CIAO DATE: 12/01

International Spectator

The International Spectator

Volume XXXVI No.1 (January - March 2001)


IAI Library Notes
By Maritza Cricorian


Annuario 1999 : la costituzione europea : atti del XIV Convegno Annuale, Perugia 7-8-9- ottobre 1999 / Associazione italiana dei costituzionalisti. - Padova : Cedam, c2000. - XXXII, 633 p. - ISBN 88-13-22621-7
La constitution de l'Europe / editè par Paul Magnette. - Bruxelles : Editions de l'Universitè de Bruxelles, c2000. - 201 p. - ISBN 2-8004-1245-3
Europe's first constitution : the European Political Community, 1952-1954 / Richard T. Griffiths. - London : Federal trust, c2000. - 275 p. - ISBN 1-903403-21-9
These titles attest to the importance that the subject of a possible European constitution has taken on in domestic and international debate at least since mid-2000. A constitution, or constitutional charter, as some prefer to call it, would in fact be the culmination of thirty years of European integration, reconciling national and supranational needs, dissipating ambiguities and establishing objectives and instruments.
Actually, the first volume dates back to before that time and takes a substantially fundamental approach to some issues related to the subject: in fact, it presents the proceedings of the annual conference of Italian constitutionalists. Of the three sessions, the first is on the principles underlying European institutions, the second on the sources of European law, the third on constitutional principles and fundamental rights. The subject of a European constitution was broached more directly and also in relation to the Italian Constitution in the round table that concludes the volume.

The second book also starts out from a colluquium on the subject organised by the Institut d'ètudes europèennes of the Universitè libre de Bruxelles and offers the contributions of an international team of political scientists, legal experts and philosophers. In two distinct sessions, it discusses questions of methodology and content with respect to the possible drafting of a European constitution. The first part, on the foundations of such a constitution, goes over the history of European constitutionalism in the twentieth century and the projects for a European Constitution, discussing the models and the analogies, its legitimacy and usefulness. The second part, on the substance of a European constitution, analyses the problems linked with the informing principles, the protection of fundamental rights, the decision-making process, democracy, the principle of subsidiarity and enhanced cooperation.
The third book shows that there was a precedent in the early fifties to the current debate and the problems now tabled, which seems to have been repressed in our collective memory. The volume goes back to it — the attempt in 1953 to establish the European Political Community (EPC) and the Beyen Plan to set up a European customs union, in order to draw lessons from it for the present. On the basis of research in the archives of the six founding countries of the European Coal and Steel Community, the author retraces the stages of this experience in as many chapters, drawing parallels with current events: the first chapter goes over the preliminary phases which ended with the Luxembourg Resolution of September 1952; the second deals with the activities of the Ad Hoc Assembly set up by the six to work out a draft treaty on EPC; the third covers the twelve months between the inauguration of the Assembly and the summoning of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) and includes the Beyen Plan; the fourth chapter describes the debate within the IGC on the economic clauses of the treaty; the fifth deals with the institutional clauses and describes the initiative's failure. The introduction and the conclusion goes over the problems — then and now — afflicting the debate on the European construction: Europe's incapacity to act, the democratic deficit, diversity of interests, ensuring prosperity, foreign and security policy. The text of the draft treaty embodying the EPC constitution can be found in the appendix to the volume.

Consolidation of democracy in Africa : a view from the South / edited by Hussein Solomon, Ian Liebenberg. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xii, 367 p. - (The making of modern Africa). - ISBN 0-7546-1174-4
This "reader” tries to re-establish an equilibrium between interpretative pessimism and optimism in analysing the latest (late nineties) economic and political developments on the African continent, focussing in particular on the democratisation process and its impact on the civil community. The analysis is broken down into four phases: the first introduces the theoretical debate (the state-democracy conflict, constitutional renewal, the relationship between the state and civil society); the second deals with the global and historical context; the third concentrates on the South African experience and the lessons that can be drawn from it as concerns civil society, civilian-military relations, gender-development-democracy; the fourth and last phase deals with human rights and intergovernmental relations, starting from the case of South Africa. The book shows that there are several possible ways to achieve economic and political reconstruction in Africa (of which there are some positive signs), but that there are no set models for sustainable democracy: they are only just being worked out and this reader is intended as a guidebook to the debate on the subject. An interesting “conflict watch” from October-December 1998 closes the volume.

