Sören Stapel

Links #2: Governance measurements, job prospects, IR theory, regionalism

Francis Fukuyama’s commentary “How should we measure governance?” has provoked a series of replies at the governance blog, inter alia reactions from Bo Rothstein, Thomas Risse, and Shiv Visvanathan. This might be a good starting point if you want to think about governance as such or the quantification / measurement problem in IR.

An article about desperate grad students who turn to external career advisors in order to improve their job prospects in academia has upset Steve Saideman. So, just don’t do it and go to your supervisor instead, is what he’s advising.

Over at Theory Talks, New Lebow is interviewed “On Drivers of War, Cultural Theory, and IR of Foxes and Hedgehogs”. Also, he certainly doesn’t mince words:

On the American side of the pond, positivist or game-theoretical behaviorist or rationalist modeling approaches dominate the literature; it’s just silly, from my perspective. It’s based on assumptions which bear no relationship to the real world. People like it because it’s intellectually elegant: they don’t have to learn any languages, they don’t have to read any history, and they can pretend they’re scientists discussing universals. Intellectually, it’s ridiculous.

OK, let’s turn to the regionalism stuff.

The Americas:

In a WSJ op-ed, Cellucci and Kelly suggest the free movement of services in the NAFTA zone. Citizens of the U.S., Canada and Mexico would be allowed to work legally in any of the three countries. This would also go hand in hand with the free movement of persons, I reckon, and this in turn let me think about border control issues..Well, this has obviously stirred some objections, e.g. because of job safety concerns.
At the same time, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a “NAFTA for the Pacific”, is discussed this week in Singapore. Actually, it’s the 16th round of negotiations and the campaign against these negotiations is heating up. Rather critical stances complain about this perceived threat and unnecessary super-sized trade deal (see also this older post here).
In Mercosur, concerns about lethargy of the integration process have been raised from the Uruguayan end.

Asia:

The ASEAN Community is envisaged for 2015. Imelda Deinla comments on the process and compares ASEAN developments with its European counterpart. The former ASEAN secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan gives juicy insight knowledge on this process and on ASEAN’s internal and inter-state conflicts.

Africa:

Last week, I mentioned that former Chief Justice SADC Tribunal, Ariranga Pillay, condemned the reasons for suspending the tribunal. In a blog post, Nicole Fritz tells us why this was not so much a suprise.
The Zimbabwan constitutional referendum is scheduled for this Saturday (I will hopefully post something about this later today). In the meantime, US and EU officials are likely to be banned from entering the country, but SADC deploys 100 electoral observers who face a highly politicized situation.
At the 42nd summit of ECOWAS, the Authority has picked up the issue of free and fair elections in Guinea Bissau in its final communiqué. The organization has been harshly criticized for its handling of the country’s political and security problems. (Do not feel confused: I think the author mistakes the Commission for the ECOWAS Authority, i.e. the heads of state and government, who issued the communiqué.)
Oh, and the UN Security Council has extended the mandate for the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, and thereby loosens the arms embargo (Resolution 2093).

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