Subscribe: YaleGlobal Online Magazine
http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/rss.xml?type=rss_2.0
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
bin  crown prince  death penalty  foreign  penalty  policy  prince  saudi arabia  saudi  states  united states  united     
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: YaleGlobal Online Magazine

YaleGlobal Online





 



Kings and Presidents

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:37:34 +0000

Bruce RiedelBrookings Institution Press2017978-0815731375Susan FroetschelAs the Middle East edges towards another era of convulsion with President Trump’s decision about Jerusalem, a new book helps put the turmoil in perspective.  Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States Since FDR is a timely analysis of the relationship’s history, a careful and respectful dance between a democratic superpower and an autocratic monarchy, in managing common interests including the oil trade and security since 1945. Author Bruce Riedel’s perspective is insightful due to his long career with the US Central Intelligence Agency followed by positions with the US National Security Council, the Department of Defense and NATO. Over the course of a seven-decade alliance with the United States, Saudi Arabia has consistently emphasized one foreign-policy goal – resolution of the Palestinian conflict with Israel and end to Israeli occupation. But with new players, the alliance has entered a new phase with tradition, cautions and promises shoved to the side.  The unresolved Palestinian crisis is the book’s most persistent theme. The book’s final chapter addresses the issue as one of three major stumbling blocks to Saudi-US relations along with women’s rights and religious extremism. And the book offers ample context for the newest players, Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  Saudi leaders may have seen promise of good ties wth Trump, and Riedel describes the president’s May visit to Saudi Arabia and lavish welcome. But Riedel also outlines a number of “near death” experiences over the years for the alliance and expresses wary anticipation for more unpleasant surprises.  The most recent is Trump’s plans for the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the embassy there from Tel Aviv. The December 6 announcement rejects decades of work by Trump’s predecessors and pleas from previous Saudi kings. The plight of the Palestinians, a rallying issue for extremists throughout the Muslim world, has been a consistent priority for Saudi kings. Riedel keys in on that issue more so than on oil or Iran, and a quick summary does not justify the years of painstaking diplomatic effort: Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman al Saud in 1945, seeking support for displaced Jewish people as World War II ended and exposed the horrors of the Holocaust. Roosevelt promised that the United States would pursue “full and prior consultation with both Jews and Arabs” before adjusting policy, but King Faisal was soon disappointed by Harry Truman’s support for establishment of Israel. Dwight Eisenhower pressed for Israel’s withdrawal from Jerusalem. King Faisal expressed doubt to Richard Nixon that real peace could be achieved without Jerusalem’s return to Arabs and Palestinian self-determination. Jimmy Carter, determined to achieve a peace agreement when entering office in 1977, saw danger in an independent Palestinian state and managed a separate deal with Egypt. Ronald Reagan called for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the creation of a Palestinian confederation with Jordan. King Fahd, insisting that the Palestinian issue was the source of turmoil for the region, responded with a plan for creation of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as capital. George H.W Bush and Bill Clinton each focused intense diplomatic efforts on negotiations. Crown Prince Abdallah refused to meet with George W. Bush without action on the issue, and that president offered the first formal American commitment to a Palestinian state. Barack Obama also tried to revive the peace process, and Trump promised to do the same.   But years of inaction on the Palestinian issue may have taken its toll. The United States under Trump has lost interest in the pursuit of democratic reforms, and Saudi Arabia has come to regard its rival Iran as the region’s biggest threat. Saudi Arabia does not have relations with Israel, and Saudi leader[...]



Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States Since FDR

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:01:52 +0000

Pages 188 to 198Bruce RiedelThree Stumbling Blocks Three fundamental issues hamper the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. On these issues kings and presidents have basic disagreements about core goals and objectives. Interest and mutual accommodation can overlap, but it is difficult to find them. The three issues – the Israel-Palestine conflict; the role of Wahhabi Islam in Saudi policy at home and abroad; and the pursuit of political reform in the Arab world – are likely to be disruptive factors in the relationship in the years ahead and will require creative diplomacy to manage…. For American presidents it is vital to understand the centrality of the Palestinian issue in Saudi national security policy. A vibrant and effective peace process will help cement a strong relationship between king and president; a stalled or exhausted process will damage their connection. The Saudis emphasized the Palestinian issue in their public statements about Trump’s meeting with Prince Muhammad bin Salman. Trump has promised he will seek a deal. The best approach for America to take is to pursue a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, with the endorsement of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world when a deal is made. Of course, history shows that success in this arena is very difficult to achieve and, therefore, unlikely. Nonetheless, working toward such a deal is the right course of action.   The second major disruptive issue in U.S.-Saudi relations is more complex and less susceptible to direct diplomacy. Saudi Arabia has a unique connection with a unique form of Islam. The Kingdom is founded on the alliance between the House of Saud and the House of al Shaykh, the descendants of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab. This alliance is at the center of what makes Saudi Arabia the special country it is: an absolute monarchy combined with a strongly conservative theocracy. This alliance between the royal family and the clerical establishment has evolved over the decades. The kings have tended to push the process to ensure the survival of the state. Ibn Saud was ready to work with the United Kingdom and then the United States, two foreign Christian powers, which his predecessors would have regarded as the epitome of evil and just targets for jihad. He accepted borders for his state, something the first Saudi state in the eighteenth century would never had accepted, even from a fellow Muslim state, the Ottoman Empire. King Faisal introduced reforms, such as female education and the abolition of slavery, that were questioned by many clerics. He was assassinated for introducing television. Fahd and Abdallah were both reformers in their own ways. So the Saudi family has successfully nudged the al Shaykh establishment into a more tolerant and modern world. But there are limits to how far and how fast change can be made, and every Saudi king is acutely aware of them. The clerics are popular. For example, the eleven most popular Twitter handles in the Kingdom are those of conservative Wahhabi clerics. (6) Saudi Arabia cannot abandon Wahhabism and survive in its current form. Nor does the royal family want to abandon its faith. King Salman built the capital city to be a symbol of the alliance with the ulema. Salman has devoted his life to raising funds to promote the cause of the mujahedin from Afghanistan to Palestine. The importance of Saudi religious belief is especially critical on the question of gender equality in the Kingdom. As one Saudi expert has written, the status and place of women “are what makes Saudi Arabia unique and dif­ferent from other Arab and Muslim countries.” (7) The Saudi Wahhabi interpretation of Islam is founded in a large corpus of religious legal findings. An estimated 30,000 fatwas or religious decrees have been blessed by the clerics in the last half-century to regulate every aspect of female life in the Kingdom and cement its gender policies. (8) Women live segregated from the public space for the most part, and they wear black while men w[...]



After a String of Failures, Saudi Crown Prince Monopolizes Power

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 18:04:54 +0000

In 2013, Prince Muhammad bin Salman, at 28, was a lawyer and his career soared after his father became king of Saudi Arabia in 2015. In swift order, he became the country’s defense minister, head of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, chairman of the Public Investment Fund, deputy crown prince, head of the Supreme Council of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company and then crown prince – a Middle East version of the Game of Thrones, according to author Dilip Hiro. “A young, inexperienced heir to the Arab world’s most powerful throne, Bin Salman consolidates his power by crushing potential centers of power outside the Royal Court,” Hiro writes, noting need is urgent after a string of failures. Under the crown prince, Saudi Arabia hastily intervened in Yemen’s civil war and organized a blockade against Qatar, both moves destabilizing the region. He also exaggerates the threat from Iran in counterproductive ways. The crown prince claims to be a reformer by extending some rights to Saudi women and a crackdown on corruption that targets powerful rivals. The distractions may not be enough for citizens or foreign investors to overlook unemployment exceeding 12 percent, inequality and a lavish lifestyle for royals, tepid growth and an economy dependent on oil, as well as harsh rule of law and rejection of human rights. – YaleGlobal After a String of Failures, Saudi Crown Prince Monopolizes Power Saudi’s crown prince claims to be a reformer – hasty military moves and corruption crackdown may be attempts to mask failures Dilip HiroTuesday, November 14, 2017Son also rises: Saudi Defense Minister and then-Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes US President Donald Trump; under bin Salman’s command, Saudi aircraft bomb Yemen capital of Sana’a LONDON: In 2013, a 28-year-old Saudi prince described himself simply as “lawyer” to a visiting BBC journalist. On 23 January 2015 he was appointed Saudi Arabia’s defense minister, overseeing the third highest defense budget after the United States and China. At the end of that month, he was named head of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs and, two months later, became chairman of the Public Investment Fund after its transfer from the Finance Ministry. On 15 April 2017 he was promoted to deputy crown prince and two weeks later appointed head of the Supreme Council of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, the globe’s largest petroleum corporation. To cap it all, on 21 June, he was elevated to crown prince at the expense of his 56-year-old cousin. Meet Prince Muhammad bin Salman – overambitious and cunning, a heartbeat away from succeeding his 81-year-old father King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, reportedly suffering from dementia – leading his own Game of Thrones in the Desert Kingdom. A young, inexperienced heir to the Arab world’s most powerful throne, Bin Salman is consolidating his power by crushing potential centers of power outside the Royal Court. The need is urgent after his string of failures, including initiatives in Yemen and Qatar, and all-consuming, counterproductive hatred of Shia-majority Islamic Republic of Iran. He is the first of six sons born to King Salman’s third and last wife, Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan, nearly 20 years junior to her husband who ascended the throne on 23 January 2015. According to Bin Salman, his father made him read a book every week, and his mother ordered staff to arrange extracurricular courses and fieldtrips. Unlike his four elder half-brothers who enrolled at Western universities, he obtained his undergraduate law degree in 2007 from King Saud University in Riyadh. He proudly describes himself as a member of the generation that grew up playing video games.     Since becoming deputy crown prince, Bin Salman colluded with his father to undermine designated Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Nayef with a series of ill-disguised rebuffs. The climax came on 21 June. The monarch stripped Bin Nayef of his long-held post of Interior Minister, passing this on[...]



