Over the last half millennium different societies have moved on to distinct paths of political and economic development. What happened? One answer is collective action and political institutions.
Comparative political economists who pushed this story, or variants of it, naturally appreciated the fact that well-functioning market economies rely on well-functioning governments, just as they naturally appreciated the that government in the developed countries is functioning extremely well, in both historical and cross-country comparison.
Different elements may come into play at different stages of a country’s development. And not all aspects of governance carry equal weight at a particular point in time. Good governance—which requires transparency, accountability, rule of law, and effective and legitimate institutions—is believed to be an important piece of economic development, while poor governance can hobble growth in an otherwise vibrant system. Empirical evidence shows that, on the whole, better governance is correlated with higher growth and better development outcomes.
The few countries that have been able successfully to implement such major political economic reforms have always been either politically competitive liberal democracies, or highly centralized autocracies. Countries that are not on one end of the political spectrum or the other, form the Ottoman Empire in the 1840s and 1850s to the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, have never been able to successfully implement liberalizing reforms to any significant degree, except after unleashing tremendous political instability. Freedom under the law and successful economic development occur together. In our current period, a country like China cannot expect to achieve full development without adopting the rule of law.
Rule of law, in its essence, is a concept as least as old as the Magna Carta, According to this principle, the government and the people are governed by a knowable and predictable set of written principles that apply equally to everyone within the jurisdiction of the government. Only if those principles are knowable and predictable can people optimally organize their affairs to pursue happiness.
The huge variation we see in the world today in both economic and political outcomes is the result of long-run historical and political processes. For good reason, rule of law has become a popular recommendation in the arena of development. For democratic choices, institutional research provide guidelines for drafting policy procedures, involving not just making laws but the administrative decision making that inevitably follows. Implementation is worth studying precisely because it is a struggle over the realization of ideas of political feasibility.
Effective rule of law is foundational to successful development, and any political economy with the potential to become a Liberal has to overcome barriers to development.
History provides important evidence. Everyone knows about the Gettysburg Address, which turns 150 years old this month. They know it was President Abraham Lincoln’s signature speech, delivered at the site of the signature battle of the Civil War, one that turned back the highest Confederate tide as it rose violently into the North. Lincoln was extremely measured in his Gettysburg remarks.
Two hundred and fifty-years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so till it must be said “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finsih the work we are in, to bind up the nation¨s wounds,.. and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
The American Civil War of 1861 to 1865 claimed the lives of more than 550,000 people. During those years, many citizens began to place flowers on the graves of the war dead. This tradition continues on the last Monday in May,kown as Memorial Day:
The history behind the 13th amendments adoption is also an interesting one. It was then, President Abraham Lincoln who took an active role in pushing it through congress. He insisted that the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment be added to the Republican party platform for the upcoming presidential elections.
Lincoln correctly realized that as President, he had no legal grounds to single-handedly terminate the institution of slavery–but that this had to be done by a constitutional amendment. He used all of his political skill and influence to convince additional democrats to support the amendments’ passage. His efforts finally met with success, when the House passed the bill in January 1865 with a vote of 119-56. Finally, Lincoln supported those congressmen that insisted southern state legislatures must adopt the Thirteenth Amendment before their states would be allowed to return with full rights to Congress.
Thirteenth Amendment was was fully ratified by the necessary majority of the states in December of 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was the document used to justify separating slaves from their masters, and by late 1865 there were no slaves remaining in the United States. Consequently, the Emancipation Proclamation was truly the beginning of the end of slavery.
150 years old on November 19, 2013 Harvard experts reflect on meaning of the Gettysburg Address, and cover five aspects of Lincoln’s address, a century and a half into its life as a somber national treasure. Also: a youth-infused reading.
President Abraham Lincoln speaking at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery on Nov. 19, 1863. Lincoln’s words that day marked a critical crossroads for a grieving nation. With his speech, the president linked the sacrifice of those on the battlefield to a higher cause, offering the living, including those in mourning, a sense of purpose and meaning.
He delivered just over 270 words in two minutes, and in the process helped a broken nation begin to heal. Many educators still teach the address.
EDITOR’S NOTE: On the night Abraham Lincoln was shot, April 14, 1865. Great National Calamity!
- New discourse on energy.
Newly accessible supplies of shale gas and oil—is now creating a new discourse on energy, that is changing US politics and policies. According to an recently published article, in POLITICO Magazine’s: 15 Nov 2013 by Daniel Yergin (IHS Vice Chairman and CNBC’s Global Energy Expert),.. all of this political discussion, partly, represents what U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz calls a “new mentality” about America’s energy position, with a new political language to match.
American politicians in both parties have long dreamed of energy independence — not only for its potential economic benefits, but also because it could free the United States from the vicissitudes of the outside world.
