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Article Alert September 2010

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Article Alert is a monthly service featuring some of the most interesting journal literature on relations concerning the U.S. and Europe. It is published every month except for August.

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EU Issues

GERMANY AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: FROM ‘TAMED POWER’ TO NORMALIZED POWER? Simon Bulmer and William E. Paterson, International Affairs, September 2010, var. pp.  This article reviews Germany's diplomacy two decades after unification. It explores the 'tamed power' hypothesis with reference to three policy areas: constitutional reform in the EU; Justice and Home Affairs policy; and an issue that has made German European policy very salient of late, the management of the Eurozone. The article argues that Germany has become a much less inclusive actor in European policy, pursuing policy solutions through 'pioneer groups' where these offer greater promise than the EU itself and becoming increasingly attentive to domestic political constraints. The article argues that Germany has become a normalized power, with significant implications for the EU. READ MORE

SOCIAL WELFARE IN EUROPE. CAN EU NATIONS STILL AFFORD EXPENSIVE WELFARE PROGRAMS? Sarah Glazer, CQ Global Researcher, August 2010, var. pp. The Euro debt crisis and calls for fiscal austerity are putting a harsh new light on Europe's gold-plated welfare and pension programs. According to some economists, Europeans pay for their generous welfare programs -such as national health insurance and universal preschool -with more sluggish economies and higher unemployment than in the United States, which has among the industrialized world's least generous welfare safety nets. But in recent years, Scandinavian countries, the most generous with subsidized child care and paid parental leave, have grown at least as fast as the free-market United States. And, contrary to popular opinion, workers there have a better chance than Americans of climbing further up the economic ladder than their parents. Now, Greece, Spain, France and Portugal have all proposed welfare austerity measures - mainly delaying early retirement ages and freezing pensions - not cutting core programs like free child care or unemployment safety nets. Cutbacks in pensions have already spurred angry street protests, but most experts agree Europe has little choice as it faces a demographic time bomb of aging societies supported by a diminishing number of workers. READ MORE

RHETORIC FROM BRUSSELS AND REALITY ON THE GROUND: THE EU AND SECURITY IN AFRICA. Alex Vines, International Affairs, September 2010, var. pp. The St-Malo agreement of December 1998 between France and the UK provided the basis for the launch by European Union (EU) governments of their European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). This agreement stated that the EU ‘must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crisis’. Since 1999 the EU has engaged in a series of African peace and security initiatives, and it is worth examining the effectiveness of the ESDP—or the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as it is renamed in the Lisbon Treaty—in Africa. To date, with the exception of EU efforts in Somalia, where efforts to oppose terrorism and piracy loom large, these ESDP operations have been mounted in response to crises that do not immediately provide a threat to EU interests. They are in effect more about the EU experimenting with its own capabilities than about Africa: the EU can reach decisions more easily on Africa than on many other parts of the world, and there is at least a theoretical understanding in the EU of the relationship between security and development. READ MORE

THE IMPORTANCE OF ACTOR CLEAVAGES IN NEGOTIATING THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION. Madeleine O. Hosli and Christine Arnold, International Studies Quarterly, September 2010, pp. 615–632. This paper aims to explore government preferences and cleavages in the bargaining process on the European Constitution, across the range of 25 EU member states. The study focuses on preferences concerning socioeconomic policymaking and explores whether divisions can be discerned between preferences held by actors according to locations on the left-right policy scale, actors in older as compared to newer EU states, net EU budget positions, domestic rates of support for European integration, and smaller as compared to larger states. The analysis also controls for possible external effects, such as recent domestic macroeconomic developments. Negotiations on the European Constitution are found to be determined less by general transnational left-right divisions, but cleavages according to the length of EU membership and the size of EU member states. READ MORE

