Research Library

Robinson, James A. 2003. “Politician-Proof Policy?”.Abstract

In this paper I discuss the nature of the political constraints that the World Bank faces in delivering basic services to the poor. The main problem arises because the Bank has to work through domestic governments which have political aims different from helping the poor. The conceptual approach attractive to economists and central to the WDR2004 is the notion of politician proofing . Given that political incentives derail good policies, how can those policies be politician–proofed? I argue that evidence and theory suggests that such an approach is ultimately futile, basically because we simply do not understand the relevant political incentives. I discuss alternative policy strategies and conclude that what is required is a much more fundamental assessment of what type of political equilibria deliver services to the poor. As I illustrate with the case of Botswana, once the political equilibrium is right, everything goes right and politician proofing in redundant.

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Levitsky, Steven. 2003. “Explaining Populist Party Adaptation in Latin America”.Abstract

This article uses a two–level framework to explain variation in Latin American populist parties? responses to the neoliberal challenge of the 1980s and 1990s.First,it examines the incentives for adaptation,focusing on the electoral and economic environments in which parties operated. Second,it examines parties? organizational capacity to adapt,focusing on leadership renovation and the accountability of office–holding leaders to unions and party authorities.This framework is applied to four cases:the Argentine Justicialista Party (PJ),the exican Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI),the Peruvian APRA party,and Venezuelan Democratic Action (AD). In Argentina,the combination of strong incentives and substantial adaptive capacity resulted in radical programmatic change and electoral success.In Mexico,where the PRI had high adaptive capacity but faced somewhat weaker external incentives,programmatic change was slower but nevertheless substantial,and the party survived as a major political force.In Peru,where APRA had some capacity but little incentive to adapt,and in Venezuela,where AD had neither a strong incentive nor the capacity to adapt,populist parties achieved little programmatic change and suffered steep electoral decline.

Moravcsik, Andrew. 2003. “Le Mythe Du Deficit Democratique Europeen”.
Levitsky, Steven. 2003. “Argentina Weathers the Storm”.Abstract

The events of December 2001 seemed to transform Argentina?s international status from poster child to basket case. Throughout the 1990s, Argentina had been widely hailed as a case of successful market reform under democratic government. The radical economic transformation undertaken by the government of Carlos Saúl Menem had ended hyperinflation and restored economic growth, while the country enjoyed an unprecedented degree of democratic stability. Elections were free; civil liberties were broadly protected; and the armed forces, which had toped six civilian governments since 1930, largely disappeared from the political scene. Yet in late 2001, Argentina suffered an extraordinary economic and political meltdown. A prolonged recession and a severe financial crisis culminated in a debt default, a chaotic devaluation, and a descent into the deepest depression in Argentine history. A massive wave of riots and protests triggered a strong of presidential resignations, plunging the country into a profound crisis. For several months, Argentina teetered on the brink of anarchy. Widespread hostility toward the political elite raised the specter of a Peruú or Venezuelaústyle partyúsystem collapse. As the 2003 presidential election approached, many observers feared that the vote would be marred by violence or fraud.

Published in Journal of Democracy 14, no. 4 (October 2003): 152-166.

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Frankel, Jeffrey. 2003. “Experience of and Lessons from Exchange Rate Regimes in Emerging Economies”.Abstract

This paper was written for Monetary and Financial Cooperation in East Asia, Macmillan Press, 2003, in consultation with the Regional Economic Monitoring Unit of the Asian Development Bank, and Takatoshi Ito and Yung Chul Park, coordinators of the ADB core study on exchange rate arrangements. The author would like to thank Sergio Schmukler for preparing Table 3.

