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JournalISSN: 0146-5945

Policy Review 

About: Policy Review is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Politics & Democracy. It has an ISSN identifier of 0146-5945. Over the lifetime, 529 publication(s) have been published receiving 3478 citation(s).

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Journal Article
TL;DR: The United States and Europe share a common "strategic culture" as discussed by the authors, which is a caricature of a "culture of death," its warlike temperament the natural product of a violent society where every man has a gun and the death penalty reigns.
Abstract: IT IS TIME to stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world, or even that they occupy the same world. On the all-important question of power -- the efficacy of power, the morality of power, the desirability of power -- American and European perspectives are diverging. Europe is turning away from power, or to put it a little differently, it is moving beyond power into a self-contained world of laws and rules and transnational negotiation and cooperation. It is entering a post-historical paradise of peace and relative prosperity, the realization of Kant's "Perpetual Peace." The United States, meanwhile, remains mired in history, exercising power in the anarchic Hobbesian world where international laws and rules are unreliable and where true security and the defense and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might. That is why on major strategic and international questions today, Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus: They ag ree on little and understand one another less and less. And this state of affairs is not transitory -- the product of one American election or one catastrophic event. The reasons for the transatlantic divide are deep, long in development, and likely to endure. When it comes to setting national priorities, determining threats, defining challenges, and fashioning and implementing foreign and defense policies, the United States and Europe have parted ways. It is easier to see the contrast as an American living in Europe. Europeans are more conscious of the growing differences, perhaps because they fear them more. European intellectuals are nearly unanimous in the conviction that Americans and Europeans no longer share a common "strategic culture." The European caricature at its most extreme depicts an America dominated by a "culture of death," its warlike temperament the natural product of a violent society where every man has a gun and the death penalty reigns. But even those who do not make this crude link agree there are profound differences in the way the United States and Europe conduct foreign policy. The United States, they argue, resorts to force more quickly and, compared with Europe, is less patient with diplomacy. Americans generally see the world divided between good and evil, between friends and enemies, while Europeans see a more complex picture. When confronting real or potential adversaries, Americans generally favor policies of coercion rather than persuasion, emphasizing punitive sanctions over inducements to better behavior, the stick over the carrot. Americans tend to seek finality in international affairs: They want problems solved, threats eliminated. And, of course, Americans increasingly tend toward unilateralism in international affairs. They are less inclined to act through international institutions such as the United Nations, less inclined to work cooperatively with other nations to pursue common goals, more skeptical about international law and more willing to operate outside its strictures when they deem it necessary, or even merely useful. (1) Europeans insist they approach problems with greater nuance and sophistication. They try to influence others through subtlety and indirection. They are more tolerant of failure, more patient when solutions don't come quickly. They generally favor peaceful responses to problems, preferring negotiation, diplomacy, and persuasion to coercion. They are quicker to appeal to international law, international conventions, and international opinion to adjudicate disputes. They try to use commercial and economic ties to bind nations together. They often emphasize process over result, believing that ultimately process can become substance. This European dual portrait is a caricature, of course, with its share of exaggerations and oversimplifications. One cannot generalize about Europeans: Britons may have a more "American" view of power than many of their fellow Europeans on the continent. …

376 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: The role of liberal secularists in shaping the policies of the American left has been examined by a number of policy scholars over the past decade as mentioned in this paper, who have examined parallel bedrock constituency in America's political parties.
Abstract: There is a time when a Christian must sell all and give to the poor, as they did in the Apostles times. There is a time allsoe when Christians (though they give not all yet) must give beyond their abillity, as they of Macedonia, Cor. 2, 6. Likewise community of perills calls for extraordinary liberality, and soe doth community in some speciall service for the Churche. Lastly, when there is no other means whereby our Christian brother may be relieved in his distress, we must help him beyond our ability rather than tempt God in putting him upon help by miraculous or extraordinary meanes. --John Winthrop, "A Modell of Christian Charity" (1630) OVER THE PAST decade, a number of policy scholars have examined parallel bedrock constituencies in America's political parties. On one side, the Republicans rely on the near-monolithic support of Christian conservatives, a fact that has been documented ad nauseam by political commentators and the mainstream press for more than 20 years. Less well understood, but equally important, is the role of liberal secularists in shaping the policies of the American left. These people are the religious and political inverse of Christian conservatives: They vote for liberal political candidates and hold left-wing views on issues like school prayer and the death penalty. But most saliently, religion does not play a significant role in their lives. As political scientists Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio recently demonstrated in the Public Interest ("Our Secularist Democratic Party," Fall 2002), liberal secularists are at least as influential in molding the platform of the Democratic Party as are Christian conservatives for the Republicans. Secularism is historically anomalous in the American cultural mainstream. The links between civic and religious life were persistent across the American political spectrum for hundreds of years. Indeed, John Winthrop's seventeenth-century statement quoted above would probably not have sounded particularly zealous throughout most of the twentieth century. As many public opinion scholars have documented, however, a dramatic philosophical shift occurred in the 1960s, leaving us to this day with a pervasive secular rhetoric on the political left. Consider how retrograde the words of John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address would sound today: "With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own." An unanswered question is one of causality: Do secularists tend toward the political left, or do political liberals tend to be secular? On the one hand, secularism might be the only hard-headed option for those who see, as Karl Marx did, that "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions." On the other hand, secularists might find sanctuary in liberalism's tolerance for their somewhat unpopular views. Alexis de Tocqueville noted that being a secularist in America was no easy life (at least in 1835): "In the United States, if a politician attacks a sect, this may not prevent the partisans of that very sect from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together, everyone abandons him, and he remains alone." Nor is secularism a popular stance among the public at large today: According to a March 2002 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, more than half of Americans have an unfavorable view of nonbelievers. Reasonable people will disagree as to whether this animus owes to simple religious intolerance, or rather to behavioral differences between the groups. Perceived differences leading to hostility might include disproportionately high rates of behaviors discouraged by religious norms (for example, adultery) or low rates of virtuous actions encouraged by them (for example, charity). …

