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Reference Update, Jan. 2009
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February 2009

 

ECONOMIC SECURITY AND TRADE

1. Remarks of President Barack Obama -- Address to Joint Session of Congress
America.gov, February 24, 2009, 11 pages
Obama says economic crisis will not determine U.S. destiny in address to joint session of Congress.

2. Vietnam: Country Outlook
Economist Intelligence Unit – ViewsWire
, February 9 , 2009, 2 page

3. Trade Headwinds under Obama
Greg Rushford. Far Eastern Economic Review, January/February 2009, 4 pages
If the disconcerting protectionist rhetoric that Barack Obama used on the 2008 campaign trail has made Asians worried, the incoming U.S. president's early appointments only reassure that he wants to govern from the center. Rushford examines how U.S. trade policy toward Asia will manifest itself under the new Obama free-trade team.

4. How to Save the World
Sherle R. Schwenninger. World Policy Journal, Winter 2008/09, 11 pages
The author takes a critical look at the current U.S. economic crisis, particularly the collapse of major financial institutions, the extraordinary measures taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, and the capital injections into leading banks of the United States. He also discusses the challenges U.S. President Barack Obama will face in attempting to resolve the economic problems caused by the 2008 financial crisis and credit failures.

5. A Global New Deal
Harold Meyerson. The American Prospect, January/February 2009, 3 pages
Barack Obama faces a much tougher task than did Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s to right a profoundly dysfunctional American economy. The economy that Obama must fix has so many dimensions that a purely national solution, which worked well in Roosevelt's time, will not work in this case. To fix America today requires fixing global systems, which means President Obama must build a new "New Deal," one with globalizing, not only nationalizing, aspects.

6. The Coming Food Coups
Andrew S. Natsios and Kelly W. Doley. The Washington Quarterly, January 2009, 19 pages
The authors discuss the political implications of the rapid increase of global food prices, especially in developing countries, and how donor governments can draw on traditional famine theory in order to better identify today's gravest risks and implement more effective responses to food crises.

7. A Man for All Seasons
John B. Judis. The New Republic, February 4, 2009, 5 pages
The author discusses the effects that economist John Maynard Keynes's career has had on U.S. economics and looks at the reasons why his brand of economics is used during financial crises. The author also points out how Keynes changed the way people viewed savings, investments, and consumption.

REGIONAL SECURITY

8. On the Eve of Obama's Inauguration: American Soft Power in Asia
Richard C. Bush III. The Brookings Institution, January 2009, 6 pages
When it comes to Asia, there may be some disagreement on the size of the U.S. soft-power deficit that the Bush administration created. The author examines the U.S. soft-power policy toward Asia following the departure of George W. Bush and the arrival of the new Obama administration.

9. Passing the Baton 2009: National Security and Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the New Administration
A U.S. Institute of Peace, Conference Marking the Institute's 25th Anniversary Year, January 8, 2009, 44 pages
Passing the Baton 2009 was a one-day conference convened by the United States Institute of Peace to examine critical foreign policy challenges and opportunities facing the Obama administration as it transitions into power. Discussed are specific options or recommendations for the Obama administration on issues of war and peace, on approaches to managing international conflict by non-violent means, and on ways of strengthening our national capacity to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts abroad.

10. The Making of George W. Obama
Christian Brose. Foreign Policy, January/February 2009, 3 pages
Although the 2008 U.S. election was really all about change, that is not the case for foreign policy. The author examines why there will be less foreign policy deviation in the Bush-Obama political transition than one might otherwise expect. A discussion on foreign policy challenged that the Obama administration will inherit from former President Bush and strategies that should be pursued in order for him to be a successful president.

11. A Concert-Balance Strategy for A Multipolar World
Michael Lind. Parameters, Autumn 2008, 13 pages
Why does the United States have to prepare itself to cooperate on security interests with other major powers? The author examines U.S. military strategy in the 21st century, and discusses why a concert-balanced strategy would work for a multi-polar world in which the United States is not a solitary hegemony, but rather one of several great powers.

12. Imagining Counterterrorism's Future
Aziz Z. Huq. World Policy Journal, Winter 2008/09, 9 pages
The author examines the counterterrorism policies of the United States and the possible transformation of U.S. efforts in the area once the new Obama administration takes office. Also discussed are issues around understanding the evolving nature of the terrorist threat and the recruitment of a new generation of terrorists.

GLOBAL ISSUES AND ENVIRONMENT

13. 2008 Human Rights Reports: Vietnam
U.S. State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 2009, 30 pages
Vietnam portion is included on 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practice, an annual report submitted to the U.S. Congress by the U.S. Department of State regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights in countries around the world.

