By focusing on NAFTA as an intervening variable in the Mexican transition to democracy, this paper explores the interplay and the sequencing of economic liberalization and political opening that occurred in Mexico between 1988 and 2000. More precisely, its goal is to evaluate whether neo-liberalism in Mexico has steered a process of democratic transition or, conversely, if the consolidated features of the political system have remained practically unchanged despite the speed of the impressive market reforms that Mexico has experienced. As the analysis will highlight, the Salinas administration (1988-1994) adapted the ruling coalition and state-society relations to the imperatives of neo-liberalism, thus making the free-trade agreement politically viable. The result was political paralysis rather than a positive political opening. By contrast, economic liberalism under Zedillo (1994-2000) triggered an ongoing process of political liberalization, mainly by reducing the power of the presidency and by partially removing the past authoritarian legacies of Mexico. However, this paper argues that Mexico still falls short of a full-fledged democracy. The path toward democratization, although well on its way, remains uncertain and complex given the current reality of the country.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union saw the outbreak of numerous ethno-political separatist conflicts, as well as intervention by a particular kind of outside actor that could be termed “fourth party” — local outsiders with preexisting linkages to a group rebelling against its parent state. Analysis of fourth-party intervention in Georgia and Moldova suggests the following: first, fourth-party ties to separatists that are political and based on mutual interests prompt more willing intervention than ethnic affinity; second, fourth parties make internal conflicts more complex by involving third parties; and third, more sustained fourth-party intervention (associated with political, interest-based ties) makes resolution more elusive.
After more than a decade of privatization in Latin American countries, the specter of energy nationalization in the name of national sovereignty has risen in the region’s leftist, populist governments, notably Morales’s Bolivia and Chavez’s Venezuela. Brazil undertook an experiment in energy nationalization lasting five decades, from the formation of Petrobrás in 1938 until the enshrinement of its monopoly in the constitution of 1988; the company remains state-owned today, though recent reforms have changed the nature of the relationship. This paper investigates the successes and challenges of Brazil’s experience with energy nationalization and draws important lessons for any country contemplating a similar experiment.
Considering the increasing involvement of private, for-profit companies in humanitarian aid activities, this essay looks at the incentive structures and moral hazards of the industry. Its goal is to identify conditions under which profit-driven actors could increase the efficiency of aid delivery without compromising its humanitarian aims. The essay argues that when faced with informational asymmetries and the “temptation to cheat,” donors, for-profits and nonprofits compromise efficiency to differing degrees and in different ways. By spelling out these organizations’ respective predispositions, and their effects on performance, this essay answers when and why we should prefer for-profit to nonprofit organizations in the humanitarian aid industry.
America’s “unnecessary wars” adhere to a basic pattern. They have been fought in the name of the broader mission that many Americans believe Providence has chosen their nation to carry out, but have been characterized by a prewar “fog” of incomplete or flawed information. They are the handiwork of a small but determined “war party,” and the US political system often acts as a stimulus to the use of force, rather than a check on it, as opposition politicians join the call for fear of being branded unpatriotic. Finally, from the War of 1812 to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, unnecessary wars have more often than not failed to advance the interests of those who pursued them. These lessons of the past are cause for serious reflection; the least that can be said after reviewing these wars is that the benefit of the doubt should never be given to those who urge military action.
Seemingly cursed by the legacy of the caudillo, government under a strong executive has come to characterize the structure of the modern Argentine state. Since the administration of Carlos Menem in the 1990s, questions have arisen as to the progress Argentina has made with regard to the consolidation of its democracy. However, while Menem set a precedent for directly challenging democratic institutions during his presidency, has history justified his unilateral decision-making as the only means of overcoming the barriers that obstructed Argentina’s political and economic development?
This paper explores the long-standing energy tensions between Russia and Ukraine, examining developments in the politico-diplomatic role of Russian oil and gas pipelines in order to evaluate their effectiveness as instruments of intimidation. As the analysis will highlight, when Russia has used its energy exports as a “stick” with the goal of blackmailing leaders in Kiev into agreeing to Moscow’s foreign policy objectives, its leverage has been limited. Conversely, in the cases where Russia has used its energy exports as a “carrot,” Moscow has actually seen returns for its efforts. Thus, the Russo-Ukrainian energy relationship is interesting because it calls into question traditional perceptions of relative power.
While it is quite common in the West to provide monetary assistance to people in emergency situations, the practice is highly underutilized in developing countries. Under certain conditions, giving cash is one of the most cost-efficient methods of delivering assistance to a high number of people in a short amount of time while engendering future economic growth. This paper counters the arguments of skeptics and calls on key figures in the industry to reflect upon the paternalism and inefficiency that they may continue to foster through their institutions.
When the seminal documents of human rights were written, no thought was given to the inclusion of sexual orientation minorities. As the movement for equality of orientation expands and the existing human rights paradigm becomes increasingly challenged by feminist critique, the question is growing of where sexual orientation belongs within human rights. Attempts at including sexual orientation have largely been through the right to privacy. Through an examination of American jurisprudence and changes in American and European legislation, this paper argues that the equality doctrine can and should be extended to include sexual orientation.
What is the United States’ “vital national interest” in stopping the killing in Darfur? How can the United States best contribute to ending the bloodshed in Sudan? This essay examines the many American concerns in Sudan, from oil to the prosecution of crimes against humanity. But it settles on one decisive interest that tips the balance in favor of supporting intervention: the maintenance of international support for American policies as a primary source of US power. The United States should therefore offer serious support to an African-led intervention – an approach that will resolve the Darfur conflict without exacerbating already diminished perceptions of American legitimacy.