87 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: A Nation at Risk: 15 years ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education declared the United States a nation at risk as discussed by the authors, which was followed by a reform movement that was supposed to radically restructure the nation's schools.
Abstract: Fifteen years ago, the weaknesses of American education detailed in A Nation at Risk catalyzed a reform movement that was supposed to radically restructure the nation's schools. A new, follow-up report says not much has changed. Fifteen years ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education declared the United States a nation at risk. That distinguished citizens' panel admonished the American people that "the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people." This stark warning was heard across the land. A decade and a half later, the risk posed by inadequate education has changed. Our nation today does not face imminent danger of economic decline or technological inferiority. Much about America is flourishing, at least for now, at least for a lot of people. Yet the state of our children's education is still far, very far, from what it ought to be. Unfortunately, the economic boom times have made many Americans indifferent to poor educational achievement. Too many express indifference, apathy, a shrug of the shoulders. Despite continuing indicators of inadequacy, and the risk that this poses to our future well-being, much of the public shrugs and says, "Whatever." The data are compelling. We learned in February that American 12th-graders scored near the bottom on the recent Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS): U.S. students placed 19th out of 21 developed nations in math and 16th out of 21 in science. Our advanced students did even worse, scoring dead last in physics. This evidence suggests that, compared to the rest of the industrialized world, our students lag seriously in critical subjects vital to our future. That's a national shame. Today's high-school seniors had not even started school when the Excellence Commission's report was released. A whole generation of young Americans has passed through the education system in the years since. But many have passed through without learning what is needed. Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans have reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. More than 20 million have reached their senior year unable to do basic math. Almost 25 million have reached 12th grade not knowing the essentials of U.S. history. And those are the young people who complete their senior year. In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether. The numbers are even bleaker in minority communities. In 1996, 13 percent of all blacks aged 16 to 24 were not in school and did not hold a diploma. Seventeen percent of first-generation Hispanics had dropped out of high school, including a tragic 44 percent of Hispanic immigrants in this age group. This is another lost generation. For them the risk is grave indeed. To be sure, there have been gains during the past 15 years, many of them inspired by the Excellence Commission's clarion call. Dropout rates declined and college attendance rose. More high-school students are enrolling in more challenging academic courses. With more students taking more courses and staying in school longer, it is indeed puzzling that student achievement has remained largely flat and that enrollment in remedial college courses has risen to unprecedented levels. The Risk Today Contrary to what so many seem to think, this is no time for complacency. The risk posed to tomorrow's well-being by the sea of educational mediocrity that still engulfs us is acute. Large numbers of students remain at risk. Intellectually and morally, America's educational system is failing far too many people. Academically, we fall off a cliff somewhere in the middle and upper grades. Internationally, U.S. youngsters hold their own at the elementary level but falter in the middle years and drop far behind in high school. We seem to be the only country in the world whose children fall farther behind the longer they stay in school. …

