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Table of Contents
Preliminary Table of Contents
Annual Edition: World Politics 13/14
UNIT 1: The Multipolar International System
1. Balancing the East, Upgrading the West: US Grand Strategy in an Age of Upheaval, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Foreign Affairs, January/February 2012
Brzezinski stresses that the US needs to be able to enlarge the West, which should include Russia, so that the west becomes geopolitically relevant after 2025, as the United states plays the role of balancer between the great powers in the East.
2. The Future of the Liberal World Order: Internationalism After America, G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2011
Ikenberry argues that "although the United States ` position in the global system is changing, the liberal international order is alive and well", and "China and other emerging great powers do not want to contest the basic rules and principles of the liberal international order" because they have prospered from it, since it is "an international mutual aid society".
3. A World in Transformation, Brent Scowcroft, The National Interest, May/June 2012
Scowcroft states that ". . . globalization is a significant force, working at base to undermine the old Westphalian state system that for so long dominated most of world thinking. . . ". The author observes that globalization has changed the nature of power so that the United States must now work ". . . in a world in which other forces are superseding the era of nationalism."
4. The Global Power Shift from West to East, Christopher Layne, The National Interest, May/June 2012
Layne argues that the era of U.S. dominance is ending as ". . . America's power and influence over the international political system will diminish markedly from what it was at the apogee of Pax Americana". A new order is replacing the old order which lasted for 70 years, with a rising China, and a need for a strategically overextended U.S. to retrench.
5. The Shifting Landscape of Latin American Regionalism", Michael Shifter, Current History, February 2012
Shifter argues that "Brazil's rise, coupled with the diminished influence of the United States and the increasingly salient global role of China has reshuffled the kaleidoscope of regional organizations . . . " in Latin America, characterized by "a dizzying array of regional groupings. "However, the author concludes that the result is not integration, but rather more cooperation and dialogue without a serious effort to "cede sovereignty."
UNIT 2: Democratization
6. The Arab Spring at One, Fouad Ajami, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2012
Ajami writes that the Arab Spring came as a surprise as "waves of democracy had swept" other regions "but not the Middle East". The author observes that "The revolt was a settlement of accounts between the powers that be and populations determined to be done with despots". The author concludes that in Egypt, the contest will be between "the Army, the Brotherhood, and a broad liberal and secular coalitions. . . "
7. Egypt's Elections: Why the Islamists Won, Samuel Tadros, World Affairs, March/April 2012
Tadros argues that the Islamists won the elections because the Anti-Islamists lacked an ideological common ground, failed "form clear programs and platforms", failed "to take the Islamists seriously" and ran a chaotic and disorganized electoral campaign.
8. Lines in the Sand: Assad Plays the Sectarian Card, Jackson Diehl, World Affairs, May/June 2012
The author stresses the sectarian nature of the conflict in Syria, observing that there us "a streak of raw sectarianism in the Syrian version of the Spring:of a disgruntled Sunni majority turning on the corrupt ruling clique based in the Alawis-an offshoot of Shiite Islam that represents just twelve percent of Syria's population"and that the major goal of US policy in Syria is to prevent" a full-scale sectarian war in Syria."
9. The Burmese Spring, Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, August 6, 2012
The author writes that since March 2011, "the former generals who make up Burma's first civilian government in forty-nine years have released almost seven hundred activists and monks and artists, and taken more steps in the direction of democracy than Burma has seen in four decades."
10. Nigeria's Battle for Stability, John Campbell, The National Interest, March/April 2012
Campbell observes that there are two narratives that one can follow in connection with recent events in Nigeria. One narrative is that the country has been able to maintain stability by holding Presidential elections in 2011 that were viewed as satisfactory by international observers. The author observes that the other narrative involves the threat posed to the stability of Nigeria by such "Islamic terrorist groups as Boko Haram".
11. Fascistoid Russia: Whither Putin's Brittle Realm?, Alexander J. Motyl, World Affairs, March/April 2012
The author refers to Putin's Russia as a fascistoid state that is a combination of authoritarianism and fascism. Motyl writes that this is a hybrid regime ". . . in which authoritarian institutions serve as a platform for a charismatic leader who is committed to Russian greatness, hyper-nationalism, and neo-imperial rivalry and who serves as the primary source of regime legitimacy and stability."
