Research Library

Domínguez, Jorge I. 1997. “Mexico's New Foreign Policy: States, Societies, and Institutions.” Bridging the Border: Transforming Mexico-U.S. Relations. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. Abstract

Today, as in the past, Mexico's foreign policy is guided by reasons of state and shaped by the will of its presidents, but the content and style of implementation of Mexican foreign policy has changed substantially. The convergence of elite beliefs and experiences in the United States and Mexico has increased the likelihood that bilateral negotiations will be less adversarial and seek, instead, the "term" outcome. Moreover, the Mexican government's foreign policy institutions and practices have changed. Many more Ministries and agencies, including Consulates, now play a significant role in policy implementation. Mexico resorts proactively to new international institutions and procedures to cushion the new impact of the United States on Mexico and to channel the conflicts between contentious private actors from both countries. Some issues remain riddled in conflict, however, legal and illegal immigration especially. And, because the beliefs and experiences of non–elites have not converged, the political foundations for future intergovernmental conflict are also in place. Though the powerful in each country proclaim that the ideals and interests of the United States and Mexico coincide, a great many people in both countries do not believe it.


One of the paradoxes of the contemporary world is the continuing and, in many places, growing strength of nationalist ideology at a time when the weaknesses and limitations of the nation–state are becoming increasingly apparent. Many observers agree that the basic conditions for achieving human dignity – for meeting human needs and assuring human rights – must be established on a worldwide basis, through cooperative transnational efforts. To this end, nation–states must be prepared to yield a degree of their national sovereignty, to expand their range of empathy, and to think in terms of global rather than entirely national interests. In short, the realization of human dignity in the contemporary world requires changes in the nationalistic assumptions that have dominated the international system and curtailments of nationalistic demands and aspirations. Yet, throughout the world, people continue to look to the nation–state as the primary provider of human dignity. The populations of established nation–states expect the state to ensure that their needs will be met and their rights protected. At the same time, the idea of the nation–state is repeatedly infused with new energy and vitality as movements of national liberation seek to establish independent states to assure dignity for oppressed populations.

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The contradictions of ethnonational identity, which make it a prime force in both the promotion and the destruction of human dignity and social justice, have become more pronounced with the ending of the Cold War. It is necessary to reconceptualize national identity and develop new norms for accepting a group's right to national self–determination through establishment of an independent state expressing its national identity, and even for accepting its claim to national identity itself. This article proposes that (1) implementation of a group's right to self–determination cannot be left to the group alone, but must be negotiated with those who are affected by that decision, particularly minority populations; and (2) national identity itself must be "negotiated" – explored and discussed – with those who are affected by the group's self–definition.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1997. “Negotiation as Interactive Problem Solving.” International Negotiation: A Journal of Theory and Practice. International Negotiation: A Journal of Theory and Practice. Publisher's Version Abstract

The use of the term interactive problem solving as a metaphors for negotiation implies that conflicting parties have shared a problem – essentially a problem in their relationship – which needs to be solved by addressing the underlying causes and the dynamics of the conflict in an interactive process. The term has been used to describe an unofficial third–party approach to conflict resolution, which typically brings together politically influential representatives of two parties in conflict for direct communication in problem–solving workshops. The present article draws on the experiences from this micro–process to develop a framework for the macro–process of negotiation. Within this framework, it describes the ultimate goal of negotiation as transformation of the relationship between the parties, which requires an agreement that addresses the four fundamental needs and dears of both parties on a basis of reciprocity. It then discusses four components of negotiation – identification and analysis of the problem, joint shaping of ideas for solution, influencing, the other side, and creating a supportive political environment – and procedures that the metaphor of interactive problem solving suggests for each. Finally, it identifies vehicles for integrating the perspective of interactive problem solving into the larger negotiation process.

