Cornell International Affairs Review - Volume 02, Number 2 (Spring 2009)

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    Aggressive Foreign Policy as an Instrument for the Legitimization of Putin's Regime: Georgia's Case
    Shlapentokh, Vladimir (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    The responsibility of Georgian President Michael Saakashvili for the war with Russia continued to be hotly debated in Georgia, Russia and the world several months after its end.1 Indeed, there are various views about Saakashvili’s decision to attack South Ossetia. By the end of the war, the international community was inclined to recognize the adventurous actions of the Georgian president, but put most of the blame on Moscow for its disproportionate reaction, its bombardment of Georgian cities, its permission to South Ossetian forces to plunder Georgians villages and kill Georgians, as well as its long occupation of Georgian territory.
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    The Case for America's Continued Superpower Status
    Shiraev, Dennis; Gibson, Grant (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    Is America really in decline as a global superpower? We examine current arguments for America’s economic decline and argue that a purely economic analysis is insufficient for evaluating a country’s status as a global superpower. Our comprehensive definition of superpower incorporates military strength, internal stability, and the global attractiveness of a state’s culture and ideology that it presents to the rest of the world. America is the only state fitting of this comprehensive definition of a superpower in the 21st century, while all other states frequently cited as emerging global powers fail to meet the criteria we lay out in this paper.
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    Financial Crisis and Regulatory Challenges
    Prada, Michel (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    A number of reports have established a diagnosis of the financial crisis. The first was produced by the Financial Stability Forum, in April 2008 and was the basis for the preparation of the first G 20 meetings in 2008. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the G 30 produced updated analysis in 2008 and 2009. More recently, the Larosière Group, although mainly focused on E.U. issues, also addressed global concerns , as well as the Adair Turner report which presented the new regulatory strategy of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA). The main features of this unprecedented financial crisis are linked to immense and growing global imbalances between the Asian and US economies which provided the world with abundant liquidity, low interest rates together with low inflation (due to low wages in emerging countries) and a geographic mismatch between savings and investment needs and opportunities.
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    Can Kosovo be a Precedent for South Ossetia and Abkhazia: Recognizing Differences in Dynamics of Recognition
    Dolidze, Anna V. (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    The issue of whether the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state might serve as a precedent for former autonomous republics of Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia has been often debated. This paper aims at comparing the processes of recognition of these three entities. It illustrates that the international community has been gradually recognizing Kosovo as a State while South Ossetia/Abkhazia have been subjected to the policy of non-recognition. It argues that because the dynamics of recognition of Kosovo and South Ossetia/Abkhazia have been very different, it is less likely that the establishment of Kosovo as a viable state will serve as a precedent for South Ossetia/Abkhazia. Although the secession of Kosovo from FRY and of South Ossetia/Abkhazia from Georgia has been studied in many respects, the character of the recognition process of the three entities has hardly been compared. But the question arises - is it at all worthwhile to compare who have recognized Kosovo and South Ossetia/Abkhazia and if so, what could we learn from such comparison?
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    A Solution for Africa: The Coexistence of Regionalism
    Collins, Anna (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    Regionalism—the efforts of a group of nations to enhance their economic, political, social, and cultural interaction—can assume various forms, including regional integration/cooperation, market integration, development integration, with the intent of accommodating the changing national, international, and regional environment. Despite the fact that to this day, attempts at integration (in particular, market integration based on the EU model) and regionalist impulses as they currently occur have been entirely unproductive throughout the African continent, regionalism continues to be regarded by African leaders as a reasonable strategy for increasing intra-regional trade and for reversing Africa’s rising marginalization in the world economy. They continue to be assured by the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the viability of the European Union’s (EU) model for integration, which begins with a free trade area or preferential trade area and ends with complete economic integration. The EU model features a specific mode of decision making (qualified majority voting), conflict resolution mechanism (role of the European Court of Justice), budgetary arrangements (revenue collection and distribution), and citizen involvement (direct elections to the European Parliament) and takes on increasingly state-like functions. While extremely successful in integrating its constituent member state in Europe, as a model it is limited, given the unique circumstances under which it was established and promoted. As noted by Emil Kirchner: Consideration of the EU as a model for other regional integration settings might be limited, given the unique circumstances in which it was established and promoted. Born out of conflict, the EU benefited from special circumstances in its development, e.g. the Cold War, the United States guarantee and nurturing role, and the industrialised nature of the European economies, which are not found elsewhere.
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    Human Rights in Indonesia: The Consequences of Discrepancies in Domestic Versus International Law
    Sohns, Antonia (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    Two years ago, my mom handed me the article, “Below a Mountain of Wealth, a River of Waste,” from The New York Times, describing Freeport-McMoRan’s mining activities in Papua New Guinea. After reading “Below,” I knew that the world had to change; the injustices that Papuans were experiencing could not continue for long without retribution. “[A]n American transnational mining company called Freeport-McMoRan…operat[es] the largest gold mine on Earth, not in Africa but in the heart of West Papua” (Leith xv). Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc. is the best known subsidiary of PT Freeport Indonesia, operating in West Papua, New Guinea. Freeport’s operation there has resulted in the complete remodeling of the society and economy. West Papua is a province of Indonesia; it, along with Papua New Guinea, comprises the island of New Guinea. West Papua has a population of approximately 800,000 people, making it one of the smallest Indonesian provinces. Due to its small size and remoteness, Freeport was able radically to change the social structure there; often these changes occurred without Papuan consent.
