Ethnic Struggle, Coexistence, and Democratization in Eastern Europe
By Sherrill Stroschein
In societies divided on ethnic and religious lines, problems of democracy are magnified—particularly where groups are mobilized into parties. With the principle of majority rule, minorities should be less willing to endorse democratic institutions where their parties persistently lose elections. While such problems should also hamper transitions to democracy, several diverse Eastern European states have formed democracies even under these conditions. In this book, Sherrill Stroschein argues that sustained protest and contention by ethnic Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia brought concessions on policies that they could not achieve through the ballot box, in contrast to Transcarpathia, Ukraine. In Romania and Slovakia, contention during the 1990s made each group accustomed to each other’s claims, and aware of the degree to which each could push its own. Ethnic contention became a de facto deliberative process that fostered a moderation of group stances, allowing democratic consolidation to slowly and organically take root. (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Former Harvard Academy Scholar Sherrill Stroschein is a senior lecturer in politics at University College London.
The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities
By Harris Mylonas
What drives a state’s choice to assimilate, accommodate, or exclude ethnic groups within its territory? In this innovative work on the international politics of nation-building, Harris Mylonas argues that a state’s nation-building policies toward non-core groups—any aggregation of individuals perceived as an ethnic group by the ruling elite of a state—are influenced by both its foreign policy goals and its relations with the external patrons of these groups. Through a detailed study of the Balkans, Mylonas shows that how a state treats a non-core group within its own borders is determined largely by whether the state’s foreign policy is revisionist or cleaves to the international status quo, and whether it is allied or in-rivalry-with that group’s external patrons. Mylonas injects international politics into the study of nation-building, building a bridge between international relations, and the comparative politics of ethnicity and nationalism. This is the first book to explain systematically how the politics of ethnicity in the international arena determine which groups are assimilated, accommodated, or annihilated by their host states. (Harvard University Press, 2013)
Former Harvard Academy Scholar Harris Mylonas is an assistant professor of political science and international affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.
Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World
By Graham T. Allison, Jr., Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne
When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, presidents, prime ministers, diplomats, and CEOs listen. Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. This book gathers key insights from interviews, speeches, and Lee’s voluminous published writings and presents them in an engaging question and answer format.
Lee offers his assessment of China’s future, asserting, among other things, that “China will want to share this century as co-equals with the US.” He affirms the United States’ position as the world’s sole superpower but expresses dismay at the vagaries of its political system. He offers strategic advice for dealing with China and goes on to discuss India’s future, Islamic terrorism, economic growth, geopolitics and globalization, and democracy. Lee does not pull his punches, offering his unvarnished opinions on multiculturalism, the welfare state, education, and the free market. This little book belongs on the reading list of every world leader—including the one who took the oath of office on January 20, 2013. (MIT Press, 2013)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Graham T. Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University and the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Robert D. Blackwill is the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and an international council member and member of the board of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at HKS. Ali Wyne is a research assistant at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at HKS.
Cool War: The Future of Global Competition
By Noah Feldman
Noah Feldman argues, we are entering an era of renewed global struggle: the era of Cool War. Just as the Cold War matched the planet’s reigning superpowers in a contest for geopolitical supremacy, so this new age will pit the United States against a rising China in a contest for dominance, alliances, and resources. Already visible in Asia, the conflict will extend to the Middle East (US-backed Israel versus Chinese-backed Iran), Africa, and beyond.
Yet this Cool War differs fundamentally from the zero-sum showdowns of the past: The world’s major power and its leading challenger are economically interdependent to an unprecedented degree. Exports to the United States account for nearly a quarter of Chinese trade, while the Chinese government holds eight percent of America’s outstanding debt. This positive-sum interdependence has profound implications for nations, corporations, and international institutions. It makes what looked to be a classic contest between two great powers into something much more complex, contradictory, and badly in need of the shrewd and carefully reasoned analysis that Feldman provides. To understand competition with China, we must understand the incentives that drive Chinese policy. Feldman offers an arresting take on that country’s secretive hierarchy, proposing that the hereditary “princelings” who reap the benefits of the complicated Chinese political system are actually in partnership with the meritocrats who keep the system full of fresh talent and the reformers who are trying to root out corruption and foster government accountability.
The US and China may be divided by political culture and belief, but they are also bound together by mutual self-interest. Cool War makes the case for competitive cooperation as the only way forward that can preserve the peace and make winners out of both sides. (Random House, 2013)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Noah Feldman is the Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School.
Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era
By Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
This book examines the foreign policy decisions of the presidents who presided over the most critical phases of America’s rise to world primacy in the twentieth century, and assesses the effectiveness and ethics of their choices. Joseph Nye, who was ranked as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s 100 Top Global Thinkers, reveals how some presidents tried with varying success to forge a new international order while others sought to manage America’s existing position. Taking readers from Theodore Roosevelt’s bid to insert America into the global balance of power to George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War in the early 1990s, Nye compares how Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson responded to America’s growing power and failed in their attempts to create a new order. He looks at Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts to escape isolationism before World War II, and at Harry Truman’s successful transformation of Roosevelt’s grand strategy into a permanent overseas presence of American troops at the dawn of the Cold War. He describes Dwight Eisenhower’s crucial role in consolidating containment, and compares the roles of Ronald Reagan and Bush in ending the Cold War and establishing the unipolar world in which American power reached its zenith.
The book shows how transformational presidents like Wilson and Reagan changed how America sees the world, but argues that transactional presidents like Eisenhower and the elder Bush were sometimes more effective and ethical. It also draws important lessons for today’s uncertain world, in which presidential decision making is more critical than ever. (Princeton University Press, 2013)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate and Senior Adviser Joseph S. Nye, Jr. is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard Kennedy School.
Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists: Lessons from the War on Terrorism
By Philip B. Heymann and Gabriella Blum
In an age of global terrorism, can the pursuit of security be reconciled with liberal democratic values and legal principles? During its “global war on terrorism,” the Bush administration argued that the United States was in a new kind of conflict, one in which peacetime domestic law was irrelevant and international law inapplicable. From 2001 to 2009, the United States thus waged war on terrorism in a “no-law zone.”
In Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists, Gabriella Blum and Philip Heymann reject the argument that traditional American values embodied in domestic and international law can be ignored in any sustainable effort to keep the United States safe from terrorism. They demonstrate that the costs are great and the benefits slight from separating security and the rule of law. They call for reasoned judgment instead of a wholesale abandonment of American values. They also argue that being open to negotiations and seeking to win the moral support of the communities from which the terrorists emerge are noncoercive strategies that must be included in any future efforts to reduce terrorism. (MIT Press, 2013)
Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Philip B. Heymann is the James Barr Ames Professor of Law and the director of the International Center for Criminal Justice at Harvard Law School. Gabriella Blum is the Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Harvard Law School.