Department of Public and International Affairs

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This collection contains research from members of the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University.


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Now showing 1 - 20 of 121
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    What Would a Democratic Russian Foreign Policy Look Like?
    (New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, 2012-03) Katz, Mark N.
    How different would the foreign policy of a democratic Russia be from the foreign policy of Russia now? While some aspects of a democratic Russia’s foreign policy would be different from that of the Putin/Medvedev regime, much of it could be the same. It is important to understand this since identifying how a democratic Russian foreign policy would be similar to as well as different from Putin/Medvedev’s helps us to distinguish between what are Russia’s core foreign policy interests — no matter what kind of regime is in power — and what are the peculiar interests of an authoritarian Russia which might change as democratisation occurs. It is timely to explore just what a democratic Russian foreign policy might be toward several areas, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa, the Near Abroad, and the United States.
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    Policy Watch: Japan's cultural power
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-07-30) Katz, Mark N.
    If you have a teenager in your house, then chances are you know something about Japanese anime manga, whether in the form of paperback comics, television series, movies, electronic games, or -- as teenagers like to say -- whatever. If indeed your teenager has made you aware of this, then he or she has undoubtedly also made you aware that Japan -- the country these products emanate from -- is a truly awesome place! And the fact that millions of teenagers and young adults in America and all around the world think positively about Japan because they love its anime manga is important for Japan's image.
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    Policy Watch: Saudi-Russian partnership
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-07-23) Katz, Mark N.
    At the time of Russian President Vladimir Putin's February visit to Riyadh, some Russian commentators expressed the view that improved Saudi-Russian ties were occurring at the expense of Saudi relations with America and the West.
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    Policy Watch: Assessing Putin's legacy
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-07-13) Katz, Mark N.
    With Russian President Vladimir Putin slated to leave office in less than a year, what can be said about how history will judge him? He definitely has positive accomplishments to boast about: restoring order after the chaos of the Yeltsin years, presiding over an era of economic growth and prosperity, and doing much to re-establish Russia as a great power internationally. Some might argue that much of what he accomplished has been due to the fortuitous rise in oil prices that occurred -- and has been sustained -- after he came to office. Not every leader of a petroleum-producing country, though, has been able to take advantage of increased oil prices to increase his country's political clout the way Putin has.
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    Policy Watch: Korea after unification
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-07-06) Katz, Mark N.
    "It may be years away, but the unification of the two Koreas is bound to occur some day -- the most likely route through the collapse of the North. This could occur because ""Dear Leader"" proves to be a threat to too many in the Communist leadership, who agree to unification with the South in exchange for retaining some position of authority in the unified state. Or it could occur as a result of a succession struggle emerging as a result of the demise, incapacitation, or de-legitimation of the ""Dear Leader."" However and whenever it occurs, though, the unification of Korea is likely to result in the government of the South taking over the entire country. If this indeed happens, how will this affect Korea's international relations?"
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    Policy Watch: Eyeing the Shanghai group
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-06-02) Katz, Mark N.
    The annual summit of the presidents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will take place this coming August in Kyrgyzstan. The SCO groups together Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The U.S. government has reacted warily to the SCO for several reasons.
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    Policy Watch: America, Russia and Iran
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-06-25) Katz, Mark N.
    Vladimir Putin's offer to contribute the Soviet-era radar installation in Azerbaijan to a ballistic missile defense system aimed at rogue states was not only a surprise to the United States, but also to Iran.
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    Policy Watch: Putin's BMD game
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-06-15) Katz, Mark N.
    In order to prevent the United States from establishing a ballistic missile defense system aimed at Iran in Poland and the Czech Republic -- which Moscow sees as actually directed against Russia -- Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed at the recent Group of Eight summit that the United States and Russia set up such a system together in Azerbaijan. How will this gambit play out?
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    Policy Watch: Moscow's Mideast hopes
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-06-11) Katz, Mark N.
    Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has pursued three main goals in the Middle East: first, to prevent the United States from becoming the predominant power there; second, to prevent the Middle East (and broader Muslim world) from sympathizing with and supporting Chechen rebels and other Islamic opposition movements in Russia and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union; and third, to make money for Russian enterprises through expanding their investments in and exports to the Middle East.
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    Policy Watch: In praise of pessimism
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-06-05) Katz, Mark N.
    Many of these columns have been critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Others have been critical of American President George W. Bush. Those who object to my criticism of Putin see me as a conservative, while those who dislike my criticism of Bush see me as a liberal. But I am neither a conservative nor a liberal. Instead, I am a pessimist -- at least insofar as international relations are concerned.
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    Policy Watch: Russia's Estonia ties
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-05-25) Katz, Mark N.
    Russia's response to Estonia's removal of a Soviet World War II war memorial from the center of the Estonian capital of Tallinn to an out-of-the-way military cemetery is outrageous, out of proportion and deeply disturbing. It comes as Estonian government and commercial Web sites have been under devastating cyber-attacks to the point where many became partially or completely inoperable, with some attacks being traced to Russian government computers.
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    Policy Watch: Putin and Europe
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-05-21) Katz, Mark N.
    The change of power from Jacques Chirac to Nicolas Sarkozy is important to France and to all Europe. But it is important for Vladimir Putin and Russia, too. Chirac is the second of the two major European leaders to leave office who saw Putin as a potential partner for Europe; Germany's Gerhard Schroeder was the other, and he left office in 2005. Their replacements -- Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy -- are much more wary about Putin's Russia. This is not surprising considering the many differences the EU member states, including France and Germany, have with Moscow.
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    Policy Watch: Haleh Esfandiari's plight
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-05-11) Katz, Mark N.
    An Iranian-American scholar who directs the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington was jailed in Tehran earlier this week. Haleh Esfandiari had gone to Iran late last year to visit her elderly mother and was on her way to Tehran airport to return home on Dec. 30 when she was robbed of her American and Iranian passports. She was then held under what amounted to house arrest and subjected to repeated interrogation about her activities at the Wilson Center. There was hope that the Iranian authorities would allow her to leave, but on May 8 she was sent to Tehran's infamous Evin Prison.