The dissolution of Yugoslavia and the Badinter Arbitration Commission : a contextual study of peace-making efforts in the post-Cold War world / Steve Terrett. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xxii, 395 p. - ISBN 0-7546-2102-2
Europe and the breakup of Yugoslavia : a political failure in search of a scholarly explanation / Sonia Lucarelli. - The Hague : Kluwer Law International, c2000. - xvi, 278 p. - ISBN 90-411-1439-4
The Yugoslav conflict offers an interesting case study for a number of reasons: it is a case of ethnic conflict, but with international repercussions; it is proof of the crisis of the nation-state; it was a test bed for major international actors; it occurred at a time of “systemic change” (the new world order); it brought to the fore the new threats to international stability and security.
These two books study different aspects of it. The first is centred around the motivations for the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the role played by the Badinter Commission in the process. In particular, it clarifies the nature and the validity of international legal advice in this process, and some problematic aspects of peaceful resolution of intra-state conflicts, but above all the Commission's judicial practice in this respect. The book is composed of ten multidisciplinary chapters that focus on: the work methodology, Yugoslav history, the post-Cold War international scenario, the responses to the conflict of the major international institutions, the dissolution of the country in light of Commission judicial practice, present threats to international peace and security and, finally, international legal developments.
The second volume analyses the opportunities and challenges that the Yugoslav conflict offered international actors and in particular the post-Cold War adaptations of NATO, CSCE/OSCE, EC/EU, the relations between these adaptations and the Yugoslav conflict, the European institutional context and, specifically, the positions of France, Great Britain and Germany. In other words, this study aims to identify the factors that influenced the decisions of the main actors involved in the conflict and the possible interaction between their decision-making and their institutional/international membership. Methodologically, the study experiments with a synthesis of three different theoretical tools; Waltz' neorealism, Keohane's neoliberal/rational institutionalism and Moravcsik's liberal intergovernmentalism, assessing the explanatory power of each in reference to a common object of study. Formally, the text is divided into three parts: the first, descriptive, offers a chronological reconstruction and an evaluation of the characteristics of the management of the Yugoslav conflict: the second, analytical, introduces the theoretical framework; the third presents a detailed report of the way in which the conflict was managed and particularly of the two main debates that informed the European response to the conflict.

Evolution and devolution : the dynamics of sovereignty and security in post-Cold War Europe / Tom Lansford. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - viii, 242 p. - ISBN 0-7546-1255-4
A study of the dynamics of European military integration in relation to the existence of the nation state. The first part of the book outlines the theoretical framework and the principal changes that have taken place in the international system (the debate between the two main schools of internationalist thought — realism and institutionalism; the role of the nation state in the postwar period; the current Western European security system and its impact on the security policy of nation states, with an eye to the role played by the US). The second analyses the new threats to security that Europe is facing (the re-emergence of nationalism; instability on Europe's southern flank and the threats to European interests in the region; nuclear, biological and chemical weapons proliferation). The third and last section presents three case studies that show a trend towards and the efforts made to further military and industrial integration (the European Defence Community (EDC) experience at the beginning of the Cold War; the development in the post-Cold Was period of the Western European Union and the Western European Armaments Group (WEAG) and the efforts to transform the WEU into an operational body and to give the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) a greater role in European security; the effort to develop a single Western European defence market and the strategies to save the European industrial base, analysed against the background of current trends in the defence industry). The study concludes that converging factors will ensure that the trend and the efforts continue towards ever greater European military integration.

Funding virtue : civil society aid and democracy promotion / Marina Ottaway, Thomas Carothers, editors. - Washington : Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, c2000. - x, 340 p. - ISBN 0-87003-178-3 (pbk)
The third force : the rise of transnational civil society / Ann M. Florini, editor. - Tokyo : Japan Center for International Exchange ; Washington : Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, c2000. - viii, 295 p. - ISBN 0-87003-179-1 (pbk)
The subject of civil society (volunteer associations) has recently become particularly popular in various sectors, even though there is not yet a consensus on the phenomenon's definition and role. These two books attest to the Carnegie Endowment's interest in the subject. Both are the works of groups of authors from different backgrounds and experiences, bringing together a number of case studies. But this is where the similarities end.
The “fundamentals” are analysed in the second of the two volumes, which questions the role, the usefulness, the effectiveness and the limits of civil society, particularly transnationally, in six case studies, six success — or almost — stories: Transparency International against corruption; various groups in favour of nuclear weapons control; a transnational network of civil society against the construction of large dams; the mobilisation against the repression of the Zapatist movement in Mexico; the international campaign to ban land mines, from the point of view of the Japanese experience; the impact of transnational civil society on attitudes towards human rights. More than thirty pages of annotated bibliography make the book a useful research tool.
The first book, on the other hand, analyses and assesses more specifically civil society's aid policy, the expectations it generates, its instruments and final impact. The analysis is conducted by means of five case studies — the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America — carried out at the regional level and that of one specific beneficiary country (one for each region: Egypt for the Middle East, the Philippines for Asia, etc.). The authors work from the point of view of American civil society, in particular, USAID because it is best known to them and because they are convinced that its bases are not too different from those of other Western initiatives. In fact, the studies show that while all Western aid in the broad sense follows the same approach, the characteristics of civil society change from region to region. While the authors' points of view differ, their conclusions seem to converge, above all in identifying the shortcomings, conceptual and applicational, of aid programmes: the risk of undermining the legitimacy of the organisations that receive the aid, the limits of the political role of NGOs, the poor results of projects implemented, the operational slowness and red tape, etc.

