opinión pública, los únicos que se fueron fueron los radicales, aunque hay un proceso de reconstrucción del Partido Justicialista que no ha terminado, porque el justicialismo siempre se está reconstruyendo. No es posible gobernar sin partidos políticos. Me sorprendería mucho que no se produjera la reconstrucción del radicalismo, ya sea con la forma de la vieja UCR o bajo alguna otra que le permita hacer su tarea opositora de una forma más efectiva."

-¿Cómo hace América latina para salir de estos períodos de estabilidad e inestabilidad, que parecen ser cíclicos?

-Donde, lamentablemente, los ciclos se observan más es en la Argentina. En el caso brasileño, veo que hay un paso al frente. Que el principal candidato de la oposición de izquierda, que había sido derrotado en consecutivas elecciones, de pronto gane y adopte políticas eficaces, tanto en términos económicos como sociales, no es repetir un ciclo: es un paso adelante. En Perú, si bien son lamentables algunos aspectos del comportamiento personal de Toledo, hay pasos institucionales importantes, como la reforma del Poder Judicial, el restablecimiento del poder civil contra la prepotencia de las fuerzas armadas, el crecimiento de la economía, la contención de los niveles de violencia… No veo esto como un ciclo. La expresión cíclica sí les pega a la Argentina y a Bolivia, dos casos en los que se dan estas circunstancias trágicas, y también Ecuador. En los casos de la Argentina y de Bolivia es algo particularmente lamentable, porque si hubiéramos tenido esta conversación hace diez años ambos hubiéramos pensado que por fin esos países habían salido de esos ciclos.

-En el caso argentino, ¿cuál es la raíz de estas repeticiones? ¿Es económica, es un problema de la dirigencia política?

-Lo que voy a decir parecerá, a lo mejor, una gran tontería, aunque no creo que sea así. Parte de lo que ocurre en la Argentina, aunque no es todo, es producto de la mala suerte. Y mala suerte quiere decir algo relativamente preciso: la coincidencia de una serie de factores, no vinculados entre sí, pero que ocurrieron en un mismo instante histórico. La Argentina ejecutó una reforma en su sistema de jubilaciones, con un costo importante, como ocurre en cualquier país del mundo que lo hace. Esto coincide, y no es más que una triste coincidencia, con un retraimiento de la financiación internacional, porque los inversores prefirieron poner sus ahorros en la Bolsa de Nueva York y no en los países en vías de desarrollo, tras la crisis asiática de 1997 y de la rusa de 1998. Otro aspecto coincidente, que no tiene que ver con lo primero, pero sí con lo segundo, es la crisis brasileña de enero de 1999, que azota a la Argentina. Otro factor, analíticamente independiente de los demás, es el aumento del gasto fiscal en las provincias y en el nivel nacional, que tuvo un elemento político, que fue el intento del presidente Menem de buscar otra reelección. Si hubiera ocurrido uno solo de estos distintos elementos coincidentes en el tiempo, no creo que la crisis argentina hubiese sido tan grave. La coincidencia de estos factores, independientes uno de otro, desembocó en una catástrofe.

-El presidente Néstor Kirchner planteó que América latina necesita un Plan Marshall. ¿Es posible o es sólo una quimera?

-No creo que vaya a haber un Plan Marshall. Tampoco creo que sea una retórica presidencial inútil, porque es un buen llamado de atención. Lo que, sin duda, ni la Argentina ni el resto del continente requiere es lo que se podría llamar el Plan O’Neill, que fue otro de los elementos coincidentes y lamentables de la reciente experiencia argentina. Le tocó un secretario del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos que, aun en sus declaraciones públicas, innecesarias, socavó cualquier tipo de medida internacional adoptada por la Argentina en aquel momento. Esto sigue siendo insólito para mí. No porque fuera incorrecto, contrario a los hechos observables de la Argentina en los diez años anteriores, sino porque no parecían servir a ningún propósito de la política exterior de los Estados Unidos. No es menos cierto, por otra parte, que O’Neill era ministro del presidente norteamericano y, por lo tanto, lo suyo sí tuvo un costo real para la Argentina.

-¿Esto no es, entonces, el cambio en el paradigma frente a la asistencia de los países en crisis financieras, del que habla el ministro de Economía, Roberto Lavagna? ¿Era sólo el pensamiento de O’Neill o era una estrategia del gobierno de Bush?