The paper reviews recent trends in thinking on exchange rate regimes. It begins by classifying countries into regimes, noting the distinction between de facto and de jure regimes, but also noting the low correlation among proposed ways of classifying the latter. The advantages of fixed exchange rates versus floating are reviewed, including the recent evidence on the trade–promoting effects of currency unions. Frameworks for tallying up the pros and cons include the traditional Optimum Currency Area criteria, as well as some new criteria from the experiences of the 1990s. The Corners Hypothesis may now be "peaking" as rapidly as it rose, in light of its lack of foundations. Empirical evidence regarding the economic performance of different regimes depends entirely on the classification scheme. A listing of possible nominal anchors alongside exchange rates observes that each candidate has its own vulnerability, leading to the author?s proposal to Peg the Export Price (PEP). The concluding section offers some implications for East Asia.

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Levitsky, Steven. 2003. “From Labor Politics to Machine Politics: The Transformation of Party-Union Linkages in Argentine Peronism, 1983?1999”.Abstract

The Argentine (Peronist) Justicialista Party (PJ)** underwent a far–reaching coalitional transformation during the 1980s and 1990s. Party reformers dismantled Peronism?s traditional mechanisms of labor participation, and clientelist networks replaced unions as the primary linkage to the working and lower classes. By the early 1990s, the PJ had transformed from a labor–dominated party into a machine party in which unions were relatively marginal actors. This process of de–unionization was critical to the PJ?s electoral and policy success during the presidency of Carlos Menem (1989–99). The erosion of union influ–ence facilitated efforts to attract middle–class votes and eliminated a key source of internal opposition to the government?s economic reforms. At the same time, the consolidation of clientelist networks helped the PJ maintain its traditional work–ing– and lower–class base in a context of economic crisis and neoliberal reform. This article argues that Peronism?s radical de–unionization was facilitated by the weakly institutionalized nature of its traditional party–union linkage. Although unions dominated the PJ in the early 1980s, the rules of the game governing their participation were always informal, fluid, and contested, leaving them vulner–able to internal changes in the distribution of power. Such a change occurred during the 1980s, when office–holding politicians used patronage resources to challenge labor?s privileged position in the party. When these politicians gained control of the party in 1987, Peronism?s weakly institutionalized mechanisms of union participation collapsed, paving the way for the consolidation of machine politics–and a steep decline in union influence–during the 1990s.

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Rodrik, Dani. 2003. “Growth Strategies”.Abstract

This is an attempt to derive broad, strategic lessons from the diverse experience with economic growth in last fifty years. The paper revolves around two key arguments. One is that neoclassical economic analysis is a lot more flexible than its practitioners in the policy domain have generally given it credit. In particular, first–order economic principles–protection of property rights, market–based competition, appropriate incentives, sound money, and so on–do not map into unique policy packages. Reformers have substantial room for creatively packaging these principles into institutional designs that are sensitive to local opportunities and constraints. Successful countries are those that have used this room wisely. The second argument is that igniting economic growth and sustaining it are somewhat different enterprises. The former generally requires a limited range of (often unconventional) reforms that need not overly tax the institutional capacity of the economy. The latter challenge is in many ways harder, as it requires constructing over the longer term a sound institutional underpinning to endow the economy with resilience to shocks and maintain productive dynamism. Ignoring the distinction between these two tasks leaves reformers saddled with impossibly ambitious, undifferentiated, and impractical policy agendas.

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Leaning, Jennifer. 2003. “Reframing HIV and AIDS”.Abstract

(From BMJ, Volume 327, 8 November 2003)

Over the past 20 years, the public health community has learnt a tremendous amount about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Yet,despite widespread discussion about the epidemic and some measurable progress,the overall response has been insufficient: globally 42 million people are already infected with HIV, prevalence continues to rise,and less than 5% of those affected have access to lifesaving medicines. In the face of this growing crisis, the World Health Organization has made scaling up treatment a key priority of the new administration. We argue that not only is the HIV/AIDS epidemic an emergency, but its devastating effects on societies may qualify it as one of the most serious disasters to have affected humankind. As such, this crisis warrants a full disaster management response.