14. Meltdown or Green Deal
Gary Gardner and Michael Renner. World Watch, January/February 2009, 3 pages
The authors examine how the global financial crisis has created an opening for a sustainability revolution in the United States. They offer a Global Green Deal, with several strategic objectives, like the transition to a renewable energy economy, investing in green infrastructure and creating transportation systems that are less reliant on automobiles.

15. Fighting Pirates: The Pen and the Sword
James Kraska and Brian Wilson. World Policy Journal, Winter 2008/09, 12 pages
Discussing maritime piracy, the authors examine efforts of the international community to reduce the success of pirates operating from Somalia in the Gulf of Aden, attempts to eradicate maritime piracy completely, networks of shipping states and maritime partners that collaborate to respond to piracy attacks, and warships from NATO conducting anti-piracy patrols.

16. Low-Carbon Energy: A Roadmap
Christopher Flavin, et al. Worldwatch Institute, December 2008, 52 pages
Solar energy, wind power, cogeneration, green buildings, smart grids, and electric vehicles are the key elements of a low-carbon energy system that is reliable and economical. The authors assess the way forward for each of the key elements of a low-carbon economy, with specific emphasis on what the Obama Administration and Congress can do to maintain the momentum that has developed over the past two years.

MEDIA, COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

17. Soft Censorship: How Governments Around the Globe Use Money to Manipulate the Media
Don Podesta. A Report to the Center for International Media Assistance, January 9, 2009, 32 pages
In many countries, censorship of the news media now manifests itself in far more subtle ways, the phenomena sometime referred to collectively as "soft censorship." This report explores the spread of indirect means of censorship, particularly in countries where democracies are fragile and there is no culture of a strong, independent news media. Possible remedies that might be employed to attack the problem are also examined.

18.  'Frightsizing' Newspapers: What Derailed the American Newspaper Industry?
Ken Doctor. Global Journalist, Fall 2008, 7 pages
The decline of the U.S. newspaper industry has been so dramatic that rather than using terms like "downsizing" or ""rightsizing," this author coins the term "frightsizing." He explains what has happened to the American newspaper industry, focusing on revolutions that have quickly sapped the vitality of the U.S. print news industry.

19. Wikis As Legitimate Research Sources
Suzanne Bell. Online, November/December 2008, 4 pages
The U.S. troops in Afghanistan are using a wiki to record and pass along vital operational information. Meanwhile, libraries use wikis for staff communication and collaboration, to provide information to and invite participation from users, and as teaching tools. Can we start to count wikis among other legitimate information sources?

U.S. SOCIETY AND CULTURE

20. U.S.-Vietnam Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy
Mark E. Manyin. CRS Report for Congress, February 5, 2009, 31 pages
This report provides an overview of U.S. relations with Vietnam, including policy issues, the economic and political situation in Vietnam, and a list of pertinent legislation.

21. Human Rights, Asia and the New Administration: Can Multilateralism Work This Time?
Catharin Dalpino. The Brookings Institution, December 2008, 5 pages
The author, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, examines U.S. human rights policy toward Asian countries and how it has shifted over the past three decades. She discusses unprecedented challenges in the promotion of human rights in Asia that the Obama administration will face and suggests that the new administration find new opportunities and adopt a fresh approach to the issue.

22. The Power of A Declaration
Amartya Sen. The New Republic, February 4, 2009, 3 pages
The author examines the 1948 adaption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations and looks at how the concept of human rights has changed with and since the release of this monumental document.

23. Asia's Challenged Democracies
Yun-han Chu, et al. The Washington Quarterly, January 2009, 15 pages
Examining survey data conducted by a group of scholars collectively known as the East Asia Barometer, the authors discuss Asian public views about political dysfunction and attitudes toward local regimes and democracy.

24. The Future of Democracy
Zeyno Baran, et al. Hudson Institute and the Pew Charitable Trusts, December 10, 2008, 31 pages
Given recent significant challenges to democracy promotion, substantial questions have arisen as to whether meaningful democratic reform is a realistic possibility in many parts of the world and whether democracy promotion is an appropriate anchor for American foreign policy. The authors explore the future of democracy and the role that the U.S. plays in promoting democracy abroad.

25. It's Not What We Teach, It's What They Learn
Alfie Kohn. The Education Digest, December 2008, 4 pages
The author discusses effective teaching and student motivation, comparing parent-child and teacher-student relationships, with the intention of focusing action on encouraging comments instead of punishment to promote cooperative learning behavior.

26. Asian American Identity: Shared Racial Status and Political Context
Jane Junn and Natalie Masuoka. Perspectives on Politics, December 2008, 12 pages
Using the dynamism of racial construction and the implicit comparisons across groups in the racial order of the United States as a backdrop, the authors analyze the dynamics of racial group consciousness among blacks and Asians Americans by examining the results of an embedded survey experiment designed to activate group identity.