The Wilson Journal of International Affairs Fall
The Wilson Journal of International Affairs Fall 2018
Contents Editorial Staff
From the Editor
China's Food Security Issues from "Opening Up" to "Stepping Out"
TOR: Terror on Recruitment
Reading Between the Lines: An analysis of the representation of men as survirors of sexual violence in Ugandan news media
Walking the Tightrope: A Defense of CCP Hukou Reform in Contemporary China
The Bear and the Bald Eagle: Can the United States and Timothy Rodriguez Russia repair the contemporary relationship? A look into the historical insights of past cooperation and their relevance for improving relations
Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief
Special Projects Corrdinator
Daisye Rainer Landon Holben Kevin Wang Campbell Turner Sara Keene Emily Ma
Matthew Heller Manaal Kwaja Lorena Tabrane Stella Connaughton Tristan Guarnieri
Information About the Wilson Journal The Wilson Journal of International Affairs is the University of Virginiaâ€™s preeminent publication for undergraduate research in international relations. The Wilson Journal is developed and distributed by the student-run International Relations Organization of the University of Virginia. The Wilson Journal is one of the only undergraduate research journals for international relations in the country, and aims both to showcase the impressive research conducted by the students at UVA and to spark productive conversation within the University community. The Wilson Journal seeks to foster interest in international issues and promote high quality undergraduate research in foreign affairs. The Journal is available online at wilsonjournal.org
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From the Editor Dear Reader, I understand how difficult it can be to keep track of all that is happening around the world today. That is precisely why we at the Wilson Journal see the work we do as especially important this year. We are in a time of expanding populism and authoritarianism that raises questions about the future of democracy in the world. Brazil is going through a presidential election with a leading candidate who has been a fringe figure of Brazil’s far right and has repeatedly declared support for Brazil’s former military dictatorship. Hungary and Poland are both experiencing unconstrained majoritarianism and face a potential democratic backslide. Now is also an uncertain time for U.S. foreign relations, specifically with Russia and North Korea, as the U.S. deals with polarization at home and changing allies abroad. A great number of countries are experiencing a dramatic rise in nationalism, especially in the face of global migration which is at its highest numbers in recorded history. People are crossing borders and oceans to seek refuge from their home, which necessitates a conversation about the future of citizenship and nationality, and who is protected under international law. The global women’s movement has greatly impacted politics and women’s representation; however, there is still growing backlash around the world against women who are trying to have a seat at the table of world politics. In the wake of natural disasters at home and abroad, it is evident that climate change is going to alter not only quality of life, but migration, trade, and the global economy. While it may seem that there is much to feel fatalistic about, it is important to focus on what we can do going forward. Every year, the Wilson Journal of International Affairs presents some of the finest research completed by students at the University of Virginia. The journal covers a small sample of topics, but I hope that its contents can serve as a curated collection of student thought and research as well as inspire further study. Mayan Braude’s article tackles China's food security issues since 1978, focusing on how Chinese outbound foreign direct investment in agricultural sectors has implications for global food security and China's position in
international affairs. Shriya Dodwani’s article delves into terrorist recruitment on digital platforms. Olivia Dupont analyzes the representation of men as survivors of sexual violence in Ugandan news media. Eric Xu’s article explores the history of Chinese state regulation of internal migration and recent CCP efforts to reform the process. Lastly, Timothy Rodriguez’s article examines U.S.-Russian history to determine if the contemporary relationship can be repaired. One of my goals this semester was to include diversity of thought within international affairs in the journal, and these authors offered a range of compelling topics. The Wilson Journal would not be possible without the ongoing support of the University community. First, I would like to recognize the International Relations Organization for its continued support and partnership. Special thanks are extended to the University’s faculty, who help promote our journal and provide invaluable mentorship to the undergraduate student body. I specifically would like to thank John M. Owen, IV, the Taylor Professor of Politics, as he is one of the journal’s most ardent supporters. Additionally, I want to thank my editorial staff, who have shown incredible skill and dedication in the creation of this journal, and my senior editorial staff, who have been essential in the success of this publication. Lastly, I wholeheartedly thank you, the reader. Your intellectual curiosity that led you to open this journal is immensely valued, and I hope that these articles spark thought and reflection. We invite you to join us in important academic discourse and encourage you to explore your passion for international affairs. Sincerely,
Sarah F. Corning Editor-in-Chief
China's Food Security Issues from "Opening Up" to "Stepping Out" By Mayan Braude About the Author Raised in Hong Kong and New York, Mayan Braude has grown up straddling two vastly different cultures. She speaks English, Mandarin, and Kunming dialect Chinese. In 2018 she received a BA in Foreign Affairs with an emphasis on China’s development, and was selected as a finalist for the Schwarzman Scholars masters program at Tsinghua University. Mayan’s interest in China’s food security began in 2017 when she studied abroad at Peking University. Since then she has conducted an independent study on the issue and worked as a farmhand in rural France. She is now working in private equity with a focus on investing in sustainable food and agriculture solutions.” Foreward Mayan Braude’s article on food security in China is a remarkably comprehensive and insightful study of one of China’s central challenges. Moreover, the change in the meaning of “food security” over the past forty years, from having enough to eat, to securing reliable external supplies, to the present challenge of ecology and nutritional quality mirror the general transformations of the reform era. In solving more basic problems, China has uncovered more complex questions of sustainability. The article resulted an independent study conducted in Spring 2018, but it built on Ms. Braude’s enduring interests in food security and ecology, as well as on an advanced background in Chinese politics. She took PLCP 5610, Chinese Domestic Politics, in Fall 2016 and continued to deepen her
background after the course. In this article she shows herself to be a mature, careful, and critical researcher addressing a significant topic. Brantly Womack Professor of Foreign Affairs C.K. Yen Chair, The Miller Center University of Virginia Abstract China is often portrayed in Western media as a rising neocolonial power because of its dealings with other developing countries and aggressive foreign investments. This essay challenges the vilification of China’s global position by examining the food security issues the country has faced since “opening up” to the rest of the world in 1978. Boasting one-fifth of the global population, food security remains a top policy priority for the central government. Since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, China’s food security issue has had global implications. It will be argued that while critics may heap criticism on China for it’s agendas in other sectors from mining to infrastructure, agriculture is a sector where China has demonstrated effective development aid to countries facing issues such as hunger and poverty. By recognizing the global interdependency of food security and weaving a complex global supply chain for foodstuffs, China has positioned itself as a steward of food security on the global stage. However, challenges still lie ahead and with a global population that is set to reach 8.3 billion by 2030 China must prove its legitimacy as a leader in this issue through critical diplomatic decisions and investment strategies. Introduction During the Great Leap Forward, China experienced one of the worst famines in history, with an estimated death toll of 36 million people during the years 1959-1961 (NPR). The causes of the Great Famine are often debated, but many sources, such as Li Huaiyin, have commented on the manmade nature of the tragedy: “So tragic was the situation in the prefect that the provincial authority described it as ‘a world of terror and darkness’ ...the Qin villagers suffered as much as peasants in most other communes in the nationwide, man-made disaster that was unseen in China’s past” (Li et al. 2009, 92).
In some discussions of China’s food security today, sources have stated, “where famine is still a living memory, food security – or rather grain self-sufficiency – is seen as an essential component of national security, and Chinese wheat reserves remain a state secret” (Zhou 2015). In an effort to escape this legacy and the risk of history repeating itself, the central government (CCP) has emphasized the high priority of food security in numerous policy agendas since the end of the Mao Zedong era. While the country recovered from the Great Famine and agricultural outputs grew dramatically following the reforms of 1978, the legitimacy of the CCP still rests on the ability to deliver basic welfare rights for the population, as discussed by Elizabeth Perry. However, the new standards of China’s emerging, fast-growing class of citizens who have different demands and demonstrate more environmental conscientiousness than ever before have complicated this notion of welfare rights (Barton et al.). The issue of food security shares an intrinsic link with the environmental production dialogue. Some of the biggest threats to China’s domestic agrarian sector come from the sacrifice of arable land for urbanization as well as soil and water contamination from industrial waste, which jeopardize the safety of food produced domestically. The realization of the concept of “sustainable development” is relatively new, arguably only truly taking off in China since the appointment of Xi Jinping as President of the PRC in 2013. Xi’s promotion of new concepts of development suggests that China is “turning a leaf ” and perhaps reversing the damage done from the “pollution first, treatment later” approach of the early reform era (Li et al. 2009, 146). These new concepts of development emphasize ecological protection, green growth, and coordinated development. One concept that best conceptualizes the recent trajectory of China’s development is the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC). This theory hypothesizes that as a country’s per capita income increases (along the x-axis), said country will accept environmental degradation (y-axis) up to a certain point in relation to per capita income before the curve tips over. A turning point indicates that increasing economic growth will eventually lead to the reduction of environmental damage. This theory adds dimension to the view that China’s development is a simple rags-to-riches story. This essay will use the EKC as a framework to analyze how China’s development, a byproduct of environmental awareness, has affected food security vis-a-vis economic growth. Experts estimate that the tipping point of the EKC took place around
the year 2013, when Xi Jinping’s administration began officially prioritizing environmentally sustainable growth. The food security issues from 1978 to 2001 were an indirect cost of industrialization at break-neck speed during the reform era, despite having brought 600 million people out of extreme poverty between 1981 and 2004 (World Bank Group 2010). This section will examine the environmental and social issues associated with the urbanization and export-oriented industrialization (EOI) of the reform era, namely urban sprawl, soil contamination, and the appeal of urban employment. Experts argue that there was a widespread “maximum yield” mentality, or as some call it, a “cheap capitalism” mentality due to the promotion of “experimentation” with capitalism during the reform era. Growing agricultural productivity coincided with increasing population, which reached over 1.3 billion people this past decade. All the while, available arable land has imposed new pressures on food supply. This essay will also consider the impact of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) accession in 2001, the food price crisis of 2007-2008, and changing consumption patterns in China. It will also examine the role these forces played in helping China realize its incentives for weaving a global food supply chain with massive agribusiness acquisitions and investments in foreign agriculture. Finally, this essay will examine the significance of food and agricultural trade with both developed and developing countries and these implications for China’s global position. Since 1978, the Environmental Kuznets Curve has best captured China’s food security trends and creates a hopeful outlook for the future of sustainable agriculture solutions for China and in effect, the rest of the world. 1. The Reform Era: Consequences of the “Maximum Yield Mentality” With the introduction of the “opening up” policy in 1978, the central government began loosening its grip on all sectors of the economy. The government emphasized experimentation, and Deng Xiaoping ignited a competitive attitude towards economic growth when he challenged Guangdong Province, the largest recipient of FDI, to become the next Asian Tiger (The Economist). The excitement of economic growth drowned out any voices of concern for environmental costs. Or, perhaps people shared a universal lack of knowledge in environmental and sustainability issues, as exemplified by the 1991 scandal involving a leaked memo from Larry
Summers, who supported the Pollution Haven Hypothesis and was the head economist for the World Bank, an institution focused on promoting development aid (NY Times). The arguably naive “gusto” with which people approached opportunities in this newly liberalized economy spread to rural areas as well. However, the capitalist fervor of this era likely resulted in unsafe and unsustainable food production, such as heavy reliance on pesticides and fertilizer to achieve maximum yield. One policy, the Contracted Purchasing System, tried to counter this danger by allowing surplus grain to be freely sold in the marketplace (Heerink et al, 13). Nonetheless, successful agrarian reforms such as the Household Responsibility System (1978), which decollectivized rural land and gave families control over the production chain of their farms, led to drastic growth in agricultural output. The successes of “land to the tiller” agricultural reform meant that for a while, “prices for agricultural products rose quickly…in consequence, rural incomes grew faster than urban ones” (Kroeber 2016, 30). However, this was short-lived as the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and influx of foreign direct investment that began in the late 1980s failed to realize that urban areas were quickly magnetizing migrant workers. When migrant workers renounced their rural responsibilities, manufacturing facilities and other greenfield investment sites began repurposing the arable rural land. Ultimately, the eagerness to rapidly see financial returns and a collective “maximum yield,” which led to indirect opportunity cost for food security, characterized the Reform Era. With the establishment of SEZ creating urban employment opportunities, the rural labor force noticeably reduced. However, this did not cause agricultural output to stagnate. Rather, the reduction of rural labor force proved that the influx of people who were residing in outskirts of the urban areas led to urban sprawl. The farmers who remained in rural areas shared newfound freedom to sell their surplus grain on the marketplace. Adjustments to policies in the early 1990s that raised contract prices and lowered input prices ultimately enhanced production incentives for farmers (Heernik et al, 13). However, since the 1990s, some experts have found this production incentive to manifest in what Hongming Cheng calls “cheap capitalism.” Cheng’s sociological study of food crime in China includes interviews with farmers and industry experts, who reveal that this mentality was prevalent. Cheng’s description of the “cheap capitalism” phenomenon is consistent with the “maximum yield mentality”, since both phenomena are characterized
by “low prices, inferior quality and unsafe condition of goods or services to maximize profits” (Cheng 2012, 254). One particular interview with a farmer highlights: It would be a sacrifice business if we choose the planting and growing of environmental-friendly crops, because prices are determined by the market and a majority of those consumers choose to buy the non-environmental friendly agricultural products, even those with high pesticide residues. You know, subsidies are not currently available for planting environmental-friendly crops in China. So if you want to reduce the abuse of pesticide and other chemicals, we should be compensated. (Cheng 2012, 258) This quote illustrates that the “opportunity cost” mentality does not pertain only to those choosing to take urban jobs, but also to those remaining in rural sectors. It highlights how the cost of what Cheng believes is “moral” practices—sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture—exceeds the expectations of farmers. It also highlights that, as of 2012, the government felt the same way, given that sustainable agriculture did not grant subsidies. Beyond the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, the availability of arable and uncontaminated soil has been compromised. In response to Lester Brown’s 1995 book Who Will Feed China?, the CCP took the initiative to reserve at least 120 million hectares of arable land (Brautigam 2015, 152). While the CCP has taken steps to protect domestic farmland, a considerable amount of soil contamination from industrial waste and the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers have damaged parts of domestic farmland. Environmental issues, such as food safety concerns, pollution, and unsustainable farming (symptoms of a “maximum yield” mentality to over-produce) have undermined CCP’s efforts. Reports show that “industrial contamination, specifically chemical and coal-fired power industries, drives China’s levels of pollution.” In an interview with World Policy Journal, Natural News stated, “Chinese industry and coal-fired power plants emit millions of tons of pollutants each year.” Heavy pollutants include cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, and arsenic. These inorganic materials contaminate land through the bio-accumulation of metals in soil from irrigation sources. Once accumulated, these metals mimic the function of nutritive minerals and trick plants into absorbing them. Natural News gave the example of lead, which is absorbed by plants in place of the nutrient calcium. When lead levels exceed calcium levels in soil, ecological