A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 17:36:48 +0000

Richard HaassPenguin 2017978-0399562365Review by Kai Chen“Disarray” is the dominant characteristic of 21st century international relations, argues Richard A. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2003. This means “some rivals are sometime partners,” and joint efforts are essential to deal with common challenges, Haass explains in A World in Disarray. A distinguished foreign-policy practitioner who is now the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Haass overviews the history of international relations from the Peace of Westphalia through the end of the Cold War, analyzing key foreign policy challenges and advancing recommendations for United States and other countries for dealing with the world’s disarray. The first three chapters explore the dynamics of international relations before 1990s, when balance of military power and economic independence was a guarantee against disarray. The Cold War could be a transformational period, in which American unipolarity “never really existed,” and “the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend.” During this period, US foreign policy, especially national security, has been “guilty of a geographic bias that constitutes a strategic distortion.” For instance, the United States devoted major efforts into the Middle East and yet, at the global and local levels, demonstrated limited ability to “translate its clear advantages in wealth and military power into influence,” offset by the relative advantages of potential competitors and rivals, including terrorist and extreme groups.   The second of three sections focuses on international relations of the post–Cold War era, a transitional period with “increased globalization and increased regionalization,” and according to Haass, a departure from the past four centuries. He describes the era as “nonpolar” rather than “multipolar,” a world dominated by several principal powers with wider distribution of power and influence. He adds that “power is more distributed in more hands than at any time in history” and numerous non-sovereign actors share power and influence with the principal powers. Based on many cases, Haas stresses the realms of international relations involving numerous actors – like cyberspace, public health and nuclear proliferation – and explains the reasons for the disarray that has emerged in the post–Cold War era, including governments prioritizing short-term interests over long-term goals. Haas maintains that “little in history is inevitable,” and in the final section, advocates the concept of “sovereign obligation,” referring to “a government’s obligations to other governments and through them to the citizens of other countries” with “realism updated and adapted to meet the exigencies of this global era.” He presses this point: “Governments would have the obligation not just to avoid engaging in prohibited activities but also to do everything in their power to prevent other parties from carrying out those activities from their territory.” The United States and other nations have undertaken huge efforts on sovereign obligations – from the US war on terror to China’s One Belt, One Road. But such endeavors are time-consuming. Such goals can disrupt internal trajectories for any country and create a new source of risk for triggering unilateral actions or resorting to military force. US foreign policy has long been characterized by an openness to immigrants and trade, as well as longstanding commitments to allies. For Haass, dysfunctional politics, particularly “frequent reversals run the risk of unnerving friends and emboldening adversaries.” Interviewed for the Financial Times after his book’s publication, he refers to Trump administration striving to overturn many policies of his predecessor: "a lot of people are new to government and foreign policy” with “competing centres of authority inside the White House."   Haass challe[...]