- Nixon´s energy “independence”
Exactly 40 years ago, in November 1973, President Richard Nixon went on television to promise the American people energy “independence” within 10 years. Just three weeks earlier, on Oct. 17, 1973, Arab petroleum exporters had instituted an oil embargo to punish the West and, in particular, the United States, for its support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
When Nixon made his energy independence speech, the United States was importing 35 percent of its oil. By 2005, it was importing 60 percent. Over the same period, U.S. oil production fell by more than a third. Natural gas output also declined. By 2005, it looked as though the United States was going to become a huge importer not only of oil but also of natural gas in the form of more costly liquefied natural gas (LNG). In 1973, most Americans did not even know that the United States imported any oil. Nixon’s promise of energy independence became a standard pledge of every succeeding president, but with imports rising, it seemed an ever more distant hope.
Then came shale gas and tight oil and it’s now clear that a revolution has occurred: U.S. crude oil production is up 50 percent since 2008. petroleum imports have fallen from their high of 60 percent in 2005 to 35 percent today—exactly what they were in 1973. Thanks to U.S. innovation and technology, a wave of new technologies has made it possible to extract oil and gas from shale rock formations, and the results have been astonishing.
Shale-gas and -oil production. Powered by advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the production of domestic shale gas and oil has grown more than 50 percent annually since 2007. But the economic impact of this revolution is broader even than those numbers suggest. By some estimates, the United States is on track to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer as early as 2017, start exporting more oil and gas than it imports by 2025, and achieve full energy self-sufficiency by 2030.
Obama’s own words are another way to measure the stark change in the politics of energy that has occurred on his watch. In his first two State of the Union addresses, the president mentioned the words “natural gas” just once. But in his 2012 address, he talked about the need for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy and gave more time to oil and gas than to the promise of developing alternative sources like wind and solar. He has frequently cited the job creation resulting from shale (POLITICO Magazine Nov 2013).
This past June, Obama declared, “We should strengthen our position as the top natural gas producer because, in the medium term at least, it not only can provide safe, cheap power, but it can also help reduce our carbon emissions.”.a clear demonstration of just how much the way America talks and thinks about energy is changing.
Energy security, and geopolitical position of the political debate: Two recent developments have changed Washington’s approach toward energy: first, the substantial increase of affordable energy resources within the United States affects the country’s economic growth, energy security, and geopolitical position. With U.S. natural gas prices a third of those in Europe, it is also making the United States a much more competitive place for industry, helping to power what President Obama has called a “renaissance in American manufacturing”.
In 2012, Europe accounted for nearly two-thirds of Russian gas exports by volume and 12 percent of the country’s total exports by value, Russia has also proven itself willing to use gas as a foreign policy weapon against countries such as Ukraine, with little regard for the disruptions caused to customers further down the pipe in Western Europe. If he’s unable to buy loyalty through patronage, Mr. Putin could turn to more pernicious methods like bullying neighbors and fanning the flames of nationalism. These factors are dramatically changing the global gas landscape in ways largely unfavorable to Russian exports. Putin´s heavy-handed actions have catalyzed interest in shale gas throughout Europe.
Second, climate change, driven by the world’s use of energy, presents not just a transcendent challenge for the world but a present-day national security threat to the United States. Both forces should push the United States and other countries toward cleaner, more sustainable energy solutions.
Americans should cheer the energy revolution. It will do wonders for the American economy, and the democratic politics it could encourage in the Middle East and Russia may ultimately serve American interests. “But in the meantime, Washington should expect a world far less stable than the one it is used to — and, in turn, prepare to adopt an even more outward-looking foreign policy”. Alter & Fishman at Foreign Affairs.
Scarce resources have driven both commerce and conflict since time immemorial — and still do today. However, we are not necessarily headed into a world of scarcities, but policymakers and their private sector partners will need to be proactive to avoid such a future. The international economy almost certainly will continue to be characterized by various regional and national economies moving at significantly different speeds—a pattern reinforced by the 2008 global financial crisis. (Global Trends 2030:Alternative Worlds).
The United States has benefited as much as any other country from the free exchange of goods, the safety of global sea lanes, the spread of democracy and the great-power stability that have characterized the entire post-World War II era. None of this could exist without the steadying hand of American power.
Many will argue that an energy-independent America could simply retreat into isolationism during such a period of turbulence. But American engagement abroad has never been purely about securing access to energy. Energy is a profoundly important aspect of U.S. national security and foreign policy. President Obama’s plan to fight climate change was at the top of U.S. Secretary Ernest Moniz list on his first day in office.
America can advance its national interests more effectively by taking an integrated foreign policy approach. Energy supplies present strategic leverage and disposable income for countries that have them.
The challenge of accessing affordable energy is shared by people and businesses in every country, young democracies, emerging powers, and developing nations allies and adversaries alike. Disruptions in supply in one location can have global economic impacts. As these developments have taken place during the past few years, too many heterogeneous phenomena have been included in the term ‘globalization” and this has made the concept’s explanatory power loose its potency.
There are three major positions in the debate about globalization and states. First, there are scholars who think that states are losing power and influence as a result of globalization. There is a retreat of the state in the sense that the domain of state authority in society and economy is shrinking (what were once domains of authority exclusive to state authority are now being shared with other loci of sources of authority). because globalization erodes the power of states who they should trade with.
