Volume 20


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The SAIS Europe Journal for Global Affairs would like to acknowledge and thank those individuals who have provided assistance during the year. The Journal would not happen without their support.

We would like to thank the SAIS Europe faculty, administration, Development office, and the student government for all their help, especially Director Michael Plummer, Professor Mark Gilbert, Alessandra Nacamu, and Gabriella Chiappini. A special thanks goes to Professor Matthias Matthijs, Kathryn Knowles, Giulio Belcastro, and Marisabel (Mary) Sarracino for all their help in our annual fundraising.

We also want to extend appreciation to the SAIS Europe community, including students and alumni, who have provided ongoing encouragement and fostered our theme throughout the year. 


2017 Journal Staff

Sonia Sharan


Managing Editor
Audrey Stienon


Editor of Submissions
Lindsay Steves


Editor of Content
Katherine Krudys


Editorial Staff
Emily Ashby
Janna Ayoub
Frits Brouwer
Elizabeth Goffi
Chelsea Rodstrom
Melanie Snail


Business Manager
Tatiana Lang


Outreach Manager
Yuri Serafini


Layout & Design Editor
Sarah Hutson


Hina Samnani 



In December 2015, Argentina elected Mauricio Macri as their president. He inherited a daunting task: close the societal rift, or la grieta,1 which the previous presidents, Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015), left behind. The Kirchners have one of the most contentious legacies in the recent history of Latin America. One part of the population views them as saviors, while the other believes they left behind a country on the brink of crisis. This paper attempts to answer the question: why did the Kirchner presidencies leave a legacy of a divided Argentinian society rather than a consolidated one? There are many reasons why la grieta widened under the Kirchners’, including media wars and a confrontational foreign policy. However, this paper argues that the three biggest reasons why la grieta grew in Argentina are: institutional tampering, especially in the judicial branch, corruption, and economic mismanagement.


Most scholars agree that an unequal and unproductive allocation of land in Colombia has fueled violence. Less has been said on the effects of violence for reforming land’s allocation and use. This article argues that violence has significantly reduced the possibilities of implementing an effective land reform in three ways. First, by weakening the institutions. The prevalence of violence has restricted the state’s presence across the country’s territory, diminishing its ability to defend (let alone reallocate) property rights. Second, by restricting the supply of reform. Violence has marginalized the left and other promoters of land reform. Third, by cutting the demand for reform. Violence has affected voters’ preferences and their claims to elected politicians. The recent peace deal between the Colombian government and FARC therefore constitutes one of the biggest opportunities for reform since the early twentieth century.


Since its electoral breakthrough in 2001, the Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti) has been an influential force within Danish politics. With its anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, and socially conservative policies, the DPP promotes an ideology that represents a break from the socially liberal stereotype of Scandinavian countries. Yet, the DPP has steadily gained power in the Danish Parliament (Folketing), receiving the second highest percentage of votes in the 2015 elections. The purpose of this article is to posit an explanation for the DPP’s disproportionate influence and for the concurrent rightward shift in Danish politics. While there are many possible causes for the meteoric rise of the far right in Denmark, this piece will be limited to exploring the shift as a reflection of wider European political trends as well as the structure of the Danish parliamentary system. The article will demonstrate that, while an upswing in extreme right-wing politics within the successful framework of xenophobia and anti-establishment politics gave rise to the DPP’s increased power, the negative parliamentarian government structure in Denmark has additionally enabled the party to exert magnified influence on policy formation. These conclusions provide some explanation for Denmark’s strict immigration policies.



Humans are exploiting the Earth’s natural resources at a rate which cannot sustain global economic growth in the long-term. In the last decade environmental economists, most multilateral institutions, and many national governments have announced their support for a transition to a more efficient market-friendly manner of conducting global economic affairs, a green economy. The International Chamber of Commerce defines the green economy as “an economy in which economic growth and environmental responsibility work together in a mutually reinforcing fashion while supporting progress on social development.”1 This paper offers an overview of what makes a “green economy,” proposes policies which can help achieve that model and analyzes the potential effects of a green transition on communities vulnerable to this economic change.


Externally supported Security Sector Reform (SSR) has developed into a key component of international peacebuilding agendas, but the outcomes have been mixed so far. This article examines the importance of local ownership in determining SSR results. Looking at the cases of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it argues that executive commitment to reform is the minimum requirement to accomplish satisfactory technical results. To achieve the political goals of SSR, a more comprehensive involvement of local actors is necessary. External actors should therefore carefully consider whether the political situation is ripe before committing resources to SSR processes.


Margaret MacMillan is the Xerox Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs and has been the Warden of St. Antony’s College of Oxford University since 2007. She was previously Provost of Trinity College and professor of History at the University of Toronto. Her publications include History’s People (2016), The Uses and Abuses of History (2010), Peacemakers: the Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to Make Peace (2001), and Women of the Raj (1988). Peacemakers won, among other awards, the Duff Cooper Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, the Hessel-Tiltman Prize for History, and the Silver Medal for the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award. She received a BA in History from the University of Toronto and a BPhil in Politics and DPhil from Oxford University. The following interview is an edited version of a discussion between Margaret MacMillan and members of the editorial staff on March 28, 2017. Some grammatical and wording changes have been made to maintain written consistency.


Migration is one of the most contentious and relevant issues of our time, as evidenced by the increasing numbers of migrants and displaced persons and by inflammatory political discourse throughout the world. This paper discusses the underlying causes of recent migration flows and “crises,” such as the civilian-centered nature of recent conflicts, persistent underdevelopment, climate change, and political impasse that prevents conflict resolution and adequate management of migration flows. Further, the paper focuses on policy reforms to (i) tackle the root causes of migration and (ii) minimize the costs and maximize the benefits (both social and economic) associated with migration. Such policies include a pan-European approach to relocation to ease the burden on EU border countries, increasing legal avenues for migration in the US, and integration policies to preserve social cohesion. Taking a long-term view, the paper aims to present a balanced view of the challenges of migration and to summarize policy reforms anchored upon recognition of the extensive human costs – and unrealized benefits of – one of the most defining issues of our era.


For observers and scholars of contemporary Lebanese politics, an understanding of Lebanon’s complex political dynamics is hardly possible without a thorough analysis of the role of Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the country’s Druze community. Notwithstanding his sect’s marginal size, Jumblatt has for almost four decades greatly determined the course of domestic developments. Particularly between 2000 and 2013, the Druze leader developed into a local kingmaker through his repeated switch in affiliations between Lebanon’s pro- and anti-Syrian coalitions. This study argues that Jumblatt’s political behavior during this important period in recent Lebanese history was driven by his determination to ensure the political survival of his Druze minority community. Moreover, it highlights that Jumblatt’s ongoing command over the community, which appears to be impressive given his frequent political realignments, stems from his position as the dominating, traditional Druze za’im and because the minority community recognized his political maneuvering as the best mean to provide the Druze with relevance in Lebanon’s political arena.