12. Korea's Third Kim: Will Anything Change?, Naoko Aoki, World Affairs, March/April 2012
According to the author, "For Kim Jong-un, upholding his own legacy means maintaining the hagiography of the Kim family's greatness. Kim Jong-un has closely identified himself with his grandfather Kim-Il-sung in order to legitimize his power.
Unit 3: Foreign Policy
13. The Future of U.S.-Chinese Relations: Conflict Is a Choice, Not a Necessity, Henry A. Kissinger, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2012
Kissinger argues that the United States should not pursue a policy of confrontation with China, but rather a policy of cooperation because both countries form essential components of the world order. The Chinese fear encirclement and intervention in their domestic affairs, while the U.S. fears being pushed out of the Pacific.
14. Triumph of the New Wilsonism, Nikolas K. Gvosdev, Ray Takeyh, The National Interest, January/February, 2012
The authors stress that US concerns for oil and the containment of the Soviet Union and then Iran in the Middle East, resulted in a policy that did not promote human rights and democracy. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, US policy in the Middle East focused on containing "militant anti-Western Islam". The authors conclude that it is not clear where the populist Islamic revolutions of the Arab Spring will lead, as realism prevails in Washington based on the need for oil, military bases and the containment of Iran.
15. An Asian Security Standoff, Alan Dupont, The National Interest, May/June 2012
The author argues that the international order in east Asia has changed and that China's rise has resulted in a decrease in the ability of the U.S. to influence affairs in the Pacific region. However, DuPont observes that China will conform "to the norms of the international system except when its core interests conflict with these norms."
Unit 4: War, Arms Control and Disarmament
16. Why Iran Should Get the Bomb: Nuclear Balancing Would Mean Stability, Kenneth N. Waltz, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2012
Waltz argues that a nuclear-armed Iran would provide more military balance ". . . and produce more regional and international stability, not less." The author concludes that the logic of deterrence applies to Iran and that ". . . the United States and its Allies need not take such pains to prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon."
17. Talking Tough to Pakistan: How to end Islamabad's Defiance, Stephen D. Krasner, Foreign Affairs, January/February 2012
Krasner argues that Pakistan cooperates just enough with the US to continue to receive aid, but continues to support the Haqqani network, Al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, and Hezb-i-Islami that attack coalition troops, as Pakistani support for the insurgents is designed to contain Indian influence in Afghanistan.
18. Leaving Afghanistan to the Afghans: A Commander's Take on Security, David M. Rodriguez, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2011, Vol. 90. No. 5, pps. 45-53.
The author believes that "There are clear signs of progress in Afghanistan, and coalition forces have regained the initiative." Rodriguez concludes that he is confident "that Afghan forces, supported by the coalition, can achieve irreversible gains and successfully secure Afghanistan's key terrain by the end of 2014."
19. World Peace Could Be Closer Than You think, Joshua S. Goldstein, Foreign Policy, September/October 2011, pps. 53-56.
The author argues that armed conflict has actually declined since the end of the Cold war, based on data gathered by the Peace Research institute in Oslo. Goldstein observes that "the world feels like a more violent place than it actually is. . . because there's more information about war-not more wars themselves."
20. Arms Trade Treaty Talks Set to Begin, Farrah Zugni, Arms Control Today, July/August 2012
The ATT(Arms Trade Treaty)represents an effort to negotiate a universal, comprehensive and binding agreement to regulate the trade in conventional weapons as well as the trade in ammunition. As the author points out, the purpose of the treaty is also to eliminate illicit trafficking in weapons by arms brokers which has resulted in violations of human rights and humanitarian law.
21. The Obama Doctrine: How the President's Secret Wars Are Backfiring, David Rhode, Foreign Policy, March/April 2012
The author observes that "With a determination that surprised many, Obama has embraced the CIA, expanded its powers, and approved more targeted killings than any modern President." The Obama Doctrine consists of `multilateralism, drone strikes, and a light U.S. military presence in Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen. . . "
UNIT 5: International Organization, International Law, and Human Security
22. A Pipe Dream? Reforming the United Nations, Thomas G. Weiss, Harvard International Review, Spring 2011.
Weiss observes that". . . the dramatic transformation of the world organization, and not mere tinkering, is required if we are to address transboundary problems that threaten human survival and dignity." The author concludes that ". . . the United Nations still matters for its norms, legitimacy, and idealism . . . [and] urgently needs to reinvent itself . . . to be a vital force in global affairs."