destruction leads to the inevitable byproduct—irreversible, deep-rooted damage to human health. Heavy metals, like lead, cannot be easily diffused or diluted (Patel 2014). Another report, In China’s Heartland, A Toxic Trail Leads from Factories to Fields to Food, states, “In Zhuzhou, more than 62 square miles of the land tested had cadmium pollution levels five times the permitted limit…Food security concerns make officials reluctant to discourage farmers from planting, even on contaminated land” (He). Growing urban sprawl only exacerbates the issue of soil contamination described above. Rural areas are close in proximity to urban areas, and “Heavy metal pollution is getting worse and is moving from city outskirts into the countryside” (He). Further investigation discovered that the Eastern coastal region of China, where the initial SEZ and industrial areas were concentrated, saw a significant amount of farmland contamination. The CCP, upon establishing the SEZ, realized that the Eastern coastal region’s proximity to Hong Kong gave the region a strategic advantage. However, the current soil degradation issues and urban sprawl caused by the massive migration of migrant workers illustrate poor regulatory and zoning decisions made by the CCP. These further emphasize how protection of rural areas and sectors contributed to the opportunity cost of China’s race to achieve economic growth. Non-governmental actors as well as migrant workers shared this perspective. Some sources note: Non-agricultural occupations are attractive to peasants because of higher pay; they also provide an alternative means for rural families to make a living as surplus farm labor reduces the employment opportunity for young people in the farming sector…Consequently, the segment of the rural workforce engaged in farming decreased from about 89 percent in 1980 to about 79 per cent in 1989. (Zong 1993, 286) Additionally, a 2018 Bloomberg article discussing urban sprawl encroaching into Henan province stated that the province now had “50.2 percent of its 96 million residents in cities or towns at the end of last year, from 48.5 percent in 2016...the shift is being lauded by state media as a sign of progress for Henan” (Bloomberg 2018). The same article cites the National Bureau of Statistics’ findings, which indicate overall urbanization of China at 59 percent. Some sources may argue that urban sprawl has not had a dramatic impact on straining the amount of arable land available for agriculture in
China. They may cite data which show the percentage of arable land in China increasing from 10.9 percent in 1961 to 12.7 percent in 2015. However, the percentage of arable land, in general, declined from 1991 until 2014 and did not increase again until 2015. These years of decline saw a general rise in inflows of FDI, suggesting that building facilities for what was largely greenfield investments may have caused the loss of land (Santander Trade). Moreover, the 1.8 percent increase in arable land between 1961 and 2015 was dwarfed by the whopping 200% of population growth and the relationship’s pressure on land resources. Relative to the overwhelming rate of population growth, the increase in arable land did not negate the impact of urbanization, nor did it promise to protect food security. The general lack of conscientiousness regarding sustainable growth during the Reform Era, as well as government support for “experimenting” with capitalism, led to the spread of a maximum yield mentality with no regulatory constraints. Monetary incentives to engage in unsustainable sources of economic growth ultimately caused the following damages to China’s rural land: soil contamination, urban sprawl, and overuse of pesticides. Relating this section to the EKC model, a study by Li et al, which paneled evidence from 28 provinces between 1996 and 2012, found that trade and urbanization shared a positive relationship with pollutant emissions. However, the input of trade and urbanization (as pathways to economic development) found an insignificant short-term impact on pollutant emissions but a positive longterm relationship, suggesting that trade openness and urbanization take time to manifest adverse environmental externalities (Li et al. 2009, 145). With this in mind, the CCP’s shifting stance on environmental impact and agricultural development, with more emphasis placed on green development than ever before, presents encouraging signs. 2. Approaching a Turning Point: China realizing incentives for “going global” The early 2000s saw two pivotal events for China’s food security outlook: China’s 2001 accession to the WTO and the food price crisis of 007-2008. This section explores China approaching the “turning point” of the EKC, and the examples below demonstrate an increased awareness of sustainability and food security issues. These two crucial events helped the CCP realize the global interdependence of food security, and in turn
encouraged China to become a steward of international trade in agriculture. However, some sources emphasize that there has never been an official strategy to “go global” with agricultural trade. Cheng and Zhang write, “A comprehensive plan to better utilise international resources to meet the growing food demand driven by rapid industrialization and urbanization is still needed. In other words, the national food security safeguard mechanism based on the global perspective does not exist” (Cheng and Zhang, 9). Yet, many still criticize China’s global footprint in agriculture as being politically motivated. They point to China’s investments in developing countries, such as those in Africa, as signs of neocolonialism (Blanchard). This section sheds light on how, despite the nonexistence of a comprehensive plan, China’s attempt to ensure domestic stability via food security has motivated China to invest in global agriculture. The legacy of the Great Famine and failed agrarian reforms under the Great Leap Forward have continued to plague the CCP, but the government can establish legitimacy by meeting the basic welfare needs of the people (Perry 2008). China’s WTO accession in 2001 represents the beginning of China’s globalized food supply chain and the decline of self-sufficiency in most products, caused in part by commitments to tariff reductions and limited government subsidies for domestic farmers. These initiatives paved the way for access to foreign products more cheaply than before. It is difficult to assess what came first: growth of the middle class and new appetites for foreign products, namely livestock products, or the availability of cheaper foreign produce driving these changes in appetites. Regardless, WTO accession led to a national decrease in productivity across virtually all agricultural products, as well as a decline in food self-sufficiency in all products except rice, vegetables and fruit, livestock, and fishery (Jiang 2008, 196). These products show significance in that they appeal to the appetites of the middle class. China experienced an increase in its GDP due to the increase of exports in all of its products, though there remained an uneven distribution of rewards from trade. The idea that global trade in food with reduced tariffs could lead to lower prices of food overall was a profound precursor to what came of China’s global agriculture interests later in the decade. The food price crisis of 2008 only catalyzed these interests. The food price crisis of 2007-2008 is described as an incentive for China’s investment into agriculture, especially in developing countries.
Arguably, as soon as China entered the WTO, the fate of its food security intertwined with that of all of its trading partners. Remaining true to the national priority of basic food security, the 45 percent increase in the world food price index during 2008 and subsequent international protests were major causes for alarm, especially in how they could have affected lower income citizens or polarized the social classes of China. The UN reported: To minimize the social and economic impacts of international food price volatility on the poor and other vulnerable groups, food needs to be available where it is needed most. While the emergence of global food supply chains has weakened the commitment to national or local food security...the international community should assist poor countries in developing their agricultural sectors. (United Nations, 74) In more recent years, China has demonstrated adherence to this policy through its investments in African agriculture. For example, one China Africa Research Initiative policy brief reported: Mr. Lu Shaye, the former director of the African Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs once said, ‘China has never taken a single grain from Africa.’ This statement rings true in Angola. China has no intention of producing food in Angola and exporting it to China. Rather, China recognizes that it will reap indirect benefits from agricultural cooperation in Angola. As Mr. Wu Keqiang, the national representative of CAMC-Engineering in Angola, said, ‘If food security in Africa is guaranteed, international food prices will be stable and this benefits China's food security indirectly.’ (Zhou 2015, 4) While the 2008 food price crisis may have urged China to take more control over their international food supply chain by acquiring foreign agribusinesses such as Tnuva Dairy and Smithfield Foods, this pivotal event also effectively repositioned China as a global leader in development aid. Borne from this crisis was the realization of “win-win” development, the idea that China can benefit from providing development aid to countries in the southern hemisphere, particularly in an African country like Angola. On behalf of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Jiayi Zhou wrote: As in all issues of resource scarcity, the temptation for zero sum thinking regarding food resources is high. But given the global
and interconnected nature of our ecological, socio-political, and economic systems, addressing food insecurity in any given area will require a more holistic approach. Individual governments and their policy attention will remain key, but also necessary is a more integrated agenda for addressing food-related challenges within and across political borders from actors within and across political borders. (Zhou 2015, SIPRI)
3. China at The Helm: Food Security Since Xi Jinping New approaches to food security and agricultural trade in China have proven Xi Jinping’s emphasis on new concepts of development. This section will explore the change in the collective thought structure of the Chinese people towards environmental awareness. Additionally, this section will look to China’s investments in foreign agriculture and agribusinesses as an indication of whether the new standards of development are “genuine”, i.e. being upheld abroad. This will reveal China’s potential to be a global leader in the context of today’s development standards, which heavily incorporate sustainability as a measure of development. In other words, how Chinese enterprises invest in foreign agriculture indicate whether the Chinese have learned from their reform era mistakes. While the burgeoning middle class in China means there exists a growing demand for traditionally more expensive products such as meats, it also has led to a growing demand for organically produced food. In 2013, Modern Farmer reported on Tony Zhang’s organic farm, which was established after Zhang visited Chinese farms and found that many had two separate production sites for subsistence products and marketplace products. The growing concern for food safety in Chinese agricultural products has contributed to increasing imports, such as animal products, from countries like New Zealand (WITS, World Bank). Tony Zhang continued to discuss the higher prices of his organic produce and how these justified the extremely high demand. When China became the fourth largest consumer of organic produce in 2017, Alibaba, an online marketplace “dedicated to providing a premium shopping experience for increasingly sophisticated Chinese consumers,” established Tmall Fresh (Global Gap). The platform is primarily used for internationally sourced fresh produce, and products include buyer reviews and information about the source country and farm. Ray He, CEO of
Tmall Fresh, stated that Alibaba Cloud Computing estimated that the online purchasing of fresh products is expected to reach 500 billion yuan by 2020 and that, “36 million households in China had bought fresh products online in 2016 and this figure is expected to be at least doubled by 2020” (Produce Report 2017). These facts prove that that the environmental and food safety awareness of Chinese citizens is growing. Meanwhile, the CCP still needs to overcome the challenge of managing the import/export balance so that there are market opportunities for domestic farmers. Official policies emphasizing innovative and “green” sustainable development also imply new rules for domestic farmers--a chance for recovery from a reputation of unsafe food production, overshadowed by reports of rat meat being sold as mutton for hot-pot, and carcasses of diseased pigs being sold to restaurants (BBC 2013). UN FAO’s China delegate, Vincent Martin, stated that as part of the implementation of supply-side reforms in Beijing following the release of the 13th Five Year Plan, agricultural reforms will emphasize the increase of output of high quality products (UN FAO 2017). Also noteworthy is the action plan for zero growth of fertilizer and pesticide use by 2020, which addresses issues of the “maximum yield mentality” discussed above (Think Real News 2015). The Ministry of Agriculture’s No.1 Central Document released in 2016 addresses most of the issues that have been raised in sections one and two of this essay. It states: At least 53 million hectares of high-quality farmland will be created by 2020, which will be highly productive to ensure stable yields, be cultivated in an environmentally friendly manner and able to withstand floods and droughts… Sustainability will come through improved efficiency of resource use and environmental protection… New national standards on food safety will be prioritized and standards on pesticides residues and veterinary drugs will reach the international standards by 2020. (MOA) Notably, the Ministry of Agriculture also released a document in 2017 pertaining to China’s international agricultural trade and reported: China’s agricultural development cannot be isolated from the rest of world, and the world agricultural development also needs the all round participation of China. China will continue to open up its agricultural sector on the basic principle of cooperation, development
and win-win. China will stick to the goal of basic self-sufficiency, while expanding the opening up. As always, China will maintain a friendly and cooperative relation with other countries and international organizations. While agricultural trade with developed countries such as New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S. are significant for the diversification of products available on the Chinese market, much of the “win” for these trading partners can be attributed to money. For example, China acquired Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer with a five billion USD price tag, “more than the company’s market value” (Halverson 2014). More complex is China’s investment into the agriculture and agribusinesses of developing countries. With more lax regulations, Chinese investment in these countries can better test whether or not investors are exploiting their regulatory freedom or upholding or even promoting Xi’s new concepts of development abroad. The same MOA document commented on China’s agricultural aid in foreign countries, stating: China is one of the first countries to participate in South-South Cooperation under the framework of the FAO Special Program for Food Security (SPFS), and outnumbers any other countries in terms of overseas field staff. Since 1996, China has signed more than 10 tripartite agreements with the FAO and 24 recipient countries, and has sent more than 900 experts and technicians overseas to help improve local agricultural production and food security. There remains mixed reception in the case of Chinese investment in African countries, with some accusing China of neocolonialism by harvesting African produce to export back to China to feed itself. In her book Will Africa Feed China?, Deborah Brautigam debunks this myth and emphasizes that China’s interest in Africa is not as exploitative as critics might argue (Brautigam 2015). She finds that despite common misperception, China does not hold responsibility for large scale “land grabs” in Africa. Rather, Chinese enterprises are either leasing land from host governments or using contract farmers to carry out production. If China is not investing in African agriculture to feed itself, society should question the incentives for such largescale investment and aid. China has demonstrated environmental awareness in not cultivating more land but rather making cultivated land more efficient.
In The Fourth Food Revolution, authors Paolo D’Odorico and Maria Cristina Rulli explore the potential costs and benefits of foreign investment in largescale agriculture in developing countries. They found that “the long-term benefits of putting more land under the plough do not outweigh the negative environmental impacts such as land degradation, especially given the low soil quality that characterizes much uncultivated land.” Additionally, a NY Times article suggests that large-scale farming may be more favorable in African climates than smallholders: Experts blame several factors for the region's poor agricultural performance over the past three decades. First, sub-Saharan Africa's challenging environmental conditions make agriculture production difficult, particularly for small-scale farmers. Soil quality is poor in many areas, droughts are frequent, and infrastructure for transporting goods to market is limited. Unlike Asia, where a significant fraction of land is irrigated, 96 percent of arable land in sub-Saharan Africa depends on rainfall. The diversity of the region’s agro-ecologies— from soil to climate to type of crop produced—also complicates matters. (Hanson) One of the biggest incentives for Chinese investment in African agriculture comes from a desire to alleviate hunger and develop, though this is not out of pure altruism but rather to mitigate the risk of another food price crisis. However, China may also be potentially trying to seek an alternative “win-win” scenario by creating a market for its own agricultural products and technology in the future. The use of hybrid-rice seeds in some of their projects, creating a dependency on Chinese agriculture technique and products, best exemplifies this point. Brautigam writes: China is promoting hybrid seeds in Sierra Leone… Like mules, they are stronger and more productive than either parent. But hybrids do not breed true from seeds. Yields fall dramatically if farmers try to save some of the harvest for planting. To keep yields high, they need to buy new seeds, creating a steady market…Conventional seed is better for the long term...but even in China, they use hybrids to combat acute hunger. (Brautigam 2011, 309) This peculiar case stresses short term fulfillment of development goals but argues about the sustainability of this source of food unless the countries continue depending on Chinese supplies. It arguably challenges China’s
promotion of sustainable development abroad. In the case of south-south cooperation, one of the primary objectives—and perhaps the motivation for the use of hybrid seeds—is hunger alleviation. China promotes this through training facilities, such as the one in Rwanda, where Chinese agronomists “teach local farmers the hidden benefits of mushrooms. They grow quickly, even in bad soil, and don’t take a lot of room. They pack in protein and other nutrients…‘Western countries donate money; this is what we do,’ says Hu Yiping, director of the center” (Kuo 2016). This emphasizes the priority of hunger alleviation and illustrates a crucial point about Chinese aid, which arguably does more for the long-term capacity building rather than handing over simple cash transfers to corrupt government officials who do not distribute funds fairly or effectively. China wins in this scenario because they aim to: …eventually be a viable business that sells farmers material and equipment while also processing things like mushroom powder or dried mushrooms. Eventually these mushrooms will be sold to surrounding African countries as well as Europe and China. And the companies selling them will be Chinese, or Rwandese companies working with Chinese partners. (Kuo 2016) Given China’s history of unsustainable agricultural practices and stories of hazardous food, the environmental impact of China’s farming in Africa may also impugn whether or not reforms are “genuine.” One case study of Wanbao Xaixai farm in Mozambique found that China had indeed learned from past failures in environmental protection. The case study states: Wanbao does not use hybrid rice seeds, but uses good-quality conventional seeds. Hybrid rice possesses the advantage of efficiently absorbing water and high resistance against disease and pest. Yet, water resources in Mozambique are abundant and the ecological system is so good that there are hardly pests or diseases. This illustrates another function of hybrid seeds—providing benefits for water-scarce regions. It also reports: Unlike local peasants, Wanbao does not dispel birds. In Wanbao’s opinion, local farmers dispel birds because the birds can eat a large proportion of their grains. However, Wanbao is able to achieve a much higher production. What birds eat is just an insignificant part. For 70% time of a year birds eat worms and insects and benefit plantation.
