Our Latest Research and Writing
On October 24, 21 Asian nations signed a memorandum to form a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to be drawn on considerable Chinese funds. Behind the scenes, Washington had been trying to discourage South Korea and Australia from accepting a Chinese invitation to be among the founders. The effort was successful.
U.S. opposition to the new bank illuminates a much greater issue: Will the U.S. seek to contain every international initiative by China, or will it only counter aggression but welcome China’s non-coercive engagement in regional and world affairs?
To avoid the United States and China falling into the Thucydides trap, in which a dominant power’s fear of a rising power necessarily leads to war, both nations would be well-served by further embracing a strategy of Mutually Assured Restraint (MAR), here outlined, some elements of which are already in place. Political scientists argue that history shows since the days of the ancient Greeks that when a new power arises and an old power does not yield ground and privileges wars ensue. However, the record also shows there are no historical iron laws, or trends that inevitably unfold. Harvard's Graham Allison points to four cases out of 15 since the sixteenth century in which the emergence of a new power was not followed by war—including the United States’ rise as a global power in the 1890s. Thus, to those who hold that the United States and China are fated to clash, I say it is not written in the stars.
In many ways, we already know the results of the midterm elections: The country continues to tilt toward right of center. This is evident because, even if the Democrats are somehow able to hold on to a thin majority in the Senate, they will do so only because of the election of red-state Democrats who support many of the same policies that Republicans do. Thus Michelle Nunn, a Georgia Democrat running for the Senate, refused to support Obamacare. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) opposes the meager gun control measures advocated by President Obama following the 2013 Sandy Hook school shooting. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) favors the Keystone XL pipeline. They all are running away from Obama and most anything he stands for.
“Character” has been used in American political discourse as a code word for arguing that if people are suffering – are poor, unemployed, or hooked on drugs or alcohol – it is because they have not been brought up properly and thus have a poor character, especially one that is short on self-government and controlling impulses. These people are assumed by conservative thinkers to come from broken homes. But people of good character can lift themselves up by their own boot straps, make their own opportunities. Look at small businesses, or startups.
From a social science viewpoint, that the United States courts keep drawing on Katz v. United States in their rulings about whether or not privacy has been violated is difficult to comprehend. This legal case is clearly based on untenable sociological and psychological assumptions. Moreover, many fine legal scholars have laid out additional strong reasons that establish beyond a reasonable doubt that it is unreasonable to draw on “the reasonable expectations of privacy” as a legal concept. Continuing to draw on this concept, especially in the cyber age, undermines the legitimacy of the courts and hence of the law. This article reviews these arguments in order to further nail down the lid on Katz’s coffin so that this case — and the privacy doctrine that draws on it — will be allowed to rest in peace.