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    Policy Watch: What if Iran acquires nukes?
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-05-04) Katz, Mark N.
    "What would happen if Iran announced that it had acquired nuclear weapons just before the 2008 U.S. presidential elections? To try and find out, I ran a role-playing game with this scenario in my ""War on Terrorism"" class Monday at George Mason University."
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    Policy Watch: Yeltsin's troubled legacy
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-04-27) Katz, Mark N.
    Boris Yeltsin, Russia's president during the 1990s, passed away earlier this week. It is tempting to point out that Russia was far freer and more democratic under Yeltsin in the 1990s than it has become under his successor, Vladimir Putin. Yet while some of Yeltsin's accomplishments were positive, others were quite negative. Indeed, Yeltsin did much to lay the groundwork for the revival of authoritarianism under Putin.
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    Policy Watch: Iran and the Iraqi Sunnis
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-04-20) Katz, Mark N.
    "The U.S. government has long claimed that Iran is providing arms and training to anti-American Shiite militia groups in Iraq. For Iran to do this may be reprehensible, but is at least understandable in that the majority of Iranians are Shiites, and Shiite clerics control the Iranian government. On April 11, though, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, said there have been ""some cases recently where Iranian intelligence services have provided to some Sunni insurgent groups some support.""
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    Policy Watch: Key to democratic revolution
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-04-13) Katz, Mark N.
    There have been several attempts at democratic revolution in recent years. Some of these have succeeded, but others have failed. Why? A key factor in determining the success or failure of attempts at democratic revolution is the role played by the old regime's security services. If the security services defend the old regime, then the largely unarmed democratic opposition cannot come to power. But if the security services defect to the democratic opposition, then the old regime cannot survive. Further, the defection of the security services in democratic revolutions often begins with the defection of just a few officers that then cascades into a large-scale defection in just a very short period of time.
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    Policy Watch: Transnational revolution
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-04-06) Katz, Mark N.
    Transnational revolutionary movements seek to promote their brand of revolution not just in one country, but in a group of countries or even the entire world. Nationalist revolutionaries, by contrast, seek to promote revolution just in one country. Marxist-Leninist, Arab nationalist and Islamic fundamentalist are three transnational movements that have been particularly active in recent decades.
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    Policy Watch: The Chavez-Gadhafi link
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-03-30) Katz, Mark N.
    Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi have met on several occasions and put on a show of being great friends and allies. Their friendship, though, appears to have little substance considering that while Chavez continues to revel in poor Venezuelan-American relations, Gadhafi has in recent years worked to improve Libyan-American ones. Yet while their relationship might not be of much interest, comparing them is, since Chavez is now pursuing an ambitious revolutionary agenda similar to the one that Gadhafi attempted earlier in his career.
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    Policy Watch: Nukes divide Russia, Iran
    ( (United Press International, Inc.), 2007-03-23) Katz, Mark N.
    While long perceived in Washington as friends, Russia and Iran clearly do not regard each other as such at present. The Russian Atomic Energy Organization, after many years of delay, has almost finished work on the nuclear reactor Moscow is building for Iran at Bushehr, and was supposed to start supplying the enriched uranium for it to run on. Moscow, though, has stopped work on the reactor and said it will not deliver the fuel because Tehran has stopped making payments owed to Russia. Tehran hotly denies this, claiming that it has paid Moscow everything it is due.