The geostrategic triad : living with China, Europe, and Russia / Zbigniew Brzezinski. - Washington : CSIS, c2000. - XII, 75 p. - (Singificant issues ; v.23, n.1). - ISBN 0-89206-384-X
The three chapters that make up this book, already published in The National Interest, take on new topicality and significance in the dawn of the Bush administration. In it, Brzezinski, former national security advisor, uses an interdisciplinary approach to try to counterbalance the current trend towards increasingly “iconic thinking” and the sectorialisation of American political debate on the international position of the United States, and makes an effort to expand its strategic vision, define priorities and outline a strategy to fulfil them. Analysis starts out with the consideration that the international success of the US is linked to its relations with Eurasia, and in particular China, Japan, Russia and Europe. Even more specifically, he identifies two potential triangles among these four: US-EU-Russia and US-Japan-China. Of interest is the fact that, in each of these triangles, only one of the partners is presently pursuing the objective of global stability along with the US: the EU in the first, Japan in the second. As for the other partners, there are enormous differences in terms of challenges and priorities. The author suggests a strategy for each.

Islam and European legal systems / edited by Silvio Ferrari, Anthony Bradney. — Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. — x, 203 p. — ISBN 1-84014-466-1
This study is based on the assumption that polarisation is increasing between Islam and the West and that ways must be sought to re-establish reciprocal adaptation, an inter-religious and cultural co-habitation between the two sides. It is up to European jurists to rethink the identity of their land and the fundamentals of European law in a multi-cultural context to allow the legal system of the majority to exist alongside that of minority groups. To that end, agreements and protocols should be signed guaranteeing a certain autonomy for religious minorities, an optio juris that allows the two systems to co-exist in a plurality of systems in which some are only applied and observed spontaneously and voluntarily, in total respect of the guarantees requested by the country of residence.

The nuclear challenge : US-Russian strategic relations after the Cold War / Christoph Bluth. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - viii, 190 p. - ISBN 1-85521-896-8
The focus of this study is the role and the evolution of strategic nuclear arms control in US-Russian relations since 1991. The thesis is the conviction that nuclear weapons continue to constitute a threat to international security given the substantial failure of the United States and Russia to manage the nuclear heredity of the Cold War. Therefore, the objective of current arms control — and thus of the two largest superpowers — should be, in the author's opinion, not just strategic equilibrium, but nuclear safety, that is, control up to the total elimination of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons, through close cooperation of the two actors. The author repeats the concept of “cooperative denuclearisation” formulated in 1993 by Harvard University's Center for Science and International Affairs, defined as “the elimination of tactical nuclear weapons, the elimination of the bulk of strategic nuclear weapons and the establishment of international norms which push nuclear weapons to the fringe of international life”. According to the author, the undeniable effort for cooperation between the two countries has to continue to ensure that “the entire promising network of arms control agreements [...] does not unravel”.

The politics of British arms sales since 1964 : ‘to secure our rightful share' / Mark Phythian. - Manchester : Manchester University Press, c2000. - xii, 340 p. - ISBN 0-7190-5907-0
Part of a broader research study on British arms sales policy since 1945, conducted wherever possible in archives, and focussed on the period between 1964 and 1999, this study was carried out by means of selected case studies (Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Gulf). It is meant to show that that history has not been a total success, on the contrary, it has had major costs for Great Britain, such as less authority internationally and a corrosion of values domestically. Without trying to predict the future, the author lays down some principles that should guide the British government in avoiding the errors of the past and pursuing a more responsible (and therefore more restrictive) arms sales policy (no arms exports to countries that could use them for internal repression, that have violated UN Security Council resolutions, that are in war or could enter into war, etc.)

