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U.S. Politics & Policy

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Beyond Gridlock

The “golden era” of American environmental lawmaking in the 1960s and 1970s saw twenty-two pieces of major environmental legislation (including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act) passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress and signed into law by presidents of both parties. But since then partisanship, the dramatic movement of Republicans to the right, and political brinksmanship have led to legislative gridlock on environmental issues. In this book, Christopher Klyza and David Sousa argue that the longstanding legislative stalemate at the national level has forced environmental policymaking onto other pathways.

Klyza and Sousa identify and analyze five alternative policy paths, which they illustrate with case studies from 1990 to the present: “appropriations politics” in Congress; executive authority; the role of the courts; “next-generation” collaborative experiments; and policymaking at the state and local levels. This updated edition features a new chapter discussing environmental policy developments from 2006 to 2012, including intensifying partisanship on the environment, the failure of Congress to pass climate legislation, the ramifications of Massachusetts v. EPA, and other Obama administration executive actions (some of which have reversed Bush administration executive actions). Yet, they argue, despite legislative gridlock, the legacy of 1960s and 1970s policies has created an enduring “green state” rooted in statutes, bureaucratic routines, and public expectations.

The idea of the interconnectedness of nature is at the heart of environmental science. By contrast, American policy making and governance are characterized by fragmentation. Separation of powers, divergent ideologies, and geographical separation all work against a unified environmental policy. Nowhere does this mismatch between problem and solution pose a greater challenge than in climate change policy, which has implications for energy use, air quality, and such related areas as agriculture and land use. This book stresses the importance of environmental policy integration at all levels of government. It shows that effectively integrated climate, energy, and air pollution policy would ensure that tradeoffs are clear, that policies are designed to maximize and coordinate beneficial effects, and that implementation takes into account the wide range of related issues.

The authors focus on four major climate-change policy issues: burning coal to generate electricity, increasing the efficiency and use of alternative energy, reducing emissions from transportation, and understanding agriculture’s role in both generating and sequestering greenhouse gases. Going beyond specific policy concerns, the book provides a framework, based on the idea of policy integration, for assessing future climate-change policy choices.

Roots, Strategies, and Responses

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars and policy analysts in national security have turned their attention to terrorism, considering not only how to prevent future attacks but also the roots of the problem. This book offers some of the latest research in terrorism studies. The contributors examine the sources of contemporary terrorism, discussing the impact of globalization, the influence of religious beliefs, and the increasing dissatisfaction felt by the world’s powerless. They consider the strategies and motivations of terrorists, offering contending perspectives on whether or not terrorists can be said to achieve their goals; explore different responses to the threat of terrorism, discussing such topics as how the United States can work more effectively with its allies; and contemplate the future of al-Qaida, asking if its networked structure is an asset or a liability.

The essays in Contending with Terrorism address some of the central topics in the analysis of contemporary terrorism. They promise to guide future policy and inspire further research into one of most important security issues of the twenty-first century.

Contributors: Max Abrahms, Daniel Byman, Erica Chenoweth, Audrey Kurth Cronin, Renée de Nevers, Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni, Hillel Frisch, Calvert Jones, Andrew Kydd, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, Elizabeth McClellan, Nicholas Miller, Assaf Moghadam, Michael Mousseau, Rysia Murphy, William Rose, Paul Staniland, Robert Trager, Barbara Walter, Dessislava Zagorcheva

Preemption, Regime Change, and US Policy toward Iran, Iraq, and North Korea

In January 2002, President George W. Bush declared Iran, Iraq, and North Korea constituents of an "axis of evil." US strategy toward each of these countries has clearly varied since, yet similar issues and policy options have emerged for US relations with all three. Reshaping Rogue States seeks to improve our understanding of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as well as of current and future policy options to combat the threats these nations pose. The book's comprehensive analysis of preemption and regime change debates the circumstances under which each policy might be justified or legal under international law. Prominent strategists and policymakers consider alternatives to preemption—including prevention, counterproliferation, and cooperative security—and draw conclusions from efforts to bring about regime change in the past.

Reshaping Rogue States also reviews the differing policy challenges presented by each so-called axis member. Specifically, it considers how the United States might strike a balance with North Korea through multilateral negotiations; the changes within Iran that call for changes in US policy; and the dilemmas the United States faces in post-Saddam Iraq, including continuing insurgency, instability, and the feasibility of democracy.

Using Soft Power to Undermine Terrorist Networks

Although military operations have dominated media coverage of the war on terrorism, a much broader array of policy options may hold the key to reducing the appeal of global terrorist networks, particularly in economically destitute areas. These strategies involve the use of "soft power," a term first used by political scientist Joseph Nye in a 1990 article in Foreign Policy to describe nonmilitary strategies to shape international relations and behavior.

The Battle for Hearts and Minds discusses four aspects of soft power. The first section of the book considers failed or failing states as havens for transnational terrorist networks, and examines the most effective ways to build stable nations in unstable regions, including focused looks at Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. The second section explores postconflict reconstruction, including in-depth examinations of security, justice and reconciliation, opportunities for achieving socioeconomic well-being, and increased participation in government. The third section examines public diplomacy, asking whether the United States needs new policies or simply a new image to increase its appeal in the Arab and Muslim world. The final section of the book looks at foreign assistance, and assesses the potential of the current administration's "Millennium Challenge Account" (or as one contributor puts it, "Compassionate Conservatism Meets Global Poverty") to combat poverty, increase democracy, and reduce the appeal of terror. The Battle for Hearts and Minds presents a balanced assessment of the role that nonmilitary options can play against transnational terrorist networks.

