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China's path to political reform over the last three decades has been slow, but discourse among Chinese political scientists continues to be vigorous and forward thinking. China's Political Development offers a unique look into the country's evolving political process by combining chapters authored by twelve prominent Chinese political scientists with an extensive commentary on each chapter by an American scholar of the Chinese political system. Each chapter focuses on a major aspect of the development of the Chinese Party-state, encompassing the changing relations among its constituent parts as well as its evolving approaches toward economic gorwth, civil society, grassroots elections, and the intertwined problems of supervision and corruption.Together, these analyses highlight the history, strategy, policies, and implementation of governance reforms since 1978 and the authors' recommendations for future changes. This extensive work provides the deep background necessary to understand the sociopolitical context and intellectual currents. behind the reform agenda announced at the landmark Third Plenum in 2013. Shedding light through contrasting perspectives, the book provides an overview of the efforts China has directed toward developing good governance, the challenges it faces, and its future direction.
Since 2008, energy and food markets-those most fundamental to human existence-have remained in turmoil. Resource scarcity has had a much bigger global impact in recent years than has been predicted, with ongoing volatility a sign that the world is only part-way through navigating a treacherous transition in the way it uses resources. Scarcity, and perceptions of scarcity, increase political risks, while geopolitical turmoil exacerbates shortages and complicates the search for solutions. The New Politics of Strategic Resources examines the political dimensions of strategic resource challenges at the domestic and international levels. For better or worse, energy and food markets are shaped by perceptions of national interest and do not behave as traditional market goods. So while markets are an essential part of any response to tighter resource supplies, governments also will play a key role. David Steven, Emily O'Brien, Bruce Jones, and their colleagues discuss what those roles are and what they should be.The architecture for coordinating multilateral responses to these dynamics has fallen short, raising questions about the effective international management of these issues. Politics impede here too, as the major powers must negotiate political and security trade-offs to cooperate on the design of more robust international regimes and mechanisms for resource security and the provision of global public goods.This timely volume includes chapters on major powers (United States, India, China) and key suppliers (Russia, Saudi Arabia). The contributors also address thematic topics, such as the interaction between oil and state fragility; the changing political dynamics of climate change; and the politics of resource subsidies.
The relationship between criminal syndicates and politicians has a long history, including episodes even from the earliest years of America's colonies. But while organized crime may not get the headlines it once did in North America, the resurgence of such criminal activity in Latin America, and in some European nations, has grabbed the public's attention.In Dangerous Liaisons noted scholars describe and analyze the role of organized crime in the financing of politics in selected democracies in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico) and in Europe (Bulgaria and Italy). The book seeks to unravel the myths that have developed around crime in these locales, while providing facts and informing the debate on how organized crime corrupts democratic institutions, especially in relation to the funding of political parties and their activities.Among the subjects studied in detail are the role of organized crime in political finance through the lens of Argentina's presidential campaigns of 1999 and 2007; Brazil's elected officeholders and their role in corruption; the weakness of Colombia's democracy; the growing role of money in Costa Rica's politics; the destructive effects of drug money on Mexican institutions; the link between organized crime-narrowly and broadly understood-and political financing in Bulgaria; and crime and political finance in Italy.The work of the scholars corrects what volume editor Kevin Casas-Zamora calls "a glaring gap in the literature on the role of organized crime in the corruption of democratic institutions." That is, the funding of political parties and their activities-which in these cases are mostly election campaigns. The chapters not only present the evidence but also can be regarded as a call to action.Contributors include Leonardo Curzio (CISAN/UNAM), Donatella della Porta (European University Institute), Delia Ferreira Rubio (a member of the international board of directors of Transparency International), Mauricio Rubio (a researcher at the External University of Colombia), Daniel Smilov (Center for Liberal Strategies, Sofia), Bruno Wilhelm Speck (University of Campinas), and Alberto Vannucci (University of Pisa).
