In November 2008, the world witnessed a transformative moment with the elec- tion of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to hold this office. This past U.S. election was historic not just because of Obama’s victory, but because of the exciting—if controversial— candidacies of two women. Hillary Rodham Clinton made the first serious run by a woman for a major party’s presidential nomination, and Sarah Palin became the first female vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party. While Clinton’s and Palin’s candidacies raised questions about feminism, sexism, motherhood, and the viability of female candidates at the national level, their presence marked how far women have come in the United States.
Women in Power looks at the ideals and realities of women in power and those seeking it in countries as different as Germany, Rwanda, and Taiwan. Irene Tinker describes how quota systems have had different effects on women’s representation in devel- oped and developing nations. Joyce Mushaben argues that Chancellor Angel Merkel forged her own political destiny without appealing to feminist arguments and with the quiet persistence of her East German upbringing. Annette Lu, former vice president of Taiwan, reflects on her activist background and steps towards democ- ratization in her country. Gwendolyn Mikell shows how popular reactions to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s leadership in Liberia exemplify a growing African sentiment that women’s political leadership is essential in post-conflict societies. Jacqueline Armijo discusses how Muslim women in China have empowered themselves and their communities through active participation in mosques and as religious scholars.
As the world welcomes an African American U.S. president, it confronts chal- lenges new and old—we hope this issue of the Journal helps makes sense of them.
– Carolyn Barnett & Eric Peter
Forum: Trade on Trial
- Introduction by Clyde Wilcox | Read
This Forum explores how women around the world have been taking positions of power and leadership in domestic and international affairs. From Angela Merkel’s confident maneuvering in European and world politics, to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s presidency and reconciliation efforts in post-conflict Liberia, to the community leadership of Uighur women in China, women push for change—in their own societies and beyond.
- Assumptions and Realities: Electoral Quotas for Women by Irene Tinker |
- A Woman You Can Trust: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Political Leadership in Sub-Saharan Africa by Gwendolyn Mikell |
- Madam Chancellor: Angela Merkel and the Triangulation of German Foreign Policy by Joyce Mushaben | Read
- A Unique Heritage of Leadership: Muslim Women in China by Jacqueline Armijo |
- An End to Patriarchy: Democratic Transformation and Women's LIberation in Taiwan by Annette Lu |
Politics & Diplomacy
- Beyond the Water's Edge: The Role of Ex-Presidents in U.S. Foreign Policy by Alex J. Douville|
The ability of ex-presidents to influence world politics has increased exponentially, complementing U.S. foreign policy in unique and unprecedented ways
The history of Robert Mugabe’s rise to power is one of violence fueled by anger. Hopes for democratic reform were dashed by Mugabe’s autocratic one-party rule. The authors conclude that the political violence in Zimbabwe has so damaged the society that reconstruction and reconciliation are enormous challenges that will take years to address.
Conflict & Security
- NATO in Afghanistan: A Roadmap for Success by Mihai P. Carp | Read
In response to a resurgent Taliban, NATO allies need to bolster security, governance, and development efforts while ensuring the Afghan government fulfills its commitments.
- Influence Warfare and Modern Terrorism by James J. F. Forest |
With the battle for hearts and minds increasingly fought on the Internet, the United States must develop a new information strategy to discredit al-Qaeda’s violent tactics and to empower Muslims to refute its ideology.
Culture & Society
- Criminalizing "Immigrant" Youth in France by Susan Terrio |
French legislators and justice officials have fundamentally revised what was once a model system of juvenile justice, imposing harsher penalties for youth offenses in the face of a media panic over so-called “new delinquents,” typically the children and grandchildren of North and West African immigrants from former French colonies.
- The Hindutva View of History: Rewriting Textbooks in India and the United States by Kamala Visweswaran, Michael Witzel, Nandini Manjrekar, Dipta Bhog, and Uma Chakravarti |
Organizations associated with India’s BJP political party and the Sangh Parivar have attempted to fundamentally and inaccurately revise textbooks to propagate a Hindu nationalist view in Californian and Indian schoolbooks.
Law & Ethics
- The Common Good and Rights: A Neo-Communitarian Approach by Amitai Etzioni |
Neo-Communitarianism argues that individual rights and the common good are irreducible moral commitments, and that conflict between rights and the common good are a natural outcome of their competing moral positions.
- Extreme Measures: The U.S. Removal of "Protected Persons" From Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan by Gary D. Solis |
Deportation of foreign prisoners to Guantánamo Bay is in violation of the Geneva Convention and the U.S. Congress should take a leading role in holding officials accountable for their illegal actions.
Business & Economics
- Pipeline Power: The War in Georgia and the Future of the Caucasian Energy Corridor by Svante E. Cornell |
- Calming Troubled Waters: The Bailout of Fannie and Freddie by Robert Martin |
Science & Technology
- Russia's Nanotechnology Revolution by Paul R. Josephson |
After years of neglecting scientific research, Russia is sinking billions of rubles into the development of nanotechnology—an initiative it sees as critical to its reemergence as a superpower.
- Eye in the Sky: Monitoring Human Rights Abuses Using Geospatial Technology by Lars Bromley |
Human rights and humanitarian relief organizations have started to use geospatial technologies with the long-term potential for supporting human rights advocacy around the world.
- How to Make a Great Power a Smart Power by Sam Brannen |
A review of Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America by Ted Galen Carpenter.
- East Asia's Sorry Politics by John Feffer |
A review of Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States by Alexis Dudden.
A Look Back
- Cooperative Threat Reduction and Nuclear Security by Richard Lugar | Read
Senator Richard Lugar discusses the Nunn-Lugar program, a bipartisan effort to destroy nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the former Soviet Union.