This article examines the validity of the stereotypical idea which is not endorsed here, that Muslim groups are more violent than groups of other religions, using data on domestic conflict from 1950 to 1996 from the State Failure dataset. The theories of Islam and violence in the literature can be divided into three categories: those that say Muslims in general are more violent, those that say certain Muslims are more violent, and those that say Muslims are no more violent that other religious groups. The results show that while on some measures Muslim groups are more violent that other groups, on others they are not. That is, while on one measure Muslim groups show the highest levels of violence, on other measures, Christians and Buddhist groups score the highest. Thus, while there is some evidence that Musclim groups are more violent, it is not conclusive and is certainly not enough to support the stereotype of the Islamic militant.
In the general elections of 1996, a village of Catholic fishers from the south Indian district of Kanyakumari voted overwhelmingly for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. In this essay, I explore the cultural politics of development that led to this curious alliance between a group of low caste (Mukkuvar) Catholics and a majoritarian politics that has consistently defined India?s Christians and Muslims as alien threats to the "Hindu nation."
THE GAZA STRIP has been called "a refugee state." Indeed it is humbling to wander through the Beach Camp, built to the edge of the Mediterranean Sea in Gaza City. A lonely child, severely underfed, sits on an oil drum, talking to himself and staring at the sea. An old, toothless woman invites me to sip mint tea in her dark shack, then shows me photographs of of herself as a beautiful young girl. "Where was this taken?" I ask. In Jaffa, she explains, now part of Israel. "I fled in 1948. I've lived here ever since."
Gaza City is an odd place. Dusty, hot, and teeming with children, it offers scenes of squalor juxtaposed with bursts of opulence. Donkey carts coexist with Jaguars roaring by. Futuristic buildings colored pink and periwinkle—built recently when the Palestinian Authority came here to govern and rich Arabs invested in the city—tower over neighborhoods where older buildings have been ripped apart by Israeli bombs.
Despite the unrest, people carry on. Shops sell furniture and mobile telephones; people go out to dinner. One afternoon, I passed a school when the gates opened. Children gushed out, the boys in T-shirts and blue denim, the girls in head scarves and long smocks—separate from the boys since the society is Muslim.
As I traveled throughout the Gaza Strip, I kept encountering multitudes of children. In the north at Beit Hanoun, they played soccer in streets chewed up by Israeli bulldozers, hide and seek in the rubble of demolished houses, and even romped on jagged water pipes and bridges that the Israelis had bombed.
I thought it sad that the Israeli government found collective punishment necessary, inflicting wounds on neighborhoods, villages, and towns for the crimes of single terrorists. The policy is disproportionate, and it has not worked.
Most Palestinians are ambivalent about Hamas and the other militant Muslim groups. On the one hand, they admire Hamas for its fierce resistance to Israel and the United States; on the other they want peace and quiet, work to feed their families, and they hold Hamas responsible for the paralysis of their economy and the horrors of collective punishment.
Yet these huge Palestinian families may one day unlock the riddle of the Arab-Israeli conflict. I mentioned the mobs of children thoughout Gaza—and the same is so in the West Bank. Palestinians generally do not practice birth control; it is not unusual to meet a Palestinian father who has eight, 10, or even 15 children. Israeli families normally do not exceed two or three children.
This phenomenon is what sociologists call a "demographic time bomb"—and it terrifies Israelis across the political spectrum. Within the next two decades, Arabs between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River will surpass Jews in numbers. Many Palestinians consider the road map a bad joke, and are willing to wait until Arabs command a majority in all of historical Palestine.
Michael Tarazi, a legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority, urges patience until Arabs and Jews become in effect one entity throughout Israel and the West Bank and Arabs can demand equal rights. He argues that eventually the world will impose a one man, one vote system on Israel. Soon enough, with an Arab majority, a Palestinian will be elected president of a new state embracing all of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.
The argument is full of holes, but demographically it contains a certain logic. Liberal Israelis are determined to retain Israel's mostly Jewish character. They realize that time for a two-state solution is running out. They agree with the Arabs that Ariel Sharon's plan for a minimal Palestinian state will never work.