Winning Without War

On September 11, 2001, the United States began to consider the terrorist threat in a new light. Terrorism was no longer something that happened in other countries on other continents but became a pressing domestic concern for the US government and American citizens. The nation suddenly faced a protracted struggle.

In Terrorism, Freedom, and Security, Philip Heymann continues the discussion of responses to terrorism that he began in his widely read Terrorism and America. He argues that diplomacy, intelligence, and international law should play a larger role than military action in our counterterrorism policy; instead of waging "war" against terrorism, the United States needs a broader range of policies. Heymann believes that many of the policies adopted since September 11—including trials before military tribunals, secret detentions, and the subcontracting of interrogation to countries where torture is routine—are at odds with American political and legal traditions and create disturbing precedents. Americans should not be expected to accept apparently indefinite infringements on civil liberties and the abandonment of such constitutional principles as separation of powers and the rule of law. Heymann believes that the United States can guard against the continuing threat of terrorism while keeping its traditional democratic values in place.

International Perspectives on US Foreign Policy

The United States is the only superpower in the world today. Although the media are filled with prescriptions for how Washington might best wield its power, rarely are other countries asked what role they would like the United States to play.

In What Does the World Want from America?, writers from twelve countries or regions (Brazil, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Russia, Singapore, and South Africa) answer the question, "In an ideal world, what role would you want the United States to perform with your country and region?" Four analysts from the United States then respond, addressing the extent to which overseas opinion should be incorporated into the formulation and conduct of United States foreign policy and recommending what the United States should attempt to do in the world, particularly after the horrific attacks of September 11. What Does the World Want from America? serves as a starting point for analysis of the US role in the world and the ends to which US power might be used.

More than a decade has passed since the end of the Cold War, but the United States has yet to reach a consensus on a coherent approach to the international use of American power. The essays in this volume present contending perspectives on the future of U.S. grand strategy. U.S. policy options include primacy, cooperative security, selective engagement, and retrenchment. This revised edition includes additional and more recent analysis and advocacy of these options. The volume includes the Clinton administration's National Security Strategy for a New Century, the most recent official statement of American grand strategy, so readers can compare proposed strategies with the official U.S. government position.

Partnerships between the public and private sectors to fulfill public functions are on the increase at every level of government. In the United States and Canada they currently operate in most policy areas, and in the U.S. trial programs are planned by the Internal Revenue Service, the Census Bureau, and the Social Security Administration.

Partnerships represent the second generation of efforts to bring competitive market discipline to bear on government operations. Unlike the first generation of privatizing efforts, partnering involves sharing both responsibility and financial risk. In the best situations, the strengths of each sector maximize overall performance. In these cases, partnering institutionalizes collaborative arrangements in which the differences between the sectors become blurred.

This is the first book to evaluate public-private partnerships in a broad range of policy areas. The chapters focus on education, health care and health policy, welfare, prisons, the criminal justice system, environmental policy, energy policy, technology research and development, and transportation. The contributors come from a number of fields, including political science, education, law, economics, and public health. They merge experiential and social-scientific findings to examine how partnerships perform, to identify the conditions in which they work best, and to determine when they might be expected to fail.

Contributors:
Ronald J. Daniels, James A. Dunn, Jr., Sheldon Kamieniecki, Harry M. Levin, Stephen H. Linder, Nicholas P. Lovrich, Jr., Mark Carl Rom, Pauline Vaillancourt Rosenau, Walter A. Rosenbaum, Anne Larason Schneider, David Shafie, Julie Silvers, Michael S. Sparer, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Michael J. Trebilcock, Scott J. Wallsten.

Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack


Nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons delivered covertly by terrorists or hostile governments pose a significant and growing threat to the United States and other countries. Although the threat of NBC attack is widely recognized as a central national security issue, most analysts have assumed that the primary danger is military use by states in war, with traditional military means of delivery. The threat of covert attack has been imprudently neglected.

Covert attack is hard to deter or prevent, and NBC weapons suitable for covert attack are available to a growing range of states and groups hostile to the United States. At the same time, constraints on their use appear to be eroding. This volume analyzes the nature and limits of the covert NBC threat and proposes a measured set of policy responses, focused on improving intelligence and consequence-management capabilities to reduce U.S. vulnerability.

About the authors:
Richard A. Falkenrath is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He served as Executive Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) and, before that, as a Research Fellow. He is the author and co-author of Shaping Europe's Military Order (1995), Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy (1996), America's Achilles' Heel:Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack (1998), and numerous journal articles and chapters of edited volumes. Falkenrath has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the German Society of Foreign Affairs (DGAP) in Bonn. He holds a PhD from the Department of War Studies, King's College, London, where he was a British Marshall Scholar, and is a summa cum laude graduate of Occidental College, Los Angeles, with degrees in economics and international relations. He is on leave in 2001-2002 and is currently serving as Director for Counterproliferation and Homeland Defense at the National Security Council.

Bradley A. Thayer is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

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