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  • Author: Tomohito Shinoda
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Decentralized policymaking power in Japan had developed under the reign of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), yet in the1990s, institutional changes fundamentally altered Japan's political landscape. Tomohito Shinoda tracks these developments in the operation of and tensions between Japan's political parties and the public's behavior in elections, as well as in the government's ability to coordinate diverse policy preferences and respond to political crises. The selection of Junichiro Koizumi, an anti-mainstream politician, as prime minister in 2001 initiated a power shift to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and ended LDP rule. Shinoda details these events and Prime Minister Koizumi's use of them to practice strong policymaking leadership. He also outlines the institutional initiatives introduced by the DPJ government and their impact on policymaking, illustrating the importance of balanced centralized institutions and bureaucratic support.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231158534
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Lorenzo Vidino
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Few observers foresaw the Arab Spring, but it should not have surprised anyone that the Islamist movements - the most organized movements in the Arab world - became the main beneficiaries of the turmoil that ensued. Islamism, in its gradualist and pragmatic approach embodied by the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots worldwide, seems ready to reap the rewards of its three decades-old decision to abandon violence and focus on grassroots activities. This monumental change has created many concerns among liberals, religious minorities and, more generally, all non-Islamists in the countries where Islamists have won. In addition, Arab states ruled by non-Islamist regimes have expressed concern. The former worry that Islamist ideology - even in its more contemporary, pragmatic form - remains deeply divisive and anti-democratic, often at odds with their values and interests. The latter believe that on foreign policy issues, most of the positions of various Brotherhood-inspired parties are on a collision course with the policies of established regimes in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Islam, Self Determination, Political Activism, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Mark D. Ducasse (ed)
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: NATO is often described as the most successful military alliance in history. In addition to longevity, those characterizing NATO this way are usually thinking of the Alliance's role in protecting freedom and guaranteeing peace in Europe against a hostile Soviet Union, right until the Iron Curtain fell. NATO's role in ending ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, and in helping to re-integrate Central and Eastern Europe into the mainstream of Europe, only added to this positive image of the Alliance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Soviet Union, Balkans
  • Author: Richard Weitz (ed.)
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public interest organiza-tion working to revitalize the American government by transforming the national security system. Since the current national security system was developed in 1947, the world has changed. PNSR's sole focus is to help government transition its national security system to this new world. We need an institution that looks at opportunities as much as threats, plays to America's strengths, preserves its national values, and helps fulfill its promise to its people and the world as a leading force for good.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, National Security
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Hans Mouritzen (ed), Nanna Hvidt (ed)
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs analyses Danish foreign-policy priorities in 2011. The troublesome situation for the global econ-omy, including an uncertain outlook for the future, was the most impor-tant backdrop for Danish foreign policy in that year. Low growth prospects, combined with high levels of public debt, had wide foreign-policy implica-tions, amongst other things for the agenda of the EU and as a result also for the preparations for the Danish EU Presidency in the first half of 2012. This article therefore takes its point of departure in the state of the global economy, the state of the European economies and the challenges that this presented to the EU. It then goes on to discuss the emerging world powers, the Arab Spring, the world's conflict areas, security policy, Denmark's north-ern neighbours and various global issues, such as development cooperation, green growth and human rights. Finally, some reflections are offered on the core tasks of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a time when there is increased pressure on Denmark's public finances and the world influence of Denmark's traditional partners and allies is waning.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Arab Countries, Denmark, North Africa
  • Author: Richard Jolly, Frances Stewart, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Stephany Griffith-Jones, Rolph van der Hoeven, Diane Elson, Carlos Fortin, Gerry Helleiner, Raphie Kaplinsky, Richard Morgan, Isabel Ortiz, Ruth Pearson
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Pushed to extremes, austerity is bad economics, bad arithmetic, and ignores the lessons of history. We, an international group of economists and social scientists, are outraged at the narrow range of austerity policies which are bringing so many people around the world to their knees, especially in Europe. Austerity and cutbacks are reducing growth and worsening poverty. In our professional opinions, there are alternatives – for Britain, Europe and all countries that currently imagine that government cutbacks are the only way out of debt. The low-growth, no-growth trap means that the share of debt in GNP falls ever more slowly, if at all. It may even rise – as it has in some countries.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe
  • Author: Naureen Chowdhury Fink
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the United Nation's work to combat global terrorism has expanded dramatically. Through the initiatives of the General Assembly and Security Council, a complex institutional architecture has formed that draws on the expertise of a range of UN entities and brings a new range of actors into the focus of counterterrorism work. There are over thirty UN-associated entities that are members of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) working together to address terrorism and related threats. The entities participating in the Task Force –including the UN Development Programme; The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; the UN Office on Drugs and Crime; Interpol; the World Bank; the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED); and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among others—reflect the 2006 UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The strategy, adopted unanimously by UN member states, offers a comprehensive plan to combat terrorism. It calls on actors engaged in development, education, human rights, security, and capacity building at the UN to join together in addressing this common threat. This reference guide is intended to make those bodies, and their work, easier to navigate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism, United Nations, Counterinsurgency
  • Author: Arthur Boutellis, Adam C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Why.Is.Management.Important? The UN field mission is a complex beast. From the smallest political mission to the largest peacekeeping operation, it employs a uniquely diverse staff and performs a broad array of tasks in an environment that is sometimes dangerous, often unstable, and always challenging. Resources are scarce and inflexible. Internal regulations and procedures are cumbersome, and, at times, can impede rather than facilitate success. On top of it all, success is often hard to measure or even recognize. Unlike the private sec-tor, success in the field does not come from increased quarterly profits, but rather from a conflict prevented, the perception of a peace dividend, or the renewed optimism of a host population. Unfortunately, UN staff can only contribute to these goals, as so many factors are beyond the mission's control.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, International Organization, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Author: Jean Ping
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Everyone knows that Africa, cradle of humanity, land of the Pharaohs and human civilization, and vast reservoir of human and natural resources, is not doing well. She crosses the deepest crisis that has shaken her since the end of colonial times. The specter of chaos lurks everywhere. She is now seen as the continent of “collapsing states” and “zombie nations”; the continent of extreme poverty, misery, and injustice; the continent of horrors, of the Rwandan genocide and of the worst atrocities committed in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Darfur and elsewhere. This brutal reality has been, for quite some time now, analyzed by most observers and experts with certain fatalism, as testified by these book titles with pessimistic or even alarmist tones: “Black Africa Started on the Wrong Foot” (René Dumont), “Can Black Africa Take Off?” (Albert Meister); “And What If Africa Refused Development” (Axelle Kabou); “Africa Down” (Jacques Giri). By now, it is just a chorus of permanent lamentations about the “lost continent,” the “damned continent,” or the “cursed continent” whose past is not passing. And the rest of the world, which sees us as negligible, even contemptible (“all corrupt and all dictators,” they say), consider that henceforth, they no longer need us.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Post Colonialism, Natural Resources, Fragile/Failed State, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Robert H. Bates
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When praised at all, imperialism is most often commended for the peace it bestowed. By demobilizing armies, deposing marauding princes and subduing war-like states, European powers fashioned a half-century of political order. The question nonetheless arises: Should they be lauded for that? In this chapter, I view Africa's history through the lens of comparative history and argue that the imperial peace may have retarded Africa's development.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Imperialism, Post Colonialism, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe