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  • Author: Mackubin Thomas Owens, Stephen F. Knott
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: As Americans, we take for granted the idea of a government that is both free and yet strong enough to preserve the security of its citizens. But the fact is that such a government is a recent invention, first emerging as a result of political thought and practice in eighteenth century England and only coming to full flower in Philadelphia with the drafting of the American Constitution of 1787. As Harvey Mansfield wrote in his book Taming the Prince, “the combination of freedom and strength does not arise easily or naturally,” a fact confirmed “both by the grand outline of modern history and the experience of the ancients.” Throughout history, strong governments have generally been monarchies, but at the expense of freedom. It was in republics that freedom was supposed to reside but, before the creation of the American Republic, the republican form of government had a mixed record at best. Ancient republics were characterized by constant struggle between the few (oligarchs) and the many (the demos) that led to instability and weakness. Modern republics also either came to grief (the German cities) or faded into irrelevance and obscurity (Venice and the Dutch Republic). But in Philadelphia, the Founders created a government that combined the freedom of republics with the strength of monarchies. The Founders’ innovation that permitted this pairing of freedom and security to work was the “executive.” In Mansfield’s words, “the executive provided the strength of monarchy without tolerating its status above the law, so that monarchy would not only be compatible with the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution, but would also be expected to serve both. Furthermore, the recasting of monarchy as executive power made it dependably democratic as well as legal and constitutional.”
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Governance, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Brahim Saidy
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which brings together the countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, took an unprecedented step during its 34th Summit (held in Kuwait City on December 10-11 2013) by setting up a unified military command structure for its member states. This move reflects the commitment of the GCC to establish a credible joint defense force able to advance the goal of collective security in the region. This military command will have a force of around 100,000, half of which would be contributed by Saudi Arabia, the main advocate of this initiative. GCC members will coordinate air, land, and marine forces under one common structure. In this regard, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, has stated: “We want to create a central command that coordinates between all sub-commands and makes them work under one umbrella. But, the new structure [the Unified Military Command] won’t replace the Peninsula Shield forces.”[1] In terms of collective defense, the core purposes of this command structure are to provide strategic and operational command for all GCC missions and prepare members for operational employment as interoperable multinational forces. This command is expected to have a minimum number of operational commands (land, air and maritime command) as well as joint intelligence system and integrated missile defense in order to execute essential operational and peacetime missions. The challenge for this plan is to be able to undertake command and control of the full range of the military missions, including command and control multinational and multiservice forces, but more importantly to be able to support operations under the political and strategic direction of the GCC. This means that the main goal is not limited to improving coordination between different parts of existing national defense systems, but rather to establishing a real joint operational command structure. The progress towards a fully integrated defense system would allow the GCC to become a real military alliance along the lines of NATO.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf, Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Author: Hans Mouritzen (ed), Nanna Hvidt (ed)
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This year's volume presents the official outline of Denmark's foreign policy in 2012 by Claus Grube, Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Besides that Ravinder Kaur contributes with the first academic inquiry into the causes of the Danish-Indian diplomatic deadlock in the extradition case concerning Niels Holck (the prime accused in the Purulia arms drop case). Mette Skak addresses the role of the emerging BRICS powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in Danish foreign policy and offers her policy recommendations. Hans Branner shifts to a diachronic perspective. In his article about Denmark 'between Venus and Mars' he stresses elements of continuity in Danish foreign policy history; activism is not solely a post-Cold War phenomenon. Derek Beach turns to the scene of the current European economic crisis, analysing and interpreting the Fiscal Compact agreed during the Danish EU Presidency.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Affairs, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, India, South Africa, Brazil, Denmark
  • Author: Mensur Akgün
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Some would argue that the once violent inter-communal conflict in Cyprus has transformed through the decades into a comfortable status quo that has enabled the main stakeholders, and everyone else directly or indirectly influenced by the problem, to take advantage of the situation on the ground, which has in turn developed a desire to intentionally protract the comfortable conflict. Yet others would claim that the number of failed attempts to agree on a comprehensive solution acceptable by all parties have diminished the quality of life on the island and have become a chronic headache not only for the locals, but also for the international community. Because of these reasons, one could rightfully ask why would the fruitless search for a resolution to the Cyprus conflict be chosen as an exemplar case study and source of inspiration for generating creative ideas aiming to help solve other disputes around the world, specifically the one regarding the territory of Moldova.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Islam, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Moldova, Cyprus
  • Author: Roger Few, Daniel McAvoy, Marcela Tarazona Vivien Margaret Walden
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Evaluating the effectiveness of post-disaster interventions is an important but challenging task. Practitioners and donors alike have a shared interest in being able to assess the outcomes and impact of projects and donated funds for recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. However, there has been wide acknowledgement of the difficulties in assessing the benefits of interventions, and there is a need for guidance to assist agencies in undertaking evaluations that are robust but affordable.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Joseph Cirincione
