CIAO DATE: 12/01

International Spectator

The International Spectator

Volume XXXVI No.1 (January - March 2001)


IAI Library Notes
By Maritza Cricorian


Betting for and against EMU : who wins and who loses in Italy and in the UK from the process of European Monetary integration / Leila Simona Talani. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - x, 329 p. - ISBN 0-7546-1054-3
The author experiments with a new approach to behavioural analysis of international financial and monetary markets – and in particular foreign exchange markets, in an attempt to identify the motivations that drive a country to commit itself to a fixed exchange rate, the basis for the credibility of such a commitment and the impulses that determine a reorientation of market expectations and, therefore, speculative attacks. The analysis shows that neither a socio-political approach nor an economic approach are, in themselves, enough to explain these phenomena, but that an integrated view provides a more complete representation of reality.
Analysis is carried out at three different levels: the first is political-economic analysis of the structure of capital and the relations between the various social forces; the second is a purely economic analysis of the preferences of interest groups; the third is a purely political analysis of the process of political/institutional bargaining. This produces an osmotic and dynamic model of analysis applied to two specific cases: Italy and the United Kingdom, in their experience with fixed exchange rates in the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the European Monetary System (December 1978 – September 1992).
A list of abbreviations and acronyms would have facilitated reading.

The boundaries of international law : a feminist analysis / Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin. - New York : Juris Publishing ; Manchester : Manchester University Press, c2000. - xviii, 414 p. - (Melland Schill studies in international law). - ISBN 0-7190-3739-5
The most interesting feature of this book may be that it was written by experts in international law, not in feminist theory, who nevertheless apply the instruments of theoretical feminism to international law, coming up with results that might be useful in other sectors of international law (e.g. NGOs or other entities kept on the margins of the international legal system). They do not come up with any new theories or feminist methods but shed light on the role of “gender and sex” in international law, the exclusion of women from its construction, the discrimination which it perpetuates to their detriment – with a central focus on the adult woman, rather than the child – and the future limits of doctrine, in an attempt to redraw its boundaries so as to make up for the injustices perpetrated. Their objectives are twofold: academic and political.
Some of the essays already published in other sources have been updated to 1998 and are completed by a bibliography, an alphabetical table of the cases and a chronological table of treaties.

A changing Turkey : the challenge to Europe and the United States / Heinz Kramer. - Washington : Brookings Institution Press, c2000. - xvi, 304 p. - ISBN 0-8157-5023-4
After the Second World War, Turkey played a strategically important and political role in the Eurasian and Mediterranean areas which has not diminished with the end of the Cold War, but changed.
The book describes this change, the forces that have brought it about and their impact on Turkey’s relations with its European and American allies. In particular, the first part of the book focuses on internal changes: the ethnic and religious challenges to the Kemalist tradition (the Kurdish question and the revival of Islam), the political developments and the growth of civil society in the late eighties/early nineties. The second part centres on the political and security environment, on the country’s foreign policy, especially its relations with the West, also seen from the point of view of American interests in the region. The third part is dedicated to analysis of European and American policies towards Turkey and ends with some warnings to both parties: they must take these changes into account and adjust their policies if they want to maintain good relations with Turkey and safeguard international security in the region.
Thus, the book is policy-oriented with, in the author’s words, a liberal-democratic slant.

Civil Islam : Muslims and democratization in Indonesia / Robert W. Hefner. - Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2000. - xxiv, 286 p. - (Princeton studies in Muslim politics). - ISBN 0-691-05047-3 (pbk)
An original case study in social anthropology of democratisation applied to Islam and in particular Indonesia. On the basis of almost a decade of in loco studies started in 1991, the author tries to explain the emergence of a democratic and reformist movement in Muslim Indonesia in the eighties and nineties. Starting from an historical-cultural background analysis, he considers the archipelago’s entire Muslim community, not only the Islamists or the supporters of the idea of an “Islamic state”. The approach adopted is biased towards a Muslim point of view, since Indonesia is the largest country in the world with a Muslim majority. Methodologically, the work tries to combine historical sociology and social anthropology, giving a series of significant examples of key moments and events. It is hoped that the conclusions are valid for all democratisation experiences around the world, including those in the West.