To use ultrasound equipment to dispel bird will interrupt ecological system too. Wanbao thus believes that it’s better to keep the birds. Similarly, Wanbao refuses to use pesticide. Learning from environmental lessons in China, Wanbao attaches great importance to maintaining existing ecological system. (Yale) With the above examples in mind, one can deduce that in recent years the Chinese middle class has demonstrated a collective shift towards conscientious consumption habits and an awareness of food safety risks as a result of unsustainable farming techniques and the “maximum yield mentality.” The central government’s emphasis on green, sustainable development is not only significant domestically but also in agricultural pursuits abroad. This is especially prevalent in developing countries in Africa, where Chinese experts have largely sidestepped the same mistakes they made in their own development. Now, they are pursuing win-win solutions to help African host countries develop their own capacity for sustainable growth. China’s position in Africa has profound implications for its legitimacy as a new world leader. Conclusion In conclusion, China’s food security issues since 1978 are closely tied to the rise of sustainable development as a popular concept. The economic growth from the reform era allowed for the growth of a middle class. Middle class citizens became drivers of new demands and standards of “welfare rights” by increasing awareness for environmental and food safety issues. Thus, the conception of “food security” has expanded in China since the beginning of “opening up,” to include more concern for food safety as well as basic food sufficiency. This essay has demonstrated how the story of China’s food security issues since 1978 best illustrates the Environmental Kuznets Curve since the turning point of the curve has come with China’s transition into a middleincome society. China’s development experience has been largely dependent on international forces from FDI to WTO accession in 2001, which was pivotal for China’s agrarian sector. The realization of global interdependence for food security has led to China’s strategic positioning as a major investor in global agriculture and agribusinesses. While some critics believe this to be in neocolonialist fashion, this essay has provided evidence suggesting otherwise. While it may not be out of sheer altruism, China’s foreign agricultural investments encapsulate a win-win mentality that places China at the helm
of global food security. Through investments in developing countries, China has proved its legitimacy as a viable alternative development model to countries dependency on Western aid. Chinese aid has been achieving results in promoting sustainable long-term solutions to major development hurdles, such as hunger alleviation. The outlook for Chinaâ€™s food security is hopeful. With the complex global web it has weaved, interdependence in food security is truly a global issue. Perhaps cooperation in food security is a new platform for promoting diplomacy and international peace.
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TOR: Terror on Recruitment By Shriya Dodwani About the Author Shriya Dodwani is a second-year double majoring in Foreign Affairs and French at the University of Virginia. This piece is a product of her great interest in matters of national security and foreign diplomacy. Recognizing that much of terrorist recruitment happens on a digital platform, Shriya elected to research the process and propose a solution at the Conference on National Affairs (CONA) during the summer before her first-year. She then had the opportunity to further delve into the subject and write a research paper outlining the security concerns and known format of digital terrorist recruitment in her Counterterrorism and Intelligence course during the Spring of 2018. Around Grounds, Shriya is a volunteer at a daycare through Madison House, the Member-at-Large of the International Relations Organization, an Echols Ambassador, and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Foreward Shriya Dodwaniâ€™s submission on online terrorist recruitment is a product of a Spring 2018 course on Counterterrorism and Intelligence in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Online terrorist recruitment is an increasingly pertinent topic in international relations; Shriyaâ€™s article exposes the roots of this issue, where we have gone wrong in our national security, and how we can successfully address this issue. The course explored the various ways in which our federal government, primarily the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have responded to the threat of terrorism, in the United States and abroad. They covered an overview of the development of the modern foreign terrorist threat, the evolution of electronic surveillance authorities, the evolution of U.S. detention authority, the balancing of civil liberties and security, terrorist debriefing, the use of cooperating witnesses in terrorism cases, enhanced interrogation techniques, domestic terrorism, the intelligence and law enforcement approaches to counterterrorism, extraterritorial prosecutions,
the protection of intelligence equities, federal law enforcement interaction within the United States Intelligence Community (including the interagency process), the U.S. military commissions, as well as others means of terrorist disruption, deterrence and prosecution. After Shriyaâ€™s previous experience in developing a proposal to combat online terrorist recruitment at the Conference on National Affairs, she elected to dedicate her final paper to detailing the process. There are still some ambiguities about how clear of a role the FBI played in the creation of the Tor browser circulating through the intelligence community. However, this does not detract from the integrity of the research and detail presented in this paper. Shriya does an excellent job of shedding light on the curated art form that online terrorist recruitment has become. Her piece combines historical context and psychological motives to address the systematic procedure terrorist recruiters follow in the modern world in a very straightforward yet eloquent format. Unfortunately, the professor of this class could not write a forewordâ€”this foreword was written by Shriya and our Editor-in-Chief. Abstract Terrorist threats and international safety breaches have reached a new level of concern for American national security. Since March 2014, prosecutors have charged over 71 people with ISIS-related activities in the United States. Varying from attempting to support a known terrorist organization to plotting deadly attacks on U.S. soil, the arrestees total to the largest number of terrorism-related arrests in one year since September 2001. More alarmingly, the average age of the new members is a low 26 years. As many members of the younger generation mainly interact with others through social media, it has become a significant resource for terrorist recruiters across the world. According to The Atlantic, a majority of new recruits (58%) are American citizens. In an attempt to limit online terror recruitment, the FBI created a website titled "Don't Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism," in 2016. Simply aiming to help youth recognize extremist content online and encouraging them to be skeptical of anyone who appears to be propagating extremist violence is not enough. Many have accused the program of being biased, ineffective, and based on flawed theories of
radicalization. Clearly, a stronger plan is needed but, first, we must understand the logical analysis of online recruiters. Recognizing that much of terrorist recruitment now happens on a digital platform, this publication works to analyze the strategic process recruiters follow and to promote transparency regarding the issue. This article delves into the five prong plan that overseas recruiters follow and analyzes what constitutes a “good” candidate for online recruitment. Terrorist threats and international safety breaches have reached a new level of concern for American national security. Modern technology has created a web of connections, allowing information to be transmitted faster than ever. News of a bombing in New York can travel to FBI agents stationed in Syria in a matter of minutes. Ever since the creation of the Internet, and even more so after the events of 9/11, ISIS-related cases have proliferated in the US, coming to a head in 2015 (Greenberg 2017). Because members of the younger generations mainly interact with others through social media, the Internet has become a significant resource for terrorist recruiters across the world. In fact, the average age for recruits in the United States has reached a new low of a mere 27.2 years (Greenberg 2017). These circumstances beg the question of whether or not the creation of the Internet has further enhanced terrorist recruitment. When studying this development in the pre and post Internet eras, the FBI’s own actions –including their protocol and responses to major threats—must be studied, to see how they have impacted these changes in terrorism. Foreign Terror Organizations (FTOs) use personal connections as a foundation to further their message, which has been made all the easier by the technological advent. Before the establishment of the internet, oneon-one interactions were crucial, but because of their limited nature they inhibited recruitment from occurring on a large scale. However, the creation of digital platforms has brought a new wave of recruitment technology. Social media allows aspiring terrorists to streamline terrorism propaganda with the touch of a button. These technologies throw off security agencies by giving them “the added challenge of isolating genuine threats from a sea of noise” (Green 2016). Around 46,000 Twitter accounts specifically created for use by the Islamic State were discovered in 2015. Though Twitter acted to suspend
such accounts, they continued to surface. It is estimated that around 40,000 accounts overtly supporting the Islamic State still have an online presence— roughly 2,000 of which are broadcasting in English and targeting American citizens (Berger 2015). Though such technologies have helped advance the goals of FTOs— targeting a larger audience and garnering public attention worldwide as opposed to regionally-- basic recruitment tactics have not strayed far from the pre-Internet era. One must first delve into this primary structure before evaluating how the Internet has aided in amplifying the success of this process. Policy analysts at the National Security Research Division, Sara Daly and Scott Gerwehr, have found three common traits in the most “effective” recruitment pitches. Each tactic tends to be “tailored to the audience and its cultural, social, and historical context,” which allow the recruiters to appeal to victims’ ethos, pathos, and logos at the same time (Daly and Gerwehr 2006). Following such vague, yet thematically oriented tactics enables terrorist organizations to tailor their processes to their own conditions. Such a process is extremely delicate and leaves room for little to no error. Furthermore, Daly and Gerwehr have formulated four specific “models of recruitment” that recruiters tend to follow: Net, Funnel, Infection, and Seed Crystal (Daly and Gerwehr 2006). Essentially, each of these forms capitalizes on a vulnerability that a young potential recruit is likely to have. For example, youth who are heavily involved in their religion are more likely to pay heed their religious leaders. In such a situation, the “infection” method may be most useful. By establishing “(1) source credibility, (2) social comparison and validation, and (3) specifically tailored appeals,” recruiters can easily tap into innocent minds (Daly and Gerwehr 2006). Recruiters can easily implement such processes in the virtual world as well. Social media serves as an outlet for teenagers to find others who share their discomforts, interests, and beliefs; It exposes people to a world of opportunities. As a result, terrorist recruiters can easily infiltrate and plant seeds of destruction in the minds of vulnerable youth who are looking for someone to connect with. Ultimately, their primary goal is to garner sympathy for the cause before easing the victims into intense propaganda that highlights how they themselves can get involved. It is a matter of mere connection. Any action by a candidate, including, but not limited to, “making a financial donation, downloading extremist propaganda, entering a jihadi chat room, or
visiting radical pages on Facebook” further facilitates this connection (Alarid 2016). The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has synthesized a four-prong plan that online recruiters tend to follow. Initially, recruiters must establish a point of “first contact.” This is a two-way street between the Islamic State seeking vulnerable, younger people and those who seek them in return through any of the aforementioned means. Second, they establish a “micro-community” and follow one of the four “models of recruitment” similar to those that Daly and Gerwehr established. Third, they then shift from social media to private communications, thus removing themselves from the imminent danger of the eyes of government agencies. In doing so, they are able to move to a setting where open communication is more plausible. Finally, they “identify and encourage pro-Islamic State action” that is specifically suitable for the target. Though each case is different, this basic plan of online radicalization, in combination with the models presented by the two policy analysts at the National Security Research Division, has made it easier for terrorists to successfully recruit online. Let us further delve into what each of these steps entails before evaluating the impact such a structure has had on the modern terrorist threat. I. First Contact Capitalizing on common connections, recruiters tend to look out for those who seem to be on the brink of outbreak. A study of 1,600 Twitter accounts that had ties to Islamic propaganda showed that recruiters were mostly interacting with individuals who are “radical but not overtly violent, and in some cases, not obviously connected to radicalism at all” (Berger 2015). FTOs benefit from building connections with members of established groups that share their sentiments but have yet to consider a radical approach. The July 2015 study of 1,600 Twitter accounts targeted such “established” groups, including CAGE, an advocacy group for Muslim prisoners who had fallen victim to the War on Terror. Moreover, though it was a bit riskier for them, openly radical groups were also a part of this audience. The Islamic Awakening message board served as a fundamental way to connect those who had opposing views. Members ranging from conservative views to those with extremely radical ones could congregate and chat on these forums, facilitating an easier connection and making conversation on violence more accessible
(Berger 2015). These FTOs’ high technology initiatives make it easy to spread their message and garner attention amongst their intended audience. Their “aggressive use of broadcasting techniques such as bots (automated, highvolume tweeting of content) and hashtag spamming (tweeting content at high volume on unrelated hashtags)” made accidentally stumbling upon overtly Islamic State propaganda a plausible narrative (Berger 2015). However, since the tail end of 2014, action by social media officials has ramped up. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have been working incessantly to fully remove accounts associated with malicious intents. Nonetheless, propaganda still proliferates, and recruiters are finding new ways to form a bond with potential new members. Expanding their scope from only those who have expressed some form of a vested interest in the political ongoings of the Islamic State, recruiters also look to connect with “potentially disenfranchised or disaffected people by tweeting, retweeting, and using popular hashtags or hashtags relating to divisive current events” (Berger 2015). In some ways, forming a connection on the basis of domestic terror can serve as a more efficient tool than trying to immediately garner sympathy for the Islamic cause. Commenting on, retweeting, or simply liking content focused on domestic terrorist attacks, like those in Charlottesville in August of 2017, creates a more personal connection between the recruiter and the target. Targeted audience members are more likely to respond and be willing to have a conversation when events have happened closer to home. These circumstances ensure a more vulnerable and raw connection, making it easier to loop victims into a global cause. II. Create a Micro-Community Recruiters are finding ways to constantly stay in contact with the targets, sending out anywhere from 50-250 daily messages in the form of social media posts. This constant presence encompasses users in the digital world and “ensures that it is easy for a target to find conversation at any hour of the day and night, allowing virtually constant contact as a relationship progresses” (Berger). The goal, at this stage, is to essentially consume the victim and submerge them in a world where all the content is about the Islamic State. However, an initial connection, no matter how substantial, cannot be
sustained by mere conversation. The nature of an online interaction eliminates the ability to create a deeper meaning. Without a physical presence, it is easy for the message to disappear, for the recruiting body to fade away behind the guise of a screen. Hence, a micro-community is pertinent to this process. After the potential members have been flooded with the waves of information on the Islamic State, they must continue by physically isolating themselves as well. Outside influence creates the potential to provide counter arguments to the Islamic propaganda. Because the recruiters do not have a physical presence and must interact and form relationships with recruits all across the world, they lack the ability to defend their campaign. Hence, these recruiters encourage victims to isolate themselves from non-supporters. Family members, close friends, and non-Muslims are shunned if they do not believe in the vengeful principles of the Islamic State; non-belief immediately yields reason to not trust others. Recruiters further ingrain this notion of hatred towards non-believers by creating a clear barrier of “us” versus “them.” In invoking “a religious doctrine known as al walaa wal-baraa (loyalty to Muslims and the disavowal of non-Muslims),” they are able to guilt the recruits into abandoning their loved ones to instead search for those who are a part of the micro-community (Berger 2015). They further encourage the recruits to filter out those in their circle by warning them of “fake” Muslims who do not fully share their values. These “fake” Muslims are mockingly dubbed “coconuts” for physically having a brown toned complexion, but adopting the habits of western culture, and thus being white internally. Their mainstream views are seen as impure, and as a result, victims must cut them off, even if they are Muslims (Berger 2015). Indirect isolation, caused by the elimination of flagged terrorist accounts, can serve as the most common way to force recruits into a microcommunity (Berger 2015). The suspension of a victim’s social media account leads to no contact to their recruiters and close comrades overseas, yielding further isolation. The ability to reconnect with those who originally provided them with Islamic State propaganda motivates targets to rejoin and create a social media presence. When they rejoin they limit their scopes by following fewer people and inherently focusing on accounts that can provide them with a direct connection to the recruiters or similar individuals. Such a situation brings into question the true value of corporate intervention.