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Levitsky, Steven. 2003. “Democracy Without Parties? Political Parties and Regime Change in Fujimori's Peru”.Abstract

Political parties are critical to Latin American democracy. This was demonstrated in Peru, where an atomized, candidate–centered party system developed after Alberto Fujimori?s 1992 presidential self–coup. Party system decomposition weakened the democratic opposition against an increasingly authoritarian regime. Since the regime collapsed in 2000, prospects for party rebuilding have been mixed. Structural changes, such as the growth of the informal sector and the spread of mass media technologies, have weakened politicians? incentive to build parties. Although these changes did not cause the collapse of the party system, they may inhibit its reconstruction.

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Desai, Mihir A. 2003. “Institutions, Capital Constraints and Entrepreneurial Firm Dynamics: Evidence from Europe”.Abstract

We explore the impact of the institutional environment on the nature of entrepreneurial activity across Europe. Political, legal, and regulatory variables that have been shown to impact capital market development influence entrepreneurial activity in the emerging markets of Europe, but not in the more mature economies of Europe. Greater fairness and greater protection of property rights increase entry rates, reduce exit rates, and lower average firm size. Additionally, these same factors also associated with increased industrial vintage – a size–weighted measure of age – and reduced skewness in firm–size distributions. The results suggest that capital constraints induced by these institutional factors impact both entry and the ability of firms to transition and grow, particularly in lesser–developed markets.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 2003. “The Major Roadblock on Road Map to Peace”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza present major obstacles on the road to Israeli-Palestinian peace.

First, the presence of the settlements—along with the roads built to connect them and the troops deployed to protect them restricts Palestinians' freedom of movement, interferes with their livelihood, and generally makes their life unbearable.

Second, the continued expansion of settlements even after the 1993 Oslo agreement has undermined Palestinians' trust in Israel's readiness to make peace: They ask why Israel continues settlement activities in territories slated for Israeli withdrawal and establishment of a Palestinian state.

Third, the number and distribution of settlements may soon make it physically and politically impossible to create an independent, viable, and contiguous Palestinian state and thus put in place the two-state formula that is widely accepted today as the optimal solution to the conflict.

The “road map” released by the State Department on behalf of the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations earlier this month recognizes the centrality of the settlements problem. It calls for immediate dismantlement of settlement outposts erected since March 2001 and a freeze of all settlement activity (including natural growth) in Phase I of the plan and further action on settlements in Phase II.

Achievement of these goals will not be easy. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, though acknowledging that Israel will have to make“painful concessions,” has given no indication so far of willingness to dismantle any settlement—even in Gaza or the West Bank's heartland. He has also insisted that he will not contemplate the steps on settlements mandated for Phase I of the road map until the Palestinian Authority puts an end to violence, even though the road map calls for simultaneous actions by both sides.

It is unlikely that the Palestinian Authority, despite Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas's clear stand against violence, can prevent all acts of violence to the satisfaction of Sharon. The irony is that Palestinian violence is most likely to lose public support and hence diminish if Abbas can demonstrate that his policies produce visible political benefits—such as halting settlement activities. Thus, making Israeli actions on settlements contingent on a total halt to Palestinian violence increases the probability that both violence and settlement activities will continue.

Despite these difficulties, if the road map is to have any chance of success, the United States and its coauthors must exert pressure on the Israeli government to take immediate steps and make firm commitments on the issue of settlements—parallel to the steps and commitments on the issue of violence demanded of the Palestinian Authority.

At the same time, however, we need to complement these pressures with positive incentives to reverse the settlement process that do not depend on the Israeli government.

A creative idea along these lines is at the center of a campaign to “bring the settlers home” just launched by Brit Tzedek V'Shalom—the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace—which describes itself as—a national organization of American Jews deeply committed to Israel's well-being through the achievement of a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The campaign's logic derives from the fact that a large majority of the settler population is not motivated by ideological or religious commitments to the settlement enterprise. Thus, in a recent poll of settlers, 80 percent said they moved to the territories to improve their quality of life, taking advantage of economic incentives offered by the Israeli government that enabled them to obtain better housing at a lower cost. The same poll revealed that 60 percent of the settlers were prepared to accept a withdrawal from the settlements in exchange for suitable financial compensation.

The alliance's campaign calls on the US government:

  • to urge the Israeli government to reverse its financial inducements to settlers and instead redirect these funds to settlers willing to return to Israel.
  • to take the initiative in an international effort to provide financial incentives for the settlers to relocate, whether or not the Israeli government agrees to participate.

An orderly move back by thousands of settlers would not in itself resolve the settlements issue, but it would greatly reduce its negative impact on the peace process and help to break the deadlock that is likely to stymie the road map.

It would make it easier for the Israeli public to accept the major compromises on the settlements issue that a final agreement requires. It would give the Palestinian public a palpable sense that change is underway. It would create the momentum that is now so desperately needed.

Shaw, Helen. 2003. “Serious News in U.S. Early Victim of Iraq War”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Next month the Federal Communications Commission in the US is likely to lift remaining restrictions on media cross-ownership. Michael Powell, chairman of the FCC and son of Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has made it clear he believes the marketplace should be the mechanism by which the media business is managed. It sounds fair. But in a country where about six major conglomerates control the bulk of all forms of news and entertainment media from books, film, newspapers, radio and television, the June decision will open the way for further consolidation where a single company could own newspapers, radio and network/cable TV in the same city.

The debate in the US has been limited since the public's main source of news—television—has not covered the issues of how media monopolies affect the public's news since they are owned by the main media giants. For the American public the obscured debate—which occasionally makes the business pages of mainstream newspapers—highlights the very dangers of a hyper-commercialisation of news. It is not so much a matter of bias but the absence of information which truly disenfranchises people.

The recent Iraq conflict was a showcase for the commoditisation of news. The key media winner in the US was Fox News—the 24/7 cable news channel owned by Rupert Murdoch's company, News Corporation, which claimed a 300 per cent increase in viewers during the war.

The network channels ABC, NBC and CBS all lost viewers, while the cable channels, led by Fox's example, won audiences by being there on demand and also for selling the war news through a patriotic filter where the US flag was put front of screen and both anchors and reporters embedded with the troops used "we" throughout their coverage. The battlefield war for the cable channels was a means to fight the ratings war. They used it as a hook to break the news connections with the network houses, and CNN, a very different product in the US to what is broadcast in Europe and the Middle East, chased Fox in an opinion-led war coverage style.

In the US, the weakness of public broadcasting, particularly on TV where PBS has neither the resources nor newsroom to compete on war coverage, means that the counter balance to the market-led extremities is absent. NPR and PBS relied on relays of the BBC on radio and television to maintain a concept of full coverage and hence the BBC's man in Baghdad, Rageh Omaar, was named the "Scud Stud" by the New York Post - ironically another Murdoch house. Once CNN was thrown out by the Iraqis at the end of the first week no US TV crew remained to report the news.

The BBC is using the opportunity to expand its news profile in the US. Its audiences are up 28 per cent and it will put its 24 hour news channel on cable here later in the year. The BBC director general, Greg Dyke, bluntly told an audience at Harvard Business School, during the war, that the US electronic media had "wrapped the flag around itself and given up the ghost of real journalism". And that's the point. For the AOL Times Warner, Disney, Viacom and News Corporations of the world it is not "real journalism" or informed democracy, which is the end game—it is the rewards of the market—the profit margin. It is unrealistic to expect a commercial conglomerate without legal requirements (there's no longer a legal fairness statute in the US) to behave like a not-for-profit trust or public service broadcaster. But for the US, which has the most deregulated news media market and the weakest public broadcasting sector in the developed world, the real losers are the citizens who at the end of the "war" were still left in the dark about key events like the use of cluster bombs, the impact on civilians, and the conflicting statements of record on what happened in a range of incidents, including the market bombing ones.

This week both the BBC and the Guardian boasted that their websites had taken off in the US during the war. BBC News on-line increased by 47 per cent, while traffic to the Guardian news site was up 83 per cent (obviously from a relatively low base). While it's good news for the two UK media groups, the real trend is that the gap in public services or not for profit news provision in the US is being increasing met by overseas sources—indeed by the British licence—fee payers in the case of BBC News.

