January/February 2001

January/February 2001
80, 1

Essays

Essay
Arthur Hertzberg

At the heart of the conflict in the Middle East stand two irreconcilable ideologies: Zionism and the Palestinian dream of a homeland. Adherents on either side cannot accept the demands of the other, so perfect peace remains a fantasy. But another solution exists: to abandon grand plans and muddle forward. Piecemeal solutions can succeed where ambitious strategies have failed. Indeed, they are now the only option.

Essay
William Pfaff

America's predominance in the world has become the rallying cry of both liberals and conservatives in Washington. But this so-called New Wilsonianism is untenable: as history shows, a superpower inevitably invites opposition.

Essay
Andrew J. Nathan

In China today, economic reform continues apace. Political liberalization, however, remains essentially frozen -- as it has been since the tragic suppression of student demonstrations in the spring of 1989. The massive student protests, which filled Beijing's Tiananmen Square and other public places in cities throughout China, were meant to push the country's authoritarian rulers toward political reform. They failed.

Essay
David Shambaugh

China may be the most important country in America's future. Its power is undoubtedly on the rise, and Washington must give it due regard. U.S.-China relations have recently made great progress, particularly on trade-related issues. But the relationship is fraught with tensions that could explode into conflict at any time. The next administration needs to get China policy right, before disaster strikes.

Essay
David E. Sanger

Washington faces two enormous tasks in forming economic policy: it must preserve U.S. economic supremacy while defusing the bitter resentment that America's clout provokes abroad. A grand bargain with developing countries is badly needed. For starters, America should slash its trade barriers in agriculture and textiles in return for a global accord on intellectual-property rights.

Essay
Laurie Garrett

Biological terrorism is now a greater menace than ever, yet the world remains woefully unprepared to protect itself. Public health systems must stockpile vaccines and develop response strategies -- but they risk losing legitimacy if governments continue to rely on the military and the police for defense against bioterrorism. It is time to seriously rethink the U.S. approach to this deadly threat.

Essay
Ashton B. Carter

The U.S. military dominates the world, holding a qualitative edge over friend and foe alike. But that edge may now be slipping. Although the armed forces themselves remain sharp, the institutions that support them are in trouble. Bad management and low morale have weakened America's security establishment and may soon undermine the nation's military power. Washington must make major changes, and fast.

Essay
Kent E. Calder

After more than 50 years of dominating Northeast Asian diplomacy, Washington must now accommodate the fallout from the historic rapprochement between North and South Korea. As regional leaders take the reins of diplomacy, they face an uncertain future and lack the institutions that could guide the transition. The next U.S. administration can help, but not until it rethinks its own regional policies.

Essay
Chris Hedges

Last autumn's fresh outbreak of violence between Palestinians and Israelis has shaken an assumption that has reigned since the 1993 Oslo peace accords: that negotiations and interim agreements can lay the roadwork for a lasting peace. Now Oslo's delegitimization has swayed public opinion in Israel and the occupied territories away from compromise and toward more radical solutions.

Essay
Arthur Hertzberg

At the heart of the conflict in the Middle East stand two irreconcilable ideologies: Zionism and the Palestinian dream of a homeland. Adherents on either side cannot accept the demands of the other, so perfect peace remains a fantasy. But another solution exists: to abandon grand plans and muddle forward. Piecemeal solutions can succeed where ambitious strategies have failed. Indeed, they are now the only option.

Essay
Carl Bildt

Recent political transitions in Belgrade and Zagreb have created a historic chance to make lasting peace in the Balkans. Torn by ethnic strife for a century and a half, the region must now choose between disintegration into ever-smaller ethnic states and integration into the European Union. The EU must actively facilitate the latter, or the Balkans could suffer another round of bloody war.

Essay
Bruce R. Scott

Why has the developing world become poorer as the industrialized nations have grown richer? Robust growth depends on a strong state that can enforce laws, yet many impoverished countries lack effective governance. And by strictly limiting immigration, rich countries deny the world's poor a chance to vote with their feet.

Essay
Martin Wolf

Doomsayers predict that globalization will weaken national governments. They should bite their tongues. Global governance will of course grow in step with economic integration. But it will actually express and promote, rather than suppress, the interests of nation-states.

Essay
Thomas M. Franck

More and more, the universality of human rights is being challenged. But groups such as the Taliban, who claim to stand for specific values, rarely speak for those they supposedly represent. Herewith a defense of truly global human rights.

Essay
Richard Falk and Andrew Strauss

In international politics, transnational interest groups are gaining clout -- but they lack an institution to represent them. Civil society must make its many voices heard. The global era needs a global parliament.

Essay
William Pfaff

America's predominance in the world has become the rallying cry of both liberals and conservatives in Washington. But this so-called New Wilsonianism is untenable: as history shows, a superpower inevitably invites opposition.

Reviews & Responses

Review Essay
Robert J. Samuelson

The economist Hernando de Soto argues in his new book that property rights are an essential ingredient for economic development. But this single-bullet theory would do better by noting the complex cultural factors that also affect growth.

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