III. Shift to Private Communications At this point, the connection has become stable enough for recruiters to move into a more private and personal setting. Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, and Kik are popular sources of privatized communication. However, since messages through these platforms can still be traced, such dialogue have moved to a largely unregulated territory: the dark web. Utilizing the TOR browser enables the connection between recruiter and recruit to further solidify and reach new levels of danger. Communication on the dark web can be much more open, and most importantly cannot be regulated, as although certain sites on TOR can be shut down, doing so would not produce a permanent effect. Another site for the same purpose can arise and continue communication and production. A government research entity under the United States Navy originally created the TOR browser. Since then, Ex FBI Director James Comey has criticized it, calling it â€œa shadow falling across our workâ€? (Weise 2017). Furthermore, attempting to track these conversations by granting access to law enforcement officials could endanger them, making their information more accessible to the public. Veryan Khan, editorial director at the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, argues that attempting to gain access to these encrypted conversations is relatively futile. Once communication has moved to such high security levels, especially on TOR, there is little to nothing that can be done (Weise 2017). Personal touches are much appreciated, even in the world of terrorism. Now that they have established a solid connection with the victims, recruiters try to become more friendly and approachable. They engage in physical outreach in the form of letters â€“ another prominent way to pursue privatized communication (Berger 2015). In contrast to tracking tweets and direct messages, law enforcement takes longer to track and flag letters. Writing letters further solidifies and reinforces the goals of Stage II in creating a stronger micro-community, while also serving as an ideal form of privatized communication. However, whether or not the privatized communication continues to take part in a digital form or through physical writing, it is a pivotal point in the online terrorist recruitment process. IV.
Encourage Action Spending time communicating with and getting to know the
potential new member has allowed the recruiter to gauge in what capacity the victim will best be able to serve the FTO. FTOs tend to expect social media activism from their recruits -- the most basic level of involvement. Social media accounts intending to reconnect English speaking supporters of the Islamic State are often suspended (Berger 2015). Recruits who are overt and expressive about their stances may be pushed to maintain and recreate such accounts when they are suspended. This job further cycles into the promotion of future online recruitment. Aside from social and technological innovation, recruiters push the victims towards hijra, “emigration to Islamic State territories, and terrorism” (Berger 2015). They look to create an image of a “utopian society” where members are not just fighters, but also intellectuals. They present a community that is a family, whether that means emigrating with one’s family or as a single unit to be married to another of the same radical ideologies. They attempt to create a cohort of people who will fully dedicate to the Islamic State without hesitation. This persona of family and unity is an integral part to selling the idea of hijra for the potential new members. Physical and monetary limitations often keep the recruits from travelling overseas to aid the terrorist cause. In situations like these, the recruiters encourage domestic terrorism (Berger 2015). Recruits aim to wreak havoc in any form and take credit for it. Any terror caused, be it domestic or international, benefits the FTO so long as it directs media attention to the Islamic State. In an increasingly digital age, any form of media attention yields a positive effect, as the more events that are linked to the Islamic State, the greater a threat it seems to be. In turn, this garners attention from not only prominent government agencies, but feeds into the online recruitment process by exposing the work of the FTO to a larger audience. Mentoring is crucial in encouraging the targets to act on their own. Guidance from a familiar entity, especially one that the recruit starts to consider family, aids in taking the first leap. For example, Elton Simpson of the Curtis Culwell Center attack in Garland, Texas had several different sources of influence. He had been in contact with a number of recruiters on Twitter. Private conversations between them and Simpson indicated clear effects in the form of mentorship and encouragement (Berger 2015). “Junaid Hussain, a British hacker who joined the Islamic State some time in or after 2013, influenced him prominently. (Berger 2015). Open communication
with others like Hussain, who have gone through the recruitment process and established themselves as successful terrorists, serves as an enabler for the new recruits. All these factors play into the illusion of a family that the FTO desperately desires to create. This four-prong plan functions well in that it is very malleable and can easily adapt to individual cases. It appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos, giving it the ability to fully encompass its victims, leaving them without a doubt that the FTO is a serious entity. Online terrorist recruitment has changed the game for governmental organizations, making it increasingly difficult to hone in on threats and eradicate malicious communication. However, it has also led to important discussions regarding policy change that would not have emerged otherwise. Clearly, the TOR software has played a prominent role in the most pivotal stage of the recruitment process. Though this platform greatly inhibits national security, it provides a fundamental lesson for future government projects. If anything, it is evident that the focus today must be geared towards those who show signs of radicalization. Law enforcement should be addressing potential threats before they move to communication on platforms that cannot be regulated in order to face the consequences of technological advances on terrorism.
Bibliography Alarid, Maeghin. 2016. “Recruitment and Radicalization: The Role of Social Media and New Technology.” The Journal of Complex Operations, 313–329. Berger, J.M. 2015. “Tailored Online Interventions: The Islamic State’s Recruitment Strategy.” CTC Sentinel, vol. 8, no. 10, Daly, Sara, and Scott Gerwehr. 2006. “Al-Qaida: Terrorist Selection and Recruitment.” The McGraw-Hill Homeland Security Handbook, by David G. Kamien, McGraw-Hill, 73–87. Greenberg, Karen J., editor. 2017. The American Exception: Terrorism Prosecutions in the UnitedStates — The ISIS Cases. Center on National Security, 836. The American Exception: Terrorism Prosecutions in the United States — The ISIS Cases. Green, Shannon N. 2016. “Do We Need a New Strategy to Prevent Terrorist Attacks on the United States?” Center for Strategic and International Studies. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Weise, Elizabeth. 2017. “Terrorists Use the Dark Web to Hide.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network.
Reading Between the Lines: An analysis of the representation of men as survivors of sexual violence in Ugandan news media By Olivia Dupont About the Author Olivia Dupont is a recent graduate of the University of Virginiaâ€™s College of Arts and Sciences Class of 2018. As an undergraduate, she doublemajored in Global Security and Justice (GSSJ) and French. She focused on issues relating to sexual and gender-based violence and post-conflict development. Olivia comes from a military family and spends her holidays in Uganda, where her family is currently stationed. This year, Olivia is working towards her Masters degree in Public Health at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Outside of the classroom, Olivia teaches health education classes at the Charlottesville Boys and Girls club and works for the UVA Hooâ€™s Well program. Foreward Olivia Dupont's article on Ugandan media representations of male survivors of sexual violence was originally drafted as her capstone thesis for UVA's Global Security and Justice program. I immediately encouraged her to try to publish it, as it perfectly exemplifies how an outstanding undergraduate with a clear research objective can make a genuine and original contribution to knowledge. As Olivia notes in the article, most existing analyses of representations of sexual violence survivors are focused on Western media, with analyses of male survivors particularly scarce. Until recently this could be partly explained by the difficulty of accessing media archives from countries in the global South, but Olivia's great success in so doing is suggestive of how younger scholars may have an advantage over older ones when it comes to conducting digital research.
In short, Olivia's paper is groundbreaking in terms of both topic and method. I am pleased that the Wilson Journal is hereby making it available to the scholarly community. Peter Furia Woodrow Wilson Dept of Politics University of Virginia Abstract Men have historically been underrepresented as survivors of sexual violence within news media. Many cultural, political, and social factors contribute to the portrayal of male survivors within media sources. For this paper, I analyzed the quantity and quality of male survivor representation using 138 Ugandan news articles. I found that male survivors in Uganda are underrepresented within the media, only being depicted in about 11% of articles related to sexual violence. However, articles that included dialogue on male survivor experiences tended to be sympathetic to the survivor and actively recognized barriers to male survivors receiving support. Representations of male and female survivors shared several commonalities, such as the role of culture in silencing survivors. While male survivors were represented with a sympathetic and progressive voice from Ugandan journalists, there is much room for improvement in terms of quantity of representation. Introduction The purpose of this text is to analyze the representation of men as survivors of sexual violence in Ugandan news media. While crimes of sexual violence have gained a greater presence in mass media, the focus has been mostly limited to crimes against women. Although the majority of sexual crimes are committed against women, sexual violence can be committed and received by members of either gender (Turchik and Edwards 2012, 2001). Dialogue, in which men are stereotyped solely as perpetrators and women only as victims, perpetuates stigmas that can create barriers for male survivors. The representation and frequency at which male survivors are represented can influence public opinion towards the development of policy and the likelihood of accurate reporting. It is important that as awareness of sexual violence increases, it is developed with a comprehensive perspective,
considering both female and male survivors. I will be conducting my analysis by examining the way in which, and the frequency at which, men are represented as survivors of sexual violence in Ugandan news media. We look to the news as a source of information, to fill in the gaps where we lack knowledge. In recent years, new coverage of sexual assault and sexual and gender-based violence has brought numerous experiences to light. As a result of this growing coverage, there is an increase of support and education, which work to end the stigma of survivors and increase prosecution of perpetrators. Unfortunately, news media has historically failed to accurately represent men as survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. The State of Sexual Violence in Uganda The most recent available data on rates of sexual violence in Uganda are from the 2014 Uganda Police Annual Crime report. In 2014, there were 20,828 cases of sex-related offences reported to the Ugandan Police Department. This includes 1,419 cases of rape and 18,507 cases of defilement. There is an increase of 5.4% in rape cases from 2013 (Uganda Police 2014). These statistics are not distinguished by gender; however, we may assume these reports follow the Ugandan legal definition of rape which is limited to assault against women. It can be extremely difficult to determine the extent of sexual violence against men due to lack of reporting. In 2013, the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics estimated that about 9% of Ugandan men have experienced sexual abuse by their spouse (Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2013). Beyond this figure, all other statistics on violence by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics were related only to women. In a 2009 lecture at Makerere University in Kampala, a professor stated that 11% of Ugandan men have experienced sexual violence (Nayiga 2009). Conflict and political unrest can lead to increases in sexual violence. Uganda has struggled with its own problems of conflict-related sexual violence due to the role of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Northern regions of the country. The chronic conflict between the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and the rebellious Lord’s Resistance Army has lasted over 20 years and continues to linger in the Northern territories of Uganda. The conflict has led to the displacement of over two million people and countless incidents of sexual violence. In a study of 813 respondents from internally displaced persons camp in Northern Uganda, over 28.6% of women and 6.7% of men reported suffering some form of sexual violence (Kinyada et al. 2010,
10:28). Studies have also shown that prior violence in conflict can lead to sustained violence and intimate partner violence within a community even after the conflict has ended (Annan and Brier 2010, 70). Uganda is one of the largest host nations for refugees in the world. Last year, Uganda hosted about 500,000 refugees: many came from conflict zones such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (UNHCR 2017). A survey conducted by the Refugee Law Project in Uganda found that 39% of a sample of 447 Congolese refugee men in Uganda had experienced sexual violence (Cain 2018). Dr. Angella Ntinda, a doctor who handles referrals from the Refugee Law Project, reported the following in an interview: "Eight out of ten patients from RLP will be talking about some sort of sexual abuse." "Eight out of ten men?" I (the reporter) clarify. "No. Men and women," she says. "What about men?" "I think all the men." (Storr 2011) According to these various sources, the rate of sexual violence against men in Uganda lingers somewhere around 10% for the national population, and somewhere between 39% and 99% for the male refugee population. However, these numbers are likely severe misestimates and many of the referenced sources are outdated. Many men are not willing to disclose their trauma due to stigma, cultural constructs of masculinity, and strict anti-homosexuality laws in Uganda. Definitions The WHO defines sexual violence as any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances or acts to traffic or otherwise directed, against a personâ€™s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting (WHO, 149). In Uganda, the definitions related to sexual violence are targeted to specific survivors and perpetrators, producing a lack of inclusivity for many survivors seeking justice. The Ugandan Penal Code Act identifies and punishes three forms of sexual violence: rape, indecent assault, and defilement. Rape is defined as any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind or by fear of bodily harm, or by means of false representations as to the nature of the act, or in
the case of a married woman, by personating her husband, commits the felony termed rape (Uganda Legal Information Institution 2000). Indecent assault is defined as any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults any woman or girl. Defilement is then covered under section 129 of the penal code which states: Defilement of any girl under the age of eighteen - Any person who unlawfully has sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of eighteen years commits an offence and is liable to suffer death (Uganda Legal Information Institution 2000). Uganda strays from the international definitions of the WHO and UN by gendering their penal code in a manner which only recognizes certain survivors, and inadvertently protects the perpetrators of sexual violence against men. My Contribution There is very limited literature on the topic of the representation of male survivors of sexual violence in mass media. The few sources that do exist focus on western mass media, especially in Europe, and focus on male-onmale sexual assault. My own research goes beyond the scope of the existing literature by using the methods of the existing literature and applying them to mass media in Uganda. There is no existing analysis of the representation of survivors of sexual violence in Ugandan media, and certainly not of male survivors. Many of the themes and ideas of the existing literature are applicable to mass media representations across many cultures, and many of the themes such as masculinity and homosexuality will be expanded upon in my research. These themes also play an important role in shaping the perception of male survivors in Uganda. Methods This research was conducted as a content analysis of Ugandan news articles. The news articles for the sample were selected using the Factiva and Lexis Nexis databases. The following search terms were applied to each database: Rape, Gender-based Violence, Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, and Male Rape. To promote relevancy of the articles, the search settings for each database were set so that the chosen term had to be present within the headline or lead paragraph to be shown in the results. Each search was restricted between the dates of January 1, 2012, and Present (March 2018). Each search was set to the region of â€œUgandaâ€?. Finally, the searches were
limited to results from the two most prominent and well-circulated Ugandan news sources, the Daily Monitor and New Vision. The Daily Monitor is an independent daily newspaper, owned by The Nation Media Group and five other individual shareholders. They promote themselves as “free from the influence of Government, shareholders or any political allegiance” (Daily Monitor 2013). The New Vision is a government-established daily newspaper owned by New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited who promotes itself as “a globally respected African media powerhouse that advances society” (Vision Group 2014). The two primary variables for the analysis of these articles were the quantity and quality of which male survivors are represented within Ugandan media. The quantity was determined by coding for gender pronouns and titles in relation to incidence of sexual violence within each article. The gender for each incident discussed within the articles of the sample was coded for the survivor and the perpetrator, as female, male or gender neutral. I did not consider the gender of either actor unless an explicit gender; sex, pronoun, or title (Mr., Ms., etc.) was applied. The representation of men and women as perpetrators is important because these representations play a role in the development of cultural and social expectations for men and women within sexual violence. Women are rarely displayed as perpetrators within the media. Consequently, the public misunderstands the severity of sexual violence by women. The mainstream expectation of the man as the perpetrator contributes to the idea that men cannot be victims, and limits the understanding of the different forms that sexual violence can take. Results The search criteria as detailed in the Methods section of this report were set within the Factiva and LexisNexis database settings. A chart of the sample size pool is seen in Figure 1, showing the preliminary number of articles found by the databases using the search criteria.
Figure 1: Results for sexual violence related search terms on Factiva and Lexis Nexis using assigned criteria. The initial sample pool contained about 250 articles. The Daily Monitor results for the term “Rape” from Factiva was comparatively the largest pool of articles with 110 articles. These articles were sorted by relevance, and the first 40 articles were selected for use in the sample. The search for the terms “Male Rape”, unsurprisingly, did not yield any results that fit our search criteria on either database. To account for potential variance in wording or potential rephrasing of the term, several secondary searches were carried out with varied terms, such as the terms “male victim” and the terms “male” and “victim” separately. Doing so allows for the inclusion of articles which contain both words within the headline or lead paragraph independently of each other. These secondary searches resulted in three results from New Vision and one from the Daily Monitor from both databases. These articles were included in the sample pool. Then, the articles went through a secondary screening, where
duplicates and irrelevant articles were removed. Articles which matched the search criteria but were not pertinent to a dialogue on sexual violence, such as â€œStop the Rape of the Environmentâ€?, were removed. Following the secondary screening, the final number of articles remaining in the sample group was 138. The analysis of the sample began with coding for the gendering of the survivor and perpetrator of each article. Each article received one point for each category that was represented within the article: female survivor, male survivor, female perpetrator, male perpetrator, gender neutral. Gendering had to be explicit, and the article was marked as gender neutral if the text did not identify either the perpetrator or survivor (real or theoretical) by gender. The table below shows the results of how many articles fell under each category of gendering. Articles could fall beneath more than one, for example, if a story of a female survivor and male survivor were both shared, the article received a point for each category.