Thus they are thrown back on President Bush's "road map." This process—already so vague about final borders and how a Palestinian state will be achieved—will inevitably fail unless Bush makes decisions from which his predecessors have recoiled. Of course he will put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to crack down on terrorism. But how will he confront the obstructions and delaying tactics of Sharon, who palpably has no intention of dismantling major settlements or surrendering East Jerusalem?
One wonders whether Bush has a clear idea of the mountains he must move. Does he realize that to move Sharon he may have to withhold spare parts for the Apache helicopters, F-16 aircraft, and other military equipment that the United States sells or gives to Israel?
Polls show that most Israelis still want to exchange land for peace. Reports reaching Israel suggest that Bush is furious with the Sharon government for impeding the road map. Possibly he senses that this is the last chance for a two-state solution. Those multitudes of children in Gaza and the West Bank will soon grow up, and then the demographic time bomb may explode.
Here’s how to think about the EU’s new constitution
Alas, to be born into the world without friends. That seems to be the fate of the draft constitution of the new European Union, to be presented at the summit in Thessaloniki on Friday. To a contemptuous Romano Prodi, the head of the European Commission who dreamed of building a stronger "federal" union, the document "lacks vision and ambition." By contrast, British Tories and tabloids are positively twitching with Europhobia. The proposed constitution will "sweep away 1,000 years of history," proclaims the Sun.
DON’T BE FOOLED. Prodi and his federalists are right. The Convention on the Future of Europe has deliberated—and delivered a mouse. When they began their work 18 months ago, Prodi and other Euro-insiders were convinced that they would dominate. They intended to exploit the bold rhetoric of constitutionalism to craft an idealistic document that centralized ever more power and democratic control in Brussels. There was heady talk of a new name, "United Europe." There were proposals for introducing majority voting on sensitive issues of foreign and defense policy. Brussels’s influence would be extended over national fiscal and social policies. National vetoes would be eliminated. A new EU president would be directly elected, by and for the people. Farewell, faceless Eurocracy. Welcome, democracy.
Little of this has come to pass. The convention’s canny chieftain, former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, knows where real power in the EU lies. Any radical draft would be picked apart by national governments when they begin reviewing the document this autumn. To encourage them to accept his draft intact, Giscard faced down the federalists and struck backroom deals with the member states. Case in point: last week’s wrangling over whether to allow EU foreign policy to be determined via qualified majority voting. Bottom line? It won’t be.
Most of the reforms that remain are simply good public management. With enlargement and a union of 25 member states, many of them tiny, it was high time to replace the revolving six-month council presidency, responsible for organizing the overall agenda. Thus there will be a new EU president, appointed by the states for a five-year term. Both "old" and "new" Europeans agree that crises like Iraq require greater integration. Thus the two top EU foreign-policy posts—currently held by Javier Solana and Chris Patten—will be consolidated into the new position of EU foreign minister. For most European countries the management of asylum, crime and defense procurement justifies a minimum set of intergovernmental standards. Thus a smattering of consensual policies will be newly governed by qualified majority voting and European Parliament oversight.
Otherwise, the new constitution merely consolidates current practice—a fact that should be welcomed rather than scorned. For too long, the debate over union has been divided between radical federalists who would move forward toward a centralized Europe and excessively cautious skeptics who would roll it back. What has emerged from the constitutional convention is a Europe in equilibrium. Henceforth, policies of greatest concern to citizens—social welfare, taxation, pensions, health care, education, culture, infrastructure—will remain essentially national and local. Those of less interest—trade, banking, industrial standardization, technical harmonization—will be European. In the middle, a few policies—immigration, policing and defense—will be shared. This is a heartening outcome. In coming to terms with its strengths as well as its limitations, the European Union has at long last entered its maturity.
No issue better reveals the American tension between principle and pragmatism than the debate over affirmative action. This week the Supreme Court is expected to enter the debate with a widely anticipated ruling on the University of Michigan's admissions policies, which favor black and other minority applicants. More important than the decision the court reaches will be the reasoning it uses.
As pragmatic public policy, it is easy to show that the benefits of affirmative action far outweigh its social or individual costs. It ensures the integration of our best universities and thereby promotes (if indirectly) a heterogeneous professional elite. In conjunction with anti-discrimination laws, it has directly fostered the growth of an African-American and Latino middle class.