Committee governance in the European Union / Thomas Christiansen & Emil Kirchner eds. - Manchester : Manchester University Press, c2000. - x, 189 p. - (Europe in change). - ISBN 0-7190-5552-0 (hbk)
The result of a research project launched in 1997 by a workshop, the book delves into the important political role played by “technical” committees in the process of European integration, but also the scientific debate related to them in that they are seen as expressions of the opposing trends of “intergovernmentalism vs supranationalism” inherent in the European decision-making process.
The first chapters provide the theoretical-conceptual and institutional framework, while the others are prevalently centred on sectoral case studies. In particular, the first chapter works out a model/matrix to represent the “mix” of various degrees of administrative autonomy and supranational integration – in short, administrative fusion – behind the development of committee governance. This thesis is supported by the following chapter in which the author points out five causes for EU committee governance.
The third chapter describes the ever greater involvement of the European Parliament in establishing and controlling these committees and urges a review of the EP’s powers of control over them to overcome the current limitations. But so as not to generalise, the next chapters analyse single EU policy-making areas: environmental policy (Chap. 4), in which European policies seem to be renationalising and institutional structures disintegrating; foreign economic policy (Chap. 5), development of space (Chap. 6), describing the role of the agencies; monetary policy (Chap. 7); and Common Foreign and Security Policy (Chap. 8), in which, unlike environmental policy, there seems to be a hybridisation of intergovernmentalism and supranationalism and increasing institutionalisation of political coordination.
Finally, the ninth chapter is dedicated to the accountability of comitology, that is, the democratic credentials of committee governance, highlighting some problems and providing three principles for evaluation of committees.>
On the whole, the book calls for a new European administrative culture and a process of European convergence in public administration.

Diritto delle comunit´ e dell’Unione Europea / Stefania Tescaroli. - Padova : CEDAM, c2000. - XXXIV, 573 p. - (Urbanistica, opere pubbliche, espropriazioni ; 5). - ISBN 88-13-22788-4
L’ONU: il diritto delle Nazioni Unite / Sergio Marchisio. - Bologna : il Mulino, c2000. -(Strumenti. Diritto). -ISBN 88-15-06022-7
Two Italian manuals of international law.
The first, although centred on Community law and institutions, also deals with the law of the international organisations within the framework of which Community law has developed, on the one hand, and the domestic law which it affects, on the other, as well as its relations with both so as not to be seen in isolation. The first, more lengthy part of the volume is an introduction for the lay reader to the legal institutions in question and some key legal terms. The second part is strictly on “The Community and the European Union”. Ample space is dedicated to some judgements of the European Court of Justice and the International Court of Justice. The style is straightforward and effective. The appendix offers the reader some practical instruments such as a glossary of 680 terms in five European languages, synoptic summaries and a bibliography.
The second book is a handbook of the United Nations’ legal provisions and institutions, with a critical assessment of practice. The intention is to determine the relation between UN law and that of the international community. In addition to a review of historic origins, the foundations and the main adjustments made to UN law, some of the main – not all – sectors of UN activity are analysed: the General Assembly and the protection of human rights, the Security Council and the maintenance of peace, the elimination of colonialism and the self-determination of peoples, economic and social cooperation. A substantial bibliography completes the work.

Documents on the laws of war / edited by Adam Roberts and Richard Guelff. – 3rd ed. – Oxford : Oxford University Press, c2000. – xvi, 765 p. – (ISBN 0-19-876390-5)
A commendable collection of treaties and other documents correlated to the laws of war, the first edition of which dates back to 1982. More precisely, the focus of the book are the provisions which currently regulate armed conflict in the broad sense (jus in bello), that is not only declared war, even though there is some overlapping with jus ad bellum. Included therefore are documents regarding the protection of civilians, the wounded and prisoners of war. From a formal point of view, there are two types of documents: real treaties and other relevant texts. All are presented in chronological order, in the original version, generally complete and without comment: they are introduced only by a short preface that puts them into context and followed by a conclusive note providing some detailed information such as the list of signatories, etc. The depositary information is updated to 12 August 1999. The book includes a selected bibliography on the modern laws of war as of 1856.