It started two decades ago with CompStat in the New York City Police Department, and quickly jumped to police agencies across the U.S. and other nations. It was adapted by Baltimore, which created CitiStat-the first application of this leadership strategy to an entire jurisdiction. Today, governments at all levels employ PerformanceStat: a focused effort by public executives to exploit the power of purpose and motivation, responsibility and discretion, data and meetings, analysis and learning, feedback and follow-up-all to improve government's performance.Here, Harvard leadership and management guru Robert Behn analyzes the leadership behaviors at the core of PerformanceStat to identify how they work to produce results. He examines how the leaders of a variety of public organizations employ the strategy-the way the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services uses its DPSSTATS to promote economic independence, how the City of New Orleans uses its BlightStat to eradicate blight in city neighborhoods, and what the Federal Emergency Management Agency does with its FEMAStat to ensure that the lessons from each crisis response, recovery, and mitigation are applied in the future. How best to harness the strategy's full capacity? The PerformanceStat Potential explains all.
This is the story of the Singapore healthcare system: how it works, how it is financed, its history, where it is going, and what lessons it may hold for national health systems around the world. Singapore ranks sixth in the world in healthcare outcomes, yet spends proportionally less on healthcare than any other high-income country. This is the first book to set out a comprehensive system-level description of healthcare in Singapore, with a view to understanding what can be learned from its unique system design and development path.The lessons from Singapore will be of interest to those currently planning the future of healthcare in emerging economies, as well as those engaged in the urgent debates on healthcare in the wealthier countries faced with serious long-term challenges in healthcare financing. Policymakers, legislators, public health officials responsible for healthcare systems planning, finance and operations, as well as those working on healthcare issues in universities and think tanks should understand how the Singapore system works to achieve affordable excellence.
The financial crisis of 2007-08 and the Great Recession caused more widespread economic trauma than any event since the Great Depression. With a slow and uneven recovery, encouraging stability and growth is critical. Financial Restructuring to Sustain Recovery maintains that while each part of the financial services industry can play a useful role in revving up the U.S. economic engine to full capacity, the necessary reforms are sometimes subtle and often difficult to implement. Editors Martin Neil Baily, Richard Herring, and Yuta Seki and their coauthors break recovery down by three areas:Restructuring the housing finance marketReforming the bankruptcy processReenergizing the market for initial public offeringsIncluded are lessons drawn from Japan's experience in overcoming its long-lasting financial crisis after the collapse of its real estate market in the 1990s.Contributors: Franklin Allen (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), James R. Barth (Auburn University College of Business; Milken Institute), Thomas Jackson (Simon School of Business, University of Rochester), Jay R. Ritter (Warrington College of Business, University of Florida), David Skeel (University of Pennsylvania Law School), and Glenn Yago (Milken Institute).
Bookshelves abound with theoretical analyses, how-to guides, and personal success stories by famous corporate leaders, public officials, even athletic coaches, expounding on how to lead from the top. But what about those in the middle who are increasingly tasked with trying to reshape, reorient, or recreate the capabilities of an organization? Leading Change from the Middle takes you on the journeys traveled by Kurt Mayer, an information technology executive in the Department of Defense trying to build a new IT system in record time with limited resources, and Stephen Wang, a mid-level leader in city government trying to build a capability for supporting commercial agriculture. Kurt and Stephen have to navigate complex organizational and stakeholder landscapes in which they often have few decision rights and few resources-a common scenario for mid-level leaders. One succeeds; one does not.While following Kurt and Stephen, the book introduces a new approach for increasing the likelihood of successfully leading change. This new approach breaks down into three core strategies: First, identify all relevant stakeholders and partition them into four categories: superordinates, subordinates, customers, and complementors/blockers (those who control needed resources but over whom the leaders have no authority).Second, for each stakeholder category, identify Communications, Strategies, and Tactics (referred to as CoSTS).Third, don't stimulate negative emotions that make people DEAF-Disrespect, Envy, Anger, and Fear-to efforts to produce change. As the book follows the journeys of Kurt and Stephen, it walks through the details of each strategy.In presenting this material in a concise, accessible, and applicable format that translates theory to practice, Nickerson provides an important service for leaders trying to build extraordinary capabilities for their organizations-from the middle.