-Me sentiría feliz si pudiera afirmar que hay una estrategia del gobierno de Bush con relación a estos temas en América latina. No creo que haya una estrategia; sí una falta de atención. Bush es un presidente, lógicamente, distraído: una guerra en Irak que no se termina; una elección presidencial que parece ser muy reñida. Creo, y en esto Lavagna tiene razón, que ha ocurrido un cambio de política de Bush con relación a la política tradicional de Estados Unidos, no solamente bajo el mandato de Clinton, sino del padre del actual presidente, George Bush, y, en algunos aspectos, en la segunda presidencia de Ronald Reagan. La segunda presidencia de Reagan tuvo el Plan Baker, para intentar resolver algunos problemas de financiación en América latina y la presidencia del primer Bush arrancó con lo que se llamó el Plan Brady. Si comparamos a Brady con O’Neill, estamos frente a las dos caras de la luna. El primero asumía que, en efecto, la crisis financiera latinoamericana es real, que no puede resolverse sólo pidiéndoles a los países que hagan mayores esfuerzos, sino que parte de la solución debe ser compartida. Ese fue el Plan Brady. Y esto no lo hemos escuchado recientemente.

-¿Qué otras diferencias hay?

-La defensa de la democracia, que fue un elemento importante en la segunda presidencia de Reagan—no en la primera—, en la de Bush padre y en la de Clinton. Limitémonos a los dos Bush y tomemos un político que no es de mi agrado: Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Cuando fue derrocado, en 1991, por un golpe militar en Haití, Bush padre condenó el golpe militar, aplicó las normas de la OEA, impuso sanciones económicas a los golpistas y le dio asilo a Aristide. La actual presidencia de Bush públicamente le dijo a Aristide que se vaya. El apoyo a la democracia bajo la presidencia de Bush padre también se vio con el autogolpe de Alberto Fujimori en Perú. Le dijo que no estaba a favor de esas maniobras y Fujimori tuvo que dar marcha atrás e, inclusive, garantizar el proceso electoral futuro. Esta vez, lo menos que se puede decir con el intento de golpe de 2002 para derrocar al presidente Hugo Chávez es que el gobierno de Bush fue incompetente. Otro caso: la renuncia obligada de Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, en Bolivia. Un presidente sudamericano más cercano a los criterios políticos y económicos del actual gobierno de Estados Unidos sería difícil de encontrar. Lo único que Sánchez de Lozada requería era un poco de ayuda financiera y lo que le dieron fueron migajas.

-Es decir que la presidencia de Bush desatiende a América latina y cuando se mete genera problemas…

-Así es. Y la comparación la hacemos con su padre. Si comparamos a Bush uno con Bush dos y observamos el comportamiento frente a la deuda latinoamericana, el apoyo a la democracia, ¡caray!, son dos presidencias muy distintas, a pesar de que muchos de sus integrantes sean los mismos. Uno puede ir repasando los hechos y se da cuenta de que las reglas han cambiado.

-Frente a este esquema, ¿cuál es el futuro que ve en la relación de América latina con Estados Unidos, gane Bush o gane el demócrata John Kerry en noviembre?

-No veo raíces institucionales o políticas para imaginar que una segunda presidencia del actual mandatario sería distinta de la actual. La guerra en Irak tendría otros matices, pero seguiría ocupando buena parte de las prioridades de este presidente. La amenaza terrorista no está por terminar.

-¿Qué cambiaría con un presidente demócrata?

-No supongo que los cambios serían dramáticos. Kerry parece más propenso a acudir a los organismos multilaterales, buscar consensos, la construcción de coaliciones y de ser fiel a sus amigos internacionales. Kerry no ha sido un político que haya dedicado mucha atención a los aspectos financieros internacionales, como el tema de la deuda. De manera que sobre ese tema en particular no estoy muy seguro de que cambie considerablemente, pero tampoco me sorprendería si hubiera un intento de retorno a lo que fue la política de Clinton, del primer Bush y de la última parte del mandato de Reagan. Tendría cierta sensatez decir que ésa es una manera de hacer las cosas mejor de lo que ha ocurrido en los últimos tres años. Sobre la defensa de los regímenes constitucionales, Kerry criticó el comportamiento del gobierno de Bush con relación al derrocamiento de Aristide, no por la defensa de él sino por la decisión de tumbar un régimen democrático.

-Kirchner y Lula han hecho un llamado para que haya cambios en los parámetros de la discusión de los organismos internacionales con los países de América latina. ¿Tiene futuro o es sólo un llamado de atención?

-Parte de lo que se observó en la relación entre el Fondo y Lula, cuando era el candidato de la oposición, sugiere la posibilidad de que el FMI en particular y otros organismos en general estarían dispuestos a discutir diversos aspectos de la relación entre las instituciones financieras internacionales y los países en vías de desarrollo. No creo, sin embargo, que se trate de cambios dramáticos, pero sí de sentarse a discutir sobre temas concretos. La señal más importante fue la negociación del FMI con la oposición brasileña antes de las elecciones.

Risse, Mathias. 2004. “What We Owe to the Global Poor”.Abstract

In September 2000, the U.N. General Assembly committed governments to eradicating extreme poverty. Endorsing several specific development goals, this historical document was called the Millennium Declaration, and has since become a reference point for development efforts across the globe.

