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Cornell International Affairs Review - Volume 04, Number 1 (Fall/Winter 2010)

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    Getting It Right: Searching for the Elusive Solution in the Niger Delta
    Davis, James (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)
    The Niger Delta conflict is one created and exacerbated by the oil and natural gas riches of the region. Great hydrocarbon wealth has been extracted over the past decades, yet Delta residents continue to live in underdeveloped and polluted circumstances. This situation has fueled widespread, and often violent, conflict within the region. While the Nigerian government has made attempts to resolve the conflict, most recently with the 2009 amnesty program, these attempts have repeatedly failed. This essay will discuss these failures, as well as present a set of initiatives for the Delta that, together, represent a possible path for regional rejuvenation.
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    Doomed to Fail: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy
    Walt, Stephen M. (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)
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    Containing the Atom: Paul Nitze and the Tradition of Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons
    Pauly, Reid (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)
    Immediately following the first and only uses of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, President Truman described nuclear stewardship as “an awful responsibility that has fallen to us.” The decision to use the bombs did clearly demonstrate the operational effectiveness of a new and awesome weapon, as the atomic bomb was generally accepted to have been critical in bringing about the Japanese surrender. Moreover, new weapon technologies have consistently been used in subsequent warfare throughout human history. Policy-makers in the post-1945 period, therefore, would have had to work energetically against that precedent if they sought to meet Truman’s “responsibility” and establish a tradition of non-use of nuclear weapons. This paper will defend the proposition that this is exactly what key American policy-makers sought and accomplished. In the narrative that follows, the key dates to be examined are between 1945 and 1950—a transformative period in American foreign affairs when Paul Nitze and other key US policy-makers were setting the stage for the Cold War. The key to this study is not in episodically assessing why the United States repeatedly stepped back from the brink of the nuclear abyss, but rather in seeking to discern the development of a tradition of policy considerations concluding in the practice of nonuse. This policy evolution is tracked through three key debates of the early Cold War: establishing the uniqueness of nuclear weapons, creating the hydrogen bomb, and the writing of NSC-68. Scholars have proposed two key explanations for the widely unexpected legacy of atomic weapons: the tradition of non-use and the nuclear taboo. The taboo explanation stems from a constructivist appreciation of the role of ideas and social action in state behavior, while the tradition of non-use comes from an assessment of the material and reputational factors considered by rational and strategically-oriented policy-makers. Both of these explanations need to be taken into account when assessing the non-use of nuclear weapons. Overall, I argue in this paper that US nuclear policy, with the early support of policy-makers like Paul Nitze, developed in a way that allowed for the emergence of a tradition of non-use of nuclear weapons. Evolving practices in the early years of the Cold War contributed substantially to a strategic commitment that helped prevent the use of nuclear weapons and prepare the ground for later struggles against proliferation.
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    Obama and Afghanistan
    Goldgeier, James (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)
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    The Blue Counterrevolution: The First Year of President Viktor Yanukovych
    Sautin, Yevgen (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)
    The initial 100 days of Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency appeared to be a complete departure from the Yushchenko presidency. While publicly reiterating his commitment to integration with the European Union and supporting transparency, freedom of the press, and democracy, Yanukovich has also seemingly positioned Ukraine firmly under Russia’s orbit. Viktor Yanukovich’s authoritarian tendencies combined with a sudden tilt towards Russia have galvanized the divided opposition, which has accused Yanukovich of outright treason. Amid all the fears of being a puppet of the Kremlin, Yanukovych has already voiced opposition to the most audacious Russian projects for greater partnership, and relations with Russia are bound to cool off once the initial honeymoon comes to an end. Furthermore, Yanukovich has not abandoned Ukraine’s ties to the United States and the E.U., for he needs their support if he is to succeed in fixing Ukraine’s economy and remain on equal footing with Russia.
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    The Politics of Asian Regionalism in Korea: Identity Politics and Its Implications for U.S.-ROK Relations
    Dae-Gyeong, Kim (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)
    Drawing from the concept of national identity in the Constructivist School of International Relations, this paper sheds light on the interaction between identity politics and pan-Asian regionalist vision in South Korea today by examining how competing political groups – the progressives, leftists and conservatives – have formulated differing regional policies and long-term goals. After showing that each group’s distinctive identities toward North Korea and the United States have influenced the formation of controversies over regionalist visions, this paper suggests that successful future community building in Asia hinges upon the creative resolution of a multilateral blueprint with existing bilateralisms in the region, and most importantly upon closer policy coordination between South Korea and the United States.
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    The Public Sphere's Private Intelligence
    Gruskin, Peter (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)
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    The Same Bed: Articulating a Continuity Thesis in US-China Policy
    Rizzi, Emmanuel (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)
    This analysis of U.S.-China relations was motivated by what I perceived to be misplaced "controversy" over Obama's China visit in autumn 2009 and his subsequent policy initiatives, which despite all of the public scorn are really no different from those of previous administrations. The paper singles out a rarely-articulated coherent logic in the history of U.S. foreign policy towards China, one that I argue can also predict U.S. policy in the present and future.
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    Cornell International Affairs Review: Fall/Winter 2010
    Cornell International Affairs Review, Editorial Board (Cornell University Library, 2010-11-01)