Presidential earmarks? Perhaps even more so than their counterparts in Congress, presidents have the motive and the means to politicize spending for political power. But do they?In Presidential Pork, John Hudak explains and interprets presidential efforts to control federal spending and accumulate electoral rewards from that power.The projects that members of Congress secure for their constituents certainly attract attention. Political pundits still chuckle about the "Bridge to Nowhere." But Hudak clearly illustrates that while Congress claims credit for earmarks and pet projects, the practice is alive and well in the White House, too.More than any representative or senator, presidents engage in pork barrel spending in a comprehensive and systematic way to advance their electoral interests. It will come as no surprise that the White House often steers the enormous federal bureaucracy to spend funds in swing states. It is a major advantage that only incumbents enjoy.Hudak reconceptualizes the way in which we view the U.S. presidency and the goals and behaviors of those who hold the nation's highest office. He illustrates that presidents and their White Houses are indeed complicit in distributing presidential pork-and how they do it. The result is an illuminating and highly original take on presidential power and public policy.
Amid the current turmoil in the Middle East, Understanding Tahrir Square sounds a rare optimistic note. Surveying countries in other parts of the world during their transitions to democracy, author Stephen Grand argues that the long-term prospects in many parts of the Arab world are actually quite positive. If the current polarization and political violence in the region can be overcome, democracy will eventually take root. The key to this change will likely be ordinary citizens-foremost among them the young protestors of the Arab Spring who have filled the region's public spaces-most famously, Egypt's Tahrir Square.The book puts the Arab Spring in comparative perspective. It reveals how globalization and other changes are upending the expectations of citizens everywhere about the relationship between citizen and state. Separate chapters examine the experiences of countries in the former Eastern bloc, in the Muslim-majority states of Asia, in Latin America, and in Sub-Saharan Africa during the recent Third Wave of democratization. What these cases show is that, at the end of the day, democracy requires democrats.Many complex factors go into making a democracy successful, such as the caliber of its political leaders, the quality of its constitution, and the design of its political institutions. But unless there is clear public demand for new institutions to function as intended, political leaders are unlikely to abide by the limits those institutions impose. If American policymakers want to support the brave activists struggling to bring democracy to the Arab world, helping them cultivate an effective political constituency for democracy-in essence, growing the Tahrir Square base-should be the lodestar of U.S. assistance.
India faces a defining period. Its status as a global power is not only recognized but increasingly institutionalized, even as geopolitical shifts create both opportunities and challenges. With critical interests in almost every multilateral regime and vital stakes in emerging ones, India has no choice but to influence the evolving multilateral order. If India seeks to affect the multilateral order, how will it do so? In the past, it had little choice but to be content with rule taking-adhering to existing international norms and institutions. Will it now focus on rule breaking-challenging the present order primarily for effect and seeking greater accommodation in existing institutions? Or will it focus on rule shaping-contributing in partnership with others to shape emerging norms and regimes, particularly on energy, food, climate, oceans, and cyber security? And how do India's troubled neighborhood, complex domestic politics, and limited capacity inhibit its rule-shaping ability?Despite limitations, India increasingly has the ideas, people, and tools to shape the global order-in the words of Jawaharlal Nehru, "not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially." Will India emerge as one of the shapers of the emerging international order? This volume seeks to answer that question.
Is the United States still a "superpower"? How are the rising powers establishing themselves in international politics and security? What is the future of global stability?For over a decade, Bruce Jones has had a front-row seat as the emerging powers-principally China, India, and Brazil, but also Turkey, Indonesia, Korea, and others-thrust themselves onto the global stage. From Delhi to Doha to Beijing to Brasilia, he's met with the politicians, diplomats, business leaders, and scholars of those powers as they craft their strategies for rising influence-and with senior American officials as they forge their response.In Still Ours to Lead, Jones tells a nuanced story of American leadership. He artfully examines the tension between the impulse to rival the United States and the incentives for restraint and cooperation among the rising powers. That balance of rivalry and restraint provides the United States with a continued ability to solve problems and to manage crises at roughly the same rate as when American dominance was unquestioned. Maintaining the balance is central to the question of whether we will live in a stable or unstable system in the period to come. But it just so happens that this challenge plays to America's unique strength-its unparalleled ability to pull together broad and disparate coalitions for action. To succeed, America must adapt its leadership to new realities.