EU DEMOCRACY PROMOTION THROUGH CONDITIONALITY IN ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD: THE TEMPTATION OF MEMBERSHIP PERSPECTIVE OR FLEXIBLE INTEGRATION?
Janine Reinhard. Caucasian Review of International Affairs, Summer 2010. var. pp. 
This paper examines the EU’s usage of conditionality for democracy promotion within the
European Neighbourhood Policy and its conditions, possibilities and limitations. In doing
so, I will first develop a theoretical framework for analysing mechanisms of democracy
promotion in general and conditionality as a state-centred, rational-choice mechanism in
particular. I will show that, apart from the attractiveness of the incentives, there are other
variables crucial for a successful use of conditionality. Furthermore, conditionality might be used as a promising strategy for the formal implementation of democratic institutions. However, in completing the consolidation of democracy, conditionality is highly limited. The empirical part of the paper will focus on EU democracy promotion in Ukraine and the incentives the EU offers to Ukraine instead of a membership perspective. With the help of this case study it will be discussed whether these elements of flexible integration are suitable for promoting democracy. Examples of such incentives are a visa-free regime, a new enhanced agreement, or a free trade area. READ MORE

Economic Issues and Financial Markets

THE FINANCIAL CRISIS AND THE ECB's RESPONSE BETWEEN 2007 AND 2009. Jean-Claude Trichet, Journal of Common Market Studies, September 2010, pp. 7–19. This article reviews and explains in detail how both the ECB and the Eurosystem – the latter comprising the ECB and the 16 national central banks of the euro area countries – responded to the financial tensions in 2007 and the intensification of the crisis in 2008 and 2009. In this sense, the article is backward looking.  READ MORE

GESTURE POLITICS? EXPLAINING THE EU'S RESPONSE TO THE FINANCIAL CRISIS. James Buckley and David Howarth, Journal of Common Market Studies, September 2010, pp. 119–141. The most significant development in internal market legislation in 2009 concerned the regulation and supervision of financial services. This focus is understandable. The worst European financial crisis and economic decline since the Great Depression and unprecedented EU Member State government bail-outs and credit guarantees for a large number of banks created a strong political and populist backlash in many EU Member States against financial institutions, and banks in particular. While the future stability of the financial sector is a chimera, particularly in a world of highly complex financial innovation, governments have individually and collectively – at both the EU and international level – looked to the reinforcement and creation of mechanisms that will decrease both the risk of systemic collapse and the future burden of bank failures upon governments and taxpayers. READ MORE

ENDGAME FOR THE EURO? WITHOUTH MAJOR RESTRUCTURING, THE EUROZONE IS DOOMED. Dimitri Papadimitriou, L. Randall Wray, and Yeva Nersisyan, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, var. pp . Critics argue that the current crisis has exposed the profligacy of the Greek government and its citizens, who are stubbornly fighting proposed social spending cuts and refusing to live within their means. Yet Greece has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the European Union (EU), and its social safety net is modest compared to the rest of Europe. Since implementing its austerity program in January, it has reduced its budget deficit by 40 percent, largely through spending cuts. But slower growth is causing revenues to come in below targets, and fuel-tax increases have contributed to growing inflation. As the larger troubled economies like Spain and Italy also adopt austerity measures, the entire continent could find government revenues collapsing. No rescue plan can address the central problem: that countries with very different economies are yoked to the same currency. Lacking a sovereign currency and unable to devalue their way out of trouble, they are left with few viable options—and voters in Germany and France will soon tire of paying the bill. A more far-reaching solution is needed. READ MORE (PDF 663 KB)

FINANCIAL INDUSTRY OVERHAUL. Marcia Clemmitt, CQ Researcher, July 30, 2010, var. pp. "On July 15, three Republican senators crossed the aisle to help pass the most sweeping financial-regulation overhaul since the Great Depression. Supporters of the 2,300-page legislation say the new rules will rein in investment risk-taking by big financial firms that otherwise might endanger the economic system again. Trading in complex investments known as derivatives will also get closer scrutiny. But some critics say that the law's effectiveness depends on the same federal regulators who missed the signs of the last impending crisis. Other critics say the new law is nowhere nearly as tough as it needed to be. They point out, for example, that the law doesn't prevent banks from growing to enormous size, which many analysts say makes financial institutions unmanageable and leads to conflicts of interest. READ MORE