Figure 2. A table showing the number of articles that represented each type of perpetrator and survivor
Of the 138 articles in the sample, 15 of the articles in some way explicitly mentioned male survivors. 105 articles discussed female survivors. The aggressor of the sexual violence was gendered as male 58 times, and there was discussion of a female perpetrator 4 times. It is important to bear in mind that there was overlap in many of the categories. The extent to which the gender was discussed also varied greatly between the many articles. Of the 15 articles that discussed male survivors, five were dedicated solely to male survivors. The other ten were discussions on sexual violence in which both men and women were included in the dialogue as survivors.
Themes Awareness of sexual violence appears to be growing in Uganda. Nearly all of the articles within the sample were sympathetic to the survivor and aimed to create productive dialogue on addressing causes of sexual violence and promoting sound solutions. Several key themes remained consistent across a majority of the articles, including silencing of victims, patriarchy/culture, humiliation, and disbelief. The consistency of themes across the articles suggests a united front amongst the Ugandan media who choose to address sexual violence and a common understanding of key elements contributing to rising rates of sexual violence in Uganda. Silencing of the Victim Silencing of the victim and the idea of “invisible victims” was a common theme represented amongst both male and female survivors within the articles. Many of the articles discussing female survivors touched on the silence of female survivors, for reasons usually attributed to fear of continued violence. One article, which focused on enacting tougher laws on sexual violence, stated “(…) sexual violence is largely tolerated in society that victims fear to report such cases for fear or victimization” (Nandhego 2013). In another article, a female survivor shares “He even sent me threatening texts saying he would harm me” (Nakibuuka 2016) had she dared to report the assault against her. Female survivors also find the weak justice system to be a barrier to having their stories told. One Daily Monitor article states “(…) low chances of justice and successful prosecution keep many victims silent” while another affirms “(…) in a criminal justice system where victims of sexual offences rarely find justice (…) many victims have resorted to suffer in silence.” (Masake 2013). This sentiment is shared among many of the articles focused on female survivors. Silencing of the victim was the forefront theme represented in articles discussing men. All five of the articles that exclusively discussed male survivors, discussed silencing of the victim. Of the five articles, four attributed silencing due to the historic gendering of sexual violence. 1. “Actions to eradicate domestic violence in Uganda largely address women’s and girl’s vulnerabilities. Such as one-sided approach casts a shadow on the plight of the men and boys who are usually silent about their predicament.” (Twinomugisha 2013) 2. “We have a lot of these cases (male rape), but because of stigma
and our law, which is not inclusive, they don’t come out. Only a few come out”. (Agaba 2016) 3. “Emphasis has been on violence against women and girls (…) with the presumption that there was no violence against men and boys in conflict” (Mulondo 2014) 4. “Men are victims too (…) but we have all been conditioned to believe that term is reserved for the ladies alone.” (Mugisha 2015) The 5th article attributed the silence to corruption, as medical practitioners had been demanding money from victims of crimes – “Doctor fails to sign sodomized boy’s report over Shs20, 000”. While both male and female survivors are represented as silenced in the media, the attributions of this silence are quite different for both. Women’s silence is largely due to fear of social repercussions and an ineffective justice system, while men’s is primarily due to gendering of laws and the perceptions of gender in relation to sexual violence within the justice system. Men face a unique challenge in dealing with the justice system due to their lack of representation in the Ugandan Penal Code. The gendering of the laws is quite explicit and leaves little room for men to break through as survivors. Patriarchy and Cultural Perceptions of Gender Gendering of laws and a justice system that is ineffective in handling cases of sexual violence can largely be attributed to patriarchy and cultural perceptions of gender. The themes of patriarchy and culture were very strong in dialogue of female and male survivors in the article samples. It seems as though the cultural values and social attitudes that justify sexual violence against women are the same ones that shame male survivors. Many of the articles focused on female survivors attempted to create dialogue to address factors contributing to the growth of sexual violence in Uganda. Many articles highlighted elements of African society, which contribute to the stigma and justification of sexual violence towards women. Each article denounced patriarchal elements contributing to sexual violence and called upon the public, as well as the government to act in response to shifting cultural attitudes of sex. A few key examples from the articles include: 1. “While some men argued that preventing forced sex with their wives is not part of African values, women had supported the Marriage and Divorce bill arguing that if this is criminalized, it would reduce the abuse of women in marriages”. (Nakibuuka 2016)
2.“Although marital rape is a common occurrence in Uganda, our cultural and social norms do not recognize marital rape as a problem”. (Nakibuuka 2016) 3. “Close to six women in every 10 (57%) agreed that a woman should tolerate violence to keep her family together (…) we have a bad culture that indoctrinates women to be submissive.” (Agaba 2017) In regard to male survivors, cultural perceptions of the role of the man can impact the ability for men to come forward as survivors, find support for their trauma and seek justice through legal systems. In their study “Making Sense of Male Rape”, Doherty and Anderson say that male survivors have expressed that normative expectations about masculinity can discourage survivors from reporting violence (Doherty and Anderson 2004). In his paper on male rape, Sandesh Sivakumaran states that societies’ constructs of masculinity can play a critical role in non-reporting. He continues that societies often consider manhood to be “the ability to exert power over others.” Becoming a victim due to sexual violence is incompatible with this belief that men can only exert power, and cannot suffer from exerted power (Sivakumaran 2005, 1274-1306). These ideas are confirmed within many articles in this study. These cultural barriers are tied closely to the idea of humiliation and shame as seen in these examples: 1. “Uganda that has largely remained a patriarchal society, for a man to admit being harassed by a women is desperately humiliating and, in a way seen as shameful” (Twinomugisha 2013) 2. “The idea of sexually assaulting a man, a macho Africanised man, seems so ridiculous, it is laughable” (Mugisha 2015) In one Daily Monitor article, a woman was interviewed concerning a man who was sexually assaulted by his female boss. In response, the woman states “But how? He was not taken advantage of, he was not vulnerable (…) He is just being a crybaby” (Mugisha 2015). There may also be an element of fear involved, as male rape can often be associated homosexuality, an even more highly stigmatized topic in Uganda. Very little literature exists on the distinction between attitudes towards survivors who were assaulted by a fellow man compared to a woman. It is possible that these attitudes may shift depending on whether one’s masculinity is being threatened by a woman (a female perpetrator) or another male. Of 138 articles, only four texts involved a female perpetrator, however, in most cases involving a male survivor the
perpetrator was not gendered. Disbelief These cultural perceptions of masculinity and sexual violence also play into the theme of disbelief in relation to male survivors. This theme was constant throughout the sample of male articles, and the authors mostly attempted to refute the perception that men cannot be survivors. One journalist begins his text “So, can a man be raped?” and continues, “How can a man be raped? In our society, it is unheard of.” (Agaba 2016). He goes on to argue that men can, in fact, be survivors. Several articles also attempt to tackle male victim blaming, that the man must have “wanted it” to be assaulted. There are many misconceptions about conditions in which sexual violence against a male can take place. Some question how a sexual experience can take place when a man is not aroused or “in the mood”. These misconceptions invalidate the wide scope of experiences a male can experience that fall under sexual violence, which are not limited to penetrative sex. Just a few mentioned within the article sample include; rape, molestation, genital mutilation, inappropriate touching, coercive behavior, and pedophilia. It seems there are several narratives simultaneously working against male survivors in Uganda. Fortunately, from the sample analyzed here, it seems that the majority of journalists choosing to handle issues of male rape are disseminating correct and progressive information to the public regarding sexual violence. Male Survivors as Secondary It is important that men be included in the dialogue of sexual violence survivors. Of the 138 articles sampled for this study, only five exclusively discussed male survivors. Four of these articles were dedicated solely to discussing sexual violence against men. The fifth was an article on police corruption with the example of a sodomized boy. It is important that these four articles are dedicated to male survivors. However, the language used in these articles implied male survivors as a category secondary to female survivors. The titles of these four articles are as follows: 1. “Men Too are Victims of Gender-Based Violence” 2. “Assaulted Sexually? But I’m a Man!” 3, “Men, Boys also Sexually Abused in War-Zones, says UN” 4. “Men Increasingly Falling Rape Victims Too” Each of these articles focuses on male survivors, but by using language
that implies that they are coming second to female survivors. The use of “too”, “but”, and “also”, imply that the issue of violence against men is not a standalone issue, but connected to that of women. The issue of violence against women comes first, and the men are “also” being added to this issue in a secondary manner. Gender Neutral Articles Of the articles explored, 31 articles were gender neutral. This means that there was no explicit use of gendering within the text. The use of genderneutral wording when discussing sexual violence can be complicated. On one hand, gender neutrality can be beneficial. Not assigning gender to survivors and perpetrators when discussing issues surrounding sexual violence does not exclude anyone from the discourse. In these articles, the perpetrator could be male or female, and as could the survivor. However, the problem with gender neutrality is that it is not necessarily inclusive either. Gender neutrality leaves the interpretation of the actors up to the reader. In a society in which male rape is not openly recognized, the reader may implicitly assume the gender of the perpetrator and survivor. As discussed previously, Dr. Joanna Jamel found that journalists often did not include the gender, because they assumed the perpetrator was implied to be male and the survivor to be female based on the nature of the crime. Therefore, efforts to promote equality of representation through gender equality may be thwarted: male survivors are not necessarily included, they are just not explicitly excluded. Use of genderneutral journalism is a key to increasing representation of all survivors; however, it must be paired with increased awareness through examples of explicit inclusion of male survivors. Female Perpetrators Of 138 articles sampled, only four contained mention of a female perpetrator. This >1% representation of female perpetrators is a severe underrepresentation. As stated earlier, in a 2013 study, 9% of Ugandan men reported having experienced sexual abuse by their spouse. In Uganda, marriage between two men is not legal; therefore, we may assume the spouse to be a woman. While male perpetrators commit the majority of sexually violent crimes, it is important to explicitly acknowledge that women may also be perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence against their partners and other women. Interestingly, while other men also commit the majority of sexual violence against men (Roberts 2013), a male perpetrator was not once
explicitly mentioned in a case of a male survivor in any of the articles. Discussion This content analysis has allowed us to view the role of sexual violence in Ugandan media and within the global dialogue on sexual violence. The frequency and manner in which sexual violence against men was discussed, was not abnormal from the discussions of male survivors around the world. There is silence from the global community regarding male survivors and their access to care and resources. Even in the United States, where our policies appear more inclusive than those of Uganda, our discussions of male survivors are largely limited to male-on-male rape in prisons. Uganda stands in a unique position to create dialogue for male survivors as it balances its conservative politics and highly religious population (85% Christian, 12% Muslim [U.S. Department of State]) with the influx of survivors (both male and female) within its growing refugee population. The issue of male survivors connects us to other issues of Ugandan politics, including immigration, homosexuality, and sexual violence. Sexual violence against men is inappropriately yet consistently tied to issues of homosexuality. In a politically conservative nation such as Uganda, the two are inextricably linked. Resolutions to the antagonistic attitudes towards homosexuality in Uganda could create progress for male survivors, as the stigmatization of one will ease the stigmatization of the other. The primary limitation of this content analysis is that we do not have definitive statistics of sexual violence against men with which we can statistically compare the prevalence of female articles to male articles. It is extremely difficult to determine prevalence of cases of sexual violence against men, and we, unfortunately, only have estimates with which to compare. Another limitation is that the sample of articles was collected through a targeted search. Therefore, we are not able to determine the prevalence of these articles within the general Ugandan news. This sample is not an accurate representation of how frequently stories of sexual violence would be represented. This study also limited its sample to English-language articles. There are 43 different languages spoken in Uganda (Ethnologue.com). Use of the many different languages varies across regions and the representations within the Daily Monitor and New Vision may not necessarily be representative of
the whole country. There are many avenues for future research on the representation of male survivors in Ugandan media. It would be interesting to see how trends and influxes of male representation may have varied in relation to the implementation of laws such as the Anti-Homosexuality Act in 2009 (Karimi and Thompson 2014). As discussed previously, male rape is often discussed in conjunction with homosexuality, due to lack of knowledge and cultural perceptions of sexual violence.