Foreign trade should be viewed as an opportunity, not a threat. Globalization is not simply a policy choice on which you can come down on one side of the other. It is a force driven not only by technology, but also by the aspirations of people around the world for opportunity and a better life.
In this way trade and Particularly Economic institutions matter for economic growth because they shape the incentives of key actors in society. In particular, they influence investment in physical and human capital and technology, and the organization of production. Economic institutions not only determine the aggregate economic growth potential of the economy and prosperity, but also how this pie is divided among defferent groups and individuals now and in the future.
Second, there are stat-centric scholars who believe that states remain in charge of globalization and have even managed to expand their capacities for regulation and control. At the same time, very few “retreat” scholars would claim that the state is losing out to the extent that states are withering away or becoming entirely powerless. And very few state-centric scholars would maintain that states are always winning and are all powerful. Therefore, most scholars support some version of a third pragmatist middle position, instead of a zerosum view of either “winning” or “losing “. It is accepted that both can take place at the same time.
Most of the social, economic, and other problems ascribed to globalization are actually due to technological and other developments that have little or nothing to do with globalization. Even though its role may have diminished somewhat, the nation-state remains prominent in both domestic and international economic affairs.
Studies on the globalization debate of the past two decades has brought non-state actors NSAs back into view (Baumann and Stenglel, 2013). As a result of globalization states are becoming stronger in some respects and weaker in others. There is a process of state transformation taking place and it plays out differently in different states.
In an age of globalization, the non-state actor is more important than ever before. One reason for this is that states in todays world partially thrive because of an international commercial network that, once disruptetd, has immediate and substantial effects.
Unlike the foreign policy studies inspired by the IR states as unitary actors, FPA scholars are already well-positioned to explain today´s more complex foreign police making, which involves networks of state officials, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NCOs), business companies, international organisations (IOs), and if (indirectly) terrorist.
However, it should be remembered that globalization has been changing U.S. foreign policy since the beginning of the American Republic. As the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center radically demonstrate, NSAs are important autonomous actors that can have a serious impact on world politics. There is also an extreme diversity of view on globalization. Some see it primarily as an ideology designed to promote democracy around the world. Others put it in context of process of capitalist development and expansion.
The idea of democracy as universal commitment is quite new, and it is quintessentially a product of the twentieth century. In the general climate of world opinion, democratic governance has now achieved the statues of being taken to be right. Democracy promotion as a foreign policy goal has become increasingly acceptable throughout most of the international community, an international norm embraced by other states (than the US), transnational organisations, and international networks in the community of democratic (group of states from diverse regions, cultures, and religions, dedicated to a core set of democratic principles) states the normative burden has shifted to those not interested in advocating democracy promotion (McFaul 2004:148, 158).
The connections between globalization and democracy are a classic question in international political economy (IPE, a problématique, or set of related problems) and a topic much debated in foreign policy circles. It is hard to imagine a world without International Political Economy because the mutual interaction of International Politics, or International Relations, and International Economics is today widely appreciated and the subject of much theoretical research and applied policy analysis.
It seems impossible to consider important questions of International Politics or International Economics without taking these mutual influences and effects into account. Economic cooperation is emerging as an alternative to political violence elsewhere, too. Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey are discussing shared oil and gas pipelines despite their disagreements. So are Sudan and South Sudan, which have reluctantly accepted the need to cooperate in order to export both countries’ oil after splitting apart in 2011. Economic cooperation is not a cure-all in any of these places. But it does allow states to come together in new ways rather than risk falling apart.
- The political actions of nation-states clearly affect international trade and monetary flows, which in turn affect the environment in which nation-states make political choices and entrepreneurs make economic choices.
First and foremost, the United States is now leading at home, which is where energy and climate policy begins. The new U.S. energy posture and outlook will directly strengthen the nation’s economy. As Obama has said, a country’s political and military primacy depends on its economic vitality. Strength at home is critical to strength in the world, and the U.S. energy boom has proven to be an important driver for the country’s economic recovery — boosting jobs, economic activity, and government revenues.
The United States’ new energy posture allows Washington to engage in international affairs from a position of strength.
Increasing U.S. energy supplies acts as a cushion that helps reduce the country’s vulnerability to global supply disruptions and price shocks. It also affords Washington a stronger hand in pursuing and implementing its international peace and security goals. Demand for practical knowledge and lessons about how the United States and other countries can more effectively promote democracy around the world has never been higher.
We are living in extraordinarily Time. Despite the many challenges we face, we have many reasons for confidence.
The U.S. Secretery of State, John Kerry, visiting Indiana University, one of the finest public universities in America, convey an important message about the United States of America’s foreign policy: advancing global policy in four critical areas, global trade pact TTIP and TPP, global climate change, an historic nuclear agreement to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and U.S.-led counterterrorism Global Coalition in the fight against international terrorist organizations and about the difference that each of us can make in shaping a better world.
And as we look ahead, we seek not simply to address the immediate crisis of the day. Our strategy is to lay the groundwork for solutions that will strengthen the community of nations for decades to come. To succeed in that, we must mobilize the help and the support of allies and friends across the globe because we can’t do it alone. No nation can.