It is ironic that at a time when the US is debating its lonely super-power status that it lacks a super news media. France's President Jacques Chirac has already set aside a budget for the creation of a French language 24/7 global news television channel to compete with the growth of global "soft power" forces like the BBC. For Europeans and indeed small countries like Ireland, the Iraq war with its image saturated 24/7 coverage; from embedded, largely US/British journalists (two thirds of the 600 embedded reporters were American) has underscored the need to debate the fate of a public's access to information.

Market forces can lead to monopolies that are just as undesirable for citizens as state-controlled monopolies. The threat to public access to information was clear in totalitarian states but the threat may be just as significant in a news media world run solely to generate profit rather than spread information and seek the truth. A world where a handful of business interests dominate the provision of news needs a balance.

It may be too late for the US public to engage the FCC in debate before the June deadline, but for those of us on the other side of the Atlantic, where the wave of global media is hitting, it is the time to start learning lessons not just from the inspiration of Thomas Jefferson, who said the right to information protected every other right, but also from the reality of the limits of a free falling market.

Frankel, Jeffrey. 2003. “Globalization and the Environment”.Abstract

Fears that globalization hurts the environment are not well–founded. A survey reveals little statistical evidence, on average across countries, that openness to international trade undermines national attempts at environmental regulation through a "race to the bottom" effect. If anything, favorable "gains from trade" effects dominate, for measures of air pollution such as SO2 concentrations. Perceptions that WTO panel rulings have interfered with the ability of individual countries to pursue environmental goals are also poorly informed. Recent rulings have in fact confirmed that countries can enact environmental measures, even if they affect trade and even if they concern others? Processes and Production Methods (PPMs), provided the measures do not discriminate among producer countries.

People care about both the environment and the economy. As real incomes rise, their demand for environmental quality rises. This translates into environmental progress under the right conditions–democracy, effective regulation, and externalities that are largely confined within national borders and are therefore amenable to national regulation. Increasingly, however, environmental problems spill across borders. Global externalities include climate change and ozone depletion. Economic growth alone will not address such problems, in a system where each country acts individually, due to the free rider problem. Multilateral institutions are needed, and national sovereignty is the obstacle, not the other way around.


WCFIA Working Paper 03-02, May 2003.

Masuch, Klaus, Huw Pill, Sergio Nicoletti-Altimari, and Massimo Rostagno. 2003. “The Role of Monetary Analysis in Monetary Policy Making”.Abstract

In this paper, the conceptual and empirical bases for the role of monetary aggregates in monetary policy making are reviewed. It is argued that money can act as a useful information variable in a world in which a number of indicators are imperfectly observed. In this context, the paper discusses the role of a reference value (or benchmark) for money growth in episodes of heightened financial uncertainty. A reference value for money growth can also act as an anchor for expectations and policy decisions to prevent divergent dynamics, such as the spiraling of the economy into a liquidity trap, which can occur under simple interest rate rules for policy conduct. The paper concludes that using information included in monetary aggregates in monetary policy decisions can provide an important safeguard against major policy mistakes in the presence of model uncertainty.

Rosenthal, Howard, and Erik Berglof. 2003. “The Political Origin of Finance: The Case of Federal Bankruptcy Law in the United States”.Abstract

This paper draws on the legislative history of U.S. bankruptcy law to challenge the influential view that a country's legal origin and mechanism shape investor protection and ultimately financial development and economic growth. Even though the United States has an English legal origin, uses common law, and copied its first federal bankruptcy law from English law, the current U.S. bankruptcy regimes is diametrically opposite to that of the U.K. We show that the American experience can only be understood in the perspective of politics. During the formative 19th century legislative activity was strongly related to general economic conditions: every major reform attempts came in severe economic downturns. Legislative proposals only led to adoption of laws when there was a conservative lock on Congress and the Presidency. Moreover, an in–depth analysis of voting behavior during two critical episodes shows that congressional voting on bankruptcy was strongly influenced by general ideological positions, i.e., how legislators vote on other issues. In fact, even though we show that banking, but not commercial, interests influence outcomes, ideology is a much more important factor explaining voting behavior. We argue that political origins and ideological divides are grossly overlooked in our understanding of the determinants of financial (and legal) development. The ideologically charged congressional debate over bankruptcy reform at the turn of the twenty–first century echoes our historical analysis.