One third of humanity is governed by two capitals, New Delhi and Beijing. Increasingly, these two countries are being led not from the top down, but rather from the Inside Out.In 2014, India overwhelmingly elected Narendra Modi minister, a man who rose to national prominence as chief minister of Gujarat, India's fastest growing state. Likewise, in 2013, Xi Jinping took over as president of China, having served as top official in Zhejiang and Shanghai, two of China's most prosperous provinces.Anticipating these trends and leadership transitions, William Antholis spent five months in 2012 traversing twenty Indian states and Chinese provinces, conducting over three hundred interviews, including with Narendra Modi. Antholis's detailed narratives show what both Modi and Xi Jinping learned firsthand: that local successes-and failures-will determine the future of the world's largest two nations. And his new forword, prepared for this edition, lays out key takeaways from the transitions of 2013 and 2014.
Affordable Excellence: The Singapore Healthcare Story - How to Create and Manage Sustainable Healthcare Systemsby William A. Haseltine
The United States has been struggling with its health care system for decades. Costs continue to spiral upward, while coverage of the population has decreased because of job losses and the resultant loss of health benefits, due to the Great Recession and the subsequent slow economic recovery. President Clintons attempt to enact a national health care plan failed, and the fate of President Obamas health care plan, under attack since its inception, is uncertain. Since achieving independence, Singapore undertook the monumental task of transforming itself to a modern, prosperous, secure city-state. Many institutions needed to be erected to reach this goal, but one that stands out and is the subject of this book was the need for a world class health care system. "Affordable Excellence" examines how Singapore succeeded in its efforts, setting up a health system that has become one of the best in the world, delivering high quality care at a fraction of the cost of most First World systems. Ranked 6th globally on performance, Singapore spends less than 4% of GDP on health care (in contrast to the U. S. , for example, which spends over 17% of GDP). How did Singapore do it? What can be learned from its achievement? What lessons can be put to use by the developing, and the most-developed, nations building new health care systems? This book provides answers. It explores the underlying social philosophy and basic approach that Singapore used to set up its system and, at the heart of the Singapore model, its system of health savings accounts and insurance programs that ensure no one would be without the means to buy quality care.
India has long been motivated to modernize its military, and it now has the resources. But so far, the drive to rebuild has lacked a critical component-strategic military planning. India's approach of arming without strategic purpose remains viable, however, as it seeks great-power accommodation of its rise and does not want to appear threatening. What should we anticipate from this effort in the future, and what are the likely ramifications? Stephen Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta answer those crucial questions in a book so timely that it reached number two on the nonfiction bestseller list in India."Two years after the publication of Arming without Aiming, our view is that India's strategic restraint and its consequent institutional arrangement remain in place. We do not want to predict that India's military-strategic restraint will last forever, but we do expect that the deeper problems in Indian defense policy will continue to slow down military modernization."-from the preface to the paperback edition
President Barack Obama survived a tenuous economy and a toxic political environment to win re-election in 2012, but the bitter partisan divide in Washington survived as well. So did the country's huge fiscal deficit. in this, the latest in a long line of Brookings Institution analyses of the defense budget, Michael O'Hanlon considers how best to balance national security and fiscal responsibility during a period of prolonged economic stress and political acrimony-even as the world remains unsettled, from Afghanistan to Iran to Syria to the western Pacific region.O'Hanlon explains why the large defense cuts that would result from prolonged sequestration or from deficit-reduction projects such as the Bowles-Simpson plan are too deep. But the bulk of his book represents an effort to look for greater savings than the Obama administration's 2012 proposals would allow.Praise for the work of Michael O'Hanlon The Opportunity: "A practical and hard-headed analysis of how another Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty might be achieved"- Financial Times The Science of War: "Timely, thoughtful, and full of insight. A signal contribution to the field."-General David S. Petraeus, U.S. Army A Skeptic's Case for Nuclear Disarmament: "O'Hanlon expertly unravels the myriad threads of the often abstruse disputes about nuclear weapons and disarmament."- New York Times Book Review
American Federalism in Practice is an original and important contribution to our understanding of contemporary health policy. It also illustrates how contentious public policy is debated, formulated, and implemented in today's overheated political environment.Health care reform is perhaps the most divisive public policy issue facing the United States today. Michael Doonan provides a unique perspective on health policy in explaining how intergovernmental relations shape public policy. He tracks federal-state relations through the creation, formulation, and implementation of three of the most important health policy initiatives since the Great Society: the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), both passed by the U.S. Congress, and the Massachusetts health care reform program as it was developed and implemented under federal government waiver authority. He applies lessons learned from these cases to implementation of the Affordable Care Act."Health policymaking is entangled in a complex web of shared, overlapping, and/or competing power relationships among different levels of government," the author notes. Understanding federal-state interactions, the ways in which they vary, and the reasons for such variation is essential to grasping the ultimate impact of federalism on programs and policy. Doonan reveals how federalism can shift as the sausage of public policy is made while providing a new framework for comprehending one of the most polarizing debates of our time.
