Volume 7, Issue 1: March 2012

 

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Audrey Latura,
Editor-in-Chief (2011-2012)

ARTICLES

Hossein Askari

Islamic Finance, Risk-Sharing, and International Financial Stability

In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007–2008, the fundamental stability of the conventional financial system has been seriously questioned. Excessive leveraging, combined with an inherent asset-liability mismatch, exposes institutions to excessive risk, and threatens the overall soundness of the financial system. An alternative to the current model is one traditionally advocated by Islam and other Abrahamic religions. Islamic finance eliminates debt financing and instead promotes equity or direct asset financing, which allows for risk-sharing instead of risk-shifting. Financial institutions serve their traditional role as intermediaries between savers and investors, but with no debt on their balance sheets, eliminating the potential for excessive risk. The stability of the international financial system would be enhanced if reliance on debt were reduced: the global financial system would rely more heavily on risk-sharing, equity finance, and genuine asset securitization, linking the payoffs of financial securities to the underlying assets that are financed. 

Michael Beckley 

China and Pakistan: Fair-Weather Friends

Two assumptions dominate current debates on US foreign policy toward Pakistan. First, Pakistan shares a robust “all-weather” friendship with China centered on core national interests. Second, Pakistan’s ability to turn to China in times of need insulates it from US pressure and renders hardline US policies counterproductive. Both of these assumptions are mistaken. First, China and Pakistan do not share a robust partnership; they engage in limited cooperation on a narrow set of interests and these interests have been diminishing over time. Second, China will not take active measures to protect Pakistan from US pressure. As a result, the United States can impose punitive measures on Pakistan without fear of catalyzing an anti-American Sino-Pakistani alliance. 

Jeffrey M. Bernstein 

Negotiating the Insurgency: The Case for Settling Afghanistan’s War and Securing ‘Negative’ Peace

This article evaluates the logic of negotiations in Afghanistan’s counterinsurgency environment and argues that reaching “negative” peace through negotiated settlement is in the best interest of all relevant stakeholders. Rather than being seen as alternatives, negotiating and war fighting must be viewed along a continuum. The most effective “reconciliation” strategy is one that involves bringing many more Afghans inside the political system, as well as getting Afghanistan’s vested stakeholders onside with a political settlement. Afghans must also have security—the minimum condition for “negative” peace—to begin to reconstruct their state according to their wishes and desires. 

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Tara Vassefi

The Forgotten History of Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations

Pakistan’s historical and contemporary support for jihadi groups has caused US policy prescriptions over the past decade to focus prominently on the need to change Pakistan’s strategic orientation. In this article, the authors explore one aspect of Pakistan’s strategic calculations that has received insufficient attention in public debate: the degree to which Afghanistan’s aggressions against Pakistan have helped to shape the latter’s support for religious militant groups. 

J. Michael Greig and Paul F. Diehl 

Peacekeeping: A Barrier to Durable Peace?

It is important to recognize the distinctions between the short-term and long-term effects of peacekeeping missions and to understand the ways in which the presence of peacekeepers shapes the incentives of warring sides to reach peace agreements. This distinction creates what we refer to as the “peacekeeping-peacemaking dilemma:” the steps that an intervening force takes toward stopping the fighting between belligerents can, paradoxically, undermine the achievement of a comprehensive peace agreement. Without considering the short and long-term costs and benefits, policymakers risk deploying peacekeeping missions that may successfully manage the level of ongoing violence but at the same time disincentivize the warring sides to reach a settlement and establish a durable peace. 

Oona A. Hathaway, Sabria McElroy, Sara Aronchick Solow 

International Law at a Crossroads

During the first hundred and seventy years of US history, courts generally applied a strong presumption that treaties could be used by private litigants to press their claims. That presumption began to erode in the wake of World War II and in 2008 the United States Supreme Court effectively reversed it. Following the Supreme Court’s lead, lower courts have increasingly concluded that for a treaty to be enforceable in US courts, its language must expressly require it. That constraint has undermined the reliability of US treaties, including those that have long formed the backbone of US international commercial relations. This article offers three proposals to respond to the challenge of enforcing international law in US courts. 

Steven C. Roach

Should the International Criminal Court Impose Justice?

States adopt policies and strategies designed to primarily serve their own national interests. The International Criminal Court’s recent indictments of Omar al-Bashir and Moammar el-Qaddafi highlight growing concerns with some states’ strategies. The author addresses these concerns as well as the changing, positive dynamics of imposing international justice, arguing that imposing international justice is a necessary corrective to the problems posed by state politics. 

Peter Uvin and Bhaskar Chakravorti

From Oxfam to Exxon, UNICEF to Unilever, CARE to Carrefour: What Lessons Can Development Aid Organizations Pass On to International Businesses about Succeeding in Emerging Markets?

International development and aid agencies have been at work in emerging and frontier regions for decades. Multinational corporations have only in the last decade refocused their activities in these areas in anticipation of greater economic growth there. This raises a natural question: are there some lessons that can be transferred from the development community to the business community? We argue that those lessons can be distilled into a collection of “rules” or set of guiding principles for companies operating in emerging markets. Multinationals should consider this new approach in developing an emerging markets’ strategy.

INTERVIEWS

Domingo Cavallo and Rakesh Mohan

Growing Out of Debt: A Conversation About the Global Economy

Domingo Cavallo served as Argentina’s Minister of Economy from 1991–1996 and again in 2001 as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989–1991. Rakesh Mohan served as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 2002–2004 and 2005–2009. He has also served as Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance.

Richard Goldstone

Political Will and Multilateral Cooperation in International Justice

Richard Goldstone served as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. 

Michele Malvesti

Policymaking During Risk and Uncertainty: The Role of Special Operations

Michele Malvesti currently serves as Vice President for Special Programs in the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group at Science Applications International Corporation. 

Janet Napolitano

Confronting Evolving Threats to US Homeland Security

Janet Napolitano is the current United States Secretary of Homeland Security. 

John Prendergast

US Foreign Policy, State-Building, and Humanitarianism in Africa

John Prendergast is a human rights activist and best-selling author focusing on promoting peace in Africa. He currently serves as a board member and an adviser for Not on Our Watch, an organization committed to stopping mass atrocities around the world.

OP-EDS

Andrew Burt 

America’s Waning Military Edge

Drew N. Peterson

The United States Must Engage Anew for Peace in Kosovo

Majid Radizadeh 

Assad’s Future and Syria’s Opposition Groups

Jason Warner 

Waiting to Be Somebody in Somaliland

Taylor Washburn 

Getting Copyright Right in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

BOOK REVIEWS

Ryan Kaminski

Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others?
By John Fonte

Nathaniel Khng

Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going
By Han Fook Kwang, et. al.

 

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