3 February 2017   Leave a comment

Jan Fichtner of the University of Amsterdam has published an essay in the Review of International Studies that raises some questions about the argument that US power in the international system is declining.  Fichtner looks specifically at what he terms “Anglo-American” dominance in the international political economy.  It is a scholarly article and not a light read, but the essay documents the strength of liberal institutions in global finance and the conclusion is that the idea that non-liberal states are eroding American hegemony is not substantiated.  The conclusion is that “….this article evaluates data for nine central segments of global finance from around the year 2000 to 2014. Contrary to the assertions of many declinists, these data show that Anglo-America’s dominant structural power has been persistent during this period. Moreover, four novel visualisations show that the US-UK axis is the fulcrum of the international financial system.”

The Pew Research Center has released a study about how citizens in different countries define what it means to be a member of a distinct “nation”.  The Center interviewed people from a variety of nations and found some interesting differences in terms of what constitutes a “birth right”.  Language, religion, customs, and place of birth were some of the criteria used in the poll but there are some interesting variations among nations.   The study is quite extensive and deserves a close read.

 

Romania has been rocked by very large protests over the last four days in response to an emergency decree by the government that decriminalizes governmental corruption if the amount of money involved is less than $48,000.  The protests are the largest the country has seen since the downfall of the communist government in 1989.  The European Union (EU) has voiced concern over the rule change and what it signals about the government’s commitment to democracy.  The constitutional court will rule on the decree on Tuesday, but if it is not overturned, it will become effective on 9 February.

Romanian Protests

Image result for romanian protests

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Posted February 3, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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