Corporate America has also embraced the policy, mostly by choice. As a result, minorities make up a large part of the middle and top ranks at many of the country's most recognizable firms. On Fortune magazine's latest list of the 50 best companies for minorities, for example, 24 percent of officials and managers are minorities. Affirmative action has transformed the American military, making it the most ethnically varied at all levels of its organization of all the world's great forces. And, along with changing ethnic and racial attitudes, affirmative action has helped promote a powerful global popular culture, many areas of which are dominated by minorities.
Negative achievements—that is, what affirmative action has spared us—are hard to prove. But it is surely reasonable to attribute the relative infrequency of ethnic or racial riots in America to the presence of minority leadership in many of the nation's mainstream institutions.
All these gains have been achieved at very little cost to America's economic or political efficiency: our economy dominates the world; our army is history's most awesome; our great universities have few equals; our arts, science and scholarship are the envy of the world.
There are indeed costs at the individual level, borne by those whites who may not have gained places or jobs as a result of preferences for minorities. But nearly all research indicates that these costs are minuscule. Repeated surveys indicate that no more than 7 percent of Americans of European heritage claim to have been adversely affected by affirmative action programs, and it has been shown that affirmative action reduces the chances of whites getting into top colleges by only 1.5 percentage points.
For all its achievements, however, many critics fear that affirmative action violates fundamental principles that have guided this country. It is indeed difficult to reconcile affirmative action with the nation's manifest ideals of individualism and merit-based competition. But America's history is replete with just such pragmatic fudging of these ideals.
In foreign policy the United States has defended dictators, destabilized democracies and invaded other countries in the pragmatic promotion of the national interest. Domestically, Congress regularly passes laws that favor special interests—veterans, millionaire ranchers, farmers, oil-well owners, holders of patents about to expire, people with home mortgages—many with no economic justification, all costing billions of tax dollars.
Why, then, the obsession with the principle of colorblindness, especially among right-wing activists who otherwise exhibit little enthusiasm for the equality principle enshrined in the Declaration of Independence? It is hard to resist the conclusion that principles are invoked in public life to rationalize the control of the vulnerable. In relations among equals, meanwhile, pragmatism trumps virtue.
Yet these critics miss a more compelling, and more subtle, argument against affirmative action. In spite of its benefits, there are serious problems in the long run for its beneficiaries if affirmative action is not decisively modified.
First, while diversity is a goal that deserves to be pursued in its own right, it was a major strategic error for African-American leaders to have advocated it as the main justification for affirmative action. In doing so, they greatly expanded the number of groups entitled to preferences—including millions of immigrants whose claims on the nation pale in comparison to those who have been historically discriminated against. Such a development understandably alarmed many whites who were otherwise prepared to turn a pragmatic blind eye to their principled concerns about affirmative action.
Using diversity as a rationale for affirmative action also distorts the aims of affirmative action. The original, morally incontestable goal of the policy was the integration of African-Americans in all important areas of the public and private sectors from which they had been historically excluded. But if diversity is the goal, the purpose of affirmative action shifts from improving the condition of blacks to transforming America into a multicultural society. Thus the pursuit of inclusion is replaced by the celebration of separate identities.
In a more profound sense, the diversity rationale undermines a hopeful view of America. If the purpose of affirmative action is to redress past wrongs, then it requires both the minority and the majority to do the cultural work necessary to create what Martin Luther King Jr. called the "beloved community" of an integrated nation. Instead, many of its supporters see affirmative action as an entitlement, requiring little or no effort on the part of minorities.
Another consequence of this view is that it allows no recognition of the brute historical fact that the very patterns of social, educational and cultural adjustments that ensured survival, and even conferred nobility, under the extreme conditions of racist oppression no longer apply. In fact, now they may even be dysfunctional.
The gravest danger, however, and what perhaps alarms the majority most, is the tendency to view affirmative action as a permanent program for preferred minorities and, simultaneously, the refusal even to consider it a topic for public discourse. Indeed, among the black middle class, especially on the nation's campuses, blind support for affirmative action has become an essential signal of ethnic solidarity and commitment.