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Jasanoff, Sheila, and Marybeth Long Martello. 2004. Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance. The MIT Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Globalization today is as much a problem for international harmony as it is a necessary condition of living together on our planet. Increasing interconnectedness in ecology, economy, technology, and politics has brought nations and societies into ever closer contact, creating acute demands for cooperation. Earthly Politics argues that in the coming decades global governance will have to accommodate differences, even as it obliterates distance, and will have to respect many aspects of the local while developing institutions that transcend localism.

This book analyzes a variety of approaches to environmental governance approaches that balance the local and the global in order to encourage new, more flexible frameworks of global governance. On the theoretical level, it draws on insights from the field of science and technology studies to enrich our understanding of environmental and development politics. On the pragmatic level, it discusses the design of institutions and processes to address problems of environmental governance that increasingly refuse to remain within national boundaries.

The cases in the book display the crucial relationship between knowledge and power—the links between the ways we understand environmental problems and the ways we manage them—and illustrate the different paths by which knowledge-power formations are arrived at, contested, defended, or set aside. By examining how local and global actors ranging from the World Bank to the Makah tribe in the Pacific Northwest respond to the contradictions of globalization, the authors identify some of the conditions for creating more effective engagement between the global and the local in environmental governance.

Huntington, Samuel P. 2004. Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity. Simon & Schuster, Inc. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In his seminal work The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Samuel Huntington argued provocatively and presciently that with the end of the cold war, "civilizations" were replacing ideologies as the new fault lines in international politics.

His astute analysis has proven correct. Now Professor Huntington turns his attention from international affairs to our domestic cultural rifts as he examines the impact other civilizations and their values are having on our own country.

America was founded by British settlers who brought with them a distinct culture including the English language, Protestant values, individualism, religious commitment, and respect for law. The waves of immigrants that later came to the United States gradually accepted these values and assimilated into America's Anglo-Protestant culture. More recently, however, national identity has been eroded by the problems of assimilating massive numbers of primarily Hispanic immigrants, bilingualism, multiculturalism, the devaluation of citizenship, and the "denationalization" of American elites.

September 11 brought a revival of American patriotism and a renewal of American identity. But already there are signs that this revival is fading, even though in the post-September 11 world, Americans face unprecedented challenges to our security. Who Are We? shows the need for us to reassert the core values that make us Americans. Nothing less than our national identity is at stake. Once again Samuel Huntington has written an important book that is certain to provoke a lively debate and to shape our national conversation about who we are.

Rodrik, Dani. 2004. “From 'Hindu Growth' to Productivity Surge: The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition”.PDF icon Download PDF

Hausmann, Ricardo. 2004. “Growth Accelerations”.Abstract

Unlike most cross–country growth analyses, we focus on turning points in growth performance. We look for instances of rapid acceleration in economic growth that are sustained for at least eight years and identify more than 80 such episodes since the 1950s. Growth accelerations tend to be correlated with increases in investment and trade, and with real exchange rate depreciations. Political–regime changes are statistically significant predictors of growth accelerations. External shocks tend to produce growth accelerations that eventually fizzle out, while economic reform is a statistically significant predictor of growth accelerations that are sustained. However, growth accelerations tend to be highly upredictable: the vast majority of growth accelerations are unrelated to standard determinants and most instances of economic reform do not produce growth accelerations.

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Robinson, James A. 2004. “Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth”.Abstract

This paper develops the empirical and theoretical case that differences in economic institutions are the fundamental cause of differences in economic development. We first document the empirical importance of institutions by focusing on two "quasi–natural experiments" in history, the division of Korea into two parts with very different economic institutions and the colonization of much of the world by European powers starting in the fifteenth century. We then develop the basic outline of a framework for thinking about why economic institutions differ across countries. Economic institutions determine the incentives of and the constraints on economic actors, and shape economic outcomes. As such, they are social decisions, chosen for their consequences. Because different groups and individuals typically benefit from different economic institutions, there is generally a conflict over these social choices, ultimately resolved in favor of groups with greater political power. The distribution of political power in society is in turn determined by political institutions and the distribution of resources. Political institutions allocate de jure political power, while groups with greater economic might typically possess greater de facto political power. We therefore view the appropriate theoretical framework as a dynamic one with political institutions and the distribution of resources as the state variables. These variables themselves change over time because prevailing economic institutions affect the distribution of resources, and because groups with de facto political power today strive to change political institutions in order to increase their de jure political power in the future. Economic institutions encouraging economic growth emerge when political institutions allocate power to groups with interests in broad–based property rights enforcement, when they create effective constraints on power–holders, and when there are relatively few rents to be captured by power–holders. We illustrate the assumptions, the workings and the implications of this framework using a number of historical examples.

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