Despite the predictable nature of many threats to public health, safety, and security, governments around the world struggle to find a successful systematic response to these dangers. In fact, lawmakers often respond in a knee-jerk, emotional fashion that all but ensures that the most effective means of protecting the public from harm are ignored. Frequently, policy responses address only a primary danger, leaving us still vulnerable to an even greater secondary danger. Although cost-benefit analysis is not perfect, it carries some clear advantages to other responses such as the increasingly popular precautionary principle. This paper uses the example of lead poisoning to examine the question of why regulators struggle to accept cost-benefit analysis, and opt instead for inferior alternatives based on irrational, and sometimes unfounded, public fears.
Environmental impact assessments of trade agreements have gained prominence since the 1990s as tools to identify environmental effects resulting from trade liberalization. The European Union and the United States have taken similar, but different, approaches to developing assessment methods: Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIAs) in the EU and Environmental Reviews (ERs) in the United States. Given that knowledge on both the EU and the U.S. side about what the other is doing in this regard is fairly limited, we seek to provide a basis for a more informed and in-depth discussion of the features, experiences, and potential advantages or disadvantages of the two approaches. This article is based on a comprehensive report on the topic, in which we discuss the underlying legal guidelines of trade impact assessments and examine two case studies on each side—for the EU, the agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council and Ukraine, and for the United States, the Free Trade Agreement with Chile and CAFTA-DR.
The rise of radical Islam along both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border has its roots in three major factors. The first is the disintegration of Afghan social structures at both the state and tribal levels, beginning in 1979 with revolts against the communist government and the subsequent Soviet invasion. The second is the increased sway of political Islam, due mostly to outside influences, including Salafist thought from the Middle East, and the more local Deobandi philosophy. The third is the radicalization of the Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group along the border. This paper will examine how these three converging factors have created the current instability on both sides of the border, and where it might lead.
During World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army raped and tortured an estimated 200,000 women, mostly Korean and Chinese. Half a century later, documents were discovered within Japan’s Defense Agency (now called the Ministry of Defense) proving that state officials sanctioned underground brothels. To this day, the Japanese government refuses to directly acknowledge and apologize for its actions. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the Japanese government must admit to its past war crimes. The reasons are threefold: victims deserve an official apology; an admission of guilt would lessen Japanese tensions with its Asian neighbors; and it would reinforce the universal intolerance for war crimes as seen in the military tribunals of Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and Nazi Germany.
Sustained economic growth is a uniquely modern concept. World per capita incomes, after millennia of stagnation, only rose significantly at the end of the eighteenth century. This development first took off in Western Europe, and it has largely not taken place in sub-Saharan Africa. This divergence is due, in part, to an interconnected series of Enlightenment-era cultural trends in Europe epitomized by the rise of the developmental state based on a social contract, the increasing influence of rationality and applied science within the economy, and the encouragement of economic development by religion. These trends represented a cultural shift toward individualism in the political, economic, and religious spheres of the Western world during the Enlightenment and stand in stark contrast to Sub-Saharan Africa’s postcolonial culture of collectivism and ineffective development strategies based on Pan-Africanism and statism. As such, the prospect of future economic development in Africa along a Western path would require a cultural transformation.
Nuclear proliferation is often seen as a one-way street. The standard realist logic concerning proliferation is that states seek nuclear weapons to counter threats to their security, based on an often-narrow calculation of costs and benefits. Reality is much more complicated. When states do disarm, they base their nuclear decisions on their own highly subjective needs. The following paper attempts to capture this interaction by expanding traditional cost-benefit analysis into a framework that incorporates subjective as well as objective variables. This framework attempts to assess the viability of competing policy options facing promoters of disarmament.
Religion is a subject academia often overlooks when it considers the origins of the modern African state. This paper aims to analyze religion’s role in shaping African society through its complex, political relationship with colonial administrations under indirect rule. In order to understand this historical process, the hegemonic-culture thesis is examined, critiqued, and applied to the case studies of Nigeria and Rwanda. Based on its findings, this study suggests that the hegemonic-culture thesis elucidates the process of state formation as manipulated by colonial rule, but cannot fully explain contemporary conflict because it fails to account for religion’s influence on the development of the African state and society.