83 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: The U.S. has been far less successful in winning the war than it was in achieving the political goals for which the war was fought as discussed by the authors, which is the main obstacle in the way of establishing stable polities in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Abstract: THE UNITED STATES HAS just fought two wars against enemies thought to be difficult to defeat and has won decisively, rapidly, and with minimal loss of life. The military performance in both cases was impressive. With virtually no American troops on the ground in Afghanistan, U.S. forces aided by local Afghan militias destroyed the Taliban government and shattered the al Qaeda bases and infrastructure that had been used to plan and prepare the September 11 attacks. In Iraq one British, one U.S. Marine, and two U.S. Army divisions, supported by advanced precision-guided munitions, sufficed to crush both the Iraqi army and Saddam Hussein's regime in a matter of weeks. In both cases, the U.S. has been far less successful in winning the peace than it was in winning the war. In Iraq, the widespread looting and rioting that followed the collapse of the Baathist regime and the disorder that continued for weeks to rage in many parts of the country, including Baghdad, badly tarnished the image of the American occupying forces. It hindered U.S. efforts to establish a new, stable Iraqi regime that commands the loyalty of the Iraqi people. The situation in Afghanistan was much worse. For more than a year after the fall of the Taliban government, the new government of Hamid Karzai did not command the respect of the majority of the Afghan people and could not make its writ run outside of Kabul. Warlords established themselves in almost all of the other key cities and regions of the country, the roads became unsafe, and violence, both directed and random, became the order of the day. It remains unclear at present whether it will be possible actually to establish a stable and legitimate government in Kabul--and at what cost. Why has the United States been so successful in recent wars and encountered so much difficulty in securing its political aims after the shooting stopped? The obstacles in the way of establishing stable polities in Kabul and Baghdad were always considerable. It was never likely that the road to peace and stability in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan would be short or smooth. The nature of the American military operations in both countries, however, multiplied those obstacles instead of reducing them and greatly increased the chance of failing to achieve the political objectives that motivated both wars. The reason for this fact lies partly in the vision of war that President Bush and his administration brought into office and have implemented in the past two wars. This vision focuses on destroying the enemy's armed forces and his ability to command them and control them. It does not focus on the problem of achieving political objectives. The advocates of a "new American way of war," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Bush chief among them, have attempted to simplify war into a targeting drill. They see the enemy as a target set and believe that when all or most of the targets have been hit, he will inevitably surrender and American goals will be achieved. War is not that simple, however. From the standpoint of establishing a good peace it matters a great deal how, exactly, one defeats the enemy and what the enemy's country looks like at the moment the bullets stop flying. The U.S. has developed and implemented a method of warfare that can pro produce stunning military victories but does not necessarily accomplish the political goals for which the war was fought. If these two wars represented merely isolated cases or aberrations from the mainstream of military and political developments in the U.S., then the study of this problem would be of primarily academic interest. That is not the case. The entire thrust of the current program of military transformation of the U.S. armed forces, on the contrary, aims at the implementation and perfection of this sort of target-set mentality. Unless the direction and nature of military transformation change dramatically, the American public should expect to see in the future many more wars in which U. …

70 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the most important international institution since the United Nations over the opposition of the most powerful nation in the world as mentioned in this paper, and the United States is not bound by the ICC in any way.
Abstract: IN APRIL 2002, delegates from 66 nations and dozens of nongovernmental organizations (NGOS) gathered at United Nations headquarters in New York to celebrate the ratification of the treaty creating the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the back of the room, the chair reserved for the delegate from the United States stood empty, and in a subsequent letter the Bush administration confirmed that the U.S. would not participate in or be bound by the court in any way. The treaty establishing the court entered into force on July 1, 2002, thereby creating what many describe as the most important international institution since the United Nations over the opposition of the most powerful nation in the world. The celebratory spirit in New York was nothing compared to the delegates' reaction in Rome in the summer of 1998. After five weeks of negotiation over the ICC treaty, the United States was clearly frustrated with the power politics and maneuvering of a group that called itself "like-minded" states and their collaborators, the NGOS. On the final day, the U.S. called for a vote and found itself on the losing side by a stunning 129-7. Normally reserved diplomats broke out in cheers and chants, accompanied by rhythmic stomping and applause. Yes, the treaty creating an International Criminal Court had been approved, but more than that, the "new diplomacy" had won a major victory over the United States. Debuting as the "Ottawa Process" in 1996, the new diplomacy successfully led a fast track campaign of NGOS and small and medium sized nations to a treaty banning anti-personnel land mines. The bold break from traditional processes, the innovative methodology, and the amazing speed of these efforts won widespread attention, as well as a share of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for the NGO leader, American Jody Williams. Still, there were unique features to developing the land mine treaty that did not seem easily replicable, and few could foresee that the Ottawa Process might be the first act of a major new diplomatic drama. With Act Two, the establishment of an International Criminal Court, under its belt, the new diplomacy has now moved from its Ottawa debut to the center stage of the diplomatic world in Rome and New York. It is time for a critical review of its performance, including an understanding of its actors and methods, how others including the United States might interact with it, and what the future for the new diplomacy may hold. The end of Cold War diplomacy THE END OF THE Cold War and its predictable structure of international relations set the stage for new forms of diplomacy. From the close of World War 11 to the fall of the Berlin wall, the great powers that opposed Hitler dominated the diplomatic stage. In a bipolar world based on ideology, the opposing forces lined up in conventional ways, with both military and diplomatic battles fought between states. Even the structure of international organizations such as the United Nations bore the stamp of the great powers, with the five permanent members of the Security Council able to veto proposals not consonant with their national interest. The Cold War drama generally pitted the U.S. versus the Soviet Union, often involving surrogate states. In his 1992. state of the union address, President George H.W Bush took note of the changing global scene, boasting that the United States was now the world's "sole and preeminent power" and the "undisputed leader of the age.' Familiar, perhaps even comfortable, with a bipolar world, experts began the search for the next American rival. Much attention focused on China, though it seemed to be some distance away from superpower status. Others wondered whether Europe, beginning to band together for trade and monetary policy, might form an influential bloc. Most assumed that the U.S. alone would dominate the post-Cold War world or that, ultimately, alliances or other countries would rise to challenge its leadership. …

53 citations

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