The State of Democracy in Russia
Our Man in Moscow
While many in the West View Putin as steering his country toward dictatorship, Nicolai N. Petro and Alexander Rahr contend that the Kremlin leader is best understood as a consummate pragmatist, whose success is strategically vital to the West.
Putting Democracy First in Relations with Russia
Russia under Vladimir Putin may wish to join the Group of Seven (G-7) nations—the United States, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Japan and Italy—and create a new "G-8," but Tom Lantos argues to prevent this until Putin improves Russian democracy.
Modernization and Russian Democracy
Vladimir Shkolnikov cautions Russia, Georgia, and Ukraine against wholesale acceptance of Western democratic models. Instead, he argues for local design of democratic reform agendas. He also highlights the recent Georgian and Ukrainian revolutions as positive influences on Russia's democratization process.
The Middle East and North Africa: Negotiating Reform
Iran's Bomb: A Crisis Deferred?
Michael Donovan explains how the United States is uniquely qualified to do what the Europeans wish they could do—stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons without resorting to military force.
Transatlantic Cooperation: Libya's Diplomatic Transformation
Muammar al-Qadhafi's decision to denounce terrorism and rid Libya of weapons of mass destruction has changed Libya's diplomatic status from a pariah to a responsible international player. Gawdat Bahgat thinks this will continue to affect Libyan foreign policy, as well as prospects for the Libyan oil industry.
Morocco's Truth Revealed, and the Possibility of Reconciliation
Maryam Montague examines Morocco’s Equity and Reconciliation Commission, a panel established to review human rights violations perpetrated from 1956 to 1999, and to provide reparations to victims. Is there reason to be optimistic about the spread of such "truth commissions" to other countries in the Arab world?
Africa: Looking In and Looking Out
Stabilization Operations and Nation-Building: Lessons from United Nations Peace-keeping in the Congo, 1960-1964
Janeen Klinger revisits the UN peacekeeping mission to the Congo in the 1960s revealing some worrisome parallels with the U.S. mission in Iraq today.
The Rough Contours of Land in Zimbabwe
Blair Rutherford rethinks mainstream media’s dominant narratives about Zimbabwean land politics. How will ongoing "territorializing projects" - land occupations that attempt to enforce ruling-party discipline on farmers and workers - affect the politics of land and the welfare of rural Zimbabweans?
Africa and Shifting Global Power Relationships
Macharia Munene reminds readers that there are other avenues to international esteem besides economic and technological supremacy. He suggests that the leaders of African nations follow the example of Nelson Mandela, and exert their moral, ethical and logical abilities to garner increased international respect for their countries.
India, China, and North Korea: A New Understanding
The Mythical Nuclear Kingdom of North Korea
Sung-Yoon Lee investigates how the myths created by outsiders—by both hawks and doves—are obfuscating our understanding of an already mysterious regime, leading to poor policy choices and potentially disastrous outcomes.
A Geopolitical and Geo-economic Overview: On the rise of China and India as two Asian giants
In his detailed account of the forces driving these two dynamos, Wolfgang Schürer explores the effect China and India will have on the rest of the world in the coming century.
U.S. Foreign Policy
W Version 2.0: Foreign Policy in the Second Bush Term
Louis Klarevas argues that foreign policy in George W. Bush’s second term will adhere strictly to the realist school of international relations theory. At the same time, Bush’s expansive foreign policy goals will be compromised by the United States’ dwindling financial and military resources.
The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, The Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run out of Energy
By Peter Huber and Mark Mills
Reviewed by Lyn Debevoise