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Kelman, Herbert C. 1997. “Some Determinants of the Oslo Breakthrough.” International Negotiation. International Negotiation. Publisher's Version Abstract

The breakthrough character of the Oslo agreement is attributed to the mutual recognition between the State of Israel and the PLO and the opening of direct negotiations between them. The parties were induced to go to Oslo and negotiate an agreement there by macro–level forces evolving over some time; Long–term changes, going back to the 1967 War, and short–term strategic and domestic–political considerations, resulting from the Gulf War and the end of the Cold War, created new interests that persuaded them of the necessity of negotiating a compromise; and unofficial interactions between the two sides over the course of two decades persuaded them of the possibility of doing so. Once the parties decided to negotiate, the micro–process provided by Oslo, with its peculiar mixture of track–one and track–two elements, contributed to the success of negotiations. Key elements included secrecy, the setting, the status of the initial participants, the nature of the third party, and the nature of the mediation process. Finally, what made the accord viable were some of its main substantive features, including the exchange of letters of mutual recognition, the distinction between the interim and the final stage, and the territorial base and early empowerment of the Palestinian Authority.

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"Men make their own history," Karl Marx wrote in 1852, "but they do not make it just as they please." Scholars of Latin America have spent much energy understanding the second half of that sentence, namely, the importance of structures and their legacies... [W]e are mindful of that second half but call attention to its first half: the conscious choices made by some political actors in the 1980s and 1990s in Latin America to foster freer politics and freer markets and, in that way, to reinvent Latin American history.

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Domínguez, Jorge I. 1997. “U.S.-Cuban Relations: From the Cold War to the Colder War.” Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. Publisher's Version Abstract

Hundreds of thousands of Cuban troops deployed to nearly every corner of the globe – that seemed to be the nightmare of every US administration from the mid–1970s to the end of the 1980s. From its own perspective, President Fidel Castro's government attempted to use its activist foreign policy first to protect itself from hostile US policies, and second to leverage support from the Soviet Union and other communist countries for Cuba's own domestic development.

The first proposition had been articulated by Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the 1960s when he called on revolutionaries to create "two, three Vietnams" in order to confront and weaken the United States and its allies. Even as the Cuban government gradually edged away from ample support for many revolutionary insurgencies, the strategy of global engagement as the best defense against US offense persisted. The second proposition developed in the 1970s. Although Cuba's decisions to deploy troops or to undertake other internationalist missions were characteristically its own, it also furthered a long–term tendency to coordinate such policies with those of the Soviet Union, demonstrating thereby that Cuba was the Soviet Union's most reliable foreign policy ally in the Cold War, and providing a basis for a substantial claim on Soviet resources.

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This study argues that an important part of the explanation for international economic outcomes during the interwar years arose from the internal politics and institutions prevalent within many countries after the Great War. In the face of balance of payments deficits, governments could choose to adjust internally by reducing prices and demand, or adjust externally with "beggar–thy–neighbor" policies that pushed the problem of adjustment onto a country's trade partners. Is there a political explanation for the choice of adjustment strategy? To answer this question I draw on theoretical work that has developed the logic of strategic behavior – the temptation to dump currencies that are likely to be devalued, the logic of competitive devaluation, the individual rationality of tariff retaliation – but go beyond these by testing for the political conditions associated with the decision to defect from the gold standard and liberal trade...

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Thiemann, Ronald. 1996. Religion in Public Life: A Dilemma for Democracy. Georgetown University Press. Publisher's Version Abstract

Prayer in public schools, abortion, gay and lesbian rights—these bitterly divisive issues dominate American politics today, revealing deep disagreements over basic moral values. In a highly readable account that draws on legal arguments, political theory, and philosophy, Ronald F. Thiemann explores the proper role of religious convictions in American public life. He proposes that religion can and should play an active, positive part in our society even as it maintains a fundamental commitment to pluralist, democratic values.

Arguing that both increased secularism and growing religious diversity since the 1960s have fragmented commonly held values, Thiemann observes that there has been an historical ambivalence in American attitudes towards religion in public life. He proposes abandoning the idea of an absolute wall between church and state and all the conceptual framework built around that concept in interpreting the first amendment. He returns instead to James Madison's views and the Constitutional principles of liberty, equality, and toleration. Refuting both political liberalism (as too secular) and communitarianism (as failing to meet the challenge of pluralism), Thiemann offers a new definition of liberalism that gives religions a voice in the public sphere as long as they heed the Constitutional principles of liberty, equality, and toleration or mutual respect.