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    Gaza in Crisis: Obama's Foreign Policy in the Aftermath of Renewed Conflict
    Eversman, Sarah (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    This ongoing dispute clearly concerns the United States, the long-term third party in peace negotiations, and a close ally of Israel. However, now more than ever European and Middle Eastern states are invested in the resolution of this conflict. The stability of Israel and the humanitarian status of the Palestinians depend upon the resolution of this conflict. So, what should President Barack Obama hope to accomplish in the coming months, in light of the overwhelming array of issues already on his agenda? And what should the rest of the world expect from U.S. foreign policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under Mr. Obama’s administration? Political maneuvering is already underway and the recent elections in Israel have shifted the power structure of Israeli politics significantly to the right with Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud Party, elected as Prime Minister and sworn in at the end of March 2009. Furthermore, Egyptian negotiators are attempting to bridge the deep divide between Fatah and Hamas in order to strengthen the unity of Palestinian politics, but the outcome of this endeavor remains to be seen. As the global economic crisis continues to worsen, the attention of the world shifted from the Israeli- Palestinian conflict to the G-20 Summit and NATO meetings. Therefore, it is the role of world leaders, particularly the United States, to maintain focus on rebuilding Gaza and acting as intermediaries in any Israeli and Palestinian negotiations. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must ensure the State Department keeps its finger firmly on the pulse of political and social activities in the region in order to prevent renewed fighting. The United States and Europe should have anticipated more aware of this impending crisis and in the aftermath of the conflict, neither can afford to watch from the sidelines. Dialogue and diplomacy are the way out of this mess, and it is in the interests of both Europe and the U.S. to engage both sides in this dispute if further violence is to be prevented. If Mr. Obama wants to have peace in the Middle East in our time, he will have to persuade all of the actors to sit around a table and to talk about the conflict. The Bush administration’s strategy of strengthening Fatah and isolating Hamas has not worked. Secret negotiations are just as ineffectual as the exclusion of certain actors. Only a common platform for dialogue will enable the U.S. and the European Union to fulfill their peacemaking mission.
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    In Praise of Populism: The Coming Reconstruction of Financial Regulation
    Sanders, Elizabeth (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    Newspaper and Television commentaries in the United States and Europe abound with references to “outbursts of populism” in United States as a stereotypically American response to economic crisis.1 Their story lines trivialize historic Populism in the U.S., both its substance and its contribution to financial regulation. American Agrarian movements arose in response to grievances rooted in pathologies of mature, weakly regulated capitalism. The agrarians had real grievances linked to rigidities of the gold standard and bank control of note issue, monopoly control of long distance transportation and crop storage, the use of the growing power of large firms to repress labor, and a rising cost of living due to growing monopolization and high tariffs. Most of the policy solutions demanded by late 19th century populism and its progressive era legatees were enacted in some form in the two spurts of regulation during the early 20th century (the progressive era and New Deal). There are indeed some commonalities between public criticism of capitalist greed in those periods and the present; but scorn for “populist outbursts” against the risks taken by greedy financiers who made billions while bringing financial ruin to the global economy distracts our attention from the destructive folly of those financial actors, and presumes that public outrage is unjustified and counter-productive. In fact, it is neither. That such a small number of actors could wreck such havoc on the world is surely a cause for outrage among reasonable people around the globe. Recognition of error is essential for human learning and the evolution of institutions. It would be quite peculiar, and disturbing, if there were no wave of criticism in the face of such unethical and damaging conduct. No American reform surge has occurred in absence of such public outrage. It was public offense over corporate malfeasance that gave us the 1887 Interstate Commerce Act, the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act, the 1894 income tax law (and the 1913 Constitutional amendment needed to overcome Supreme Court objections), the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, the Child Labor Acts, the 1933-34 laws taking the dollar off gold, the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (which moved the nation away from the protectionist disaster of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff and toward trade expansion), the 1933 and 1934 Securities Acts, the 1933 Glass-Steagall Banking Act, the creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933, the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, and many other laws that served this country, and the world economic system quite well for many decades.
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    Cornell International Affairs Review: Spring 2009
    Cornell International Affairs Review, Editorial Board (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
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    United States Policy and Latin America: An Interview with Former Secretary General of the Organization of American States
    Einaudi, Luigi R. (Cornell University Library, 2009-05-01)
    Ambassador Einaudi spoke at Cornell at the invitation of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Luigi Einaudi Chair in European and International Studies named after his grand-father. The Board of the Cornell International Affairs Review had the privilege of conducting an interview with him during his visit. The following article, produced here with his permission, is an edited transcript of this interview. The Board of the Cornell International Affairs Review thanks Ambassador Einaudi for his support.