Cornell International Affairs Review - Volume 16, Number 2 (Spring 2023)

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Item
    Cornell International Affairs Review: Spring 2023
    Cornell International Affairs Review, Editorial Board (Cornell University Library, 2023-12-07)
  • Item
    The Mekong River: Regional Planning, Sustainable Development, and Transboundary Cooperation in Southeast Asia
    Caffe, Lauren Isabelle (Cornell University Library, 2023-12-07)
    This paper offers an examination of the complex dynamics within the Mekong River Basin, a region historically intertwined with the Mekong River’s abundance but now marked by a shift towards hydroelectric power as a resource. Focusing on the reluctance of China—a key player in the basin—to join the Mekong Agreement, this paper uncovers the environmental and social consequences of this non-cooperation. It discusses the historical context of international environmental law related to transboundary water resources, emphasizing how China’s actions challenge established principles and responsible resource management norms. Highlighting the significance of transboundary collaboration underscores the essential role it plays in ensuring the sustainable governance of shared water resources in the Mekong River Basin.
  • Item
    Keeping the Liancourt Rocks Dispute Afloat: Interactions Between State and Society in Korea and Japan
    Starkweather, Sean Lee (Cornell University Library, 2023-12-07)
    Originating in its modern form during the postwar period, the Lian-court Rocks dispute between South Korea and Japan has long exasperated observers who recognize the need for cooperation in an increasingly volatile regional political environment. While the existing literature centers on variables ranging from nationalism in the public sphere to resource acquisition, this study argues that a more powerful explanation lies in the interactions between the two governments and their respective publics. Specifically, each state has actively engaged in a major nation-building process to integrate the dispute into their national identities in order to rally the public around perceived territorial transgressions. Through these consolidated identities, the Korean and Japanese publics later compel their governments to sustain more hostile policies even during periods where the two governments may desire reconciliation or compromise, and punish them in instances of perceived defection. This dynamic between the two governments and their citizenry suggests that conventional explanations grounded in material variables—such as competition over resources—are insufficient in explaining the severity and longevity of the dispute, leaving room for identity to occupy a major role.
  • Item
    Geopolitics on a Jersey: Gazprom's Sponsorship of FC Schalke 04 and its Soft Power Implications
    Schepps, Caden (Cornell University Library, 2023-12-07)
    Throughout the past two decades, elite sports, especially soccer, have seen an onslaught of lucrative investments by authoritarian states. Media outlets have branded these investments as “sportswashing,” while contemporary scholars have adapted soft power theory to sports in order to measure the geopolitical implications of these state-backed investments. However, scholarship intersecting sports and soft power is limited to a broad, transnational scale, and primarily focuses on the diplomatic efficacy of mega-events such as the FIFA World Cup and Olympics. Therefore, this paper attempts to fill a gap in the literature and measure the soft power gains from a sports sponsorship on a regional level. More specifically, this paper analyzes Gazprom’s sponsorship of German soccer club FC Schalke 04 to determine if the state-backed sponsorship successfully increased Russia’s soft power among FC Schalke fans. With minimal scholarship in this area, I draw from social psychology theory to develop a unique and nuanced causal mechanism to measure soft power gains from a sports sponsorship. I then apply this causal mechanism to my FC Schalke case study and test two distinct hypotheses in order to identify soft power indicators from Gazprom’s sponsorship. I first examine FC Schalke club politics to determine whether Schalke fans experienced a ‘good-will effect’ towards Gazprom and Russia, then track voting data from four Bundestag elections to measure if this ‘goodwill effect’ became a motivating bias for pro-Russia political behavior among the FC Schalke constituency. With both confirming and disconfirming evidence for pro-Russia bias among Schalke fans, my ultimate soft power implications are ambiguous. However, this paper still provides a more nuanced mechanism to measure soft power as a result of a sports sponsorship and illuminates the need for future studies to further measure the geopolitical implications of sports investments by authoritarian regimes.