Frankel, Jeffrey. 2003. “What Can an Economic Adviser Do When He Disagrees with the President?”.Abstract

Assuming he is confirmed by the Senate, Greg Mankiw, a leading Harvard economics professor, will soon be the new Chairman of President Bush?s Council of Economic Advisers. The president should be congratulated for such an outstanding choice.

Mankiw may need some advice, however — a historical perspective, in particular, on what an adviser can do when official White House policy goes contrary to his convictions as a professional economist. Of course, it would be a remarkable coincidence if any president accepted every position that his economic advisers had taken on every issue. But there are likely to be especially large divergences between this president and good economics as represented, for example, by Mankiw?s own very popular textbook. This is why I am concerned. I am thinking of such issues as budget deficits, steel tariffs, agricultural subsidies, and conflict with the Fed.

He will be joining an NEC director and Treasury secretary who have already been asked to sell a shift toward budget deficits that appears inconsistent with their past views. But it is possible for a Treasury Secretary or an Assistant to the President to toe the party line while in office, and then confess later that this did not entirely correspond to his true beliefs. (On the subject of budget deficits, see the memoirs of David Stockman and Richard Darman, for example, who were, respectively, Budget Director and Assistant to the President in the first Reagan Administration.) A professor of economics like Mankiw, who plans to return to Harvard after his service as a White House advisor, cannot engage in such inconsistencies, without risking losing some of the professional credibility that is so important to an academic career. Indeed, this truth–telling constraint may be the most valuable advantage of having a Council of Economic Advisers, and may explain why Congress legislated the institution in the first place. Encumbered by academic reputations, they are unencumbered by long–term political careers.

It might help to know the variety of strategies tried by past economic advisers, when they have found themselves disagreeing with the president. The history may be especially instructive in that often the disagreements have been over some of the same issues likely to come up in the current administration.

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Putnam, Robert D. 2003. “The Right War at the Wrong Time”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

President Bush used three main arguments to justify sending American troops into Iraq. The first tied Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda, but the evidence that was presented publicly remained thin. Public opinion polls show that many Americans accepted the administration's word on the connection, but overseas responses were more skeptical.

The second argument was that replacing Saddam Hussein with a democratic regime was a way to transform the politics of the Middle East.

A number of neo-conservative members of the administration had urged this before taking office but were unable to turn it into policy during the first eight months of the administration.

After Sept. 11, however, they quickly moved through the window of opportunity (even though North Korea posed a more imminent danger). President Bush spoke often of regime change.

The plausibility of this argument was debated at home and abroad, and the merits probably lie somewhere between the proponents and skeptics.

Our dedication to the broad values of democracy and human rights is part of our ''soft'' or attractive power and an essential part of our foreign policy.

But democracy is a fragile plant that requires carefully cultivated soil. It is not easily transplanted. Of the places where the United States has sent troops in the last half-century, only a minority of the interventions resulted in democratic governments.

Optimists cite the role of American military occupation in the democratization of Germany and Japan after World War II.

But conditions in the Middle East today are not like Germany and Japan in 1945. Both of those countries had large middle classes, prior experience with democracy, and a prolonged and largely unopposed American military presence.

Given its history and internal divisions, postwar Iraq is unlikely to look like democracy as we know it, but it will be a better and more pluralistic regime than now exists.

American military success may lead Iran and Syria to temper their policies, but if President Bush is unable to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to reach a compromise acceptable to the Palestinians, the map of the region may change less dramatically than the optimists hope.

