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A Bridge between Scholarship and Politics
Although democracy is a widely held value, concrete measurement of it is elusive. Gerardo L. Munck’s constructive assessment of the methods used to measure democracies promises to bring order to the debate in academia and in practice. Drawing on his years of academic research on democracy and measurement and his practical experience evaluating democratic practices for the United Nations and the Organization of American States, Munck's discussion bridges the theories of academia with practical applications. In proposing a more open and collaborative relationship between theory and action, he makes the case for reassessing how democracy is measured and encourages fundamental changes in methodology. Munck’s field-tested framework for quantifying and qualifying democracy is built around two instruments he developed: the UN Development Programme’s Electoral Democracy Index and a case-by-case election monitoring tool used by the OAS. Measuring Democracy offers specific, real-world lessons that scholars and practitioners can use to improve the quality and utility of data about democracy.
Strategies for Equitable and Integrated Development
Despite rapid metropolitanization throughout the Americas and widespread interest in “megacities,” few studies have examined the new governance structures needed to address issues of citizen representation and participation and the public service challenges of population expansion and increasing urban inequalities. To fill that void, Peter K. Spink, Peter M. Ward, Robert H. Wilson, and the other contributors to this volume provide original research and analysis of the principal metropolitan areas in six federalist countries of the Americas—Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela. They find that a common feature of metropolitan expansion is the lack of a unified governmental structure. Using a comparative research framework, they examine the forms, functions, legitimacy, and performance of emerging governmental structures. Their cross-national study shows that existing institutional structures and political systems impede collaboration among governments in metropolitan areas. Given both the relatively few successful models at the local level and the disinterest on the part of federal governments, regional governments—states and provinces—seem to provide the most pragmatic bases for constructing metropolitan governments that are capable of efficiently delivering services. Because there is no direct path to achieve such new structures, the authors urge reform at the state and local levels to address the need to work out the politics and management structures that will function best within their own politics.
Military Politics and Democracy in the Andes challenges conventional theories regarding military behavior in post-transition democracies. Through a deeply researched comparative analysis of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian armies, Maiah Jaskoski argues that militaries are concerned more with the predictability of their missions than with sovereignty objectives set by democratically elected leaders. Jaskoski gathers data from interviews with public officials, private sector representatives, journalists, and more than 160 Peruvian and Ecuadorian officers from all branches of the military. The results are surprising. Ecuador’s army, for example, fearing the uncertainty of border defense against insurgent encroachment in the north, neglected this duty, thereby sacrificing the state’s security goals, acting against government orders, and challenging democratic consolidation. Instead of defending the border, the army has opted to carry out policing functions within Ecuador, such as combating the drug trade. Additionally, by ignoring its duty to defend sovereignty, the army is available to contract out its policing services to paying, private companies that, relative to the public, benefit disproportionately from army security. Jaskoski also looks briefly at this theory's implications for military responsiveness to government orders in democratic Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela, and in newly formed democracies more broadly.
Islam and the Theory of Statecraft
In the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 it seems as if “Islamic fundamentalists” has emerged as the bête noire of the post-Cold War world. A whole cottage industry has emerged that depicts Islam as nothing more than a sign system (clerics, veils, guns, flag burnings, fist-waving) and subject of traumatic news (terrorists, assassins, hostage takers, etc). The monolithic characterization of Muslims assumes that there is a unitary “Islamic” position on important issues of statecraft and governance. The aim of “Mirror for the Muslim Prince” is to move beyond the fashionable yet cursory understanding of Muslims’ beliefs regarding power and statecraft. By assembling a group of world class scholars, this book challenges a host of exalted assumptions and theories concerning political power in the Muslim world. Contributors to the volume include Charles Butterworth, Serif Mardin, Muzaffar Alam, and Roxanne L. Euben.
