The Diplomacy of Space Security: Whither the International Code of Conduct?
The potential for outer space weaponization represented by the testing of anti-satellite weapons by China and the U.S. in 2007 and 2008 respectively has raised long dormant concerns. These may help explain the initiative of the European Union to present a draft Code of Conduct on Outer Space activities in December 2008. This collection of voluntary confidence-building measures has had a difficult diplomatic roll-out, with over five years of EU-conducted consultations still not resulting in an agreed product. An evaluation of the Code's contents concludes that its most promising elements lie in its provision for an on-going, institutionalized discussion of outer space issues amongst subscribing states. A review of reactions to the proposed Code on the part of leading space nations highlights some of the outstanding areas of concern. Unless the EU finds a way to "multilateralize" the negotiation of the Code it may prove difficult to bring this initiative to a successful conclusion.
Are Development Statistics Manipulable?
Andrew Kerner, Morten Jerven and Alison Beatty
Coordinating foreign aid distribution to the poorest countries requires classifying them into developmental cohorts. In principle these designations are objective and immune from manipulation by aid-seeking countries. The objectivity and reliability of these data are important for aid distribution as well as for the use of these data in social scientific applications. We ask whether there are indications that these data are being influenced by aid-seeking manipulation. To do so we examine the distribution of GNIs per capita around the eligibility threshold for World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). We examine the data as whole and separately for countries that are plausibly more motivated to aid-seek by virtue of their aid-dependence or more capable of doing so by virtue of being perceived as trustworthy. We show that the distribution of GNIs per capita from aid-dependent countries displays indications of aid-seeking data manipulation. This finding is robust to a variety of model specifications, but somewhat sensitive to the exclusion of individual countries from the sample. As such, these findings are more suggestive than definitive, but they do lend credence to the idea of data generation as a strategic process and suggest the need for more research in this area.
Regional Identities and Communities
Jeffrey T. Checkel
In exploring the relationship between regional identities/communities and regional institutions, political scientists (IR theorists in particular) typically focus on how established institutions affect feelings of community and identity. In contrast, area specialists and historians often ‘reverse the causal arrow,’ asking how pre-existing senses of community facilitate the emergence of regional organizations in the first place. I argue that this relationship is both over- and under-studied. For the EU we have a rich, interdisciplinary set of findings about identity and how it is shaped. Outside of Europe, we know less. Partly this is a reflection of weaker institutions with shorter histories, but it also reveals a tendency to let suggestive stories of identity’s role substitute for systematic analysis. Regardless of the region, future work on the institutions/identity nexus needs to take more seriously both domestic context and process.
An Incomplete Transition? Explaining the Ongoing Prevalence of Violence against Women in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Melissa Rossann Gregg
The international community considers South Africa a regional bastion of democratic, economic and social rebirth. Yet rates of violence against women in South Africa remain endemically high. This paper examines the diffusion of norms of nonviolence and gender equality from the international community into South African law and society and the subsequent feedback of those norms, to measure South Africa’s compliance with international human rights standards. Institutions and social processes are modeled at three levels: macro (international), meso (national) and micro (community/individual). The model highlights six ways in which norms are weakened or blocked: accessibility, apparent compliance, institutional weakness, divergent priorities, silencing and norm violation fatigue. Each of these is examined in turn.
Youth and 'Refo-lution'? Protest Politics in India and the Global Context
This paper aims to set recent research on youth, social change and politics in India into the context of the patterns and possibilities of what we may call the ‘protest politics’ of the present. While similarities across such events as the Arab Spring, the “Occupy” movement in North America or recent protests in Spain, Greece, Turkey and Brazil should not be overemphasized, the idea that values of democracy, social justice and dignity provide a common foundation is persuasive. In India, the campaign against corruption launched in 2011 by Anna Hazare that gave rise to the Aam Aadmi (common man's) party marks a dissatisfaction with “politics as usual” that is unlikely to go away. Much will depend, however, on whether the movement can build and sustain a broad-based coalition.
Judges Discover Politics: Justice, Realpolitik, and Judges' Activism in Contemporary Turkey
The case of Turkey presents unique opportunities to expand the theoretical horizons of research on the “legal complex”. This paper explores factors behind the growth of off-the-bench activism by judges and prosecutors between 1980 and 2010 and identifies three stages: the collusion between the military and high courts from the 1980 coup until 2005; the increasing politicization and polarization of the legal complex in 2005–2010; and the restructuring of the judiciary in the wake of the 2010 constitutional referendum. Attention is paid to how individual professionals and judicial organizations shape political and judicial processes, but also to the effects of the government’s quest to eliminate political rivals and rearrange the balance of power within the governing coalition.
Recruitment, Retention, and Religion in Rebel Groups
Scott Gates and Ragnhild Nordas
Recruitment and retention are fundamental requirements for any organization. For a rebel group engaged in armed conflict with the state, recruitment and retention of personnel can constitute the difference between life and death for the leadership of the organization and the organization itself. Using a principal–agent analysis of participation and incentive compatibility constraints, we develop a formal model of recruitment and retention in a rebel group with and without contestation. The model better accounts for positive utility from fighting, and therefore helps understand recruitment and retention in a wider set of rebel groups – from loot-seeking organizations motivated by private benefits, to those motivated by communal benefits or ideological or religious principles. We explore the differences between groups of varying degrees of extremist and non-extremist doctrine, focusing on the mobilization to such groups. We demonstrate systematic difference in the capacity of rebel groups and trace this to their recruitment potential.