The response of an autocratic nation's armed forces is crucial to the outcome of democratization movements throughout the world. But what exact internal conditions have led to real-world democratic transitions, and have external forces helped or hurt? Here, experts with military and policy backgrounds, some of whom have played a role in democratic transitions, present instructive case studies of democratic movements. Focusing on the specific domestic context and the many influences that have contributed to successful transitions, the authors write about democratic civil-military relations in fourteen countries and five world regions. The cases include Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Syria, and Thailand, augmented by regional overviews of Asia, Europe, Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa.Contributors: Richard Akum (Council for the Development of Social Sciences in Africa), Ecoma Alaga (African Security Sector Network), Muthiah Alagappa (Institute of Security and International Studies, Malaysia), Suchit Bunbongkarn (Institute of Security and International Studies, Thailand), Juan Emilio Cheyre (Center for International Studies, Catholic University of Chile), Biram Diop (Partners for Democratic Change-African Institute for Security Sector Transformation, Dakar), Raymundo B. Ferrer (Nickel Asia Corporation), Humberto Corado Figueroa (Ministry of Defense, El Salvador), Vilmos Hamikus (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hungary), Julio Hang (Argentine Council for International Relations), Marton Harsanyi (Stockholm University), Carolina G. Hernandez (University of the Philippines; Institute for Strategic and Development Studies), Raymond Maalouf (Defense expert, Lebanon), Tannous Mouawad (Middle East Studies, Lebanon), Matthew Rhodes (George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies), Martin Rupiya (African Public Policy and Research Institute), Juan C. Salgado Brocal (Academic and Consultant Council for Military Research and Studies, Chile), Narcís Serra (Barcelona Institute of International Studies), Rizal Sukma (Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta).
This volume documents and explains the remarkable resilience of emerging market nations in East Asia and Latin America when faced with the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. Their quick bounceback from the crisis marked a radical departure from the past, such as when the 1982 debt shocks produced a decade-long recession in Latin America or when the Asian financial crisis dramatically slowed those economies in the late 1990s. Why?This volume suggests that these countries' resistance to the initial financial contagion is a tribute to financial-sector reforms undertaken over the past two decades. The rebound itself was a trade-led phenomenon, favoring the countries that had gone the farthest with macroeconomic restructuring and trade reform. Old labels used to describe "neoliberal versus developmentalist" strategies do not accurately capture the foundations of this recovery. These authors argue that policy learning and institutional reforms adopted in response to previous crises prompted policymakers to combine state and market approaches in effectively coping with the global financial crisis.The nations studied include Korea, China, India, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, accompanied by Latin American and Asian regional analyses that bring other emerging markets such as Chile and Peru into the picture. The substantial differences among the nations make their shared success even more remarkable and worthy of investigation. And although 2012 saw slowed growth in some emerging market nations, the authors argue this selective slowing suggests the need for deeper structural reforms in some countries, China and India in particular.