As economies develop, they increasingly rely on energy to fuel their growth. This energy has historically come from traditional power sources – notably oil and coal – as they are relatively cheap and easily exploitable. Developed economies have derived much of their strength from the use of these energy sources, at the expense of environmental quality. These economies now have the responsibility to lead the world in advancing the utilization of renewable energy; the deregulation of the electric industry in many of these countries offers the perfect opportunity for governments to encourage the promotion of renewable energy through a variety of policies.
How should Italy address its rising tide of immigration? This paper compares the phenomenon to the flow of water; it can be blocked or it can be channeled to bring about positive outcomes. Italian regulations since the 1980s have restricted and only mildly directed the flow of immigrants. Economically, Italy as a whole has benefited greatly from the entrepreneurial spirit brought by new arrivals. Culturally, however, the nation has yet to find the means to fully integrate its foreign-born population. To address the issue, the cost of immigrating illegally must be raised, while the cost of doing so legally must be lowered. The European Union, national and local governments should strengthen social services, increase access to the banking system, sponsor skills training in countries that send immigrants and link trade and migration together.
With the election of Hamas, the Bush Administration’s democracy promotion policy in the Middle East appears to be a failure. However, an in-depth review of the theory, motivations and actions leading up to the election of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections shows a more complex picture. The history of the Hamas movement proves that it is a pragmatic and forward thinking organization that has been able to adapt to the modern electoral system with great skill; furthermore, in its election may lie the seeds for a lasting peace through the democratic process.
The issue of correlations among stock indices is essential for effective diversification strategies of portfolio managers. However, it is often claimed that the economic and financial integration of European markets has increased correlations between stock market indices, making it less attractive for portfolio managers to diversify among European assets. This paper examines the development of the correlation structure between country indices during monetary and economic integration in the European Monetary Union and finds that correlations increased considerably during the sample period of 1979 to 1999, and decreased again after the introduction of the euro. This paper seeks an economically sound explanation for this counterintuitive observation.
Among the factors behind tensions in the relationship between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), which erupted over the invasion of Iraq in 2003, is a change in the terms of discourse between the two blocs. How did the US move from a position where Europeans promised to stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with their ally in the aftermath of 9/11, to being cast as a threat to European interests and values? In attempting to explain contemporary transatlantic relations through an examination of foreign policy discourse, it is argued that a process of "Othering" in which the EU sought to construct differences between the two sides, particularly in its approach to international relations, is useful to our understanding of the place of identity in this changing relationship. By analyzing the European response to a set of policy differences in 2002, this article looks at deliberate attempts by Europe to elaborate a discourse of difference with the US in order to sustain its own foreign policy identity as a collective global actor.
This article examines cooperation between the EU and the US in the fight against transnational organized crime, especially terrorism. This includes the EU's internal reaction to the terrorist attacks on the US, as well as transatlantic initiatives involving Europol, judicial cooperation, container and airline security, and travel documents. Despite the emergence of transatlantic tensions, the period since 9/11 is notable for greater, not lesser, cooperation between the EU and the US.
The following examines the extent to which European Union (EU) institutions and policies have affected resource distribution between center and periphery within Member States. As resource distribution changes, so does the politicization of regional nationalist parties. The way that nationalist parties include the EU in their party program, however, is dependent upon the perceived type of influence the EU has upon their region and the political goals of the party itself. Two Mediterranean regions in Spain, Galicia and Catalonia, as well as one non-Mediterranean region, Scotland, are examined to see empirically how the EU affects political territorial dynamics. The following discussion suggests the need to examine EU policies which later become political inputs within Member States. Moreover, the discussion indicates that it may be fruitful to utilize old models of the nation-state to understand how domestic politics have been transformed through European integration.
The Italian labor market suffers from stark rigidities and high regulation. Government attempts to alleviate high unemployment through deregulation and moderate labor market reforms have met with staunch and aggressive opposition on the part of the trade unions. This paper seeks to explain how a squabble over technical issues has turned into an existential fight on the part of the trade unions, generating major social upheaval with ripple effects across the societal structure. The consequences of dislocating the breadwinner model will be considered along with the implications of a fluid labor market structure on Italian industrial relations.
The objective of this paper is to discuss the implications of a possible improvement in the terms-of-trade for Brazil (a reversal of the controversial Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis) resulting from China's industrialization process. The paper will address, in particular, how this terms-of-trade improvement opens the possibility for a new model for Brazil's economic development, based on the export of commodities. It finds that the dual effect of lowering the prices of manufactures and raising those of commodities, brought about by China's industrial export-led growth model, will likely invalidate the declining terms-of-trade aspect of the Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis. Nevertheless, many of the implications derived from this hypothesis still deserve careful consideration.
Discourse between the United States and the European Union regarding peacekeeping operations have important implications for transatlantic relations. Are "Europeans from Venus and Americans from Mars" in their respective foreign policy approaches? How do transatlantic actors choose which crises to respond to-in terms of narrow national interest or in terms of moral values? Which actions do they suggest in dealing with humanitarian contingencies-military intervention or softer types of intervention? This article traces rhetorical clues for tensions and/or agreements in post-Kosovo era transatlantic relations on the issue of peacekeeping. The findings of this analysis indicate that there are not as many differences between transatlantic framings of peacekeeping operations as suggested by the literature on transatlantic relations.