Volume 7 (2010)

The Supreme Court and the Making of Public Policy in Contemporary China

Eric C. Ip

Post-Mao China saw profound social, economic and legal changes. This paper analyzes an often neglected aspect of these transformations: the evolution of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) into an increasingly influential political actor in national law and policy-making. The SPC has self-consciously redefined its mandate to manage state-sponsored legal reforms by performing an expansive range of new functions such as issuing abstract rules, tightening control over lower courts and crafting out a constitutional jurisprudence of its own at the expense of other powerful state actors. It is more assertive than ever its own vision of how law should develop in the contemporary People’s Republic of China (PRC)SPC action can be broadly consistent with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) interests, autonomous and expansive at the same time. However, the SPC’s reform initiatives are inevitably constrained by the vested interests of major bureaucratic players as well as the Party’s insistence on maintaining the Court as an integral administrative agency of its public security system.

Inconsistencies in State Policy: The Relationship Between Institutional Capacity, Governance, and Insurgency in Pakistan

Avideh K. Mayville

Since its inception, Pakistan has endured endless political conflicts. Due to numerous factors, the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been a breeding ground for insurgent movements, including fundamentalist Islamic movements such as al Qaeda and the Taliban. This paper asserts that there is a direct relationship between Pakistan’s institutional capacity and the rise of insurgent movements in the provinces bordering Afghanistan. In fact, institutional capacity is just one of several elements influencing the rise of insurgent groups. Other factors such as inconsistent state policy, ethnic tension, and government unwillingness to respond to local grievances are also main sources of insurgent support. Pakistan would benefit from more consistent policies aimed at (1) establishing a clear stance on religious extremist groups, (2) the development of basic infrastructure and (3) public service job training, in order to rival insurgent groups that currently provide these services.

Spigots Versus Guzzlers: A (Potential) Return to Bipolarity and the Implications of Foreign Dependence on U.S. National Security

E. Philip Lehman

The world is primed for a shift in power-sharing. From an international relations perspective, America’s continued reliance upon foreign oil could facilitate the return of a bipolar world, one consisting of oil haves (which I have termed “spigots”) and oil have-nots (termed “guzzlers”). I argue that a return to bipolarity due to increasing foreign oil dependence severely damages the national security strategy of the United States. This paper assesses the likelihood and potential composition of a theoretical counterbalance to the United States; it also illustrates several policies that would mitigate threats to current American preeminence in economic and global affairs.

Tourism as a Strategy to Promote Economic Development in the Third World

Britni Must

International tourism has emerged as one of the most rapidly growing economic sectors and developing countries are attracting an increasing share of tourists. While tourism offers many third world countries an opportunity for economic development, it also poses several risks for local populations. This paper traces the emergence of Third World tourism and discusses the benefits and risks of developing nations pursuing tourism as an economic development agenda. It concludes with a “pro-poor” framework that policymakers in developing nations can use to assure that the local population benefits from international visitors while minimizing risks.

Ecologically Sound Ponderosa Pine Restoration in Jefferson County: Protecting Residents Within the Wildland Urban Interface

David R. Schott

With large catastrophic wildfires ravaging the West and increasing resources devoted by federal, state and local fire services to suppressing these wildfires, many land managers have encouraged a proactive approach to forest and fire management in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests. By identifying a range of key evaluation criteria for safe and efficient wildfire mitigation interventions in the vulnerable area of Jefferson County, CO, this analysis provides Jefferson Country policy-makers with thorough, data-driven recommendations for protecting citizens, the built environment, and natural resources.

Hezbollah: Organizational Analysis of an Insurgency

Natasha Lander

Counterinsurgency is a complex, multidimensional exercise that requires time and an intricate understanding of an insurgent and their target population to be carried out successfully. Hezbollah, a nearly thirty-year-old insurgency with anti-Israel, anti-Western motivations, has become a legitimate political entity in Lebanon buoyed by radical Islamic states who share their goals. Though Hezbollah is commonly referred to as a terrorist organization, this paper examines Hezbollah through the lens of an insurgency to explain its longevity and the depth of its threat to U.S. interests. Through a discussion of Hezbollah’s support from foreign governments, their ability to provide basic human resources to the Lebanese people, and their large political following, patterns emerge that provide U.S. and Israeli counterinsurgents with tools to combat Hezbollah’s threat.