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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.