The Islamic Challenge and the United States

Fri, 26 May 2017 15:16:11 +0000

Ehsan AhrariMcGill-Queen's University Press2017ISBN: 978-0773548169Susan FroetschelSingling out an enemy or adopting a monocausal approach to analyzing complex challenges like terrorism or oppression is tempting, but unhelpful. While prioritizing targets makes sense, focusing on a single culprit is limiting. Too often, practitioners of this technique overlook vast histories and systemic roots, then express puzzlement as to why the sore they pick at continues to fester.    Such has been the US approach to conflict in the Middle East, as exemplified by Donald Trump’s May 21 speech to the Muslim world from Saudi Arabia. Before a summit of Arab leaders, he pointed to “one goal that transcends every other consideration.… to meet history's great test – to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.” Trump then singled out Iran as “a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region” – this just hours after Iranian voters re-elected pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani over a hardliner.  Trump’s words overlooked the Saudi role in spreading fundamentalist ideologies or funding extremist groups like the Islamic State terrorists who viciously target Iranian Shiites. The US president may not realize that the United States and the United Kingdom, hoping to prevent nationalization of the Iran’s oil industry, conspired to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953, instead embracing a despot. He refuses to consider that Iran has reasons for worry after US-led invasions of countries in either direction, Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. The United States has singled out enemies in the past. Egypt was a centerpiece of US foreign policy during the 1960s and then Iran after the 1973 revolution. Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Syria have also had turns – and now again Iran.  And global terrorists can be charged with the same error as their main fight is with the United States as lone superpower. Of course, the challenges are far more complex, as thoughtfully revealed by The Islamic Challenge and the United States. The book by Ehsan M. Ahrari, written with Sharon Leyland Ahrari, offers thorough background for those intent on understanding the intricate foreign relations, numerous and ongoing conflicts, and factors contributing to terrorism. The author is a former professor with the US Air War College, and despite the book’s title, he does not resort to analysis of Muslim-majority nations vis-à-vis the United States. Instead, the book offers systematic, concise examination of history, unfolding connections along with the many reasons for action and inaction. Ahrari places responsibility on autocratic leaders who “loathe quality education and its most crucial features – the promotion of critical thinking, original ideas, innovations, and creativity – that might also lead to demands for political change from their citizenry.” Low education standards weaken political, legal and moral opposition, and this contributes to violence, poverty, militaries that secure regimes rather than citizens, prisons that radicalize, and a form of populism that maintains only violent militancy can bring about political change, not by advancing societies but by dragging them back to the seventh century and erasing a history of despair. Global powers may destroy the functioning of groups like Al Qaeda, but will struggle to eliminate the ideology without substantive changes in foreign policy. There is hope, though, in Pew Research Center findings that strong majorities in many Muslim-majority countries prefer democracy over strong leaders and support freedom of religion.  Ahrari is precise, defining Islamism as a “politico-religious movement focused on the acquisition of territory, and then declaring those territories as part of their caliphate.” He reviews the history and philosophies shaped the Middle East including the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Takfiri doctr[...]



Energy and Human Resource Development in Developing Countries: Towards Effective Localization

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 17:52:46 +0000

William HickeyPalgrave Macmillan2017978-1137576309A review by Rachel Wu Poverty and climate change among the world’s thorniest challenges, and William Hickey, in Energy and Human Resource Development in Developing Countries: Towards Effective Localization, ambitiously seeks an overarching way to solve both. The result is a lengthy and stimulating manifesto in favor of human resources as the best way to approach these problems. Human resource development “becomes a competitive advantage and national resource in its own right” in the effort to empower individuals to make decisions. In aggregate, that empowerment combines to create a more sustainable future for us all. Endorsing the macroeconomic concept of endogenous growth theory, Hickey writes that “the more know-how a country has, the more it can entertain a wider portfolio in the energy mix,” emphasizing the potential of nuclear power. With less knowledge, resource-rich emerging countries remain dependent on foreign companies and “simplistic but heavily polluting, fossil fuel burning to power cars and trucks, boats and planes, and spin turbines.” Indeed, abundant stores of fossil fuels too often become a resource curse. The paradoxical phenomenon and accompanying stagnant growth have afflicted societies with the most valuable commodities, extending back to the 16th century Spanish discovery of silver mines in South America and continuing to many African nations today.    Hickey is pessimistic about the potential for economics and finance to address inequality and global warming. He posits that carbon taxes and carbon trading are easy to game in systems lacking stringent enforcement mechanisms. Developing countries with sovereign wealth funds often use them – and natural resources, by proxy – to invest in foreign capital and not their own people, even while receiving World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans. Human resource development, when implemented poorly, can exacerbate the problem by centralizing money at the top. By offering vivid firsthand accounts of the disparities he witnessed at the Kazakh national oil/gas company and Chinese power plants in Sri Lanka, Hickey drives home the urgency of implementing effective human-resources policy. For Hickey, the key to human resource development’s success in improving the economic situation of all is localization – “finding local citizens to do the jobs that are held by many foreign expatriates in host countries.” He proposes eliminating production-sharing agreements that provide negative incentivizes for localized management, as self-regulation often leads to wasteful spending on expatriates. Another compelling policy is “spatial sectoring,” ensuring that education is local and not centered in the country’s metropolises.  Localization is relevant as the currents of nationalism and isolationism pulse through much of the Western world. Because urban elites often siphon resources from rural areas where many oilfields and mines are located, development must be tailored on a “meso” level of communities and not just the “macro” level of nations. Another step of localization is actually delocalization, which occurs when local development becomes successful enough to go global. In keeping with the zeitgeist of populism across America and Europe, this book makes a point to vilify the elites, depicting the “gods of high finance” and corrupt politicians as myopic and selfish, an attitude that may strike readers as an oversimplification of unresolved debates. The book provides many case studies as helpful examples for how not to implement a policy of localization. While governments can learn from the past to avoid exploitive contracts with oil companies, they cannot simply mandate localization. The similar failures of localized steel production in China’s Great Leap Forward and Indonesia’s 21st century Mineral and Coal Law, requiring local [...]



Putin Country: A Journey Into the Real Russia

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:30:00 +0000

Anne GarrelsFarrar, Straus and Giroux2016ISBN: 978-0374247720A Review by Julia SinitskyComing as yet another publication in a bout of renewed interest on contemporary Russia, Putin Country gives the reader at once an ordinary and original perspective. Anne Garrels, as a journalist for NPR, traveled to Russia many times over two decades as the country opened to the world, at times embracing and rejecting western economic and political influences. Garrels does well to avoid many of the clichés about new Cold War tensions. Despite the title, Putin Country is not about Vladimir Putin’s personality, the Kremlin or Moscow at all, but about the lives of ordinary, working-class Russians trying to make a living in 21st century Russia. Of course, the Kremlin’s centralized decision-making affects Russians, and Garrels reminds that the Russia beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg is often a world distant to Moscow-centered corruption, oligarchs and major players. Instead, she focuses on Russia’s polluted industrial heartland and Chelyabinsk, a city on the border between Europe and Asia. This work covers a number of topics, all nuanced and socially relevant, with themes including political and social stability, identity, family, healthcare, prisons, religion, ecology, nuclear energy, freedom of speech and many others. Each topic is presented through intertwining anecdotes that involve ordinary Chelyabinsk residents some of whom she has known for years. Garrels, by examining an array of social topics, combined with the fact that Chelyabinsk itself is part of the Russian periphery, offers a kind of country diagnosis unburdened by dry statistics or other social science measures. Readers get a feel of daily life in modern Russia by following Garrels on her journeys and getting a rare glimpse into private lives, some struggling for years under a system which accommodates corrupt practices over hard and honest work. Others of Garrels’ interviewees more easily adapted to the difficult life in post-Soviet Russia and try to improve the lives of those around them. Garrels writes that in 2012, though Chelyabinsk would not be mistaken for Moscow, it is still unrecognizable from the failing industrial center she first visited in 1993, when New Russia was just forming as a state. Since then, she has visited several times and comments on the changes due to capitalism which developed during the Yeltsin and Putin eras and free-market transformations, including western goods, public health care and education, and the ability to travel abroad. The Russian government, through poorly run privatization schemes has created a new world of haves and have nots, with few people in between. Most people Garrels meets around Chelyabinsk live from paycheck to paycheck, contrasting wildly from nouveau rich Russians who thrive even in times of economic turmoil. But for either party, their daily life leave little time to dwell on human rights violations, government reforms or other pressing social concerns.  Many Russians blame the West as much as their own leaders for Russia’s many problems, and this mindset is not likely to change. Economic transitions have been difficult. “Shock therapy, advocated by the West to replace the Soviet economic system, was most shocking in the countryside…as farms fell apart, land was either stolen by crafty managers or redivided among the ill-prepared workers,” Garrels writes. “With no infrastructure to back them, most couldn’t make it on their own.” The focus on devastated rural and peripheral industrial centers is a timely critique in the wake of what seems like a worldwide protest against neoliberal globalist values. Many families never fully recovered from the economic and emotional shock of the collapse of the Soviet Union and cannot escape poverty, corruption and crime. The remedies for their economic condition remain few, and some find consolation [...]



The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, Fifth Edition

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 15:23:08 +0000

Roger Hood and Carolyn HoyleOxford University Press2015ISBN: 978-0-19-870174-3A Review by Leila ToiviainenAttitudes regarding the death penalty are often based on populist and electoral calculations.  For example, drug trafficking remains punishable by death in Indonesia: This year, the nation so far has executed 14, including eight foreign nationals, by firing squad. Australia, Netherlands and Brazil responded to the execution of their citizens by withdrawing their ambassadors from Jakarta for “consultations.” The Death Penalty, by two Oxford professors of criminology, Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, began as a 1988 report to the United Nations Committee on Crime Prevention and Control. They argue for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. The execution of foreign nationals exposes troubling inconsistencies, as revealed by recent headlines. In April, Prime Minister John Howard appealed for clemency to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare the lives of two Australians in April. Yet the authors point out that, after terrorist bombs killed 88 Australians on the island of Bali in 2002, Howard condoned the execution of the terrorists by firing squad. Not mentioned in the book is Howard’s response to the 1996 massacre in Tasmania after a gunman killed 35 and wounded 26 – tightening Australian gun laws despite objections from the gun lobby. There were no calls for the return of the death penalty. The authors’ arguments against the death penalty are based on a human rights perspective: Human rights of those imprisoned for crimes should be respected; those who have committed serious crimes should be given a second chance to reform and atone for their misdeeds. The 597-page book is scholarly, but readable and compassionate. The analysis is the result of ongoing research for nearly two decades during which more countries have abolished the death penalty. Uncertainty amongst its supporters has grown. The death penalty should not be used by any nation as an instrument of revenge. The weakness of arguments to support its continuing application by some nations, including as a deterrent, lead the authors to conclude that no argument can justify the inhumanity of the penalty; it cannot be applied fairly, without mistakes; it is arbitrary and cruel. Since the publication of the first edition of The Death Penalty the authors report progress: 41 countries abolished the death penalty from 1989 to 1999 – 40 for all crimes in all circumstances. Yet 39 nations, including the world’s two largest economies, China and the United States, remain “active retentionists” – executing at least one person within the last 10 years. The authors claim that China accounts for at least 80 percent of all recorded judicial executions, and Amnesty International has ceased publishing China’s death penalty statistics, which are regarded as state secrets. Amnesty International: Nations That Lead in Executions, 2014   Official Unreported, Unacknowledged, or Estimated China   3000+ Iran 289 454 Saudi Arabia   90+ Iraq   61+ United States 35   The authors characterize Western Europe and Australasia as death-penalty-free zones, and attribute the origins of more humane ways of punishment to the liberal utilitarian and humanistic ideas sweeping through Europe at the end of the 18th century. Norway abolished capital punishment in 1905, and following the mass murder of 69 youth in 2011, support for the death penalty remained at 16 percent. Support for the death penalty in North America is faltering as a result of innocent individuals being executed for crimes they did not commit. As the authors point out, the globe knows more about the situation in North America because of the extent of empirical studies and debates undertaken in that nation. President Vladimir Putin of Russia provides an example of a leader who has resisted pressure from public [...]



Privacy Policy

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 15:19:04 +0000

In compliance with information technology guidelines of Yale University, we respect the privacy of all users of YaleGlobal. User data, such as IP addresses and page requests are collected, but used only internally in summary format. We do not collect individual biographical information from users without their consent.

Personal information (such as email addresses) which are input by the user at this site are used only for announcements related to YaleGlobal or MacMillan Center activities. Individual user information is not released to third parties.

The complete text of the Yale University Information Appropriate Use Policy is published at: www.yale.edu.