The third argument was the clearest and most widely accepted. It focused on preventing Saddam Hussein from possessing weapons of mass destruction.

Most countries agreed that Saddam had defied UN Security Council resolutions for a dozen years.

Moreover, Resolution 1441 unanimously put the burden of proof on him to demonstrate what had happened to weapons that UN inspectors had been concerned about before they left Iraq in 1998.

If President Bush had focused on this third argument and been willing to work out a compromise along the lines suggested by Canada, he could have built a far broader coalition for the war (Canada, and later Britain, suggested an agreement to give the UN inspectors more time in return for clear benchmarks and a date certain to declare the end of the process.)

I believe France might have gone along, but even if it had used its veto, American actions would have been legitimized by a majority in the Security Council similar to that we enjoyed when we intervened in Kosovo in 1999.

Unfortunately, the administration sent mixed messages. The more the unilateralists in the administration talked about regime change and going ahead no matter what the UN did, the more other countries became convinced we were not serious about cooperation, and the more the issue became the legitimacy of American power rather than the transgressions of Saddam Hussein.

The result is the right war at the wrong time, but the point is now moot.

Those of us who are critical of the clumsy handling and timing of the war must admit that indefinite containment was unlikely to succeed.

Saddam Hussein had a record of taking high risks, a clear intention to develop weapons of mass destruction, and a proven willingness to use them.

Enforcing Security Council Resolutions 687 and 1441 is better than returning to the evasive politics of the 1990s when Saddam Hussein successfully defied a divided United Nations.

We multilateralists must now hope that the war is brief, that the Iraqi people will visibly welcome the removal of a tyrant, and that the reconstruction of Iraq will involve many countries and a United Nations role.

Perhaps that will allow us to recover some of the legitimacy after the fact that the administration squandered before the war.

Hoffmann, Stanley H. 2003. “Are the costs of going to war worth it?”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We know what the benefits of a war on Iraq would be: the ouster of a cruel tyrant and the elimination of his weapons of mass destruction. But we also know what the costs would be: prohibitive. The Bush administration believes that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein could bring democracy to Iraq and then spread to the rest of the Arab world. This is a fantasy. It will be difficult to introduce democracy in a heterogeneous country that has never experienced it. After 30 years of repression, there could be violence between ethnic and religious groups that US forces would have to cope with; moreover, a prolonged occupation and military rule would squander the good will we as liberators expect to prevail at first. Arab governments will try to contain the spread of democracy in order to stay in power. Moreover, as long as we haven't decisively intervened in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and suggest that it may have to wait until Arab regimes have changed, Arab suspicion of the United States will mount.

Indeed, American control of Iraq could contribute to Muslim terrorism and foster a xenophobic fundamentalism aimed at US "imperialism." Already the administration's obsession with Iraq and its bullying way of obtaining support have provoked considerable anti-American resentment abroad.

The image of the United States has been tarnished by our manipulation of the United Nations and our alliances with NATO countries, our efforts to split the European Union, and our disdain for public opinion abroad.

More seriously, the Bush administration has recklessly attacked the very foundations of world order that this country helped put in place: the UN, international law, and the EU have been the casualties of a team that has repudiated a distinction we had wisely preserved throughout the Cold War, between leadership and dictation. This may result in something we had avoided: an anti-American ganging-up of countries threatened by the growth of unchecked American power.

Then there are the economic costs of the war as well as those of rebuilding Iraq and not neglecting its needs, which would encourage those who doubt American good intentions.

Are these costs worth it?

We have two main reasons to go to war. Both are shaky. Iraq is effectively defanged and incapable of constituting a real threat to us or its neighbors as long as we operate freely in two no-fly zones, the Kurds have autonomy under Anglo-American protection, and inspectors roam freely.

Contrary to the administration's assertions, containment can continue to work in the long run, especially if the no-fly zones and the inspections are maintained, a tight naval blockade prevents military imports into Iraq, and ground forces remain stationed at Iraq's borders. War is not necessary to render Iraq harmless to others.