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Walking the Tightrope:
A defense of CCP Hukou Reform in Contemporary China By Eric Xu About the Author Eric Xu is a 4th year undergraduate in the Politics Honors program. Eric’s research areas include contemporary Chinese society, the Supreme Court, international migration, environmental sustainability, and the effects of capitalism on developing nations. Eric is the Founder and Editor-inChief of the Virginia Review of Politics and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Wilson Journal of International Affairs in the Fall ’17 and Spring ’18 semesters. Foreward Global immigration—both legal and illegal—has been in the political spotlight since June of 2015 when waves of Syrians began to seek asylum across countries of the European Union. It is reasonable to suggest that concerns over the arrival of foreign born populations is the driving force behind both BREXIT and the surge in support for populist parties in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Less explored and less understood are the dynamics of internal immigration—the movement of people within a country’s sovereign borders. Eric Xu’s paper, “Walking the Tightrope: A Defense of CCP Hukou Reform in Contemporary China,” focuses on this important, yet overlooked, phenomena. Eric’s paper was originally written for PLPT/PLIR 4500 “Refugees, Migration, and Borders, a course that I taught with Jennifer Rubenstein in the Spring of 2018. That class explored the normative, theoretical, and empirical dimensions of population movements. Students were free to pick any topic related to the broad theme for their research paper. Eric decided
to focus on something that we did not discuss in class—the way(s) in which China regulates population movements between urban and rural locals: the Hukou System. Hukou is a household registration system that defines people by their area of birth; it regulates individuals’ access to education, to labor markets, and to basic social services outside of their areas of birth. As such, it has been vehemently criticized by some as in violation of basic human rights as it restricts access to basic human needs. This critique, Eric argues, is insufficient when one considers the sheer size of the Chinese population. China’s ruling party, the CCP, Eric shows, has move incrementally towards a reform of Hukou, permitting relatively small numbers of individuals to move for work and to access social services while at the same time attempting to maintain political stability. Moving more rapidly has the potential to overcrowd urban areas, increase unemployment or under employment, and generate political instability that could generate a harsh political response. David Leblang Ambassador Henry Taylor Professor of Politics Professor of Politics and Public Policy Abstract Recent debates concerning checks on individual migration have mainly focused on cross-border barriers to human mobility. However, China’s historical hukou system of regulating internal migration provides an important example of internal checks on migration and efforts to reform those systems for the 21st-century. The Chinese Communist Party has been criticized for its slow and deliberate approach to hukou reform. This article explores the history of Chinese state regulation of internal migration and recent CCP efforts to reform the process, ultimately evaluating CCP actions as mostly positive and consistent with efforts to minimize disruption in the contemporary Chinese state. I. Introduction In recent years, many developed nations have liberalized their internal migration regulations to promote greater ease of movement for their citizens. Whether for normative reasons or for practical ones, developed
Western nations have increasingly found it appropriate to dismantle barriers to mobility for their citizenry. Simultaneously, certain developing countries with highly regulated internal migration schemes have seen their systems strained by new economic and social realities. In particular, the People’s Republic of China has recently become acutely aware of the problems posed by their unique household registration system, known as the hukou. The hukou system in China, which has existed in some form or another since the 2nd millennium B.C., had been reinvigorated and promoted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after the Great Leap Forward in order to maintain a socialist command economy. However, although China has recently begun to move away from a command economy to one governed instead by “capitalism with socialist characteristics,” the hukou system remains an antiquated reminder of the old economic model. In this essay, I will develop a comprehensive analysis of the hukou system and its historical origins, the social and economic purposes that the system was designed to fulfill, and the strains that the system has recently began to place upon contemporary Chinese society. I will then address several refinements implemented by the CCP intended to reform the hukou system to better suit the needs of a contemporary China heavily reliant upon migrant workers to urban environments. This essay will then evaluate various criticisms of those reforms from both normative and empirical sources, with the hopes of developing the hypothesis that opposition to the CCP reforms stems primarily from those who perceive the reforms to be too slow and moderate in pace. I will argue that calls to immediately do away with the hukou system are mistaken in neglecting the tremendous history and bureaucracy that comes with it. Attempting to rapidly fix the hukou system ignores the ways in which issues of internal migration are fundamentally tied together with urban-rural divides, welfare state reform, and cultural concerns over local identity. In particular, because the Chinese hukou system governs not only internal migration but also privileges granted by the CCP such as health care, government-provided housing, and food rations, its incremental reform is a prudent and calculated decision by the CCP to maintain national order. In summary, I will argue that the piecemeal hukou reform that the CCP is currently pursuing is the only way to proceed without harming the social fabric of the People’s Republic of China, and must also be accompanied by
Western nations have increasingly found it appropriate to dismantle barriers to mobility for their citizenry. Simultaneously, certain developing nationstates countries with highly regulated internal migration schemes have seen their systems strained by new economic and social realities. In particular, the People’s Republic of China has recently become acutely aware of the problems posed by their unique household registration system, known as the hukou. The hukou system in China, which has existed in some form or another since the 2nd millennium B.C., had been reinvigorated and promoted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after the Great Leap Forward in order to maintain a socialist command economy. However, although China has recently begun to move away from a command economy to one governed instead by “capitalism with socialist characteristics,” the hukou system remains an antiquated reminder of the old economic model. In this essay, I will develop a comprehensive analysis of the hukou system and its historical origins, the social and economic purposes that the system was designed to fulfill, and the strains that the system has recently began to place upon contemporary Chinese society. I will then address several refinements implemented by the CCP intended to reform the hukou system to better suit the needs of a contemporary China heavily reliant upon migrant workers to urban environments. This essay will then evaluate various criticisms of those reforms from both normative and empirical sources, with the hopes of developing the hypothesis that opposition to the CCP reforms stems primarily from those who perceive the reforms to be toofeel that the reforms are too slow and moderate in pace. I will argue that calls to immediately do away with the hukou system are mistaken in neglecting the tremendous history and bureaucracy that comes with it. Attempting to rapidly fix the hukou system ignores the ways in which issues of internal migration are fundamentally tied together with urban-rural divides, welfare state reform, and cultural concerns over local identity. In particular, because the Chinese hukou system governs not only internal migration but also privileges granted by the CCP such as health care, government-provided housing, and food rations, its incremental reform is a prudent and calculated decision by the CCP to maintain national order. In summary, I will argue that the piecemeal hukou reform that the CCP is currently pursuing is the only way to proceed without harming the social fabric of the People’s Republic of China, and must also be accompanied by
other government initiatives to mitigate the harmful social effects of hukou liberalization and reform. II. History and Problems with the Hukou System Although the hukou system has its historical origins as far back as the Zhou Dynasty (Young 2013, 30), its contemporary iteration dates back to Mao Zedong’s personal order in 1958 amidst the tumult of the Great Leap Forward (McLeod 2001). Restrictions on internal migration put in place during this period were primarily created and enforced for economic and ideological reasons. From an economic perspective, maintaining steady numbers of agricultural workers during the worst excesses of the Great Leap Forward was essential to preserving the food supplies of the Chinese population. From an ideological perspective, a mass influx of agricultural workers to major cities would have been antithetical to Maoist teachings, which heavily emphasized the role of farmers in an idealized Communist society. Migrant workers who sought the right to work in different provinces and urban areas were thusly required to obtain up to 6 different passes from the central government, and were severely limited in the types of benefits that they were able to obtain after moving to a new province (Pines 1998, 334). The intricate bureaucracy built into the process of obtaining a permit, combined with relatively strict and heavy enforcement by the Chinese government, made it difficult if not impossible for farmers to leave their home provinces. The Party’s reasoning for establishing the hukou system came from both normative and empirical analyses of the Chinese condition during the 1950s. For normative reasons, the CCP found it important to ensure that those who held a privileged status in the class hierarchy established by Mao were able to stay where they were and obtain benefits commensurable to their status. The “collective ownership of agriculture” necessary for an ideal socialist society meant that farmers were required under Maoism to stay put where they were (Zedong 1956). From an economic standpoint, preventing urbanization during Mao’s years in power alleviated the strain on China’s fledgling infrastructure and made it easier for the central government to maintain adequate living conditions for the average Chinese urbanite. The sense of order required by command economies would not have been possible without the strict documentation of internal migration, and was
thus actualized by the CCP in the development of the contemporary hukou system. Lately, however, the hukou system has increasingly strained to adapt to China’s changing economic and social circumstances, and has begun to lose its effectiveness as a tool for the central government in Beijing. Within a socialist planned economy, the hukou system was relatively effective at controlling the flow of individuals, since open jobs were not readily available in cities during the Maoist era (Davis and Orlik 2013). However, with Deng Xiaoping’s ascension as China’s “Paramount Leader” in 1978, a larger migrant population was necessary in order to fuel Deng’s desired target of rapid economic growth (Whitehouse 2007). These migrants, although not technically allowed to move under the hukou system, were nevertheless motivated to relocate in order to jumpstart China’s economic development. Because they were barred from living in government housing, hundreds of millions of migrant workers from the 1980s to the present-day have been forced to live in shanty-towns without the possibility of receiving public benefits (Luard 2005). This marginalization of a significant proportion of China’s working population has increasingly led to social unrest and economic inequality. Those marginalized by the hukou system due to their migrant worker status, also known as the nongmingong, are routinely blamed for overcrowding and sanitary problems within major cities and shunned by natives of various urban centers. Economically, because these migrant workers are prohibited from obtaining benefits such as health insurance or education from the central government, a large underclass of over 100 million Chinese children currently exists outside the official recognition of the PRC (Guofen 2005). These issues are compounded by China’s continued economic expansion and need to balance social justice with economic growth. Remaining wedded to the antiquated, 1950s-era system of internal migration has proven to be unreliable by successive CCP governments. III. PRC Actions and Criticisms Hukou liberalization efforts within the PRC have proceeded slowly but steadily, with the central government in Beijing generally willing to mitigate the most punishing parts of the hukou system in order to alleviate social tensions. Since the 1990s, the CCP has realized the importance of
lessening its previously strict enforcement regime from its peak during the Mao eraâ€”during the 1950s through the 1970s, hukou violators were regularly placed in detention centers, expelled from cities, and sent back to their home villages (Waddington 1999, 82). Despite this history, the modern CCP has developed a series of reforms to the hukou system designed to increase the number of migrants who are able to work in cities. These reforms include the creation of temporary urban residency permits for migrant workers and changes in the way that hukou passes are inherited within families. This reflects a growing awareness among the highest echelons of Chinese leadership that increasing urbanization is inevitable and must be embraced. The establishment of a set of temporary urban residency permits was the first step in the CCPâ€™s expansion of the hukou program. Migrant workers previously shunned by large cities were embraced as sources of cheap labor and productivity, thus dramatically increasing urbanization to large, coastal metropolises. These temporary permits also made it possible for the central government to do away with detainment procedures that severely violated the human rights of those imprisoned (Loong-yu 2007, 1). Although this allowed many more migrants from rural areas to find employment in the cities, it did not affect their ability to obtain benefits commonly doled out to urban residents who had lived within cities for longer periods of time. The CCP has also loosened the inheritance policies for hukou passes to make it possible for more rural women to obtain them for their children. These reforms were done under public pressure for a less sexist, more egalitarian approach to internal migration. Hukou reforms at the highest levels of Chinese government have also reflected a growing desire among leadership to institute a form of Chinese federalism, which would allow local communities to have greater control over their own affairs. Nevertheless, Chinese hukou reform has received a significant amount of criticism from both domestic and international critics, with groups attacking the reforms on normative and empirical grounds for not going far enough in addressing the issue. From a normative perspective, Chinaâ€™s continued use of an internal migration control system that disproportionately targets rural, poor populations has frequently been compared to apartheid by foreign news articles. Furthermore, complaints about the hukou system shade into general criticisms of the Chinese government more widely; the government is accused of meddling excessively in the private decisions of
individuals by mandating where they may legally live and receive benefits, thus depriving them of the freedom of choice. Piecemeal efforts by the PRC to reform the system are thusly decried as self-interested attempts to maintain political popularity and social stability, rather than attempts to bring about meaningful changes to patterns of discrimination within Chinese society (Perry 2000, 90). CCP efforts to reform the hukou system in a piecemeal way have also been attacked by proponents of the free market, who wish to see China move away from the state-owned enterprise (SOE) model altogether. According to these criticisms, China’s hukou system was largely established in order to ensure an adequate supply of labor for state-owned enterprises during China’s formative years. China’s continued reliance on such enterprises, according to these critics, risks being insufficiently responsive to changes in the global economy. A prominent example of this phenomenon can be seen in the Chinese economy’s continued overproduction of steel, even as the market is increasingly saturated with unusable quantities of the product (Bradsher 2017). The Chinese government claims to be both unwilling and unable to move away from this model due to the security that it provides Chinese workers. However, economic critics of the hukou system argue that it makes Chinese firms less competitive. Because of the significant strain on transportation and social resources put into Chinese firms by the hukou system, liberalizing the system should theoretically increase labor productivity domestically (Zhao 1999, 767-782). Although criticisms of the CCP’s actions with regards to hukou reform come from a variety of different backgrounds and concerns, critics generally agree that the pace of government liberalization is not as fast as it can and needs to be for China to achieve social and economic justice. The CCP’s efforts to delegate more of the responsibility for hukou reform to the provinces, although consistent with its actions throughout the course of the early 2000s to the present-day, is seen as a way for the government to divert attention from its own lack of ideas (Shi 2008, 17). The gradual phasing-out strategy supported by the CCP in public announcements made by its viceminister of public security, Huang Ming, are derided as an unfair solution that requires the short-term acceptance of disparate conditions (An 2013). IV: A Defense of Incremental Hukou Reform
Although the CCP’s past handling of the hukou system has resulted in significant social and economic disparities between urban and rural areas in contemporary China, I will argue that the gradual liberalization of the system employed by the CCP is preferable to the quick-fix efforts championed by the CCP’s detractors. As the sole ruling party of a rapidly transforming and urbanizing nation, the CCP has had to balance long-held principles of social stability with tremendous economic growth. Quickly reforming the hukou system without any thoughts to the deleterious and chaotic effects that it would have on Chinese society goes against the CCP’s stated principles of achieving a “harmonious society” that minimizes social tensions. From both normative and empirical perspectives, I will argue that piecemeal attempts at hukou reform are the only ones which may be successful in the short and long run. I will also argue that hukou reform cannot be the sole method of alleviating many of the concerns that its advocates have about the state of contemporary China. Because of the intertwined nature of so many of modern China’s social issues, hukou reform is best conducted in a deliberate way so as to keep pace with other social reforms, such as entitlement reform and the transition to a more consumer-based economy. Normatively, hukou reform in China conducted according to the CCP’s current guidelines maintains the consistency of the system, while slowly fixing it in tandem with other contributing factors to social inequalities present in contemporary China. The CCP’s gradual and moderate turn towards greater internal mobility echoes many of the normative arguments made by Joseph Carens: by allowing citizens to increasingly access the rights previously only granted to urban residents with valid hukou passes, the CCP is moving from a formalistic approach to citizenship to a more geographicallydependent one that better tracks presence within a community (Carens 2013). At the same time, the CCP is ensuring that public goods are not being excessively strained by the sudden release of hundreds of millions of migrant workers onto public safety nets, thus preventing those systems from becoming strained beyond capacity. This is in line with open borders advocates’ suggestions that any move towards a regime of internal freedom of mobility may be conducted methodically to mitigate its impacts on existing communities (Ibid, 237). Equal access to the resources currently provided by the hukou system means nothing if the access given is of a significantly poorer quality due to those systems’ economic strains. By gradually assimilating
migrants into an existing infrastructure, the CCP hopes to prevent incidents where a flood of newly recognized residents crowd out existing populations. Thus, maintaining social well-being (Kaiming 2005, 11). From an empirical perspective, the steady nature of the CCP’s hukou reform has allowed individual provinces to successfully work at doing away with the rural-urban distinction when and where it most makes sense. During the early 2000s, a dozen provinces were allowed by the communist party to do away with the rural-urban hukou distinction, thus providing a potential blueprint for future innovations in the field (Li, 15). The CCP’s reasons for avoiding a one-time, rapid change for every province is in line with reasonable empirical objectives. Because pension systems, educational opportunities, and health care services are all tied to one’s hukou status, disrupting the hukou system nationwide would be tremendously destabilizing to civil society. In certain lightly urbanized provinces such as Liaoning and Shandong, directly eliminating the rural-urban hukou distinction resulted in relatively small levels of urbanization. However, were such reforms to be conducted in more densely populated provinces such as Jiangsu or Zhejiang, social welfare programs relied upon by the CCP to maintain public order would be needlessly strained. The CCP’s actions with regards to hukou reform have also progressed further than its detractors claim. 2006 reports from the International Labour Organization note that the Chinese central government has already taken steps to alleviate disparities between migrant education opportunities and urban citizens’ opportunities (Tuñón 2006). The then-Premier of China, Wen Jiabao, also made it a personal priority to ensure that migrant workers were paid on-time and fairly by companies otherwise seeking to exploit their labor (Feng 2006). The set of interlocking problems that create unfair circumstances for the majority of rural migrants in China are also acknowledged by the current Chinese leadership—Xi Jinping recently made it a priority to grant over 100 million more hukou passes for migrant workers by 2020 (Tiezzi 2016). Nevertheless, a key part of the CCP’s willingness to tackle the issue comes from its further belief that hukou reform is only meaningful as part of a larger set of reforms meant to address the social inequalities of globalization and urbanization in China. Without a methodical approach to addressing those reforms, the stability of the CCP and of the modern Chinese economy is put in jeopardy.
V. Conclusion Chinese internal migration regulation, while still reliant upon the hukou system, has seen its share of reforms since its establishment in 1958. During China’s rapid development from a mostly agrarian society to a modern, industrial state, the hukou system has promoted social stability by allowing the central government to control the pace of urbanization. Nevertheless, recent criticism has targeted China’s slow pace and lack of care for the plight of migrant workers and their families. From both normative and empirical perspectives, commentators have called for the rapid abolition of the hukou system and for more decisive action from Beijing on such issues. While their concerns are well-founded, the CCP’s actions with regards to hukou reform strike a sensible middle ground between apathy and excessive intervention. Although the CCP acknowledges the enormity of the problem, it has shown a more nuanced understanding of some of the potential consequences of rapid hukou liberalization than some may have expected from its leadership. The gradual processes put in place by the CCP to phase out the hukou system in its entirety by 2020, regardless of its actual effectiveness, represent at the very least a willingness by the CCP to confront needed changes to Chinese society. Further work still needs to be done to refine the reforms begun by the CCP with respect to the dangers of globalization and urbanization on social stability. Without addressing the similarly creaky nature of Chinese pension, education, and health systems, simply taking care of the hukou problem does not solve any of the CCP’s governance issues. Nevertheless, by steadily walking the tightrope between complete liberalization and complete autocracy with regards to the freedom of internal migration, the CCP has – thus far – managed to corral the forces of globalization without allowing them to excessively disrupt civil society. Slow hukou reform is one step along the way to achieving that ultimate goal, and the CCP is right to pursue reform in such a way.