Urban and regional planners, elected officials, and other decisionmakers are increasingly focused on what makes places livable. Access to the arts inevitably appears high on that list, but knowledge about how culture and the arts can act as a tool of economic development is sadly lacking. This important sector must be considered not only as a source of amenities or pleasant diversions, but also as a wholly integrated part of local economies. Employing original data produced through both quantitative and qualitative research, Creative Communities provides a greater understanding of how art works as an engine for transforming communities."Without good data and analysis-much of it grounded in economic theory-we cannot hope to strengthen communities through the arts or to achieve any of the other goals we set for the National Endowment for the Arts, the largest nationwide funder of the arts." -from the Foreword by Rocco LandesmanContributors: Hasan Bakhshi (Nesta UK), Elisa Barbour (University of California, Berkeley), Shiri M. Breznitz (Georgia Institute of Technology), Roland J. Kushner (Muhlenberg College), Rex LaMore (Michigan State University), James Lawton (Michigan State), Neil Lee (Nesta UK), Richard G. Maloney (Boston University), Ann Markusen (University of Minnesota), Juan Mateos-Garcia (Nesta UK), Anne Gadwa Nicodemus (Metris Arts Consulting), Douglas S. Noonan (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), Peter Pedroni (Williams College), Amber Peruski (Michigan State), Michele Root-Bernstein (Michigan State), Robert Root-Bernstein (Michigan State), Eileen Roraback (Michigan State), Michael Rushton (Indiana University), Lauren Schmitz (New School for Social Research), Jenny Schuetz (University of Southern California), John Schweitzer (Michigan State), Stephen Sheppard (Williams College), Megan VanDyke (Michigan State), Gregory H. Wassall (Northeastern University)
The response of an autocratic nation's armed forces is crucial to the outcome of democratization movements throughout the world. But how can military officers and defense officials in democratic nations persuade their counterparts in autocratic regimes to favor democratic transitions? Here, Admiral Dennis Blair confronts this hard-edged challenge with a primer on the factors that affect military behavior during democratic transitions. Military Engagement makes the strong case for why the armed forces of any country should favor democracy and why, contrary to conventional wisdom, many military leaders have supported democratic transitions in different regions of the world. Further, it explains why military support, active or tacit, is essential to the success of any demo cratic transition. Blair provides incisive commentary on civil-military relations and outlines the foundational elements of armed forces in a democratic country. He presents sound advice to defense officials and military leaders in established democracies that can be put into practice when interacting with colleagues in both autocratic regimes and those that have made the break with dictatorship.This succinct handbook analyzes democratic transitions in five major regions and surveys the internal power dynamics in countries such as Iran and North Korea, dictatorships that are hostile toward and fearful of democratic influences. Blair juxtaposes the roles, values, and objectives of military leaders in autocratic nations with those in democracies. In turn, Military Engagement highlights how crossnetworking with international military delegations can put external pressure on autocratic countries and persuade them that democracies are best not only for the country itself, but also for the armed forces. Volume one of this two-volume project provides the educational foundation necessary so that military officers from established democracies can raise their game in achieving effective dialogue on democratic development.
Not since Pearl Harbor has an American president gone to Congress to request a declaration of war. Nevertheless, since then, one president after another, from Truman to Obama, has ordered American troops into wars all over the world. From Korea to Vietnam, Panama to Grenada, Lebanon to Bosnia, Afghanistan to Iraq-why have presidents sidestepped declarations of war? Marvin Kalb, former chief diplomatic correspondent for CBS and NBC News, explores this key question in his thirteenth book about the presidency and U.S. foreign policy.Instead of a declaration of war, presidents have justified their war-making powers by citing "commitments," private and public, made by former presidents. Many of these commitments have been honored, but some betrayed. Surprisingly, given the tight U.S.-Israeli relationship, Israeli leaders feel that at times they have been betrayed by American presidents. Is it time for a negotiated defense treaty between the United States and Israel as a way of substituting for a string of secret presidential commitments?From Israel to Vietnam, presidential commitments have proven to be tricky and dangerous. For example, one president after another committed the United States to the defense of South Vietnam, often without explanation. Over the years, these commitments mushroomed into national policy, leading to a war costing 58,000 American lives. Few in Congress or the media chose to question the war's provenance or legitimacy, until it was too late. No president saw the need for a declaration of war, considering one to be old-fashioned.The word of a president can morph into a national commitment. It can become the functional equivalent of a declaration of war. Therefore, whenever a president "commits"the United States to a policy or course of action with, or increasingly without, congressional approval, watch out-the White House may be setting the nation on a road toward war. The Road to War was a 2013 Foreword Reviews honorable mention in the subject of War & Military.
