The Post-Mao Generation: Transforming China From the Bottom Up

The Chinese generation born since 1980 has come of age in a country its parents and grandparents hardly recognize. China’s rise from poor communist state to wealthy global superpower has had wide-ranging implications for how this generation sees itself, China and its place in the world. Robert L. Moore and Zhao Chang examine the cultural attitudes of China’s millenials and its even younger generation of digital natives. Teresa Wright explains why despite the post-Mao generation’s changing political attitudes, the Communist Party has little to fear. And Stanley Rosen examines this generation’s contradictory global outlook, which combines an embrace of Western culture with a renewed nationalism.

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Political Capital: Banking and Finance in Global Politics

Since the global financial crisis, banks and the financial sector have become identified with destabilizing risk-taking and policy capture. But the nefarious influence of banking and finance is often overblown, while their important contributions to growth and development are at times underappreciated. Cornelia Woll explains why the banking lobby is not the monolithic juggernaut, nor the villain, it is often made out to be. Hans Dieter Seibel looks at informal finance and the various ways to integrate it into formal development approaches. And Johannes Linn examines the shifting environment for multilateral and subregional development banks, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

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Farewell to Arms: Political Approaches to Ending Insurgencies

The ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and FARC rebels have put the process of ending insurgencies in the spotlight. But even in cases when an accord is reached and implemented, a stable peace depends on making sure insurgent groups, commanders and individual combatants do not return to the battlefield. Robert Muggah examines the evolution of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration initiatives and the rise of a new generation of DDR approaches. And Johanna Söderström explains why transforming armed groups into political parties is just one aspect of transforming insurgencies, and insurgents, into democratic political actors.

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Fertile Ground: Agriculture’s Role in Trade and Development

Agriculture has historically played a central role in the expansion of human societies as well as commerce among them, and it continues to do so today. With the advent of new technologies, agricultural development has become more efficient, but not without implications for the environment. Timothy Josling explains agriculture’s outsized role in the global trade agenda. David Zilberman and Scott Kaplan argue that true sustainability in agricultural policy requires balancing economic wellbeing with environmental concerns. And Samuel Benin examines Africa’s agricultural development benchmarks and its progress so far in meeting them.

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Asian Triangle: The Geopolitical Calculus of China, Japan and South Korea

With tensions heating up over territorial disputes and historical grievances, relations among China, Japan and South Korea have become a complicated geopolitical triangle. But chilly political ties co-exist with increasing economic integration, even as the dynamics driving the three sets of bilateral relationships at times contrast and at other times reinforce each other. Tiffany Ma examines China’s opposite approaches to Japan and South Korea, and the factors driving them. Benjamin Self looks at Japan’s so far unsuccessful efforts to harmonize ties with its East Asian neighbors. And Scott Snyder traces the evolution of South Korea’s post-Cold War approach to East Asia’s power balance.

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Language Barriers: The Politics of Identity in Ukraine, China and Canada

The interaction between language and national identity is rendered particularly complicated, and visible, when a country’s borders contain more than one native tongue. In such cases, language policy can be determinant in managing, or exacerbating, political tensions among a country’s various language groups. Nicolai Petro examines the deep-seated and unresolved concerns at the heart of Ukraine’s language divide, and the history behind them. Arienne Dwyer argues that China’s language policy, in particular the triumph of Mandarin, has become a vehicle of choice for projecting global soft power. And Jack Jedwab explains why four decades of efforts toward bilingualism have not significantly reduced Canada’s language gap.

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End of an Era: Monarchy in Morocco, Thailand and Spain

Political turmoil in three countries has put a focus on the continuing role the monarchy plays in their political systems. In each, whether the monarchy survives into the next era will depend on how the individuals who currently wear the crown respond to the institutional pressures they face. In Morocco, writes George Joffé, high expectations that King Mohammed VI would complete a liberalizing agenda remain unfulfilled. In Thailand, explains David Streckfuss, King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s disastrous intervention into the country’s political crisis raises grave questions about the constitutional monarchy’s future. And in Spain, Omar G. Encarnación writes, King Juan Carlos’ fumbles have left a once highly respected legacy tarnished.

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Fair Share: The Challenge of Reducing Inequality

Rising levels of income inequality despite growth in developed and developing economies alike have put the question of how to equitably divide the economic pie in the spotlight. After years of assuming that trade-driven growth would be a panacea, policymakers are now re-examining the range of policy approaches to reducing inequality. Nathan Kelly explains that, under certain conditions, human capital investment can be an effective alternative to redistributive policies. Marzia Fontana examines trade’s complex impact on women and the limits of conventional models of development and gender equality. And Klaus Deininger surveys the successes and failures of land reform as a redistribution policy, and its continued relevance today.

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First Response: Health Work in Conflict Zones

The nature of health care work in conflict has evolved in recent years alongside the changing character of war. Some change is intentional, as when militaries and humanitarians struggle to better care for the wounded, while other aspects are murkier, as in the apparently growing risks to women and girls in conflict. Robert Beckhusen examines how combat medicine has changed for the U.S. military during more than a decade of war. Hannah Vaughan-Lee dissects claims that humanitarian health workers are under increasing attack globally. And Janie Leatherman and Nadezda Griffin explain that new patterns in conflict are driving changes in gender-based violence, but our understandings—and responses—have yet to catch up.

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Disputing Sovereignty: Internet Governance, Trade Regimes and the ECJ

Supranational governance mechanisms that emerged over the past 20 years have raised many hopes—and fears—about the future of state sovereignty. But while the way in which sovereignty is conceived and operates has certainly been impacted, the results have defied expectations. Jovan Kurbalija examines the current challenges and possible futures of Internet governance. Philip Nichols looks at the complicated and unpredictable interplay between international trade regimes and sovereignty. And Gareth Davies explains how the European Court of Justice, despite its initial unassuming mandate, played a central role in transferring state sovereignty in the European Union.

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