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The Bear and the Bald Eagle: Can the United States and Russia repair the contemporary relationship? A look into the historical insights of past cooperation and their relevance for improving relations By Timothy Rodriguez About the Author Timothy Rodriguez is a is a recent graduate, who received a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Foreign Affairs in May of 2018. During his time on Grounds he was an active member of the Virginia Men’s Rowing team and a founding member of the University of Virginia’s Chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America- Phi Beta Lambda business organization. He is currently seeking employment in consulting in the field of international development and plans to pursue a graduate degree in the near future. Foreward I was very pleased to see that Timothy Rodriguez’s paper on the prospects for U.S.-Russian relations was accepted for publication by the Wilson Journal. Mr. Rodriguez’s article emerged out of my Spring 2018 fourth-year seminar on American-Russian Relations, which analyzes historical legacies and structural influences in this critical bilateral relationship. It was the product of a semester-long collaboration between student, professor and class, in which the student designs and executes an independent research project pertinent to the course. Mr. Rodriguez, as did all students in the seminar, held preliminary conversations with me--and separately with the class--about possible topics and sources; submitted a formal research proposal by the end
of the first month; presented to the class in mid-semester on his research in progress; and submitted a draft of the paper for a “free” (no grade) critical reading by me with suggestions for revision before final submission at the end of the semester—all the while discussing his ideas and challenges with me during office hours. Mr. Rodriguez wrote a very strong paper and the revised version for publication in this journal reflects those strengths: a persuasive justification of the significance of the topic (i.e., the prospects for improvement in RussianAmerican relations); a clear and convincing comparative method by which he analyzes three important cases of short-term improvement in relations (the détente of 1972-75, collaboration to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan in Fall 2001, and the Obama “reset,” 2009-2011); defensible conclusions in which he applies factors of analysis in the three cases (degree of asymmetry in the power balance; centralization of foreign-policy decision-making; and alignment of specific economic and/or security interests) to RussianAmerican relations in the Trump-Putin era; and finally, a fluent and clear expository style. Substantively, Mr. Rodriguez’s pessimism regarding the future of the relationship is, alas, persuasively argued. I was involved with the establishment of the Wilson Journal well over a decade ago and am delighted that, in selecting Mr. Rodriguez’s paper for publication, it has maintained the very high standards for which it is justly known. Allen C. Lynch Woodrow Wilson Dept of Politics University of Virginia Abstract The contemporary relationship between the United States and the Russian Federation is arguably at one of its lowest points since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. With the mutual expulsions of diplomats and a congressionally mandated sanctions regime in place it is difficult to see how the relationship is normalized much less revived to the point of cooperation on mutual interests. Which begs the question, Can the United States and Russia repair the contemporary relationship? If so, how? In this investigation into US-Russian relations, I explore this query through the lens
of historical cooperation between two of the worlds great powers. Specifically, I investigate the periods of cooperation between Nixon and Brezhnev with dĂŠtente, the post 9/11 Bush Putin on terrorism, as well as the Obama Putin Russian reset which yielded, in part, a new START treaty. I uncover a set of three main conditions that allow mutual cooperation and a relatively stable relationship between the two nations to exist and be sustained. These include, relative power parity or the appearance of parity between the two powers, a centralization of decision making with regards to foreign policy as well as the alignment of interests whether security or economic based. Absent one of these conditions, cooperation can be initiated but only temporarily and unsustainably. This leads to a rather pessimistic conclusion with regards to the contemporary relationship as it becomes evident that none of these factors are currently present to the extent that they could enable improving relations.
It doesnâ€™t take the trained eye of a political scientist or even of a politically minded individual to notice that the contemporary relationship between the United States of America and Russian Federation is at one of its lowest points since the end of the Cold War. The plethora of evidence of Russian hacking in order to disrupt the 2016 Presidential elections in the United States has made Russia a public enemy number one in the eyes of much of the American populace. With sanctions being imposed by both countries, and anti-Russian sentiment of the few bipartisan agreements within the United States it is difficult to see how this relationship can be repaired. The larger question now is, can the relationship be repaired, and if so, how? One of the best methods for analyzing the possibility of repairing relations between nations is through investigating historical examples where cooperation and at least cordial bilateral relations occurred. Historical cooperation between the United States and the USSR/ Russian Federation has accomplished everything from strategic arms limitations, periods of dĂŠtente, cooperation in fighting terrorism, and even periods of increased economic integration between Russia and the United States. However, these periods of cooperation have been relatively short and have always collapsed. This investigation into US-Russian cooperation identifies several key factors in driving and maintaining US-Russian cooperation and seeks to discover if any of these factors exist today to answer
the question of if the contemporary US-Russian relationship can be salvaged. We find that cooperation between the two countries is made possible and sustained by: relative power parity or the appearance of parity between the two powers, a centralization of decision making with regards to foreign policy, as well as the alignment of interests, both security or economic based. All three factors need to be present for cooperation to be sustained, however, unsustainable short-term cooperation can be initiated in the absence of one of these factors. We find that these factors have been in contention in three case studies regarding U.S/Russian cooperation. In the 1960’s, all three factors allowed détente to be created and sustained under Nixon. In the early 2000’s, the Bush-Putin cooperation on Afghanistan experienced some of these factors, but the lack of parity significantly curtailed long-term viability. In the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, we find that the Obama Russian Reset similarly suffered from problems of lack of parity and importance and subsequently met a similar fate as the Bush-Putin cooperation. This leads to a rather bleak conclusion about the contemporary relationship as it becomes clear that next to none of these factors are in effect today to the extent that they could create the conditions necessary to repair relations. Nixon-Brezhnev Détente The Nixon-Brezhnev détente was made possible and sustained by several concurrent factors. These include: the attainment of so-called nuclear parity between the two countries, the centralization of decision making in both the Nixon Whitehouse and the Brezhnev Kremlin, and the alignment in interests that both powers experienced, especially with regards to the cooling of tensions in order to allow the focusing of efforts on other priorities. Beginning with the power parity factor, we see that in order for the period of détente to commence a significant reorganization of the power structure needed to occur. When the two countries were in a power imbalance it was difficult to pursue détente “because the United States enjoyed such a large strategic superiority, it had, hence, very little interest in arms disarmament issues, which stood in a way of any serious arms control agreement in 1955” (Racanska, 37). One key foundation of building an agreement or consensus on an issue is both parties’ willingness to come to the negotiating table. In 1955, the United States possessed approximately 2,422 warheads to the Soviets’ 200 warheads (Kristensen & Norris). With a more than 10 to 1 superiority,
the United States’ position relative to the Soviets precluded any serious need to pursue arms limitations or reduction agreements. With the United States enjoying a large strategic superiority in 1955, they possessed no real need for creating a period of détente or lessened tensions as the Soviet Union did not pose a significant security threat. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, this situation would begin to change. In raw numbers, the position of the Soviet Union in relation to the United States improved considerably; the Soviets now had a 1:2 ratio of nuclear warheads with the United States. This is a significant improvement from the 1:10 ratio of the mid 50s and began to present a problem for the United States. This is because “from 1969-72, a number of factors coalesced to create enormous optimism concerning the growing military power and international prestige of the Soviet Union and, in tandem with this, possibilities for U.S.-Soviet detente.” (Onesti, 215). One of these factors was of the Soviet “attainment of strategic nuclear parity and the accompanying acknowledgment by America of a new strategic era and necessity to ‘coexist’ with the Soviet Union.” (Onesti, 216). Essentially, the Soviet attainment of nuclear power parity meant that the United States had to take the Soviet threat more seriously, and negotiate with them more fairly than they had been able to previously. In the Cold War era of adversarial tensions between two unequal powers, the reversion to parity, in at least one aspect of the relationship, would prove to be fundamental in initiating the period of détente. It would also become clear that “once the perception of mutually advantageous position reverted to unilateral advantage, either for the United States or the Soviet Union, then the policy of détente suffered.” (Racanska, 228). Thus, we can see that the attainment of parity between the United States and the Soviet Union was necessary for the initiation and sustainment of détente, yet the context of leadership for each country must be considered, as policymakers needed to have a strong grasp on power in order to maintain their foreign policy direction. The consolidation of power within Moscow and Washington among those invested in pursuing détente was another essential piece of the puzzle to explaining its success. Beginning with Moscow, we will focus on Brezhnev’s consolidation of power and support for détente through his fellow comrades. The son of Brezhnev’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Anatolii Gromyko, explicitly uses the idea of "vozhdizm," meaning "the word of the General Secretary is decisive,” to explain the development of support for detente
under Brezhnev. "Detente grew out of Brezhnev's support. Kosygin and Podgorny went along with it because of the principle of the 'vozhd'" (Onesti, 91). For Brezhnev, his support was institutional, as his subordinates within the Politburo and his own cabinet followed his lead even if they had internal disagreements about his methods. This is further supported by Professor Luba Racanska, as she writes that “the growing importance and leadership preoccupation with defense and foreign policy issues during the Khrushchev and Brezhnev leadership is reflected in the evolution of the institutional arrangements supporting decision making” (Racanska, 183-184). Given the General Secretary’s position at the top of the hierarchy, his word would be final, and while input and guidance was certainly sought and taken into account, the direction of policy was driven solely by the General Secretary. With Brezhnev behind détente, as long as his actions did not become as erratic as those of Khrushchev, he would maintain support for his policies. Other scholars such as Anderson recognize this when Anderson writes that “Without Brezhnev's transition, it would also be hard to explain why initiatives for Soviet-American rapprochement... should have become incorporated into Brezhnev's alternative” (Anderson, 577). This is to say that Brezhnev’s push for détente is vital in explaining its acceptance within the Soviet leadership. Looking at the United States, the United States has a decentralized power system by design, however, in the realm of foreign policy, this decentralization is relatively limited. The executive branch maintains almost exclusive control over foreign policy matters with some exceptions including the Senate’s responsibility to ratify treaties, and Congress’s power to declare war and impose economic sanctions. Within the Executive Branch, the main foreign policy arms of the administration are the State Department and foreign policy advisors within the Executive Office of the Presidency. However, the Nixon administration sought to centralize control over foreign policy further than normal. “Nixon’s secretive nature combined with his mistrust of the press and bureaucracy to create an office structure that restricted the involvement and notification of others of his foreign policy” (Neale, 21). Thus, the Nixon administration could pursue the policy of détente with relative autonomy from Congress or the State Department, actors who could slow down this process or prevent it all together. Nixon’s own presidential library published documents and quotes that serve to support this aspect of the President’s thinking. Nixon, when discussing the US-Soviet relationship with Brezhnev,
remarked that “If we leave all the decisions to the bureaucrats, we will never achieve any progress” (Nixon Library, Partners in Détente). Nixon sought to attain relative autonomy with regards to foreign policy and agreed that it was essential to sustaining progress in the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. The centralization of power within the United States and Soviet Union with respect to this key foreign policy issue was a significant factor in attaining and maintaining détente. Yet there is still one more factor we must consider when viewing the success of détente. Alignment in interests that both powers experienced, paired with the cooling off of tensions to allow the focusing on other priorities was the final factor of successful cooperation. From the Soviet Union’s perspective, the “exchanges of small arms and artillery fire across various sectors of the SinoSoviet frontier throughout the spring and summer of 1969 dramatized Soviet inability to look eastward for a grand alliance. A deteriorating economy, the need to counter the Chinese threat, and the reinvigorated Atlantic alliance ostensibly lent urgency to looking westward for technology and amelioration of military dangers; greater strategic strength and more receptive German and American policy made this option feasible” (Anderson, 574). The most feasible policy option was rapprochement with the United States, and pursuit of a more peaceful relationship. Thus, the Soviets were beginning to look towards the US relationship at an opportune time. This is because it was in this context that “the newly elected President Nixon tried to find an exit from Vietnam,” (Anderson, 574). Nixon was looking for ways to exit the Vietnam war without losing a significant amount of face and decreasing tensions between the US and Soviet Union would effectively maintain public support. With both countries supporting opposing sides of this war and essentially fighting a proxy war, and with support for the war in the United States being extraordinarily weak, rapprochement with the Soviets would allow a withdrawal from Vietnam on better terms than a simple abandonment of South Vietnam to an inevitable defeat. It was also a signal that the two countries were turning towards each other at the same time as relations and conflicts with other countries were not going well, and both sides were thus looking for a foreign policy win. It was also clear that both countries interests were primarily within the security realm with economic considerations being secondary. Anderson finds that “Brezhnev's placing of security issues ahead of economic collaboration was evident” (Anderson, 609). This was similar to
President Nixon’s view, as during discussions with the Soviets, “Nixon tried to convince the Soviet leaders that they could not obtain an expansion of SovietAmerican trade without first accepting a SALT agreement” (Anderson, 610). This was due to the fact that even though Brezhnev saw the security agreements as being the primary goal as well, the Soviets did not necessarily understand that they had to address issues in order of importance from the American perspective. This alignment of interests with both countries looking towards the other and seeking to make a mutual security agreement is the final factor that explains the cooperation of the period of détente despite the superpowers otherwise adversarial relationship. Putin-Bush Cooperation in Afghanistan The Putin-Bush cooperation over Afghanistan was made possible by the alignment of short-term goals of the eradication of radical Islamic terrorism, as well as both leaders’ relatively secure and centralized decisionmaking ability. However, its brevity in duration is a result of the massive power imbalance between the United States and a weakened Russia still emaciated following the collapse of the Soviet Union and difficult transition into a capitalistic, semi-democratic system. The Putin-Bush cooperation was driven mainly through the United States and Russia’s sudden alignment of interests, sparked by the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 11th 2001. This event shocked not only the people of the United States but the governments and people of the world as well. The United States’ relationships with foreign powers were also changed by this event. Putin was President Bush’s first call from a foreign leader following the attacks, and as early as September 13th 2001 President Bush had spoken twice with Putin. Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Mr. Bush was rallying ''an international coalition to combat terrorism” (Seeley & Bumiller). With the significant increase in discussion between the US and Russian leaders, it is clear that the relationship was changed. This would lead Bush’s national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, to claim that “'This is a very different relationship now,'' in a briefing of reporters. ''This is a different relationship than the one that Leonid Brezhnev and Richard Nixon had, or even that George Herbert Walker Bush and Gorbachev had,'' she said. ''It is a relationship that got new impetus to shared cooperative security issues concerning Sept. 11 and counterterrorism,'' she added, and one that will be
based on growing economic ties and an expanded role for Russia in the West's security. 'I believe you will start to see the United States and NATO talk to Russia about how NATO and Russia can better relate,' she said” (Tyler, NYTimes). This optimism and improvement in the relations was primarily centered at the executive level, as according to reporting from the time, “The sweep of events after Sept. 11 continues to impel the two leaders toward one another, notwithstanding the deep reservations many Americans harbor over Mr. Putin's background as a K.G.B. officer” (Tyler, NYTimes). Tyler refers to the prospect of cooperation not only on the international war on terror, but the prospect of better NATO-Russian relations and the prospects of a deal on continued reduction of nuclear arsenals. Yet he also recognizes that this is primarily an improvement of relations between those at the top as there are still reservations held by many Americans regarding Russian intentions. Furthermore, nestled in the prospects for cooperation are the seeds of defeat, as not everyone saw this initial cooperation as a unilateral move by Russia to reach out and “join” the west. According to Clifford Gaddy of the Brookings Institution, “I would say that joining the West is exactly what Putin is not about,’ Mr. Gaddy said 'What Putin is about is, with respect to the U.S., is that he is absolutely convinced that the U.S. must not be allowed to continue to go it alone” (Tyler, NYTimes). This fairly prophetic analysis reflects what could be seen as the initial alignment of certain interests between the two countries raising expectations far beyond what could realistically be achieved and suggest that interests might not have been as aligned as initially expected. However, on the topic of terrorism specifically, the United States and Russia were fairly well aligned and the Russian support for the UN Security council resolutions on Afghanistan and their assistance in securing Afghanistan are able evidence of this. Yet just as with détente, the alignment of interests alone would not be enough to explain this cooperation. The consolidation of foreign policy decision making in the United States was essential as well. For President Bush, following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, his public support reached heights rarely ever seen for a President outside of war time. The Gallop poll conducted from Sep 21-22 2001 resulted in an Approval rating of 90%, Disapproval of 6%, No Opinion 4% (Gallop). However, this is obviously capturing the initial reaction to the attacks and alone does not explain support for the Bush Putin cooperation. Bush’s approval ratings remained in the 80s for almost 6 months