The more difficult issue is that of Saddam Hussein. Like preventive war, forcible regime change violates international law. The exceptions to state sovereignty that were made legitimate through the so-called humanitarian interventions in the 1990s have never involved "regime change" and had to be justified by the argument that the violation of human rights constituted a threat to international and regional security. This could have been an argument for intervening against Saddam Hussein's regime in 1991; the opportunity was missed, and since then he has not committed mass crimes against humanity. Still, his regime is based on fear and terror.

Sooner or later all governments may realize their citizens are entitled to basic human rights. But this principle will need international support, not unilateral action, to be established, and a clear understanding of the differences between "ordinary" bad regimes and truly evil ones.

Meanwhile, those who sympathize with the plight of the Iraqi people yet do not want to increase their suffering through war should do all they can to make Saddam Hussein's position increasingly difficult. The International Criminal Court or a special criminal tribunal can try him for crimes against humanity, order a ban on travel by all top officials, deprive them of their fortunes abroad, and indicate that a recovery by Iraq of its full sovereignty will depend on its compliance with those decisions. Furthermore, we can provide covert assistance to groups of Iraqis willing to act against Saddam Hussein and overt aid if they try to overthrow him.

For these purposes, we could lead a "coalition of the willing" far bigger, and less resentful, than the one we're trying to force into supporting us for a risky and unpopular war. The democracy we say we champion should begin by recognizing that listening to what the public says is not tantamount to appeasement and inaction. Gaining more victories in the difficult war against terrorism is a far more widely shared goal, and one that could be imperiled by American hubris in the war against Iraq.

Pill, Huw. 2003. “Japan's Bubble: Monetary Stability and Structural Economic Reform.” National Institute for Research Advancement Design Japan Conference.Abstract

In the context of a small monetary DSGE model of the business cycle, this paper investigates the interrelationship between structural economic reform (modeled as the introduction of greater competition in the goods market) and monetary stability (captured by the dynamic stability of the resulting macroeconomic system). After making minor but plausible adjustments to the standard New Keynesian macroeconomic framework, the paper demonstrates that a conventional monetary policy framework, defined by adherence to the so–called Taylor principle, may – contrary to the received wisdom – fail to maintain macroeconomic and monetary stability. The likelihood of such failure increases as structural economic reform is introduced for two reasons: first, greater goods market competition narrows equilibrium mark–ups and thus the leverage monetary policy exerts over cyclical inflation developments; and, second, private sector expectations are subject to non–fundamental shocks that arise from the uncertainty surrounding the effectiveness of structural reform.

Le Corre, Philippe. 2003. Tony Blair, les rendez-vous manqués. Editions Autrement. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Tony Blair a déçu de nombreux Britanniques et Européens qui voyaient en lui le leader charismatique d’une génération. Déterminé à placer la Grande-Bretagne "au cœur de l’Europe", il a dû faire machine arrière en 2003 pour cause de crise irakienne. Le Premier ministre britannique le plus europhile depuis trente ans a finalement suivi une voie identique à celle de ses prédécesseurs en optant pour l’alliance avec l’Amérique de George W. Bush. En cela, il a affaibli l’Europe et s’est mis en porte-àfaux avec l’opinion publique européenne.

Philippe Le Corre dresse un tableau sans concession des relations entre la Grande-Bretagne et le continent. En interrogeant les plus hautes instances britanniques à Londres et à Bruxelles, il dépeint un gouvernement travailliste désireux d’imprimer sa marque sur l’Europe de 2004. Dans un monde en mutation, Tony Blair sait, malgré l’Irak, que les enjeux européens sont fondamentaux pour l’avenir. La Grande-Bretagne, autrefois si insulaire, est aujourd’hui bien plus cosmopolite et ouverte sur l’Europe. En cette année anniversaire des accords "d’Entente cordiale", signés il y a tout juste un siècle entre la France et son pays, Blair saura-t-il revenir dans le jeu européen?