Energy/Climate Change

THE ROAD TO A CLIMATE CHANGE AGREEMENT RUNS THROUGH MONTREAL. Richard J. Smith, Peterson Institute, August 2010, pp. 1-4. The 1987 Montreal Protocol to the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer was a pivotal agreement in the history of global environmental negotiations. It established a process that remains an important precedent for dealing with global environmental problems, including global warming. What made the negotiation of that agreement such an iconic event, and what useful lessons does it hold for climate change negotiators? The Montreal Protocol and its amendments addressed the challenge of a deteriorating stratospheric ozone layer that threatened to expose life on earth to greatly increased and damaging levels of ultraviolet radiation. The protocol initially called for a 50 percent reduction by 1999 in the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had been identified as the principal cause of ozone layer deterioration. The agreement also set up a procedure for regularly reviewing and revising its provisions at subsequent Conferences of the Parties (COPs). These “review and revise” meetings led over the following decade to amendments that broadened the scope of controlled ozone-depleting substances and set earlier dates for fully phasing them out. The parties also established a Montreal Protocol Fund to assist developing countries with meeting their obligations under the protocol. READ MORE (PDF 223 KB)

THE SOUTH STREAM VERSUS NABUCCO PIPELINE RACE: GEOPOLITICAL AND ECONOMIC (IR)RATIONALES AND POLITICAL STAKES IN MEGA-PROJECTS, Pavel K. Baev and Indra Øverland, International Affairs, September 2010, var. pp.  All was quiet in the European ‘southern energy corridor’ in the first months of 2010, after the rather embarrassing fiasco of the Batumi summit in January, which failed to gather in this Georgian port. Yet when the new EU Energy Commissioner Günter Oettinger mentioned in an interview that the Nabucco project would not be completed before 2018, its international lobby instantly mobilized and put pressure on him to confirm the next day that there was no change of plan. The Russian leadership celebrated the start of the controversial Nord Stream pipeline construction and kept insisting that the South Stream would follow suit.1 These developments justify a second look at the sequence of high-profile conferences and summits in spring and summer 2009 that sought to give shape and content to the new channel for delivering gas to the European market. READ MORE

BEYOND GRIDLOCK: GREEN DRIFT IN AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICYMAKING. Christopher Grory  McKlyzaand David Sousa, Political Science Quarterly, Fall 2010 , pp. 443-463. Christopher McGrory Klyza and David Sousa argue that environmental policy in the United States has moved in the direction favored by environmentalists over the last two decades, despite efforts by many conservatives to roll back these policies. This green drift is based on the combination of major environmental laws and institutional structures created in the 1960s and 1970s and frozen in place by the legislative gridlock of the last two decades. READ MORE

SECURING FOREIGN OIL: A CASE FOR INCLUDING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT OF FUELS. Adam J Liska, Richard K Perrin. Environment. July/August 2010, var. pp. Military operations are major industrial activities that use massive amounts of fuel and materials that significantly contribute to climate change. In this article, we assert that military activity to protect international oil trade is a direct production component for importing foreign oil- as necessary for imports as are pipelines and supertankers-and therefore the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from that military activity are relevant to U.S. fuel policies related to climate change. READ MORE

THE EU CONNECTION IN CLIMATE RESEARCH. John Rosenthal, Policy Review, August 2010, var. pages.  "The leaking of the East Anglia 'Climategate' e-mails and data last November shattered the appearance of a scientific consensus on supposed 'man-made global warming' and provided a disturbing insight into the corruption of the scientific process as it relates to the 'man-made global warming' hypothesis. The spectacle of scientists stonewalling freedom of information requests, destroying records, hiding unwelcome results, colluding to keep dissenting viewpoints out of scholarly journals, and even suppressing their own acknowledged doubts — all of this made it perfectly clear that other interests were at stake than the pure pursuit of knowledge. The centrality of the quest for funding in the e-mail exchanges made it equally clear that for the scientists in question, money, unsurprisingly, was first and foremost among those interests. But just who or what had corrupted the science in order to produce the phantom 'consensus'?" READ MORE