The American republic, Thiemann notes, is a constantly evolving experiment in constructing a pluralistic society from its many particular communities. Religion can act as a positive force in its moral renewal, by helping to shape common cultural values.

All those interested in finding solutions to today's divisive political discord, in finding ways to disagree civilly in a democracy, and in exploring the extent to which religious convictions should shape the development of public policies will find that this book offers an important new direction for religion and the nation.

Robinson, James A. 1996. “Rent Appropriation and Sustained Growth”. Abstract

This paper demonstrates that the introduction of imperfect competition into the labor market can solve the problem isolated by Jones and Manuelli (Journal of Economic Theory, 1992, 58, 171–197), and Boldrin (Journal of Economic Theory, 1992, 58, 198–218), that in economies with convex technologies and finitely lived agents, real wages may not grow fast enough for unbounded growth to be sustained. I show that if wages are determined by a bargaining solution, and if the bargaining power of the workforce is sufficiently high (if they appropriate a sufficiently large proportion of rents), then growth is unbounded. Moreover, the growth path generated by such an economy may improve the welfare of all generation apart from the initial old.

Since 1989, Germany's domestic and international environments have experienced significant changes. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that the country's long–standing foreign and domestic policies will adapt to novel challenges and pressures. This article examines the case of eastern trade policy, and area in which one might expect to observe a greater degree of government intervention post–unification. In fact, no such adaptation has taken place in the six years since the beginning of the unification process. This empirical puzzle lends itself to an analysis based on the interaction of interests, institutions, and ideas. Unification altered the prevailing constellation of material economic interests in Germany, as well as parliamentary–electoral institutions. However, the events of 1989–90 left untouched the dominant ideas (or models) that shaped the West German political economy in the postwar period, as well as crucial sets of institutions — some lodged within the federal bureaucracy and others at the international level — linked to those ideas. Drawing on a detailed case study, including extensive interviews with German and Russian policymakers, we conclude that the lack of an interventionist trade response is a function of continuity at the nexus of ideas and institutions in the unified German.

Working Paper 96–03, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1996. 

For its speed, scope, and openness, the Czechoslovak mass privatization program is considered the model to be followed by economies in Eastern Europe and elsewhere grappling with stalled or tentative public–sector reform programs. Yet there are two unexpected developments in the Czech economy that warrant explanation. First, despite fears that voucher–based privatization of state enterprises would produce a system of diffuse ownership, ownership in the Czech economy is actually heavily concetrated in the hands of a few large, formerly state–owned financial institutions.. Second, contrary to the belief of privatization authorities that universal banks would form the crux of an efficient, German–style system of corporate governance, banks and bank–owned investement funds have proven to be poor enterprise monitors. This paper examines and interprets this evidence, arguing that the present bank–centered system of enterprise ownership in the Czech Republic has its origins in a political compromise reached between reformist politicians and state–owned banks between 1990 and 1991. By this compromise, large–bank "loyalty" to the voucher schemem was assured in exchange for banking and securities legislation that left the financial sector largely unreformed.

Working Paper 96–02, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1996. 

Domestic agricultural subsidy policies, both in the U.S. and in the European Union, underwent modest liberal reforms early in the decade of the 1990s. Such reforms had been one key objective sought by negotiators (especially U.S. negotiators) in the 1986–93 Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. Two-level game theory suggests that a prior agreement abroad can speed the pace of reform at home. Yet a close examination of the timing and content of the 1993 GATT agreement on agriculture indicates that the international negotiation added little to the pace or content of reform, and in the U.S. may have even slowed reform. In the EU, internal policy reform was triggered more by the binding effects of a much earlier (Dillon Round) international agreement, than by the two–level game dynamic of the Uruguay Round. U.S. and EU farm sector reform policies were little altered by the Uruguay Round, while the Round itself was slowed down by agriculture, with adverse effects for other sectors.

Working Paper 96–01, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, January 30, 1996.

