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In This Issue: June 2008

New Project Explores Rising Powers.

The global order is changing. The 21st century will be marked by many competing sources of global power. Across politics, economics, culture, military strength, and more, a new group of countries has growing influence over the future of the world. Rising Powers: The New Global Reality is a new Stanley Foundation project designed to raise awareness, motivate new thinking, and ultimately improve US foreign policy regarding this global transformation. Learn more about this project and explore the new global reality in a special Web presentation.

Searching for the Olympic Ideals in Beijing.

The Olympic Games logo is said to symbolize the joining of the continents. Its five interlocking rings represent the ideals of goodwill and sportsmanship that the Olympics embraces. The International Olympic Committee says the logo reinforces the idea that the Games are international and should welcome all countries of the world. But amid its bright interlocking rings, much gray area exists for some in the international community with regard to China’s role as host. Stanley Foundation program associate Veronica Tessler discusses how some have concerns about a China that embodies a world of contradictions.

In the Land of R2P.

The situations in Darfur and Myanmar/Burma have prompted much talk of R2P, short for the Responsibility to Protect, and many debates on what to do with this norm. Even experts can disagree on this matter. What is the Responsibility to Protect? Is this a legal determination or is this something that advocates can weigh in on? Is it useful to promote the Responsibility to Protect by highlighting the nonmilitary measures that the principle calls for? Marie Mainil, Stanley Foundation program associate, examines this complicated United Nations doctrine.


Beyond The Headlines

What Postville Reveals at Home and Abroad.

The May 12 raid of the Iowa meatpacking company Agriprocessors Inc. by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement fueled already robust debate over the illegal workforce in the nation’s agricultural, service, and production industries. More than 300 workers were detained in the largest raid in national history. The public and federal backlash against Agriprocessors’ employment of suspected undocumented workers is not unique, nor is it settled. Developed countries around the world face increased opposition from native citizens to illegal labor due to perceived job scarcity and stress on social services. The European Union, the United States, Australia, India, and China are all demonstrating an increase in apprehension toward illegal immigration. Perhaps most indicative of this backlash is Netherlands, a country whose historic legacy of tolerance and role as a sanctuary for migrants was cut short when it called for “civic integration examinations” to test the Dutchness of anyone looking to take advantage of the benefits of citizenship.

Yet many see migrant labor as a positive force in expanding local economies and fueling necessary cultural exchange. Illegal labor pools flow from Eurasia to Saudi Arabia’s service sectors, Southeast Asia provides China’s unfettered urban construction, and Latin American labor upholds agro processing north into America’s heartland. While legal migrants obtain some of the highest-paying positions, those who come to the jobs illegally are unable to do so. As financial borders dissolve and the global economy becomes increasingly fluid, many countries—apprehensive or not—find regulating this rapidly growing segment of the workforce difficult. The International Organization for Migration, the Center for Immigration Studies, and Human Rights Watch provide insight into and analysis of this contentious issue.

NPT: 40 Years and Counting.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). As more countries gain the technology to proliferate, and as developing countries toy with the idea of going nuclear, is there reason to celebrate this milestone? For two weeks at the end of April, the NPT Preparatory Committee met in Geneva to discuss progress that has been made in addition to the continuing challenges that the treaty faces. The strength of the pillars of the NPT remains in question, and many have grown fearful that the nuclear option has become increasingly attractive to some states. The nonproliferation regime continues to face challenges with regard to verification and safeguards, and the activities of Iran and North Korea, and a Syrian facility similar to one of the DPRK’s leaves many questions unanswered as to the strategic value of nuclear weapons and how to dissuade other states from acquiring them.

Reports of reductions in nuclear weapons among nuclear weapons states are not enough, many argued in Geneva. Transparency is lacking, and the rate of reductions is not satisfactory to many. The road to disarmament, laid out by a 13-step roadmap unanimously adopted at the 2000 Review Conference, has been shaken by uncertainty of both nuclear weapons and nonnuclear weapons states. The global challenge posed by oil scarcity and global warming also account for many unknowns, specifically on issues related to an international nuclear fuel bank. Still, the political posturing toward disarmament by both US presidential candidates and public calls for a world free of nuclear weapons are seen as significant steps in the long road to zero.


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