The nation needs this policy, but it must be modified. For starters, it should exclude all immigrants and be confined to African-Americans, Native Americans and most Latinos. It should include an economic means test. Only those who are poor or grew up in deprived neighborhoods should benefit. At the same time, poor whites from deprived neighborhoods should be phased into the program, a development that would counter the arguments of right-wing critics.
Finally, affirmative action should be severed from the goal of diversity—which, as the legal scholar Peter Schuck has argued, is best left to the private sector. Middle-class blacks and Latinos would continue to benefit from such voluntary programs, properly understood as a sharing of diverse experiences and perspectives rather than a withdrawal into ethnic glorification. There is every reason to believe the nation's corporations and universities will continue to find such a policy to be in their own best interests, and the nation's.
Americans have always recognized that high ideals, however desirable, inevitably clash with reality, and that good public policy requires compromise. But only through the struggle of affirmative action are they coming to realize that such compromises, wisely pursued, can actually serve a higher principle: the supreme virtue of being fair to those who have been most unfairly treated.
Theories that posit complex causation, or multiple causal paths, pervade the study of politics but have yet to find accurate statistical expression. To remedy this situation I derive new econometric procedures, Boolean probit and logit, based on the logic of complexity. The solution provides an answer to a puzzle in the rational deterrence literature: the divergence between theory and case-study findings, on the one hand, and the findings of quantitative studies, on the other, on the issue of the role of capabilities and willingness in the initiation of disputes. It also makes the case that different methodological traditions, rather than settling into "separate but equal" status, can instead inform and enrich one another.
Published in Political Analysis 11, no. 3 (2003): 209-233.
Recent research reveals strong effects of involvement in international organizations on state policies, but much of this research downplays inequality in world political participation, and there is only a limited understanding of what explains world-polity ties. Using data on memberships in intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations (IGOs and INGOs) for 1960 through 2000, this study analyzes inequality in the world polity. IGO ties are fairly evenly distributed, but the level of inequality in INGO ties is as high as the level of world income inequality. Since 1960, inequality in ties to IGOs decreased sharply, but inequality in ties to INGOs remained more stable. A conflict-centered model of the world polity is developed here that explains world political participation as a function of material and symbolic conflict. Rich, core, Western states and societies have significantly more ties to the world polity than do others. Powerful states dominate IGOs less now than they did in 1960, but rich, core, Western societies have grown more dominant in the INGO field.
There would be something charming—quaintly reminiscent of Trollope perhaps—in the image of Britons "from pub landlords to vicars" forming a queue to vote in the Daily Mail "referendum" on the proposed EU constitution. Charming, that is, if it were not so corrosive of proper democratic debate.
The current campaign for a referendum shows just what is wrong with plebiscitary democracy. It is a clever campaign because it uses and abuses two of the highest political values in the west: limited government and democracy. Limiting government by blocking activities of "foreign" institutions may seem prudent, yet it is impractical in an interdependent world. Plebiscitary democracy—politics by referendum—seems unimpeachably "democratic" on the surface, yet in fact it empowers the rich, the ignorant, the negative, and the ideological. Voters lack the time, commitment or expertise to engage fully in complex issues—particularly when, as in the case of the EU, their main concerns are not on the agenda. Referendums in the US have shown that under such circumstances, huge amounts of money, slick consultants and access to the media are required to win...
In this paper, I trace the checkered history of ?community? in one south Indian locale — the coastal belt of Kanyakumari District –from its immediate post–independence role as a mechanism of state intervention in fisheries development, to its use in the 1990s in fisher claims to rights and resources and as a means for devolving conflict management to the local level. I show that the expansion of the state system, in part through development intervention, opened up a charged political arena where Kanyakumari?s fishers acquired new tools to negotiate political authority, redefine community, and articulate new rights of citizenship. Most importantly, I demonstrate that the development process furthered the mutual implication of state and community, a process which the state has been reluctant to acknowledge. I end the paper by arguing that the Tamilnadu State government?s neglect of marine conservation is a function of a bureaucratic sensibility that distinguishes ?state policy? from ?community politics,? and resource conservation from social justice, an attitude that has hardened with economic liberalisation. This perspective has prevented the government from taking seriously artisanal fisher demands for trawler regulation and from recognizing artisanal activism as a defense of both sectoral rights and of conservation.