post 9/11, which is also the period in which the most positive talk of an action to consummate cooperation between US and Russia was occurring. (Gallop Polling). Thus, this mass public support for the president afforded him the opportunity to pursue better relations with Russia and cooperation on issues of fighting terrorism. Likewise, in the Russian Federation, support for Putin within Russia was likewise strong ranging in the mid-70s for the latter half of 2001 (Nardelli). Furthermore, cooperation with the United States on terrorism at their time of ultimate weakness after having been attacked would serve to elevate Russian status in the world, at least in the minds of the Russian people, as a US partner, if not exactly their equal. The fact that Russia was not the United Statesâ€™ equal at this time and did not have parity with the US would make this cooperation inherently temporary. The Russian federation had undergone a significant economic contraction and experienced significant difficulties in its transition to a capitalist economic system in the 1990s. In fact, the Russian GDP growth was negative from 1990-1998 ranging from -3% growth in 1990 to a low of â€“14.531% in 1992 (World Bank). At the same time, the United States had experienced a significant economic expansion under President Clinton ranging from 2.746% growth per year in 1993 to 4.685% growth in 1999 (World Bank). This significant divergence in economic fortunes between the two countries during the 1990s would set up a significant economic power imbalance during the 2001 Putin-Bush cooperation on Afghanistan. For the United States, GDP for the year 2001 stood at 10.622 trillion USD, adjusted for 2018 inflation (World Bank). The Russian Federation by contrast, wields a GDP for 2001 of approximately 306.603 billion USD, inflation adjusted (World Bank). This is roughly a 33 to 1 ratio of economic power, which is a staggering imbalance. This imbalance was certainly not limited to economic power, however. This is exemplified in the military expenditures of both powers. For the year 2000, the United States spent approximately 301.7 billion USD (Statista) on defense. This was nearly the size of the entire Russian economy a year later. By comparison, Russian military expenditure for 2000 was a measly 20.981 billion USD (Trading Economics). Thus, it stands to reason that with such an advantage in military spending, the United States would maintain the upper hand in terms of military power projection globally, and given the 15 to 1 ratio of expenditure, it retained a very large advantage. It also suggests that the United States is able to fund a projection of power that is global
in scope. In contrast, Russia only had the resources able to project power regionally, suggesting that their security interests have a more regional scope. By extension, this meant that since the United States had a global reach and Russia just a regional one, there was relatively little need for the United States to take Russian security concerns into account when making policy decisions. Thus, even as Russia was acting as a partner to the United States in fighting terrorism in the Middle East, the relationship between the two powers was inherently unstable as the United States held a significant upper hand and therefore did not need Russia as much as Russia needed the United States. Just as in the days of détente, it also meant that the United States did not have as much need to pursue cooperation long-term as Russia was not enough of a threat to US interests and could easily be countered if necessary given its power disadvantage. Russia’s power disadvantage also explains the one-sidedness of parts of the cooperation between the two countries. Specifically, “Moscow’s acceptance of further NATO expansion and the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic missile treaty” (Ambrosio, 1189), represented the magnitude of the power imbalance that was at play. NATO expansion was fought through the 1990s by Boris Yeltsin and others within Russia as being antithetical to Russia’s national security. For Putin to accept NATO expansion as part of a period of cooperation with United States, would have demonstrated a considerably weak hand on his part, as gaining cooperation on combatting terrorism for the political loss of NATO expansion is hardly one that can be considered an equal trade. With this power imbalance in place it was inevitable the United States would seek to take an action that would disregard the desires or interests of the Russians to the extent that relations would break down. In this case, the US intervention in Iraq was the tipping point. According to Ambrosio, “the dispute over Iraq was bitter and divisive, and seriously tested the Russo-American relationship.” (Ambrosio). Not only did this dispute end the cooperation between the two countries, but tested the foundation of the relationship itself. Thus, the massive power imbalances that existed between the United States and Russia during the Bush-Putin cooperation ensured that this cooperation was unstable and inherently temporary. Obama Russian Reset In contrast to the Bush administration’s cooperation with Putin, the
Obama Reset was sustained for a longer period of time and had considerably more achievements. This cooperation was achieved through, if not the full recognition and acceptance of Russia as an equal power , at least a skin-deep appreciation of Russian security concerns and domestic sovereignty, as well as an alignment of interests with regards to nuclear arms control agreements and economic interdependence and trade. However, despite the somewhat stronger ground upon which this relationship was created, the massive power imbalance that still existed in the relationship necessarily making this reset in relations temporary. The Obama reset of relations between the US and Russia did have considerable achievements including the continuation of cooperation on Afghanistan with regards to President Obama’s troop surge. One “sign of close U.S.-Russia cooperation, analysts said, was Moscow's decision to allow American forces to transit through Russia in and out of Afghanistan” (de Nesnera). This cooperation is reminiscent of the Bush-Putin cooperation on Afghanistan in the early months following 9/11. This cooperation was certainly helpful for Obama’s goal of resetting relations with Russia, but the president recognized that simply cooperating in one arena and neglecting the rest would result in his reset’s failure in a similar fashion to Bush’s. Thus, this reset sought to address a wider range of concerns “including a major strategic arms control treaty reducing the number of long-range nuclear weapons,” (de Nesnera) as well as increased economic integration for the Russian Federation, including accelerating ascension into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Beginning with the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, we find that this agreement sought to maintain a stable strategic balance between the United States and the Russian Federation at lower levels of nuclear forces” (Ries). Simply, the treaty seeks to replicate the classic arms reduction and limitation treaties of the détente period of the Cold War. Specifically, the treaty “sets the maximum limit on deployed strategic warheads at 1,550…includes an aggregate limit of 700 for deployed land and sea- based missiles and bombers, and an additional ceiling of 800 for deployed and nondeployed launchers and bombers combined. The treaty [also] has a comprehensive verification regime that builds on lessons learned from 15 years of implementing the START Treaty” (Ries). Thus, this treaty made significant strides in reducing the prevalence of nuclear weapons as well as maintaining relative nuclear parity within the two countries. This
agreement was also a significant representation of an alignment of interests between the two countries to cooperate on nuclear arms reductions issues. From the standpoint of President Obama, having received the Nobel Peace Prize as a preemptive recognition of his declared desire to reduce the number of nuclear weapons worldwide, pursuing New START was a significant step towards living up to the expectations that the Peace Prize placed upon him. From the standpoint of the Russians, the New START agreement would allow the Russian Federation to negotiate with the United States on equal ground as an equivalent nuclear power rather than an inferior military and economic state. President Obama effectively concedes this point at the G8 meeting in 2013 when he says in reference to New START, that “As the two nuclear superpowers we have a special responsibility to continue to reduce tensions and to build on the work that we did with New START and to lead the world in both nuclear security issues and proliferation issues.” (G8 Press conference Obama-Putin, 2013). Additionally, reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles would allow the Russian military to free up resources to better project power abroad rather than maintain aging missiles with no realistic military applications. Thus, both sides’ interests were aligned on the topic of nuclear arms reduction, but this alignment extended to the economic sphere as well. The United States was looking to make economic issues central to its domestic and foreign policy as it sought to recover from the Great Recession. Thus, while bilateral trade between the United States and Russia is relatively small when compared to other partners, the United States was still seeking to create economic opportunities wherever it could. In a 2013 press conference with Vladimir Putin, Obama discussed his conversations with Putin “about how we can deepen our economic and commercial relationships with Russian accession to the WTO, the removal of Jackson-Vanik we are poised to increase both trade and investment between our two countries and that can create jobs and business opportunities for both Americans and Russians” (G8 Press conference Obama-Putin, 2013). Russian ascension to the WTO was a significant accomplishment of the Russian reset as it was significantly behind its peer countries in gaining entry. China had gained WTO status back in 2001 and Russia was playing catch up, thus the US acceleration of Russia’s WTO ascension represented a mutually beneficial arrangement as it strengthened the reset and had the potential to assist both countries’
economies. The main problem for this reset was not consolidation of support for policies or mutually aligned interests, but rather with the massive power imbalances that remained in place despite the efforts by the Obama administration to paper over them as the 2013 press conference demonstrated. That same press conference revealed a subtle split in interests that, in part, would help sink the reset in combination with the power imbalance driving its failure. What it revealed, in President Obama’s own words was that, “With respect to Syria we do hav[e] differing perspectives on the problem but we share an interest in reducing the violence, securing chemical weapons, ensuring that they are neither used nor subject to proliferation and that we want to try and resolve the issue through political means if possible and we will instruct our teams to work on a potential follow up in Geneva to the first meeting.” (G8 Press conference Obama-Putin, 2013). While there was certainly hope for the shared interests of securing chemical weapons and ensuring non-proliferation, the Russian government was much more concerned with protecting its own interests than chemical weapons, and the United States was not invested enough in the Syrian War in order to enforce its red line of airstrikes in the case of use of chemical weapons. The United States’ lack of investment in the Syrian conflict and subsequent inability or lack of desire to use improved relations with Russia to end the conflict are representative of the power imbalance problem that sank the relationship. Namely that the United States, despite its claims to respect Russian interests and treat Russia with respect on the world stage cared a lot less about their relationship with Russia than Russia cared about its relationship with the US. When we look at the economical perspective, this problem is quite clear. As discussed previously, US-Russian bilateral trade was quite low during the reset and thus there was little binding the two countries together economically other than organizations like the WTO. Furthermore, the United States, just like in 2000, still held a significant economic power advantage over Russia. In 2016, US GDP reached 18.624 Trillion USD (World Bank), while Russian GDP remained significantly behind at 1.283 Trillion USD (World Bank). As before, defense spending was similar, with the United States spending approximately ten times as much on defense than the Russians. With this significant advantage in absolute and relative economic and military power, it stands to reason that the United States would
still see Russia as a significantly inferior state that could do little to counter its foreign policy objectives. One may argue, however, that the point of the reset was to ignore the obvious power imbalance and attempt to fix relations by treating Russia as more of an equal on the world stage. In some ways this was accomplished. However, some high-profile gaffes, such as a mistranslation on the physical, ceremonial reset button, reveal that while in tone the United States’ positions towards Russia had shifted, in practice the relationship with Russia remained significantly less important to the United States than it was to Russia. Thus, it is not terribly surprising that following the Ukrainian government’s collapse and rise of a new pro-western government with American support, relations between the US and Russia would break down spectacularly, with little effort at preservation by the United States. This was followed by Putin’s invasion and annexation of the Crimea in 2014, which caused greater strains. The subsequent sanctions regime put in place by a U.S-led international coalition was then expected.. This reset in relations once again fell victim to the imbalance of power between the two countries allowing the United States to ignore or diminish the importance of Russian security interests. Today The contemporary relationship between the United States and Russia is noticeably devoid of any of the factors that allowed for cooperation in the periods that we have explored thus far. The power imbalance that was less visibly present during the Nixon-Brezhnev Détente and served to prematurely end both the Obama Reset and Bush-Putin Cooperation on Afghanistan, is quite obvious and starkly visible today. While President Putin might have a tight grip on power and control over foreign policy with regards to the United States, President Trump is significantly hampered in the ability to improve relations with Russia. This is due mainly to the domestic political backlash as a result of Russian election meddling, as well as Congress’ removal of the President’s power to repeal certain sanctions without Congressional approval. Finally, there are little to no areas for cooperation that are left between the US and Russia today. Beginning with the consolidation of controlling foreign policy within the United States and Russia, we find that while Putin continues
to retain and accumulate power, President Donald Trump is significantly hampered by domestic politics and congressional actions. President Trump lacks a popular mandate, having won the 2016 Presidential Election despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes along with the suspicious involvement of the Russian government meddling in the election. As of this writing, the expressed purpose of the Russian government’s meddling in the US election is up for debate, and rather than argue the actual intent of this intervention I will focus on the result of the intervention itself, which was to bring a consensus among both political parties against Russian actions. This consensus resulted in a sanctions bill that specifically prevents the president from improving relations by lifting economic sanctions. This specific targeting of the President’s powers to implement his foreign policy goal of improving relations with Russia by removing sanctions for past action is a clear indication that the President is not in full control of his foreign policy. With the President required to consult Congress before removing any sanctions or even significantly altering US foreign policy towards Russia, it is quite clear that President Trump cannot unilaterally improve relations with Russia even if he wants to. Thus, it’s clear that this critical factor of policy power consolidation in US-Russia cooperation is absent. Furthermore, the relative economic and military situation between the two countries hasn’t changed significantly since the collapse of the last period of cooperation under the Obama reset. The main difference is that Russia is now in an even weaker position due to the economic sanctions regime and the drop in world oil prices, upon which the Russian economy is heavily reliant. The United States has even recently increased defense spending by an additional $61 billion and boosting its overall budget to $700 billion this year” (Myre). Thus, it is impossible to argue that parity between these two countries exists and could support sustained cooperation and as such this critical factor is absent. Finally, the common interests that form the basis for cooperation are basically nonexistent. Nuclear arms control agreements are unfeasible given that President Trump has openly stated on Twitter that “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes” (Trump, Dec 22 2016). Economic cooperation can go nowhere due to congressional restrictions on lifting sanctions. Furthermore, the United States and Russia continue to
find themselves on opposing sides of the conflict in Syria. Thus, it appears that currently the United States and Russia do not have the final factor of an alignment of interests on a particular issue that could form the basis of cooperation. Where does the relationship go from here? Due to the lack of necessary conditions for the initiation and sustainability of cooperation between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, it is highly unlikely that cooperation will develop in the near future. Given the lack of credibility that President Trump holds domestically when it comes to affairs with Russia, as well as Putinâ€™s very low stature and approval within the American domestic political environment, it will in all likelihood require a change in one or both administrations to allow the forces for cooperation to develop and lead to an imitation of such action. The inability of the Trump administration to improve relations is inherently temporary as the transition of power between presidents can afford this factor to change in the medium term. It stands to reason that with the increased ability for the President to control foreign policy with regards to Russia the second force of an alignment of interests between the two powers is possible if not probable in the medium to long term. However, the final force of power parity between the two countries, or the perception of parity, is extremely unlikely to occur in the short to medium term and still very unlikely to occur in the long term, barring some catastrophe that collapses the United Statesâ€™ economy worse than the Great Depression. Given this outlook, it is difficult to see how cooperation between these two great nations, if initiated, would be sustained for an extended period of time and it is more likely that unless all three forces are present, cooperation will be inherently temporary and often limited to a few areas of mutual interest.
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