23. General Mladic in the Hague: A Report on Evil in Europe-and Justice Delayed, Michael Dobbs, Foreign Policy, July/August 2012
Dobbs observes in connection with the trial of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic for genocide that "two decades after the start of the Bosnian war, it is hard to escape the feeling that the war criminals and ethnic cleansers won."
24. Taking Refuge: The Syrian Revolution in Turkey, by Jenna Krajeski, World Policy Journal, Summer 2012
Krajeski observes that Turkey's support of the Syrian refugees, reflects its growing role as a regional power. The author concludes that that "When Assad falls, as he must, Turkey will have a chance to play a central role in the economic and political restructuring of its neighbor."
25. Gender Equality and Sustainable Development, Monique Fernandes and Eleanor Blomstrom, UN Chronicle, Vol. XLIX, Number 1&2, 2012
Although Principle 20 of the Rio Declaration stresses that ". . . women have a vital role in environmental management and development", the authors write that there are "numerous areas in which they have not seen progress, or in which progress is being reversed" and conclude that `addressing gender equality in tandem with environmental and economic issues present an opportunity to meet sustainable development goals more effectively."
UNIT 6: International Political Economy
26. Tracking the Global Recovery, M. Ayhan Rose, Prakash Loungani, Marco E. Terrones, Finance & Development, June 2012.
The authors contend that since 2010, the global economy has experienced a fragile recovery from the great recession of 2009. While the emerging markets have rebounded more than the advanced economies, and are the `engines of world growth", the recovery can be stalled by the financial turmoil in Europe and future oil shocks.
27. Europe's Optional Catastrophe: The Fate of the Monetary Union Lies in Germany's Hands, Sebastian Mallaby, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2012
The author stresses that the European Central Bank has helped to alleviate the crisis in the Eurozone, by providing a massive infusion of capital to troubled private banks, but now it is up to Germany ". . . to accept that aggressive austerity programs are neither politically sustainable nor economically wise."
28. The Middling Kingdom: The Hype and the Reality of China's Rise, Salvatore Babones, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2012
Babones offers a critical view of the economic models that predict the continuation of China's economic growth to become the world's richest country, arguing that ". . . China's massive economic growth over the past two decades has done nothing more . . . than return the country to its 1870 position (in terms of purchasing power parity)." The author concludes that China will also face "political, environmental, and structural barriers that will limit its economic growth in the future."
UNIT 7: Global Environmental Issues
29. Too Much to Fight Over, James Astill, The Economist, June 16, 2012
As the Arctic sea ice melts and opens up resources for exploitation, Astill stresses that the "risks of Arctic conflict have been exaggerated" and that ". . . the development of the Arctic is to be uncommonly harmonious." The author concludes that the Arctic Council is playing a greater role in providing a framework for the cooperation of the Arctic sea states.
30. The Folly of Energy Independence, Gal Luft and Anne Korin, The American Interest, July/August 2012
The authors stress that "The idea that energy independence is mostly about the security of supply is completely wrong," since the problem which the United Sttaes faces is about price. Luft and Korin observe that the US is not dependent on oil imports from the Persian Gulf and that the US can defend itself from oil shocks by "ensuring that new cars are open to fuel competition."
31. India's Massive Blackout is Just the Beginning, Niall Ferguson, Newsweek, August 13 & 20, 2012
Ferguson points out that the Indian blackout that took place in July 2012, "was surely the biggest electricity failure in history, affecting a staggering 640 million people." The author concludes that India's "creaking institutions may not be able to cope with the staggering social consequences " of its population growth where ". . . India's urban population will increase from 340 million in 2008 to about 590 million in 2030."
32. Population 7 Billion, Robert Kunzig, National Geographic, January 2011
The author stresses that the current global population is 7 billion and that "by 2050 the total number could reach 10.5 billion. . . or it could stop at 8 billion. . . " and observes that "With the population still growing by about 80 million each year, it's hard not to be alarmed" because ". . . water tables are falling, soil is eroding, glaciers are melting, and fish stocks are vanishing" as "Close to a billion people go hungry each day."