Immigration

THE ECONOMIC SITUATION OF FIRST AND SECOND-GENERATION IMMIGRANTS IN FRANCE, GERMANY AND THE UNITED KINGDOM. Yann Algan, Christian Dustmann, Albrecht Glitz and Alan Manning, Economic Journal, February 2010, F4-F30.  "A central concern about immigration is the integration into the labour market, not only of the first generation but also of subsequent generations. Little comparative work exists for Europe's largest economies. France, Germany and the UK have all become, perhaps unwittingly, countries with large immigrant populations albeit with very different ethnic compositions. Today, the descendants of these immigrants live and work in their parents' destination countries. This article presents and discusses comparative evidence on the performance of first and second-generation immigrants in these countries in terms of education, earnings and employment. READ MORE

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION, OPEN BORDERS DEBATES, AND HAPPINESS. David Bartram, International Studies Review, September 2010, pp. 339–361. "Arguments for 'open borders' typically assume that migration from poorer countries to wealthy countries generally makes the migrants themselves better off; indeed, many discussions of ethics concerning immigration policy depend heavily on this assumption. But there are several grounds for wondering whether it is at least partly unfounded for economic migrants (if not for refugees), particularly if 'better off' is specified in terms of happiness. Research on happiness casts doubt on the notion that increases in income contribute significantly to happiness; this article extends those doubts to the notion that one can increase happiness by gaining more income via labor migration. Certain processes (for example, adaptation, social comparisons) might work in counterintuitive ways for immigrants, perhaps inhibiting happiness despite ostensible economic gains. Arguments against immigration restrictions might therefore need to focus more on the dysfunctions of restrictions themselves and less on putative benefits to migrants from migration." READ MORE

IMMIGRATION STATISTICS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY. Douglas S Massey, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Sep 2010, pp. 124-140. "Of the three main contributors to population growth--fertility, mortality, and net migration--the latter is by far the most difficult to capture statistically. This article discusses the main sources of federal statistical data on immigration, each with its own characteristic set of strengths, weaknesses, possibilities, and limitations in the context of the interested social scientist. Among the key limitations, the article argues, are the elimination of parental birthplace from the census and the lack of complete data concerning the legal statuses of the U.S. population. This article concludes with suggestions on remedying such deficiencies, at relatively low marginal cost, such as the inclusion of questions on parental birthplace, instituting a regular survey of randomly selected legal immigrants, and the use of the "two-card method" in statistical data." READ MORE

Nuclear Powers

NO FIRST USE: THE NEXT STEP FOR U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY. Michael S. Gerson, International Security, Fall 2010, pp. 7–47. "The release of the Barack Obama administration's much-anticipated Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) concluded an intense, yearlong effort to revamp U.S. nuclear weapons policy to better address modern threats. Despite general agreement that the United States' nuclear policy and posture was in need of overhaul, there were strong disagreements over what kinds of changes should be made. At the core of these debates was the issue of U.S. declaratory policy—the stated role and purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons. Whereas some members of the administration advocated that the United States retain all of the flexibility and options afforded by the policy of calculated ambiguity, others contended that to fulfill President Obama's commitment to 'put an end to Cold War thinking' and 'reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy,' the United States should adopt a more restrictive nuclear policy such as no first use (NFU), perhaps in the form of a declaration that the 'sole purpose' of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack." READ MORE

SMALLER AND SAFER. Bruce Blair, Victor Esin, Matthew McKinzie, Valery Yarynich, and Pavel Zolotarev, Foreign Affairs, Sep/Oct 2010, pp. 9-15. "On April 8, sitting beside each other in Prague Castle, US Pres Barack Obama and Russian Pres Dmitry Medvedev signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). Just two days earlier, the Obama administration had issued its Nuclear Posture Review, only the third such comprehensive assessment of the US' nuclear strategy. The two countries' nuclear command, control, and communication systems, and sizable portions of their weapon systems, will still be poised for "launch on warning" -- ready to execute a mass firing of missiles before the quickest of potential enemy attacks could be carried out. A stable nuclear deterrent exists between the US and Russia when neither country would choose to launch a nuclear attack against the other regardless of the level of tension that may arise between them. A stable deterrent whole would thus be constructed from more vulnerable, de-alerted parts." READ MORE