This essay argues that there is a ground on which to build a legal case for a doctrine of humanitarian intervention. Instances of armed intervention to protect human rights without the prior authorization of the United Nations Security Council represent a conflict between core norms of the international community: the prohibition of the use of force, on one hand, and the prohibition of grave violations of human rights, on the other. Though many of the legal justifications put forth in the literature are inadequate, such action is legally defensible as a balancing between peremptory norms of international law. But to ensure proper balancing of these norms, a system must be adopted to regulate such intervention.
The EU’s energy and foreign policy vis-à-vis Algeria is ambitious, seeking as it does to achieve three primary objectives—democratization, economic liberalization, and security of energy supplies. Whether the EU will succeed in these objectives is far from certain. This paper analyzes the historical record in an attempt to discern the likelihood that the EU will indeed achieve its objectives. In doing so, it assesses EU policy towards Algeria since 1995, identifies the main challenges and opportunities facing EU policymakers in Algeria, and proposes a new policy approach for EU leaders to consider in pursuing more secure energy supplies and internal political and economic reform in Algeria.
The term “modernity” is rooted in ideas that are embodied in the Enlightenment, namely, the triumph of reason, rationality and individuality, and is often associated with a Western worldview. However, to use the term singularly in this sense is to not fully understand its complex constitutive elements. This paper explores how modernity can be interpreted in diverse ways by different actors. It highlights the two main trends followed by various modernity projects, and further illustrates how this divergence in interpretation increases the potential for conflict at various levels.
While the evangelical community in the United States is often seen as wielding a great deal of political influence, particularly in opposing U.S. support for international cooperation to limit climate change, such a view obscures important—and increasing—differences among evangelicals. In this paper, I highlight these emerging differences, arguing specifically that tensions between “first-generation” and “second-generation” evangelical perspectives on the meaning of “stewardship” have spurred a widening split. In the context of a discussion of theological debates, their policy consequences, and coalitional possibilities, I suggest that this debate has important implications for the evolution of U.S. support for international cooperation to limit climate change.
Climate change resulting from anthropogenic activity is posing a serious threat to the delicate balance of natural systems that sustain life on earth. While humans are contributing to this grave problem, they also have the potential to find the solution. Through the rapid development of renewable technology, along with the promotion of conservation efforts, humans can help address the problems caused by climate change without damaging the global economy. It is important for policy efforts on the local, national and international levels to encourage the development of renewable technologies before the damage from climate change becomes insurmountable.
What should we do about climate change? There is disagreement about what we should do in quantitative terms, but universal agreement about what we should do in qualitative terms. Our aim should be not only to avoid “dangerous interference” with the climate system, but to effect a technological revolution. How can these goals be achieved? The European Union’s favored approach is to tighten up on the Kyoto emission cuts, possibly supported by the application of trade restrictions. A better approach would be to break the problem up into its many parts, using the best means available to enforce each part.
This article explores the issues developing countries face in implementing a biofuels program as a means of growth and security. Biofuel development holds the promise of significant gains, but at the same time, very challenging problems must be addressed if the impact is to be positive on balance. A well-designed biofuels program will stimulate agricultural productivity and green technologies, help to create rural jobs, and free up precious capital from being spent on fossil fuels. Yet attention must also be given to the major pitfalls and hurdles—chief among them food scarcity and climate change—which are changing the calculus for biofuels. It is concluded that the potential for developing countries to harness biofuels for their advantage is real, but only if great care is taken to constrain the potential for adverse consequences.
This paper explores three crucial contemporary issues to reveal the consequence of tariffs as instruments to overcome environmental concerns. In other words, we try to find under what circumstances tariffs can be considered green policy instruments. Starting with conventional trade theory, we study how country characteristics, including environmental policies, can determine each country’s comparative advantage. We then study how governments may create “pollution havens” by setting lax environmental standards in order to maintain international competitiveness. Finally, we look at the role of multilateral trade organizations such as the WTO in muddling with international environmental agreements. Using conventional theory along with contemporary environmental concerns, we argue the need for a new phase of globalization, namely one accompanied by ‘green’ trade liberalization.
