Although the United States is considered the world's only superpower, other major powers seek to strengthen the roles they play on the global stage. Because of the Iraq War and its repercussions, many countries have placed an increased emphasis on multilateralism. This new desire for a multipolar world, however, may obscure the obvious question of what objectives other powerful countries seek. Few scholars and policymakers have addressed the role of the other major powers in a post-9/11 world.
The urgency of reducing poverty in the developing world has been the subject of a public campaign by such unlikely policy experts as George Clooney, Alicia Keyes, Elton John, Angelina Jolie, and Bono. And yet accompanying the call for more foreign aid is an almost universal discontent with the effectiveness of the existing aid system. In Reinventing Foreign Aid, development expert William Easterly has gathered top scholars in the field to discuss how to improve foreign aid.
In 2002 Dr. Hans Blix, then chief United Nations weapons inspector, led his team on a search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. By March 2003, when the United States invaded, he had found no evidence that Iraq had WMDs. History proved him right.
Akbar Ganji, called by some "Iran's most famous dissident," was a commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. But, troubled by the regime's repressive nature, he became an investigative journalist in the 1990s, writing for Iran's pro-democracy newspapers. Most notably, he traced the murders of dissident intellectuals to Iran's secret service. In 2000 Ganji was arrested, sentenced to six years in prison, and banned from working as a journalist. His eighty-day hunger strike during his last year in prison mobilized the international human rights community.
The Epicenter of Crisis argues that six contiguous states epitomize the security challenges of a post-9/11, globalized world: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Characterized by a dramatically transforming Islam, ethnic conflict, civil war, failed states, and terrorism, this "new Middle East" is the epicenter of what some call an arc of crisis, stretching from the Balkans into Southeast Asia.
Over the past thirty years nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have played an increasingly influential role in international negotiations, particularly on environmental issues. NGO diplomacy has become, in the words of one organizer, "an international experiment in democratizing intergovernmental decision making." But there has been little attempt to determine the conditions under which NGOs make a difference in either the process or the outcome of international negotiations.
As terrorist attacks continue around the world, from London and Madrid to Afghanistan and Iraq, questions multiply about the effectiveness of current antiterrorist strategies. America's reliance on military approaches and the Bush administration's avowal of a constant state of war have overshadowed nonmilitary, multilateral efforts, and there has been an analogous neglect of these alternative strategies in the literature on terrorism.
Since the 1990s, Asia-Pacific countries have changed their approaches to security cooperation and regional order. The end of the Cold War, the resurgence of China, the Asian economic crisis, and the events of September 11, 2001, have all contributed to important changes in the Asia-Pacific security architecture.
To be involved in politics without aspiring to govern, without seeking to be governed by the best leaders, without desiring to abolish all forms of government: such is the condition common to practitioners of nongovernmental politics. Whether these activists concern themselves with providing humanitarian aid, monitoring human rights violations, protecting the environment, educating consumers, or improving the safety of workers, the legitimacy and efficacy of their initiatives demand that they forsake conventional political ambitions.
Motivated, able, and well-trained military personnel are essential to the success of any military, and personnel policies are crucial to getting and keeping qualified servicemen and women. The transformation of personnel policies is an important element of the broader transformation occurring in Western militaries. Across Europe and North America, nations are embracing plans to change military personnel policies to build future capabilities consistent with new strategic environments and with the demographic and societal realities of the future.