Dollar diplomacy : United States economic assistance to Latin America / Francis Adams. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xvi, 200 p. - (The political economy of Latin America). - ISBN 1-84014-741-5
This work analyses American perceptions of US foreign aid policy vis-´-vis Latin America in a precise period, from 1960 to 2000. Thus it identifies a few shortcomings/requirements such as simplifying and prioritising objectives; sharing information and resources among institutions involved; actively involving the beneficiaries of aid by strengthening non governmental organisations.
Of note is that one third of the volume is composed of documentary appendices (6) as well as the usual instruments for consultation (chronology, glossary, selected bibliography, analytical index)

Euro-Mediterranean Partnership for the 21st Century / edited by Hans Günter Brauch. . . [et al.]. - Houndmills : Macmillan Press ; New York : St. Martin’s Press, 2000. - XX, 477p. - ISBN 0-312-23331-0
The book builds on a panel organised by the Third Pan-European Conference, held in Vienna in September 1998, with three new chapters. The authors, including the editors, are of various geographic and cultural backgrounds, but focus their attention on a single subject: confidence- and partnership-building measures (CBMs and PBMs) in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, the Barcelona Declaration (November 1995) and the Third Ministerial Conference in Stuttgart (April 1999).
The work deals with the entire Mediterranean region (13 countries), the international organisations involved (EU, NATO, OSCE, WEU) and two subregional conflicts (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus). It is divided into five parts in addition to the introduction: 1) the development and application of the CBM concept; 2) the Northern debate on CBMs; 3) the perceptions and debate on the southern shores of the Mediterranean; 4) the experience of the Dayton Accords and the Cyprus conflict; 5) the prospects for the process and the editors’ proposals for the twenty-first century, above and beyond the deadlines foreseen for MEDA II (2006).
An documentary appendix containing the conclusions of four Euro-Mediterranean ministerial conferences and a weighty bibliography complete the volume.

German politics today / Geoffrey K. Roberts. - Manchester : Manchester University Press, c2000. - xviii, 221 p. - (Politics today). - ISBN 0-7190-4961-X (pbk)
The new Germany and migration in Europe / Barbara Marshall. - Manchester : Manchester University Press. - xii, 186 p. - (Europe in change). - ISBN 0-7190-4336-0 (pbk)
Two books on Germany put out by the same publisher.
The first, broken down into eleven chapters, analyses the German political system – not sectoral policies. The first chapter summarises the historical background of the system, the first forty years of the German federal republic and the “German question”; the second goes over the events that took place between May 1989 and reunification in October 1990; the third identifies the influences that determined the present political system; chapters 4 and 5 examine the characteristics of the electoral system and the so-called “party state”; the sixth is dedicated to German federalism; chapters 7 and 8 analyse the principal institutions and in particular the Chancellory (chap. 7) and the powers of the legislative (chap. 8); the ninth chapter examines the role of lobbies; the tenth relations with Europe; and the eleventh and final chapter tries to draw a balance of the challenges that the German democracy has faced, of the measures that can be undertaken in its defence, of Germany’s “new politics” and its role in the international system.
The second book, on the contrary, deals with precise sectoral policies. In fact, it examines the main aspects of the migratory phenomenon in Germany, highlighting the impact of immigration on German society; the dialectics between pressure for control and exclusion, on the one hand, and political and humanitarian obligations, on the other, and the resulting process of political/cultural maturation; and, finally, the formation of nationality legislation and an immigration law.
It is well known that Germany became a land of immigration in the late postwar period and especially after the fall of the Iron Curtain. This has had an impact on the domestic labour market, the housing and welfare system and crime, and nevertheless, at least a part of the political class refuses to acknowledge this reality, creating or leaving numerous problems unsolved. This attitude, combined with ongoing administrative decentralisation and fragmentation has prevented a central approach from being developed and has, thus, led to contrasts and overlapping in the management of immigration. In six chapters (including a historical introduction and conclusions), the book looks at the protests of populations compared to the objective social impact of immigration (chap. 2); the positive efforts made to control the flow of migrants and the pressures that led to them (chap. 3); the European immigration and refugee policies and their impact on German policy-making (chap. 4); the issue of nationality and the new laws on the subject.
In conclusion, there are signs that Germany is heading towards a “normalisation” of its relations with the migratory phenomenon, but also that a large part of the population still has a “distorted” approach to the matter.

