41:2 - Summer 2017
The Fletcher Forum is pleased to share a sampling of articles from our latest print edition of the journal, focused on the power of innovative, cross-sector, cross-regional partnerships and cooperation. To read more, we invite you to subscribe to The Forum and thank you for your readership and support.
Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Dean, The Fletcher School
Leadership transitions around the world has been a defining theme of the past several years, and will remain an important phenomenon in years to come. Fletcher Dean Adm. (ret.) James Stavridis addresses leadership as a factor in a changing world and, using historical examples, draws some lessons for how to assess transformational leaders.
Section I: Perspectives from and about the United States
An Interview with Ambassador Peter Allgeier
As a career expert on international trade from both the government and business perspective, former United States Trade Representative and WTO Ambassador, Peter Allgeier outlines the current challenges and impacts of shifting global political dynamics on the world of international trade.
Daniel W. Drezner
Daniel W. Drezner, professor of international politics at The Fletcher School, explores the recent rise of “angry populist” leaders and the implications this trend has on international relations. He explores some of the challenges inherent in the study of these leaders as international actors, and offers his analysis on how President Donald Trump may differ from others within the “angry populist” cohort.
International Anarchy, Cooperation, and Joint Action
R2P is the commonly used acronym for the Responsibility to Protect populations from mass atrocities at the national and international level. This article discusses how international anarchy shapes conditions for the realization of R2P objectives through cooperation and joint action. Four
selected theoretical perspectives inform the discussion, structured through three sections: prevention, collective action, and international order. Neorealism paints a rather pessimistic picture; Neoliberalism a more optimistic one due to the potential of international institutions. The English School introduces the possibility for state leaders to act beyond pure interests, and Constructivism focuses on aspects of the question disregarded or only poorly addressed by the
other perspectives: opening new possibilities to interpret the world and new concepts to describe it.
The Decline of American Leadership: The Obama Years
Dr. Klara Bilgin
Dr. Bilgin examines the causes behind the decline of American strategic leadership and its role in promoting democracy. She employs Kenneth Waltz’s three images of analysis to evaluate a varied set of possible explanations. Analysis of first level images is used to assess the impact of former President Obama’s personal characteristics and preferences in shaping American foreign policy. Second and third level images, applied to the country’s domestic political developments and changes at the international level, are also examined and employed as explanatory variables. Bilgin argues that the foreign policy options of the Obama Administration were much more limited than currently understood, and that these limitations will have an even bigger impact on the new Trump Administration.
David D. Sussman
Noting what appears to be greater relevance of immigration during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, this article examines agenda-setting, and the question of whether focus on salient topics is explained by the hypothesized factors of socioeconomic context, media, or initiative by a particular candidate. By considering the recent candidacy of Donald J. Trump, the article reviews indications that voters were more attuned to immigration, scholarship on agenda-setting, and then evidence for each of the hypotheses. It finds that indeed, Trump succeeded in driving public and media focus towards one key policy issue, immigration, thereby making it more relevant for the voting public. Time will tell if this signifies a potential shift in the power of politicians to influence the agenda-setting channels that determine the most salient policy issues in an election.
Section II: Global Innovation in Leadership
Treaty Behavior in a World without U.S. Intervention
An Interview with Paul Reichler
Paul Reichler discusses multilateral treaty behavior and the future of regional and global partnerships in an increasingly isolationist and protectionist environment as he envisages a world without U.S. intervention and patronage. He examines the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the United Nations, NATO, and NAFTA in light of the new Trump administration and identifies the relevance of international institutions in furthering peaceful coexistence, protecting diplomatic
relations, and seeking justice.
Attending Davos and Dealing with the World’s Greatest Challenges
An Interview with Partha Bose
In an interview with The Fletcher Forum, Partha Bose shares his experience at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos in January 2017, and analyzes the top five global challenges as outlined in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report. Bose discusses how the tone of the conversation in Davos had shifted its focus to consider globalization in a new light. He concludes by explaining why consulting is becoming an increasingly popular avenue to solve both business and societal challenges ahead.
Averting the Moral Free-for-all of Autonomous Weapons
Ryan Jenkins explores how emerging technologies shape military strategy and policy, specifically in the context of legal autonomous weapons. He critiques the prioritization of strategy over strategy and questions the role of legal autonomous weapons as a tool only a few states have in their command.
Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda offers an in-depth look into the current internet governance structures and highlights the need for strong leadership in the field. Given the decentralized nature of the internet and the many stakeholders involved, a cohesive, coordinated strategy is challenging to achieve. However, as Sepulveda argues, strong leadership in internet governance is critically important to preserve the internet’s role as a platform for “democratizing opportunity and power in markets and societies.”
Electoral Reforms in Afghanistan: Key Issues and Prospects
The process of building a democracy is slow and deliberate. Rajeshwari Krishnamurthy examines the current state of this effort in Afghanistan and proposes the argument that more work needs to be done to set the proper foundation for a trustworthy, effective, and freely elected government. Rooted in analysis of the current Afghani constitution, this piece delves into the nuances and dilemmas of electoral reform.
Exposing the Underbelly of Global Supply Chains
An Interview with Corban Addison
In January 2017, The Fletcher Forum spoke with Corban Addison about his new novel, A Harvest of Thorns, and the challenges faced by so many in the global fashion industry. Addison explores the complex issues down the supply chain—from the consumer demand for fast fashion and investor demands for high profit margins, to contractors’ need to meet tight deadlines at any cost and the inability for workers to advocate for themselves. Based on his extensive research, he offers insight into what needs to change and who needs to lead the charge to better protect the victims of global supply chains.
An Interview Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States
Following The Fletcher School’s Second Annual Conference on Gender and International Affairs in December 2016, The Fletcher Forum had the privilege of speaking with Ambassador Lyrvall about the intersection between gender equality, leadership, and global diplomacy. With the recent launch of a feminist foreign policy action plan, Sweden has been on the forefront of leading and promoting gender equality globally. In our interview with Ambassador Lyrvall, he speaks about his experiences implementing this new foreign policy while sharing his insights on working with the new U.S. Administration on these issues.
Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu
Across the African continent, leadership talent has emerged in the professions, entrepreneurship, and civil society, yet it remains notably lacking in the public sphere. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu asks why, then traces some of the historical, political, and cultural reasons that Africa continues to face a dearth of effective political leaders and, in turn, good governance.
What Comes Next? The Leader’s Bookshelf
An Interview with Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Dean, The Fletcher School
To close out this issue and offer ideas for future scholarship on leadership, Fletcher Dean Adm. (ret.) James Stavridis sat down with The Fletcher Forum to share his experiences as a leader as well as details about his recently released book, The Leader’s Bookshelf.