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LaPorta, Rafael, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer. 1996. “Law and Finance”. Abstract

This paper examines legal rules covering protection of corporate shareholders and creditors, the origin of these rules, and the quality of their enforcement in 49 countries. The results show that common law countries generally have the strongest, and French civil law countries the weakest, legal protections of investors, with German and Scandinavian civil law countries located in the middle. We also find that concentration of ownership of shares in the largest public companies is negatively related to investor protections, consistent with the hypothesis that small, diversified shareholders are unlikely to be important in countries that fail to protect their rights.

Klinga, Gunnar. 1996. “The Digital Diplomat”. Abstract

This paper is about new information technology (IT): the integration of information processing and global communications – "a marriage between microprocessors and the telephone" (as the Swedish IT–Commission puts it) – and how it can be used by a foreign service.

Imagine a scene in which United States military engineers—the wartime builders of command bunkers, field hospitals, and runways for jet fighters—brought their skills to the poorest reaches of the Third World to construct schools, clinics, and access roads at no cost to the local populace. This scenario, part of the Defense Department?s Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA) program, exists under United States law in the form of military exercises sponsored by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, in Latin America, by the United States Southern Command (SouthCom). If it falls short of the biblical peace ideal of beating swords into plowshares, it comes close, hitching the Army mule to plow nonetheless. More difficult to imagine might be the fact that Army engineers did such a thing in the Republic of Colombia, in cooperation with the Colombian government, and that their help was overwhelmingly rejected, in disbelief and scandal, by the people of Colombia.

A rapid move to currency convertibility by the transforming countries of eastern Europe does not seem to have hurt those countries that undertook it compared to those that moved more gradually. Indeed, on balance they seem to have performed better. Yet the evidence is not conclusive, and the number of observations too few to make strong conclusions, after allowance is made for other differentiating features among countries.

Western European countries almost surely could have moved to currency convertibility more rapidly than they did in the 1950s, especially if arrangements had been made for partial funding of the sterling balances held by Commonwealth countries, but the intellectual climate and political consensus were not present for making the move.

The experience of the eastern European countries in the early 1990s, although admittedly embedded in special circumstances, at least raises strong doubts about the justification for preserving exchange controls in many developing countries. A much heavier burden of proof should be levied on those countries by the international community and in particular by the International Monetary Fund, whose Articles of Agreement call for convertibility as a basic condition for membership.

Working Paper 96–05, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, December 1996.

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This paper provides a formal model of endogenous border formation and of choice of defense spending in a world with international conflict. The model is consistent with three observations. First, break–up of countries should follow a reduction in the likelihood of international conflicts. Second, the number of regional conflicts between smaller countries may increase as a result of the break–up of larger countries. Third, the size of the peace dividend — i.e., the reduction in the defense spending in a more peaceful world — is limited by the process of country break–up.


Since the publication of Robert Putnam's "Making Democracy Work," the concept of social capital has achieved a new prominence in the social science community. This essay explores the causal linkages among the key analytical concepts presented in Robert Putnam's "Making Democracy Work" in an effort to further the social capital research agenda that the book initiates. We show why different kinds of associations can be expected to have different social capital–building capacities and different implications for cooperation within the larger community. We suggest that the microlinkages between social capital and good government in "Making Democracy Work" are underspecified and we present four models of how social cooperation at the level of the community translates into good performance at the level of political institutions. We identify the absence of political conflict as a peculiar feature of Putnam's account of Italian politics and history, and we explore the implications of its absence for the theoretical conclusions Putnam reaches and the generalizability of the findings he presents. We examine the relationship between social capital and economic performance and show why Putnam's work has important contributions to make to this field. Finally, we explain why Putnam's findings may not travel well outside of the Italian regions he studies.

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Working Paper 96–04, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1996.

Simmons, Beth A. 1996. “Rulers of the Game: Central Bank Independence During the Interwar Years.” International Organization. International Organization. Publisher's Version Abstract

The recent experience of the European Monetary System has once again brought the problem of international monetary instability to scholars’ and policymakers’ attention.

In 1992, German interest rate hikes meant to address growing inflationary pressures within Germany sparked speculation against the pound and lira that eventually led England and Italy to devalue their currencies and to leave the European Monetary System’s Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). A year later, the fluctuation bands linking the participating currencies of Europe were widened from 2.5 percent to 15 percent, rendering the system almost as loose as floating exchange rates.

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