This article considers the ideational fabric of American empire. Section one discusses why liberal democratic empires are not particularly peaceful. Section two highlights the analytical value of a focus on U.S. strategic culture in explaining U.S. military practice. Section three looks more broadly at the role of identity in giving meaning to the U.S. imperial project and in giving reasons for the use of force in support of it. Throughout, comparisons are made with the British Empire and consideration is given to the meta-theoretical options and methodological challenges for the social science of strategic culture.
Researchers engaged in the social and political sciences tend to examine issues of identity using singular approaches, eschewing an interdisciplinary method. Classical research approaches have direct connections with the structure of human consciousness that serve as the framework for the empirical methods of classification and understanding, and many connections exist between and within the approaches in various scientific disciplines.
In recent years, German foreign policy decision makers have employed a more "self-confident" rhetoric, and some observers have concluded that Germany displays signs of a less-inhibited or even more "assertive" policy in European and international affairs. Has Germany finally left the shadow of its past behind in order to pursue its own way? Focusing on the country's recent policies towards Euro-Atlantic security institutions, military deployments and the quest for a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council, the author concludes that evidence does not point in this direction.
Is there any continuity in Finnish foreign policy from the Cold War to the present? At the beginning of the 21st century, many critics have distanced themselves from Finland's earlier policy of neutrality. Finland is said to have bowed and scraped towards the East, and to have been 'Finlandized' and demoralized. Indeed, in many minds the name Finland has been associated with unprincipled subordination. Some now argue that this "dark era" still tends to prevent Finland from thinking independently and facing the truth. There are those who conclude that Finland's present situation is so different that there can be no continuity with regard to the foreign policy of the previous era, nor should there be.
The newfound inclination of states to issue apologies to both individuals and other states attests to the growing power of victim groups, evinces a novel willingness of states or state representatives to admit wrong, and reveals an emergent global public that is eager to hear such admissions. Such symbolic actions can play an important role in diffusing conflict and preparing the groundwork for a new political order.
Symbol and performance have long been recognized as crucial to statecraft. Unlike some features of modern statecraft, which tend to be understood as "Western," the significance of symbol and performance in reinforcing state authority, reproducing state power on a given landscape, and mediating between the state and its domestic and international audiences has been observed in many broad cultural contexts. North Korea is a state whose "hermit" tendencies have produced an extreme degree of emphasis on symbolic performance as a mediating layer in the production of sovereignty. Perhaps nowhere is symbol and performance so conflated with "reality" as in North Korea. Considering some of its patterns of symbolic performance, such as those in diplomacy and foreign policy, reveals how the North Korean state remains strongly informed by pre-modern Confucian China and Korea. Considering other symbolic patterns that North Korea shares, interestingly, with early modern Europe—patterns involving the reproduction of domestic authority over territory—reminds us that historic precedents do not always denote paths of influence and may instead point to the cultural transcendence of certain symbolic practices of statecraft.
Taiwan's geo-strategic position and its domestic political development have been in conflict throughout its modern, post-Chinese civil war history. Taiwan's geo-strategic position, defined by its oppositional relationship to China, has ensured that Taiwan and the cross-strait relations have remained a global flash point for close to 60 years. For the first 40 years, Taiwan's goal to reclaim China has underpinned the authoritarian Kuomintang party-state and its domestic program of enforced Sinification. Since the end of the Cold War, Taiwan's democratization has fundamentally changed Taiwan's political identity and unleashed an irreversible nation-building process. Taiwan's nation-building is moving the country away from reunification with a rising China. Unfortunately, this decision compromises its already vulnerable geo-strategic position and external support.
The toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in March 2003 opened a new chapter in Iraq's domestic policy and created new prospects for regional stability. This study seeks to provide a preliminary assessment of Hussein's legacy and examine the process of reconstructing the post-Saddam Iraq. It argues that the Iraqi leader exacerbated the contradictions and imbalances that plagued the Iraqi political system since the country's creation in 1921. A Sunni-Arab minority ruled Iraq and alienated the Shiites and the Kurds to varying degrees from 1921 to 2003. The successful emergence of a stable and prosperous post-Saddam Iraq will depend on addressing these ethnic and sectarian imbalances and the roots of regional insecurity.
The recent upsurge of anti-Japanese sentiment in China should not be reduced to elite instrumentality, the Chinese Communist Party merely fomenting nationalism to legitimize its rule. Anti-Japanese sentiment in China today has deeper popular roots in evolving narratives about China's national past and in debates over the very meaning of being "Chinese" at the dawn of the 21st century. These popular sentiments, furthermore, are increasingly constraining China's elite as they seek to make China's Japan policy.
Canada -- Foreign economic relations -- United States.
United States -- Foreign economic relations -- Canada.
Since 9/11, the Canadian government, aside from some important security measures, has taken no significant initiatives to broaden, deepen or safeguard Canada-U.S. trade in the event of another terrorist attack. This is troublesome, if one is concerned about the well-being of individual Canadians. In part, arguments against further ties with the United States revolve around sovereignty concerns. The question becomes whether a customs union would benefit Canadians, the ultimate holders of Canadian sovereignty. The answer is yes. The costs are minimal, and the benefits are large.
Symbols provide the material through which communities, groups, nations, and states attempt to "imagine" themselves. Since 2001, we have conducted research, funded by the United Kingdom's Economic and Social Research Council, into the changes in the use of rituals and symbols in Northern Ireland. We wanted to see whether the new political dispensation led to the creation of new symbols reflecting a "new Northern Ireland" or whether conflicts continued around the displays of British and Irish symbols. The dominant paradigm amongst social scientists for exploring identity politics argues that ethnic, national and cultural identity is in a constant state of being constructed and reconstructed in an instrumental, pragmatic way to achieve group allegiance and solidarity. Our research has attempted to explore how this has taken place in Northern Ireland. This paper looks at the way disputes over the flying of official flags have been handled and the way in which Parliament Buildings Stormont, historically and symbolically a bastion of unionism, came to be viewed as an acceptable venue for the new Northern Ireland assembly by Irish Nationalists.
This paper is based on the March 2005 Carnegie Endowment report, "Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security," by George Perkovich, Jessica Mathews, Joseph Cirincione, Rose Gottemoeller, and Jon Wolfsthal.
The issue of the "fungibility" of aid, or the ability to indirectly transfer donor resources to non-targeted expenditures, is as old as foreign aid itself. This article presents a summary of the issue and examines the empirical evidence for the existence of fungibility across developing countries, particularly in Africa. It determines that aid is only slightly fungible at the macro level (where funds are diverted to tax relief) but that a greater level of fungibility is observed at the meso level (i.e. funds transferred between sectors), with large variations among sectors and across countries. The number of donors present in a country appears to increase fungibility as well. However, fungibility may not be inherently bad for development