This study quantitatively examines Samuel Huntington?s ?clash of civilisations? theory using data from the State Failure dataset which focuses on intense and violent internal conflicts between 1950 and 1996. The proportion of state failures which are civilisational has remained mostly constant since 1965. The absolute amount of civilisational conflict has dropped considerably since the end of the Cold War. There is no clear evidence that the overall intensity of civilisational state failures is increasing in proportion to non–civilisational state failures. Also, the predictions of Islam?s ?bloody borders? and the Confucian/Sinic–Islamic alliance against the West have not yet occurred. In fact, Islamic groups ?clash? mostly with other Islamic groups. However, the majority of the West?s civilisational conflicts, during the Cold War and to a lesser extent after it, are with the Islamic civilisation. Thus it is arguable that untington?s prediction that the Islamic civilisation is a potential threat to the West is probably more due to the end of the relevance of the Cold War paradigm than any post–Cold War changes in the nature of conflict. This highlights the potential influence of paradigms on policy and should serve as a caution to academics and policy makers to be more aware of the assumptions they make based on any paradigm.
In this article, we examine the shifting policies of sending country states toward communities living abroad, demonstrate the ways in which these are redefining the relationship between the state and its territorial boundaries, and highlight how these reconfigure conventional understandings of sovereignty, citizenship and membership. We begin by delineating the different types of policies that sending states are adapting in order to break down categories like "global nations policies" and to identify similarities and differences between states. We then suggest some possible explanations both for the convergence we see on the "repertoire" of policies that states employ and divergence we see in how far states are willing to go to ensure that migrants remain enduring long distance membership. We draw on material from several countries, but look most closely at Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
The American Dream and the Public Schools examines issues that have excited and divided Americans for years, including desegregation, school funding, testing, vouchers, bilingual education, multicultural education, and ability grouping. These seem to be separate problems, but much of the contention over them comes down to the same thing—an apparent conflict, rooted in the American dream, between policies designed to promote each student's ability to pursue success and those designed to insure the good of all students or the nation as a whole. The authors show how policies to promote individual success too often benefit only those already privileged by race or class, and too often conflict, unnecessarily, with policies that are intended to benefit everyone.
The Geography of Ethnic Violence is the first among numerous distinguished books on ethnic violence to clarify the vital role of territory in explaining such conflict. Monica Toft introduces and tests a theory of ethnic violence, one that provides a compelling general explanation of not only most ethnic violence, civil wars, and terrorism but many interstate wars as well. This understanding can foster new policy initiatives with real potential to make ethnic violence either less likely or less destructive. It can also guide policymakers to solutions that endure.
The book offers a distinctively powerful synthesis of comparative politics and international relations theories, as well as a striking blend of statistical and historical case study methodologies. By skillfully combining a statistical analysis of a large number of ethnic conflicts with a focused comparison of historical cases of ethnic violence and nonviolence—including four major conflicts in the former Soviet Union—it achieves a rare balance of general applicability and deep insight.
Toft concludes that only by understanding how legitimacy and power interact can we hope to learn why some ethnic conflicts turn violent while others do not. Concentrated groups defending a self-defined homeland often fight to the death, while dispersed or urbanized groups almost never risk violence to redress their grievances. Clearly written and rigorously documented, this book represents a major contribution to an ongoing debate that spans a range of disciplines including international relations, comparative politics, sociology, and history.
Immigration's impact on the economy and on society is shaped not only by characteristics of the immigrants themselves, but also by basic features of the society that those immigrants have joined. This book contains eighteen chapters by leading scholars from the United States, Canada and Europe, who explore this theme theoretically and empirically. An introductory essay by the editor suggests four major dimensions of society which emerge as significant in this new research thrust: pre-existing ethnic or race relations within the host population; differences in labor markets and related institutions; the impact of government policies and programs, including immigration policy, and the changing nature of international boundaries, part of the process of globalization. The book had its origins in a conference sponsored by the Canada Program at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
The economics of growth has come a long way since it regained center stage for economists in the mid-1980s. Here for the first time is a series of country studies guided by that research. The thirteen essays, by leading economists, shed light on some of the most important growth puzzles of our time. How did China grow so rapidly despite the absence of full-fledged private property rights? What happened in India after the early 1980s to more than double its growth rate? How did Botswana and Mauritius avoid the problems that other countries in sub-Saharan Africa succumbed to? How did Indonesia manage to grow over three decades despite weak institutions and distorted microeconomic policies and why did it suffer such a collapse after 1997?