Israel / edited by Gregory S. Mahler. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xxviii, 513 p. - (International library of politics and comparative government). - ISBN 1-84014-069-0
In keeping with the series to which it belongs (already presented in this column: no. 1, 1996; no. 3-4, 1997; no. 4, 1998), this book is a collection of essays (25 to be exact) that have appeared in various English periodicals in the last twenty-five/thirty years. It is focused on Israel, obviously, its politics and its government, meaning its set of political and social relations and its institutions.
Some of the subjects dealt with would be found in a discussion of the political set-up of any country, but there are others that would not appear in a similar treatise on other countries – even history books – and that are of exceptional importance for Israel. Among the former are studies on political structures and political behaviour; among the latter, religion, Zionism, military security and foreign relations, immigration and social questions, territorial sovereignty.
The approach is contemporary and critical, offering a comparative reading of the country’s politological tradition. One is left with the general impression that Israel is a country of strong contrasts that has not yet found its permanent identity.

Istituzioni per la pace : teoria e pratica della sicurezza collettiva da Versailles alla ex Jugoslavia / Filippo Andreatta. - Bologna : il Mulino, c2000. - 337 p. - (Ricerca). - ISBN 88-15-07683-2
Based on a doctoral thesis, this work addresses the problem of whether or not there is a definitive solution to the question of international order. To that end, in the first part of the book, the author compares the two main conceptions of collective security: the legalistic or “strong” conception; and the diplomatic or “weak” one. The analysis carried out in the second part also makes use of a number of exemplary cases: Abyssinia, Korea, the Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo. Thus the author shows that international institutions do not necessarily have to be strong in order to be useful and that the diplomatic conception is more functional to the maintenance of international order. In the conclusions, he suggests some possible reforms for the United Nations.

The outsider : prejudice and politics in Italy / Paul M. Sniderman . . . [et al.]. - Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2000. - x, 218 p.- ISBN 0-691-04839-8
Parties and democracy in Italy / James L. Newell. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xiv, 222 p. - (Parties and democracy series). - ISBN 1-85521-859-3
Two books on Italy with different slants and different objectives.
In the first, a study carried out with sociological and statistical methodologies, Italy basically provides a case study that satisfies a number of research conditions: it is a country with strained relations towards foreigners and immigrants and a strong political mobilisation of these sentiments; large inflows have come from both North Africa and Eastern Europe (making it possible to study the influence of race on prejudice); and, finally, northern Italians still has a strong cultural prejudice against southern Italians. The real objective of the authors is to unearth the roots of prejudice and to show that it depends on economic and social conditions rather than on psychological and individual factors. Hence, they develop two models: the “right shock” model and the “two flavours” model. The formers attempts to explain the interaction between politics and prejudice and the prevalence of right-wing attitudes, demonstrating that the hostility towards immigrants is directly proportional to external shocks (social-economic changes) and that there is a reciprocal cause/effect relationship between the hostility and the values of the right (order, respect for authority and discipline) which determine the increased appeal of these values in a part of the left as well. The second model, in trying to explain the cause of this kind of prejudice, combines a “psychological, individualist” thesis which puts the roots of the prejudice down to the individual’s personality, with a “social thesis” which sees the roots as the objective socio-economic conditions and competition for resources. The models were tested in a 1994 telephone opinion survey based on a computer-aided questionnaire, subsequently subjected to statistical analysis.
The second book, is totally centred on Italy and the causes and consequences of the so-called revolution that started in Italy in 1989 with the announced transformation of the Italian Communist Party into a non-communist party, a process which, in the author’s opinion, is still under way. In particular, analysis focuses on the political system (parties, institutions, electorate) with the aim of identifying the role of single factors, of explaining the causes of its disintegration, but also the process of reconstruction, of describing the underlying mechanisms and the causal links, basically, of understanding the changes in Italian politics. In order to do so without falling victim to stereotypes and preconceived interpretations, the author feels that it is essential to penetrate the point of view and the context of the subjects described. The book is composed of nine chapters: following an introduction, the second chapter offers a chronological framework from the end of the eighties to the 1996 elections; the third describes the links between the partitocrazia, corruption and the Tangentopoli investigations; the fourth analyses socio-political changes and the emergence of the Lega Nord; the fifth is dedicated to the new electoral law; the sixth outlines the birth of a new political system as of 1994; the seventh examines a few of the main consequences of the new system; the eighth looks at the impact that it has had on politics and the relation between parties and the electorate; the ninth offers conclusions about the quality of Italian democracy.

