Power Shifts


Download PDFVolume: 15 Issue: 1


The Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs would like to acknowledge and thank those individuals who have provided support during the year, including Professor Mark Gilbert, Director Kenneth H. Keller, the Bologna Center student government, and members of the Bologna Center administration.  Thank you also to the students and faculty who contributed to the annual fundraising auction.

2012 Journal Staff


Jamie Pleydell-Bouverie

Managing Editor

Nathaniel Hojnacki | Amanda Norris

Executive Editor

David Geraldo Frazer

Associate Editors

Jemila Abdulai | Steve Farole | Geoffrey Levin | 
Phil Lovegren | Maarten Vleeschhouwer

Online Editors

Elizabeth Alonso-Hallifax | Suzy Xiu 

Copy Editors

Jesse Elrod | Ashley Hoin | Clement Knox | 
Catherine Ramsey

Head of Fundraising

Mary Boyer

Public Relations

Alexis Piet | Alexandra Duncan | Ermal Vila



This paper evaluates how U.S. President George W. Bush’s push for democratization in Egypt may have influenced the 2011 Egyptian uprising. It argues that Bush’s “Freedom Agenda” policy towards Egypt had a number of small but significant effects that both heightened and publicized Egyptians’ discontent with former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak – effects which were not necessarily intended or central to the Agenda when it was conceived. Specifically, the Freedom Agenda created a period of limited public dialogue, which further alienated Egyptians from their government, and altered the economic environment – all factors which made the 2011 uprising more likely.



With four female presidents elected in the past decade, Latin America has seen a spike in female executive leadership unprecedented in any other region thus far in the 21st century. However, having female heads of state is no guarantee that women’s interests will take priority under these female-headed administrations. This paper explores the conceptual distinction between women’s short-term ‘practical’ interests and their long-term ‘strategic’ interests. Whilst all ‘presidentas’ more or less advance the former, commitment to structural change aimed at furthering women’s strategic interests in the long-run has been less clear. This article explores and interprets this mixed record.


For the past two decades, the ‘failed state’ of Somalia has been ravaged by protracted violence and famine, armed clashes between warlords, and their unpredictably shifting alliances. As the extended mandate of the corrupt and dysfunctional Transitional Federal Government nears its expiration date in August 2012, increasing international attention has created an impetus for a renewed consolidation process leading to the recent London Conference on Somalia. This paper assesses the realistic options for a shift towards peaceful governance, and examines what lessons can be learned from the hitherto existing international approach that has fueled rather than averted violent conflict.


This paper examines the extent to which power has shifted to new political actors in North Africa as a result of the 2011 "Arab Spring" uprisings. Focusing on Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Morocco, this paper identifies the changes taking place in these states, and elucidates the distinct ways in which power is shifting in each case. The emergence of Islamist movements as organized political actors is a common feature of all four countries and represents potentially the most significant power shift in a region yearning for democracy.


In the last quarter century, Brazil has undergone structural economic changes. This article aims to help the reader understand how Brazil overcame the discouraging scenario of the mid-1980s and early 1990s to become a major global economic power. A unique story of a lively economic policy laboratory is told by laying out eight economic idiosyncrasies that need to be examined in order to grasp the country’s past and future challenges and analyze whether or when it will emerge as an economic superpower.


In this analysis of the evolution of the U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation pact, the authors argue that the bilateral treaty marked the beginning of a new era for global non-proliferation as envisioned by the Bush administration and subsequently endorsed by President Barack Obama. An exploration of the forces at work reveals powerful special interests that scored massive commercial and trade deals to supply India with parts and technology. The unintended consequences of such action included a precedent for Chinese support of Pakistan’s nuclear program and the potential detriment to American interests in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.


Integrating China into the global balance of power and the community of nations is the greatest challenge facing statecraft in the 21st century. According to power cycle theory, the “single dynamic” that has always mapped the structural trends of history is shaping China’s power cycle. This cycle will contain the same “critical points” of suddenly shifted trends that challenged every other rising power historically, all too frequently ending in major war. Viewing history’s dynamic through the lens of meanings embedded in the power cycle trajectories, this article argues for careful management of the future systems transformation that will occur.


In March 2011 Italy celebrated its 150th anniversary as a unified country. However, it did so with little of the enthusiasm that had greeted previous anniversaries in 1911 and 1961. Increasing numbers of its citizens have, in recent years, come to wonder whether their long failure to construct a viable political system may be a consequence of a process of unification that had disregarded the history and diversity of their peninsula. This article argues that centralized power was destined to fail in Italy, and that only a federal system will reconcile people of its very different regions to continue living together under the same flag.


In the last two decades, emerging markets have become important global economic players. This paper evaluates the implications of the structural economic changes and increased participation of emerging markets in the global trade and the financial system for growth dynamics and economic interactions of the world economy. Furthermore, the effects of the current crises and the role of the emerging markets in the global economic recovery are analyzed in conjunction with the areas of multilateral policy coordination that have to be fostered to manage an increasingly multi-polar world economy. The article concludes with a discussion of the reforms necessary to sustain the growth performance of the emerging markets in the future.


Climate change, while not determining power shifts on its own, often acts as a stress multiplier on existing tensions and instabilities. Using the current political struggle over the Arctic as a case study, this paper evaluates how climate change affects global power relations by altering the existing international status quo. The analysis shows how a nontraditional security phenomenon is leading to the emergence of traditional security dilemmas, such as competition over resources and interstate tensions over boundary demarcations. The status quo reflects an increasingly fragile situation, compounded by the lack of legal mechanisms for resolving and adjudicating actual and potential disputes over the Arctic region.