Stephen J. King considers the reasons that international and domestic efforts toward democratization have failed to take hold in the Arab world. Focusing on Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, and Algeria, he suggests that a complex set of variables characterizes authoritarian rule and helps to explain both its dynamism and its persistence. King addresses, but moves beyond, how religion and the strongly patriarchal culture influence state structure, policy configuration, ruling coalitions, and legitimization and privatization strategies. He shows how the transformation of authoritarianism has taken place amid shifting social relations and political institutions and how these changes have affected the lives of millions. Ultimately, King's forward-thinking analysis offers a way to enhance the prospects for democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Supreme Court of Israel and the Occupied Territories
A critical examination of the decisions of the Supreme Court of Israel in cases relating to the Occupied Territories. The Occupation of Justice presents the first comprehensive discussion of the Supreme Court of Israel’s decisions on petitions challenging policies and actions of the authorities in the West Bank and Gaza since their occupation during the 1967 Six-Day War. Kretzmer addresses issues including: the basis for the Court’s jurisdiction; application and interpretation of the international law of belligerent occupation; the legality of civilian settlements and highway construction; and security measures such as curfews, deportations and housing demolitions. While pertaining to a specific political and legal context, this case study has broader implications regarding how courts in democratic countries act in times of conflict and crisis. It shows that at such times domestic courts tend to close ranks with the executive branch against those elements that are perceived as external threats to society.
Angrist considers why Turkey - alone of all the modern states that emerged from the Ottoman Empire - was the only Middle Eastern country to evolve lasting competitive political institutions, writing across the regional divides that have isolated Turkish, Arab, and Persian studies from each other.
The Fallacy of Democratic Triumphalism
Since 1815 democratic states have emerged victorious from most wars, leading many scholars to conclude that democracies are better equipped to triumph in armed conflict with autocratic and other non-representative governments. Political scientist Michael C. Desch argues that the evidence and logic of that supposition, which he terms “democratic triumphalism,” are as flawed as the arguments for the long-held and opposite belief that democracies are inherently disadvantaged in international relations. Through comprehensive statistical analysis, a thorough review of two millennia of international relations thought, and in-depth case studies of modern-era military conflicts, Desch finds that the problems that persist in prosecuting wars—from building up and maintaining public support to holding the military and foreign policy elites in check—remain constant regardless of any given state’s form of government. In assessing the record, he finds that military effectiveness is almost wholly reliant on the material assets that a state possesses and is able to mobilize. Power and Military Effectiveness is an instructive reassessment of the increasingly popular belief that military success is one of democracy’s many virtues. International relations scholars, policy makers, and military minds will be well served by its lessons.
Power sharing may be broadly defined as any set of arrangements that prevents one political agency or collective from monopolizing power, whether temporarily or permanently. Ideally, such measures promote inclusiveness or at least the coexistence of divergent cultures within a state. In places deeply divided by national, ethnic, linguistic, or religious conflict, power sharing is the standard prescription for reconciling antagonistic groups, particularly where genocide, expulsion, or coerced assimilation threaten the lives and rights of minority peoples. In recent history, the success record of this measure is mixed.
Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places features fifteen analytical studies of power-sharing systems, past and present, as well as critical evaluations of the role of electoral systems and courts in their implementation. Interdisciplinary and international in formation and execution, the chapters encompass divided cities such as Belfast, Jerusalem, Kirkuk, and Sarajevo and divided places such as Belgium, Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, and South Africa, as well as the Holy Roman Empire, the Saffavid Empire, Aceh in Indonesia, and the European Union.
Equally suitable for specialists, teachers, and students, Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places considers the merits and defects of an array of variant systems and provides explanations of their emergence, maintenance, and failings; some essays offer lucid proposals targeted at particular places. While this volume does not presume that power sharing is a panacea for social reconciliation, it does suggest how it can help foster peace and democracy in conflict-torn countries.
Contributors: Liam Anderson, Florian Bieber, Scott A. Bollens, Benjamin Braude, Ed Cairns, Randall Collins, Kris Deschouwer, Bernard Grofman, Colin Irwin, Samuel Issacharoff, Allison McCulloch, Joanne McEvoy, Brendan O'Leary, Philippe van Parijs, Alfred Stepan, Ronald Wintrobe.