Magazine article The Brown Journal of World Affairs

Editors' Foreword

Magazine article The Brown Journal of World Affairs

Editors' Foreword

Article excerpt

AMID HYPERBOLIC CABLE NEWS FLASHES and obfuscated government information, distinguishing between sensationalized claims of novelty and substantive developments in world affairs is now more difficult than ever. Such a task, however, is necessary to find the right combination of historical context and fresh perspective with which to understand international relations. This issue of the Journal undertakes this task in each thematic section.

In 2005, President Bush's controversial appointment of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank was said to have triggered a new era in the Bank's history that would redefine relations between the Bank and the world at large. Our section on Wolfowitz's World Bank asks authors to assess such claims. Our authors finalized their analyses before the direct confrontations of this spring regarding Wolfowitz's leadership flared up. These essays now provide critical context for understanding the embroilment. Several authors note that despite the fanfare and protest over his agenda, Wolfowitz's campaign to fight corruption is not altogether novel: the Bank undertook similar efforts under previous presidents, and its study of corruption has a decades-long history. Does Wolfowitz's agenda represent a small shift in emphasis or a fundamental change in development strategy? And whatever the magnitude of his ambitions, can Wolfowitz successfully implement change? Finally, will his policy choices benefit the Bank and its clients?

For many analysts in the press and on Capitol Hill the Madrid and London bombings (in 2004 and 2005 respectively) demonstrated an entirely new threat: they were conducted by Spanish and British residents. Our section titled "Homegrown Terrorism" examines the phenomenon of terrorists recruited or self-enlisted from within domestic Western populations. Is this a fundamentally new threat, and if so, how serious a threat does it represent? …

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