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Engaging Today's Global Citizen August 2009
In the Issue
Features

Clinton Defines Smart Cooperation. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent major address at the Council on Foreign Relations was notable as a statement of foreign policy strategy. It detailed how the Obama administration will use various forms of international cooperation to achieve its goals. Stanley Foundation program officer David Shorr reveals the underlying ideas of the administration's "smart cooperation" approach.


The Changing Global Order: Beyond Our "Rising Powers." Across politics, economics, culture, military strength, and more, a new group of countries has growing influence over the future of the world. While the Stanley Foundation chose to focus on nine countries in its Rising Powers project, they are not the only ones challenging the global order. Learn more about how other countries are gaining power on the world stage. This article is part of a series related to the Stanley Foundation effort "Rising Powers: The New Global Reality."


New Instruments for Addressing Fragile Nations. The world is experiencing a severe strain on existing tools for dealing with fragile post-conflict nations. In the stubborn realities of war-ravaged and severely weakened post-conflict nations, there is often a vacuum of leadership, functioning state institutions, social services, and basic public safety. This "gap in sovereignty," as some analysts have described it, requires more timely and qualitatively different inputs from the international community than traditional instruments can provide. Stanley Foundation senior fellow Michael Kraig discusses the importance of an all new set of tools created by the UN for addressing fragile nations.


Beyond the Headlines

Walter Cronkite (1916-2009). Walter Cronkite’s death last month marked the end of an era in broadcast journalism and it held special significance for us at the Stanley Foundation. Cronkite was the anchor for two highly praised public radio documentaries produced by the foundation in 2001, the Iran Project and the Russia Project. Keith Porter, the foundation’s director of policy and outreach, and Kristin McHugh, former foundation program officer and radio producer, shared their remembrances of that collaboration in this op-ed. Cronkite, of course, was the de facto narrator for most major international events of the late 20th century. From the beaches of Normandy to Vietnam to the Iran hostage crisis, Cronkite was the eyes and ears of a nation. He was also a supporter of the world federalist movement, and he won the World Federalist Association's Norman Cousins Global Governance Award in 1999. His contributions as both a broadcast journalist and a world citizen will not soon be forgotten.


So Many Summits, So Little Progress? The recent North American summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, is cause to reflect upon the numerous meetings between various heads of state and examine the actual outcomes generated from such events. At the trilateral summit, the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States pledged to reexamine immigration reform. But what exactly do pledges like this mean?

At the April 2009 G-20 summit in London, the leaders of the 19 largest national economies and the European Union promised to take whatever action necessary to stimulate the global economy. However, the specifics of how this would actually be done weren’t offered in official communiqués. In July 2009, the leaders of the industrialized nations comprising the G-8 pledged that global temperatures would not be allowed to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius. Yet honoring promises to curb global climate change seems nearly impossible without countries such as China and India at the table. With more summits scheduled yet this year, a strategic rethinking of how these gatherings of world leaders can more effectively achieve real progress on transnational issues might be in order.


Stay Active
Foriegn Policy in Practice

On September 24 the members of the G-20 will reconvene in Pittsburgh to continue negotiations on some of the most critical issues facing the international community. Sure to be on the agenda are the global economic crisis, climate change, and economic aid to developing countries. As the date of the summit nears, more and more information is available on the Web. Everything from the official and the educational to the local and the analytical can be found. Check out what we’re reading about the upcoming G-20 summit


Tools for Action

President Obama's pledge "to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons" provides advocates with a unique opportunity to advance their arguments. In the past six months, three separate research projects have examined public opinion and understanding about nuclear weapons policy, and what that implies for effective advocacy. While there are many areas of commonality among the research findings, there are also some notable differences. US in the World (USITW) is synthesizing and analyzing the findings, and on July 16 they presented insights from their work to date and discussed some of the points of tension and disagreement that have surfaced among the research findings. USITW's final analysis and messaging recommendations are due to be issued later this summer.


New Resource

WallStats.com has just released the 2010 Death and Taxes poster. Using circles that are proportional in size to the spending totals of more than 500 programs and departments, the poster is a large representational graph of the federal budget. "Death and Taxes is an essential poster for any responsible citizen or information junkie," according to the company's Web site. You can view it online or purchase one to hang on your wall.


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