Economics & Global Affairs

7 Items

President Barack Obama and several foreign dignitaries participate in a Trans-Pacific Partnership meeting

Charles Dharapak

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Rescuing the free trade deals

| June 14, 2015

The Senate’s rejection of President Wo odrow Wilson’s commitment of the United States to the League of Nations was the greatest setback to U.S. global leadership of the last century. While not remotely as consequential, the votes in the House last week that, unless revisited, would doom the Trans-Pacific Partnership send the same kind of negative signal regarding the willingness of the United States to take responsibility for the global system at a critical time.

The repudiation of the TPP would neuter the U.S. presidency for the next 19 months. It would reinforce global concerns that the vicissitudes of domestic politics are increasingly rendering the United States a less reliable ally. Coming on top of the American failure to either stop or join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, it would signal a lack of U.S. commitment to Asia at a time when China is flexing its muscles. It would leave the grand strategy of rebalancing U.S. foreign policy toward Asia with no meaningful nonmilitary component. And it would strengthen the hands of companies overseas at the expense of U.S. firms. Ultimately, having a world in which U.S. companies systematically lose ground to foreign rivals would not work out to the advantage of American workers.

Both the House and Senate have now delivered majorities for the trade promotion authority necessary to complete the TPP. The problem is with the complementary trade assistance measures that most Republicans do not support and that Democrats are opposing in order to bring down the TPP. It is to be fervently hoped that a way through will be found to avoid a catastrophe for U.S. economic leadership. Perhaps success can be achieved if the TPP’s advocates can acknowledge that rather than being a model for future trade agreements, this debate should lead to careful reflection on the role of trade agreements in America’s international economic strategy.

teaser image

Press Release

Future of Diplomacy Project Announces Spring 2015 Fisher Family Fellows

Feb. 15, 2015

The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs announces the appointment of spring 2015 Fisher Family Fellows; former NATO Secretary-General and Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen; former EU Trade Commissioner and Belgian Foreign Minister, Karel de Gucht; former National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary of India, Shivshankar Menon; and Brazil’s former Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Celso Amorim.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

Iranian top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili smiles after Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki signed an agreement to ship most of Iran's enriched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear fuel swap deal, in Tehran, Iran, May 17, 2010.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The European Union and Future Nuclear Talks

| December 4, 2010

"The weakening of the EU's role as an independent and mediatory player in the nuclear talks, however, beyond economic losses, could bring negative strategic and political consequences for the EU's status in the entire Middle East, which could in turn damage the region's interests. The new economic sanctions will preclude the opportunity of investment by the EU in Iran's gas and oil sectors, thus decreasing trade and commerce between the two—a shift of policy that provoked a sharp rise in China's activities in those sectors."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair listens to a student explaining the biofuel crops and research carried out at an experimental farm at Pretoria University in Pretoria, South Africa, June 1, 2007.

AP Photo

Report Chapter

Advanced Biofuels and Developing Countries: Intellectual Property Scenarios and Policy Implications

| 2009

"Chapter III analysed the commercial viability of second generation biofuels. This chapter focuses on related intellectual property rights (IPRs) aspects. Three hypothetical scenarios in the context of the intellectual property protection of second generation biofuels are developed, with each scenario representing a different level of strictness of protection. Therefore, each scenario translates into a different level of potential access to advanced biofuel technologies by developing countries."