After more than a decade of great effort and sacrifice by America and its allies, the Taliban still has not been defeated, and many Afghans believe that a civil war is coming. Aspiration and Ambivalence analyzes the U.S. and international efforts in Afghanistan and offers detailed recommendations for dealing with the precarious situation leading up to the 2014 transition to Afghan control and beyond. Vanda Felbab-Brown argues that allied efforts in Afghanistan have put far too little emphasis on good governance, concentrating too much on short-term military goals to the detriment of long-term peace and stability. The Western tendency to ally with bullies, warlords, smugglers, and other shady characters in pursuit of short-term military advantage actually empowers the forces working against good governance and long-term political stability. Rampant corruption and mafia rule thus persist, making it impossible for Afghans to believe in the institutional reforms and rule of law that are clearly necessary. This must change- otherwise, the chances of building responsive and sustainable governmental structures are slim, indeed.Felbab-Brown combines thorough research and analysis with vivid personal accounts of her time spent in the war-torn nation-powerful vignettes illustrating the Afghan aspirations for peace, stability, and sovereignty and the stubborn obstacles to securing them."The year 2014 will mark a critical juncture in Afghanistan's odyssey. After more than a decade of arduous fighting and political involvement, the U.S. and international presence there will be significantly reduced and circumscribed. Although the international community has committed itself not to abandon Afghanistan as it did in the 1990s, the onus will be on the Afghan government to provide for the security of the country, its economic development, and governance that attempts to meet the needs of the Afghan people. Difficult challenges, major unresolved questions, and worrisome trends surround all three sets of processes. The biggest hole in the U.S. strategy and international efforts to stabilize the country is the failure to adequately address the country's fractured and brittle political system and very poor governance."-from Aspiration and Ambivalence
The United States had never lost a war-that is, until 1975, when it was forced to flee Saigon in humiliation after losing to what Lyndon Johnson called a "raggedy-ass little fourth-rate country." The legacy of this first defeat has haunted every president since, especially on the decision of whether to put "boots on the ground" and commit troops to war.In Haunting Legacy, the father-daughter journalist team of Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb presents a compelling, accessible, and hugely important history of presidential decisionmaking on one crucial issue: in light of the Vietnam debacle, under what circumstances should the United States go to war?The sobering lesson of Vietnam is that the United States is not invincible-it can lose a war-and thus it must be more discriminating about the use of American power. Every president has faced the ghosts of Vietnam in his own way, though each has been wary of being sucked into another unpopular war. Ford (during the Mayaguez crisis) and both Bushes (Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan) deployed massive force, as if to say, "Vietnam, be damned." On the other hand, Carter, Clinton, and Reagan (to the surprise of many) acted with extreme caution, mindful of the Vietnam experience. Obama has also wrestled with the Vietnam legacy, using doses of American firepower in Libya while still engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.The authors spent five years interviewing hundreds of officials from every post war administration and conducting extensive research in presidential libraries and archives, and they've produced insight and information never before published. Equal parts taut history, revealing biography, and cautionary tale, Haunting Legacy is must reading for anyone trying to understand the power of the past to influence war-and-peace decisions of the present, and of the future.
In The Pursuit of Happiness, renowned economist Carol Graham explores what we know about the determinants of happiness and clearly presents both the promise and the potential pitfalls of injecting the "economics of happiness" into public policymaking. While the book spotlights the innovative contributions of happiness research to the dismal science, it also raises a cautionary note about the issues that still need to be addressed before policymakers can make best use of them.
In The Lingering Conflict Itamar Rabinovich, a former chief negotiator for Israel, provides unique and authoritative insight into the prospects for genuine peace in the Middle East. His presentation includes a detailed insider account of the peace processes of 1992-96 and a frank dissection of the more dispiriting record since then.Rabinovich's firsthand experiences as a negotiator and as Israel's ambassador to the United States provide a valuable perspective from which to view the major players involved. Fresh analysis of ongoing situations in the region and the author's authoritative take on key figures such as Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu shed new light on the long and tumultuous history of Arab-Israeli relations. His book is a shrewd assessment of the past and current state of affairs in the Middle East, as well as a sober look at the prospects for a peaceful future.While Rabinovich explains the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians-a classic dispute between two national movements claiming the same land- The Lingering Conflict also considers the broader political, cultural, and increasingly religious conflict between the Jewish state and Arab nationalism. He approaches the troubled region in an international context, offering provocative analysis of America's evolving role and evaluation of its diplomatic performance.This book builds on the author's previous seminal work on geopolitics in the Middle East, particularly Waging Peace. As Rabinovich brings the Arab-Israeli conflict up to date, he widens the scope of his earlier insights into efforts to achieve normal, peaceful relations. And, of course, he takes full account of recent social and political tumult in the Middle East, discussing the Arab Spring uprisings-and the subsequent retaliation by dictators such as Syria's al-Asad and Libya's Qaddafi-in the context of Arab-Israeli relations.