BRINGING ISRAEL'S BOMB OUT OF THE BASEMENT. Avner Cohen, Marvin Miller, Foreign Affairs, Sep/Oct 2010, pp. 30-44. "In the shadow of the Holocaust, Israel made a determined effort to acquire nuclear weapons. However, just as fear of genocide is the key to understanding Israel's nuclear resolve, that fear has also encouraged nuclear restraint. After all, if Israel's enemies also acquired the bomb, the Jewish state might well face destruction, given its small size and high population density. This combination of resolve and restraint led to a code of nuclear conduct that is fundamentally different from that of all other nuclear weapons states. The policy and practice of nuclear opacity was codified in 1969 in an extraordinary secret accord between Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and US Pres Richard Nixon. In Israel, for government officials, security analysts, and even the general public, nuclear opacity is one of the Jewish state's greatest strategic and diplomatic success stories. In Israel, opacity is viewed almost universally as the most prudent response Israel could have fashioned to its nuclear dilemma." READ MORE

THE POINT OF NO RETURN. Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, September 2010, var. pp. 
For the Obama administration, the prospect of a nuclearized Iran is dismal to contemplate— it would create major new national-security challenges and crush the president’s dream of ending nuclear proliferation. But the view from Jerusalem is still more dire: a nuclearized Iran represents, among other things, a threat to Israel’s very existence. In the gap between Washington’s and Jerusalem’s views of Iran lies the question: who, if anyone, will stop Iran before it goes nuclear, and how? As Washington and Jerusalem study each other intensely, here’s an inside look at the strategic calculations on both sides—and at how, if things remain on the current course, an Israeli air strike will unfold. READ MORE 



Middle East

BEYOND MODERATES AND MILITANTS. Robert Malley and Peter Harling, Foreign Affairs, Sep/Oct 2010, var. pages. "U.S. policymakers have historically applied yesterday's solutions to today's problems in the Middle East. But the Middle East is not what it was five years ago; it has moved on. President Obama must recognize that there is not a clean divide between a moderate pro-American camp and an extremist militant axis and take into account the region's rapidly shifting dynamics." READ MORE

HOW TO HANDLE HAMAS. Daniel Byman, Foreign Affairs, Sep/Oct 2010, var. pages.  "Hamas is central to Israeli security and Palestinian politics, yet the international community refuses to work with it. This is a mistake. Hamas might possibly be convinced not to undermine progress on a peace deal. Israel and the international community should exploit Hamas' vulnerabilities with a mix of coercion and concessions -- including a further easing of the siege of Gaza." READ MORE

EGYPT'S WALL WITH GAZA AND THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW MIDDLE EAST ALIGNMENT. Tally Helfont, Orbis, Summer 2010, pp. 426-440. "In December 2009, Egypt began construction of an underground steel wall on its border with Gaza in a move designed to halt the smuggling of illegal weapons and other contraband via the Hamas-run underground tunnel network. Egypt’s initiative, which is being carried out in the name of its own strategic-national interests, has been the subject of intense criticism throughout the region. This article examines the emergence of a new alignment in the Middle East, based upon a new fault line between moderates and radicals. This alignment is manifested in Egypt’s construction of its underground steel wall. By exploring the motivations, responses, and implications of building such a wall, it will become apparent that two camps have emerged in the region on this issue and that their stances are but an illustration of the aforementioned shift. READ MORE (PDF 313 KB)

THE E-MARKETING STRATEGY OF HAMAS. Tomer Mozes, Gabriel Weimann, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, March 2010, pp. 211—225.  "Given the growth of Internet research in recent years, it is rather surprising that research of online terrorism and countermeasures has been lacking theoretical and conceptual frameworks. The present study suggests applying the concepts and models taken from e-marketing to the study of terrorist websites. This work proves that when Hamas builds an array of sites in the Internet, it complies with the same rules that the Western business world follows." READ MORE

THE GOLDSTONE REPORT AND INTERNATIONAL LAW. Peter Berkowitz, Policy Review, August 2010, var. pages. "The march of politics under the banner of law. The controversy over the “Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict”, more commonly known as the Goldstone Report, seems to have died down. But its larger significance has yet to be appreciated." READ MORE

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