The role of small states in the European Union / Baldur Thorhallsson. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - x, 252 p. - ISBN 0-7546-1423-9
This book, based on a PhD thesis, analyses the behaviour of small states (practically all the new EU candidates except Poland) in the Community decision-making process as concerns agricultural and regional policies in the light of the pioneering studies of Peter J. Katzenstein. It tries to determine whether there is a reciprocal interaction between the size of these countries and their international behaviour. The study covers from 1986 to 1994 (nine years) and compares seven small (in terms of population, territory and GDP) member states — Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal — with the, at the time, five biggest. The author resorts to secondary and primary sources, above all interviews. The results are divided into seven chapters, in addition to the introduction, concerning respectively: the conceptual framework; the interests, above all economic, of the small EU states; the behaviour of these states in the two sectoral policies considered; the administrative procedures of these states in the decision-making process of the CAP and regional policy; the relations among small EU states in these two policy sectors; in particular in the propositional and negotiating phases; the negotiating approach of these states in the decision-making process of the Council of Ministers, the European Council and between members states and the Commission; a critical evaluation of Katzenstein's methodological approach in this specific field.

South American Free Trade Area or Free Trade Area of the Americas? : open regionalism and the future of regional economic integration in South America / Mario Esteban Carranza. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xiv, 245 p. - (The political economy of Latin Amrica). - ISBN 1-84014-795-4
The book reflects the author's scientific interest in the new regionalism and Mercosur. The thesis is that with the current structural conditions, Latin America does not need to integrate economically with the United States (FTAA) and can emancipate itself by playing a role between the opposing blocs that characterise the global scenario and by strengthening its position in the trade negotiations with the United States (SAFTA).
The book's six chapters deal with: relations between globalisation and regionalism and the interpretations of the latter given by the various internationalist theories; the history of Latin American integration and the roots of the neoliberal model of economic development embraced by it; the results achieved by Mercosur in the nineties and alternative directions that it could take; the negotiations among the “hemispheric” diplomacy between the two Summits of the Americas held in Miami (1994) and Santiago (1998); the relations between the United States and Latin America and the former's presumed hegemonic influence over the latter. The sixth and last chapter goes back to the themes of regionalism and globalisation and proposes three alternative scenarios for US-South American relations in the third millennium.

Taiwan's security in the post-Deng Xiaoping era / Martin L. Lasater, Peter Kien-hong Yu; with contributions from Kuang-ming Hsu and Robyn Lim. - London : Frank Cass, 2000. - xii, 355 p. - ISBN 0-7146-5083-8
Taiwan Strait dilemmas : China-Taiwan-U.S. policies in the new century / edited by Gerrit W. Gong. - Washington : The CSIS Press, c2000. - XVIII, 174 p. - (Significant issues ; v.22, n.1). - ISBN 0-89206-363-7
Taiwan's geostrategic importance has grown decidedly since the fall of the Soviet Union and its security is now of international interest, as these two volumes demonstrate.
The first gives a detailed analysis of the factors that threaten the security of the island at the turn of the century and attempts to determine possible political solutions. It is made up of eight chapters, plus the conclusions, grouped into three sections. The first reconstructs the key factors for the island's security in the post-Deng era; the second analyses the possibility of reconciliation/unification with China, retracing the proposals made on both sides through the years and the domestic reactions of the other state; the third gives the international perceptions of Taiwan's geostrategic importance; the fifth analyses China's military pressure on Taipei, while the fifth outlines the main scenarios of a military attack by China; the sixth analyses the island's strategic priorities — national and military; the seventh examines aspects of the US role in Taiwan's security not dealt with previously; and the eighth assesses Taiwan's possible participation in the theater missile defence system for northeast Asia. The conclusions summarise the main arguments, offering some policy recommendations to both Taipei and Washington.
In the second book, the result of a forum organised by the CSIS at the end of 1999, scholars from the three countries involved indicate four problem areas with regard to Taiwan's future and analyse them in eleven chapters: the first gives the political picture and its ambiguities, including the possible role of the interim arrangements and Chinese and US perceptions of Taiwan; chapters three through six present the prospect of the island's possible participation in international organisations and even independence; the next three chapters assess factors of economic dependence and interdependence (production cycles, trade, investments); the tenth and eleventh chapters analyse the reasons for the stall in cross-strait relations and possible contingent developments.