What emerges from this collective effort is a deeper understanding of the centrality of institutions. Economies that have performed well over the long term owe their success not to geography or trade, but to institutions that have generated market-oriented incentives, protected property rights, and enabled stability. However, these narratives warn against a cookie-cutter approach to institution building.
The contributors for this work are Daron Acemoglu, Maite Careaga, Gregory Clark, J. Bradford DeLong, Georges de Menil, William Easterly, Ricardo Hausmann, Simon Johnson, Daniel Kaufmann, Massimo Mastruzzi, Ian W. McLean, Lant Pritchett, Yingyi Qian, James A. Robinson, Devesh Roy, Arvind Subramanian, Alan M. Taylor, Jonathan Temple, Barry R. Weingast, Susan Wolcott, and Diego Zavaleta.
"This comprehensive [book] takes a close look at the status of democratic regimes in Latin America and the Caribbean... This is a remarkable collaborative achievement and provides a quick, authoritative, and handy reference that will be invaluable to students."—Foreign Affairs, reviewing the first edition
Since the first edition of the acclaimed Constructing Democratic Governance was published in 1996, the democracies of Latin America and the Caribbean have undergone significant change. This new, one-volume edition, edited by Jorge I. Domínguez and Michael Shifter, offers a concise update to current scholarship in this important area of international studies.
The book is divided into two parts: Themes and Issues, and Country Studies. Countries not covered by individual studies are discussed in the introduction, conclusion, and thematic chapters. In the introduction, Michael Shifter provides an overview of new developments in Latin America and the Caribbean, with particular emphasis on civil society and problems of governance. The conclusion, by Jorge I. Domínguez, ties together the themes of the various chapters and discusses the role of parties and electoral politics.
Contributors: Felipe Agüero, University of Miami; John M. Carey, Washington University in St. Louis; Fernando Cepeda Ulloa, Universidad de los Andes; Michael Coppedge; University of Notre Dame; Javier Corrales, Amherst College; Carlos Iván Degregori, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos; Rut Diamint, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella; Denise Dresser, University of Southern California; Mala N. Htun, New School University; Marta Lagos, Latinobarómetro; Bolívar Lamounier, Augurium: Análise; Steven Levitsky, Harvard University; M. Victoria Murillo, Yale University.
Esta obra expone los resultados de un proyecto de análisis e investigación sobre conflictos y disputas territoriales en América Latina y el Caribe desarrollado por Diálogo Interamericano y originalmente impulsado por iniciativa del Embajador Luigi Einaudi, actual Secretario General Adjunto de la Organización de Estados Americanos, con el propósito de comprender mejor las posibilidades y estrategias de solución de disputas territoriales en el marco de los procesos de democratización de la región. El hilo conductor de este volumen, resultante del proyecto, apunta a resolver dos interrogantes clave. En primer lugar, por qué, pese a la existencia de una vasta gama de disputas y controversias limítrofes sin resolución, ha habido tan pocas guerras en nuestra región. Y, en segundo lugar, hasta qué punto la democracia ha jugado un papel en la limitada proliferación de conflictos fronterizos en América Latina y el Caribe. Ambos interrogantes orientan tanto el capítulo introductorio de este libro, que presenta un panorama y un análisis de los conflictos territoriales y limítrofes en América Latina y el Caribe, a cargo del doctor Jorge Domínguez, de la Universidad de Harvard, compilador del presente volumen, como el capítulo del doctor David Mares, profesor de la Universidad de California, quien realiza un análisis de los diferentes conflictos territoriales y su vinculación con el tipo de sistema político prevaleciente en los países en disputa.
This chapter presents a social–psychological approach to the analysis and resolution of international and intercommunal conflicts. Its central focus is on interactive conflict resolution (see Fisher, 1997), a family of models for intervening in deep–rooted, protracted conflicts between identity groups, which is anchored in psychological principles.