Brianna Masciel CMC '15
Four years ago at the FIFA World Cup, South Africa was at the height of international acclaim. With the eyes of the world upon them, the country delivered. The games were seen as an overall success with little to scrutinize and attracted positive media attention. As everyone celebrated the success of the games, South Africa had a lot to be happy about: a peaceful and well-run tournament as well as a growing economy. While developed economies in the West were in recession, foreign investors turned their attention to diversifying away from these regions and began to increase capital in developing economies. According to Jesse Colombo of Forbes Magazine, the low interest rates in developed economies caused “4 trillion of speculative ‘hot money’ to flow into emerging market investments.”[i] These growing markets included several countries, mainly Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which were coined BRICS. South Africa joined this group as the economy benefited from the increase in capital and the demand for currency. This steady acceleration in developing economies allowed for great growth during this time.
Jenya Green, CMC ‘16
In a letter to John Kerry on April 4th, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch urged the Secretary of State to withhold permission for resumption of U.S. military aid to Egypt. The letter cites numerous examples of Egypt’s failure to move toward democratic governance under its current military rule, including violations of the right to assembly guaranteed in the new Egyptian Constitution and the sentencing of 529 people to death on March 24. Egypt’s move away from meaningful progress toward democracy has done little to change U.S. aid policy in the country, just as Hosni Mubarak’s thirty years in power did not dissuade the United States from maintaining close ties with the North African nation.
Maresa Carnevale CMC '16
Photo Credit: Washington Post
On the evening of March 30th Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, addressed a cheering crowd in the center of Ankara. Over the excited chants and animated flag waving, Erdogan proclaimed, “My brothers; I thank each of you because you have protected the ideal of a great Turkey and the targets of a great Turkey. You have supported your prime minister, your party, the politics, your own future with your own will.”[i]
Prime Minister Erdogan was not, in fact, up for reelection in March; this last election cycle merely served to elect the mayors of city, district, and town municipalities. However, amidst the widespread protests and corruption scandals that have plagued the nation in the preceding months, the local elections were predicted to be a referendum on the Prime Minister himself and the rule of his party, known as the Justice and Development Party or the AKP. Opposition hopes that the local elections would push the AKP out of positions of local control were dashed; despite vocal disapproval for the ruling party, the AKP managed to pull 45% of the popular vote- a strong plurality- and captured key cities including Istanbul, the home base of many government protestors.[ii] Oral Çalışlar, a columnist for the Turkish newspaper Radikal, declared, “The real world defeated the cyber world.”[iii]
Alyssa Minamide and Janice Han CMC ‘15
Despite David Sanger’s relatively unimposing stature, his extensive knowledge of East Asia, U.S. foreign policy, and more recently the debate on cyber warfare is enough to make anyone feel a little intimidated. An interview with Sanger by the Keck Journal touched on all three categories of his expertise but focused heavily on the last one, specifically, America’s involvement in cyber attacks.
Sanger views cyber attacks as a foreign policy tool. He compared them to the nuclear bomb, an “incredible weapon that we used before we thought about it,” and before that land mines, chemical and biological weapons, in order to point out a historical pattern where countries have used new technology before they realized its full destructive capacity. Only after journalists sparked public debate, Sanger argued, did the morality of these weapons come into question. Since such a discussion about cyber warfare has not yet been raised on the policy level, he emphasized that the U.S. and other countries need to reach a consensus not only on how to use cyber weapons, but why they are using them in the first place.
Xinzhu “Nancy” Li CMC '15
Since 1949, China’s healthcare reform history has seen an improvement in quantity and quality with some important milestones, namely the establishment of the Public Health System (建立公费医疗制度与其改革) in 1949 and its reform in 1984, the Labor Medical System (建立劳保医疗制度与其改革) in 1953 and its reform in 1990, and the Cooperative Medical System (建立农村合作医疗制度) in 1960. After the successful experiment of the “Two River” Pilot Program of the Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (建立与扩大“两江”试点城镇职工医保) in 1994, China expanded the program to 56 more cities in 1996, followed by the Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (建立城镇职工医保) in 1998, the New Rural Cooperative Medical System (建立新农合) in 2003, the Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (建立城镇居民医保) in 2007, and the initiative of Big Illness Medical Insurance (大病医保) in 2012. At first glance, it seems that the Chinese public health system is gradually proceeding in its breadth and depth. However, such gradualism has marginalized the poor and failed to contribute to the ideal of “Shared Prosperity” (共同富裕). This article analyzes the historical trends of healthcare schemes and evaluates its outcomes in the perspective of poverty alleviation for the underprivileged rural and urban population.