Private capital flows to Africa : perception and reality / Nils Bhinda. . . [et al.]. - The Hague : FONDAD, c1999. - 178 p. - ISBN 90-74208-15-0
An original research study on the increase in capital flows to Africa, undertaken by four teams of government functionaries from as many African countries – South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – plus a team with general competences (Central Team). The book is divided into four parts: the first presents the data on capital flows and illustrates the difficulties in monitoring them; the second analyses the motivations for such investments and the increase in short-term bank investments, carried out by means of 150 interviews with as many investors to reveal the “supply side” (this is the real methodological innovation of the book); the third part studies the macroeconomic impact and the political implications of the capital flows and, in particular, the destabilising effects on monetary policy and the political instruments used to counter that impact; the fourth and final part describes the measures that would allow African governments to attract long-term (development-oriented) investment and to control the economic impact of capital flows. Perhaps the first systematic study of private capital flows in Africa, this book is intended as a source of ideas for contrasting the instability related to such flows in other geopolitical areas as well.

The rights and duties of neutrals : a general history / Stephen C. Neff. - Manchester : University Press ; New York : Juris Publishing, c2000. - xxii, 246 p. - (Melland Schill Studies in international law). - ISBN 0-7190-5478-8
This original and non-academic book reconstructs the formation of the law of neutrality, deemed to be the law that regulates the coexistence of war and peace, from Medieval times to the present day. In describing the forces that formed it and the way in which that formation was due to the events of the real world and strategists rather than to jurists and scholars, it points to the difficulties that those systemising the matter have faced and the reasons why the law of neutrality substantially continues to have an uncertain conceptual base.
The book principally looks at three issues: contraband, blockade and the capture of enemy property at sea, with greater emphasis on sea than land and on individuals with respect to states. The period of greatest advancement of the right of belligerents over that of neutrals was between the mid eighteenth century and the mid twentieth century. The author hypothesises that the end of the Cold War has led to a new turnaround, at least equal to the one recorded in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Strange power : shaping the parameters of international relations and international political economy / edited by Thomas C. Lawton, James N. Rosenau, Amy c. Verdun. - Aldershot : Ashgate, c2000. - xxii, 453 p. - ISBN 0-7546-1329-1 (pbk)
In memory of Susan Strange, this book brings together contributions from a variety of authors of diverse cultural background, education and experience. In setting Strange’s work into context, it considers the current state of authority in world political economy and, at the same time, the various contemporary internationalist theories.
It touches upon all the British scholar’s main lines of thought: the function of structural power in international political economy; the role of agencies; the relationship between international organisations and international regimes; competition between authorities in the diverse sectors of the global market economy; the hegemonic role of the United States.
Finally, the contributors lend their voices to the agenda that Strange left for future internationalist studies: she was convinced that the global economy requires control and hoped that the various states and political authorities would cooperate in this direction; she also felt that a restructuring of financial powers and public authority was under way but, in a mood inclined towards pessimism, could not imagine a precise alternative to the re-emerging plutocracy, to the current dispute between justice and efficiency. This is the challenge that she threw out to the new generations of students and colleagues.
The volume would not be complete without the annotated bibliography of Strange’s main publications.