Harvard International Review

This journal provides commentary, news and analysis of global developments in politics, economics, public policy, science and culture.

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 1, Spring

A More Perfect Union: The AU's Failures and Future
Does the African Union have a future? Founded in 2002 to replace the preexisting Organization of African Unity (OAU), the AU originally championed a "United States of Africa" that would work toward collective security and prosperity. Yet as the AU...
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A Muted Controversy: Freedom of Speech in Turkey
In the past decade, Turkey has consistently imprisoned more journalists than any other country. Although Turkey's repression of free speech ought to be internationally newsworthy given its status as a democratic nation, the issue has been overshadowed...
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An Imperfect Democracy: The Case of South Africa
South Africa has been regarded as a hopeful example of moving past a racially divided and ethnically cleaved world. In my 13 years as the leader of South Africa's principal opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), I have thought long about racial...
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An Unfinished Transition: Latin America's Performance in Freedom in the World
Many contemporary observers of Latin America seem to have short memories. International press coverage of the region is dominated by problems such as social discontent, crime and drug trafficking, and political corruption. With the rise of Venezuelan...
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A Poisonous Ally: Growing Russo-British Tensions
When former KGB agent and Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko died after being poisoned with radioactive polonium in November 2006, everyone suspected foul play. But the murder turned political when British investigators found substantial evidence...
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Assessing Globalization: Benefits and Drawbacks of Trade and Integration
Globalization continues to be a divisive subject among political activists, academics, business leaders, and policymakers. Some look at the rapid economic and political changes taking place around the world and see injustice. Others observe these same...
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At a Dangerous Crossroads; A Global Approach to Iranian Nuclear Ambitions
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Over the last few years, the United States has lost considerable influence and trust in the Middle East and other regions, undermining the expectations and power of US leadership in the eyes of the world. Today, Iraq remains...
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Beyond the Ballot Box: Social Groups and Voting in Democratic Polities
Elections matter in democratic societies. They not only decide who will govern, but they can also reveal, beneath the surface, other important pieces of information about political life. Behind the aggregate total of votes received by each party lies...
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Bound and Gagged: Silent Censorship in the Arab Press
On February 12, 2008, information ministers from the 22 member states of the Arab League met in Cairo to discuss the issue of censorship. The result of the meeting was a charter for a decidedly paternalistic regional media code that would allow host...
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Building Coherence: Development, Financial Systems, and Institutions
In the 1980s and 1990s, a number of developing countries pursued extensive economic reforms that in many cases succeeded in achieving economic stability, but rarely resulted in high and sustained economic growth. Only since the turn of the millennium...
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Closing the Gap: Media, Politics, and Citizen Participation
It's primary election night in Manchester, New Hampshire. Bright lights of media tents beckon political thrill seekers, most of whom are trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite candidate or media celebrity. The lights cast an eerie glow on the...
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Just Another Forum?
Ambassador Blaise Godet ("Reforming Human Rights," Winter 2008) defends the early steps of the Human Rights Council (HRC) as it tries to avoid the criticisms that resulted in the demise to the Human Rights Commission. However, there are still many...
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Letter from the Editors
Peering forward from 1979, even the most prescient thinker could not have foreseen the events that have unfolded in the last 30 years. In a world characterized by constant action, the temptation is to impatiently press forward so as not to be left...
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Misplaced Priorities; Ethanol Promotion and Its Unintended Consequences
When the state of Iowa becomes a priority in the US presidential election, it is only a matter of time before agriculture dominates the discussion. Indeed, US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama all brought out their...
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New Environmentalism
The awards of Nobel Peace Prizes to Al Gore (2007) and Wangari Maathai (2004) were initially greeted with the question: What does the environment have to do with peace (or war)? Maathai answers this question ("An Unbreakable Link: Peace, Environment,...
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Opportunities Lost: The UN's Failure to Fight the HIV/AIDS Cisis
Let me open with a simple statement of conviction: I have always believed and continue to believe that it is possible to turn the tide on AIDS in Africa. Clearly then, something is missing at the heart of the analysis to explain why remediation has...
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Peace and Human Rights; Lessons in Security and Stability
What should be done on an international scale to combat modern slavery in the form of forced labor and human trafficking, which so often targets the most vulnerable among the world's children? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As you can imagine, a number...
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Progress, but to What End? 2007 Electoral Reform in Mexico
Throughout most of the 20th century, Mexico was known as an exceptional case of successful and continuous one-party rule in the Americas. That came to an end in 2000, when Vicente Fox took the presidency away from the Institutional Revolutionary Party...
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Rethinking Economic Reform: The Controversial Outcomes of Structural Adjustment
The co-authors of Human Rights and Structural Adjustment, M. Rodwan Abouharb and David Cingranelli, present a simple and straightforward argument: the economic reform programs initiated by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in the 1980s,...
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Russian Muslims: Religious Leaven in a Secular Society
Islam in Russia is full of surprises. It suffered serious human and institutional losses during periods of extreme intolerance. In the nineteenth century, for example, Tsarist Russia rested on "orthodoxy, autocracy, populism"--the three "root essences"...
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The Road Ahead: Progress and Challenges in Iraq
In recent months, top officials in the US government have been calling attention to the reported progress in Iraq. According to current data, positive trends do in fact exist. This is not meant to congratulate the Bush administration--whatever success...
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The Wisdom of the Masses; A Philosophical Case for Elections
At first glance, it seems absurd. Why does the modern world choose its leaders through popular elections? Why does the United States think that tens of millions of citizens who do not even know the name of their representatives in Congress can intelligently...
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Tipping the Scale: Gender Imbalance in China
Nearly 30 years after the implementation of China's one-child policy, the population of the world's largest nation weighs in at an estimated 1.3 billion people--300 million less than was projected in the 1970s. Government officials attribute this decrease...
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Wavering Amigos: The Politics of American Integration
When the "Three Amigos"--more formally known as US President George Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin--met in Waco, Texas in 2005, they aimed to expand integration beyond 1994's landmark NAFTA. But such optimism...
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