On January 30th, Professor Shimon Shetreet from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, gave a talk titled “Creating a Culture of Peace in the Middle East.” Professor Shetreet has participated in a number of international conferences of culture of peace. He introduced in the lecture the concept of four pillars of peace: security and political peace; economic peace; values peace; and religious peace.
How exactly does one go about implementing these pillars of peace, however, particularly in the volatile environment of the Middle East? In an exclusive interview with the Keck Journal of Foreign Affairs, Professor Shetreet provided further insight into his ideas of peace through historical, current and theoretical examples.
Christine Wilkes CMC '16
In December, Brazil's Bolsa Familia program celebrated its tenth anniversary. Bolsa Familia, as well as Mexico's Oportunidades program, is part of a new wave of social welfare initiatives called conditional cash transfers (CCT). Since the 1990's, developing countries around the world have been experimenting with CCT programs. The idea has spread rapidly due to the early success of programs in Brazil and Mexico. Conditional cash transfer programs target low income families, offer them monthly stipends for meeting the requirements of the program, and allow the government to collect data to evaluate impact of the initiative.
Hyo Sung Joo CMC '15
Source: Twin Cities Daily Planet
With a 47.8 billion dollar budget request for 2014, the U.S. dominates in the provision of foreign aid. The main American motive behind aid is to, as stated by the Department of State, “provide the people and programs necessary to protect U.S. interests, promote peace and ensure America’s leadership in the world.” However, in the area of food aid, the current system is flawed in that it is not only failing to make a sustainable and positive difference for recipients, but also that it has negative externalities for America itself. By conducting a case study of Ethiopia, a longstanding recipient of U.S. food aid, this paper examines an alternative process, locally and regionally procured (LRP) food aid, as a possible choice for food aid to Ethiopia and other applicable nations.
Harry Arnold CMC '17
In a stunning revelation of bipartisan agreement, the heads of both the House and Senate intelligence committees recently proclaimed that the United States is not safer as a country than it was two years ago. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House committee, and Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairman of the Senate committee, cited the increasing threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists across the globe. On an even more alarming note, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently testified that al-Qaeda is just as great a threat as it was a decade ago.  Such assertions may seem contradictory to the recent successes of the Obama administration, which include the assassination of Osama bin Laden and the deaths of other high level al-Qaeda members via drone strikes. However, according to Congressman Rogers these recent successes have only “fostered a false sense of security” among the public.  The unfortunate reality is that the threat posed by international terrorists has significantly exacerbated since 9/11.
Umar Farooq CMC '17
The following article discusses the legal text of the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We have provided the text of the Treaty below the article for reference.
With the announcement of a new agreement between Iran and Western powers, the international community rejoiced at the diplomatic breakthrough between the countries. While some aspects of the deal, such as capping Iranian enrichment at five percent, were clear, other aspects have been interpreted differently by various parties. In a Sunday morning television broadcast, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated the agreement affirmed the “right…that Iran can continue its enrichment.”  The text of the agreement does not explicitly guarantee Iran a right to enrichment.  Instead, it avoids the issue of the right to enrichment all together. And it is understandable why. A meeting earlier this month between the P5+1 and Iran collapsed over the issue of whether or not Iran had a right to enrich uranium. While Iran insists it is entitled to this right, Western opposition has yet to acknowledge this right. This poses an interesting question as to whether or not the right to nuclear enrichment is guaranteed in international law, and whether or not it can be superseded. By understanding the nature of this debate further, it can shed light on how the West and Iran might be able to achieve further compromise and new agreements in the future.