This article considers the possible limits to traditional notions of sovereignty within a post-war state-building process, based on the experience of post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). If time and a certain amount of breathing space are necessary for democratic institutions to be established, for parties to develop platforms and for civil society to take root, how can such a respite be provided so that the conditions necessary for successful transition exist? In post-war BiH, the answer has been through various forms of international administration, and the result has been a post-war period of semi-democracy. This article considers the case of BiH in light of the potential conflict between the notion of sovereignty and the goal of state-building in divided societies. While BiH is an interesting case, and some tentative lessons have been learned from it, the processes of post-war democratization and state-building are still ongoing.
The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, I will show how the issue of sovereignty has been transformed by the self-determination principle. Second, I will look at how self-determination is both a reinforcing and weakening factor for state sovereignty. Eighteenth-century foundations of self-determination, in particular the social contract theory of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the American and French Revolutions, have transformed traditional state-based conceptions of sovereignty inherited from the Treaty of Westphalia. I will show how the dilemmas and contradictions identified at the time have received only partial and inconsistent answers in the present international system.
The ongoing reconstruction of sovereignty as an institution with functional and ontological significance indicates that it is both founded on the basis of and maintains an important role in shaping international norms. Through practice and rhetoric, state and non-state actors have developed a complex system of terminology that reflects the evolution of sovereignty and its normative framework. This article examines the contributions of state representatives, international institutions and international relations scholars to the re-conceptualization of the fundamental institution of the world order.
The European Union (EU) continues to redefine sovereignty as it makes strides toward a unified foreign policy. However, its member states wield foreign affairs power guardedly, concentrating it in the EU institutions they control, such as the Council of Ministers, and keeping it from the ones they do not, such as the directly-elected European Parliament. Within these constraints, the European Parliament must influence EU external relations through creative means, including its public investigation into CIA activities in Europe, thus testing transatlantic relations and offering an international institution twist on the classic foreign policy battle of the legislature versus the executive.
Peru and Colombia both faced severe internal conflicts between 1990 and 2002, in which guerilla groups challenged state sovereignty by contesting its monopoly of legitimate violence. Peru was able to defeat its insurgency during this time period through military and police actions, but Colombia was unable to resolve its conflict through either negotiations or military force. During this period, Colombia attempted to replace political violence with participatory democracy, while Peru’s democracy self-destructed and the country reverted to authoritarianism. These outcomes are surprising in light of prevailing political science literature, which argues that democratization is the key means to resolve internal political violence. This article tests the hypothesis that literature supporting the democratization peace theory was counter-productive in these two cases. It does so by examining whether democratic depth was inversely related to the resolution of internal conflict. The article concludes that democracy was not causally related to the resolution of internal conflict, but that this variance in outcomes can be explained by two variables outside the democratization peace paradigm: the nature of the guerilla groups and the socio-economic structure of the rural provinces in which the insurgencies were based.
This paper recounts several of the myths associated with sovereignty, describing the function of these myths and the ways in which global politics has come to reflect a fundamentally changed reality. States are simultaneously confronted by integrating and fragmenting processes that produce new authority patterns. This changed reality has decoupled territorial and psychological space and fostered a global competition for identities and loyalties among different polity types.
Paradiplomacy refers to the foreign policy capacity of sub-state entities: their participation, independent of their metropolitan state, in the international arena in pursuit of their own specific international interests. It thus challenges a number of theories of the discipline of international relations, which do not normally consider sub-state entities as subjects of international relations, as well as states’ traditional claim to sovereignty. Drawing on three West European examples, this article argues, however, that the paradiplomacy phenomenon is consistent with both international relations theory and state sovereignty when viewed through the lens of conflict resolution and autonomy.
This paper examines the background and ideology of Hizbullah and, from that, attempts to determine whether or not Hizbullah is a Lebanese nationalist party. Special emphasis is placed on the “Lebanonization” path on which the group embarked in the 1990s and its comparison with the party’s core ideology. The paper then contextualizes the group in Lebanon’s current crisis and identifies the political implications of Hizbullah’s character on the group’s role in the crisis.