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: There is a high risk that someone will use, by accident or design, one or more of the 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. Many thought such threats ended with the Cold War or that current policies can prevent or contain nuclear disaster. They are dead wrong--these weapons, possessed by states large and small, stable and unstable, remain an ongoing nightmare. Joseph Cirincione surveys the best thinking and worst fears of experts specializing in nuclear warfare and assesses the efforts to reduce or eliminate these nuclear dangers. His book offers hope: in the 1960s, twenty-three states had nuclear weapons and research programs; today, only nine states have weapons. More countries have abandoned nuclear weapon programs than have developed them, and global arsenals are just one-quarter of what they were during the Cold War. Yet can these trends continue, or are we on the brink of a new arms race--or worse, nuclear war? A former member of Senator Obama's nuclear policy team, Cirincione helped shape the policies unveiled in Prague in 2009, and, as president of an organization intent on reducing nuclear threats, he operates at the center of debates on nuclear terrorism, new nuclear nations, and the risks of existing arsenals.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, East Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231164054
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Øystein Tunsjø
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: China has developed sophisticated hedging strategies to insure against risks in the international petroleum market. It has managed a growing net oil import gap and supply disruptions by maintaining a favorable energy mix, pursuing overseas equity oil production, building a state-owned tanker fleet and strategic petroleum reserve, establishing cross-border pipelines, and diversifying its energy resources and routes. Though it cannot be "secured," China's energy security can be "insured" by marrying government concern with commercial initiatives. This book comprehensively analyzes China's domestic, global, maritime, and continental petroleum strategies and policies, establishing a new theoretical framework that captures the interrelationship between security and profit. Arguing that hedging is central to China's energy-security policy, this volume links government concerns about security of supply to energy companies' search for profits, and by drawing important distinctions between threats and risks, peacetime and wartime contingencies, and pipeline and seaborne energy-supply routes, the study shifts scholarly focus away from securing and toward insuring an adequate oil supply and from controlling toward managing any disruptions to the sea lines of communication. The book is the most detailed and accurate look to date at how China has hedged its energy bets and how its behavior fits a hedging pattern.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231165082
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Michael W. S. Ryan
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: By consulting the work of well-known and obscure al-Qaeda theoreticians, Michael W. S. Ryan finds jihadist terrorism strategy has more in common with the principles of Maoist guerrilla warfare than mainstream Islam. Encouraging strategists and researchers to devote greater attention to jihadi ideas rather than jihadist military operations, Ryan builds an effective framework for analyzing al-Qaeda's plans against America and constructs a compelling counternarrative to the West's supposed "war on Islam." Ryan examines the Salafist roots of al-Qaeda ideology and the contributions of its most famous founders, Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a political-military context. He also reads the Arabic-language works of lesser known theoreticians who have played an instrumental role in framing al-Qaeda's so-called war of the oppressed. These authors readily cite the guerrilla strategies of Mao, Che Guevara, and the mastermind of the Vietnam War, General Giap. They also incorporate the arguments of American theorists writing on "fourth-generation warfare." Through these texts, readers experience events as insiders see them, and by concentrating on the activities and pronouncements of al-Qaeda's thought leaders, especially in Yemen, they discern the direct link between al-Qaeda's tactics and trends in anti-U.S. terrorism. Ryan shows al-Qaeda's political-military strategy to be a revolutionary and largely secular departure from the classic Muslim conception of jihad, adding invaluable dimensions to the operational, psychological, and informational strategies already deployed by America's military in the region.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231533270
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Mamadou Diouf
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: This collection critically examines "tolerance," "secularism," and respect for religious "diversity" within a social and political system dominated by Sufi brotherhoods. Through a detailed analysis of Senegal's political economy, essays trace the genealogy and dynamic exchange among these concepts while investigating public spaces and political processes and their reciprocal engagement with the state, Sunni reformist and radical groups, and non-religious organizations. The anthology provides a rich and nuanced historical ethnography of the formation of Senegalese democracy, illuminating the complex trajectory of the Senegalese state and reflecting on similar postcolonial societies. Offering rare perspectives on the country's "successes" since liberation, the volume identifies the role of religion, gender, culture, ethnicity, globalization, politics, and migration in the reconfiguration of the state and society, and it makes an important contribution to democratization theory, Islamic studies, and African studies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Political Economy, History, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Senegal
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231162630
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Denny Roy
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Despite China's effort to maintain peace with its neighbors, its military and economic growth poses an undeniable threat. Regional states must account for a more powerful potential adversary in China, and China has become more ambitious in its efforts to control its surroundings. Historical baggage has only aggravated the situation as China believes it is reclaiming its rightful place after a time of weakness and mistreatment, and other Asia-Pacific countries remember all too well their encounter with Chinese conflict and domination. Through a careful consideration of historical factors and raw data, Denny Roy examines the benefits and consequences of a more politically, economically, and militarily potent China. Since China's intended sphere of influence encroaches on the autonomy of regional states, its attempts to increase its own security have weakened the security of its neighbors. Nevertheless, there is little incentive for Beijing to change a status quo that is mostly good for China, and the PRC thrives through its participation in the global economy and multilateral institutions. Even so, Beijing remains extremely sensitive to challenges to the Chinese Communist Party's legitimacy and believes it is entitled to exercise influence on its periphery. On these issues, nationalism trumps any reluctance to upset the international system. Diplomatic disputes regarding the islands in the South China Sea, as well as controversial relations with North Korea, continue to undermine Chinese promises of positive behavior. Roy's study reveals the dynamics defining this volatile region, in which governments pursue China as an economic partner yet fear Beijing's power to set the rules of engagement.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Trade and Finance, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231159005
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN