Skip to main content

Topics described under the heading Politics (P) include: Governance; Development; Human Rights; Religion, Markets; Inequality; Migration; Urbanism; Ethics; Health; Climate Change, Peace, War, Security; Migration; Diplomacy; Peace; Philanthropy

Politics

News

Inaugural Group of Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University Announced

Date: 
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

An accomplished group of 12 rising social change-makers from around the world has been selected as the first class of Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University. Consistent with the Obama Foundation’s mission to inspire, empower, and connect the next generation of civic leaders, the new,...

Itaataatawi: Hopi Song, Intellectual Property, and Sonic Sovereignty in an Era of Settler-Colonialism

Hopi traditional songs or taatawi are more than aesthetic objects; they are sound-based expressions of Hopi authority. As I argue in this dissertation, creating, performing, circulating, and remembering taatawi are what we might call acts of sonic sovereignty: a mode of authority articulated within ongoing, sound-based networks that include Hopi people, plants, weather systems, land, and other living things within Hopi territories.
I begin by exploring the generative process through which taatawi do their connective work, which includes long-term collaborations between yeeyewat (composers) and environmental actors that establish a collective vision of prosperity that is realized when these songs are performed. Hopi composer Clark Tenakhongva’s taatawi performances during Grand Canyon National Park’s Centennial (a Hopi sacred space currently controlled by settler governments) exemplify the ways Hopi people are actively using taatawi to (re)assert Hopi relations to colonized territories.
Because taatawi are closely tied to Hopi relations to one another and the land, and sometimes contain specialized forms of knowledge held closely by Hopi clans and ceremonial societies, their ownership and circulation remains of vital concern to Hopi people. Laura Boulton’s recording of Hopi singers Dan Qötshongva, Thomas Bahnaqya and David Monongye in the Summer of 1940, and the travels of those recordings afterwards, show us the complex politics of Hopi song circulation in the early Twentieth Century up through the present, and how settler cultural and intellectual property laws provide only limited possibilities for indigenous groups seeking to bring their ancestors’ voices back under their control. And even if tribes could reclaim taatawi under settler property laws, these laws require physical and conceptual transformations that effectively sever them from the networks of relations from which they were created.
To better support Hopi sonic sovereignty going forward, I offer brief sketches for three potential interventions: (1) an indigenous works amendment to the United States Copyright Act; (2) the use of indigenized licensing frameworks to embed indigenous protocols into the governance and circulation of indigenous creative works both on and off indigenous lands; and (3) establishing a right to indigenous care, similar to Europe’s right to forget, whereby our ancestors’ voices can be subject to indigenous care rather than preserved anonymously and perpetually as archival objects. My hope is that these will allow indigenous communities to better assert and maintain control over their modes of sonic sovereignty despite the increasing colonization of the sonic world by global intellectual property regimes.

Department: 
Music
Author: 
Trevor George Reed
Subjects: 
Music
Songs
Hopi
Indians of North America--Music
Intellectual property
Hopi Indians
Sovereignty
Title string: 
Itaataatawi: Hopi Song, Intellectual Property, and Sonic Sovereignty in an Era of Settler-Colonialism
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:m905qftths

The Social Life of Health Insurance Temporality, Care, and the Politics of Financing Health in Rural Vietnam

Health insurance stands at the center of global debates on how nations can ensure equitable access to health care, especially for countries like Vietnam whose integration into the global economy has boosted economic development but intensified social inequality. When health insurance is promoted to low- to middle-income country contexts by development agencies such as the World Health Organization and the World Bank, what embedded cultural values accompany this? How do locally specific historical, political, and ethical concepts for managing vulnerability and uncertainty shape public understanding of insurance? To date, empirical research on health insurance’s impact has tended to examine its relation to health outcomes, service utilization patterns, or health care delivery rather than its cultural effects. As health insurance initiatives have expanded to at least 27 countries within the last decade, the universality of insurance’s value to local populations cannot be assumed. This ethnographic research investigates the cultural mediators and effects as a factor for understanding public responses to health insurance. It documents how this financial technology is transforming knowledge about how to care and manage health vulnerability.
With the support of international organizations, the Vietnamese government began its universal health insurance enrollment campaign in 2015. State officials, however, identify the “Vietnamese habit” of purchasing insurance only when ill as both a technical and cultural problem to achieving universal coverage. To better understand this process, I investigated how strategies to “change the mindset of citizens” were deployed by state media and personnel, and then actively resisted, incorporated, or transformed by community members. The study took place in Vinh Long Province, an agricultural area in the Mekong Delta with one of the highest uninsured rates in the country. I conducted twelve months of ethnographic research, including 60 semi-structured interviews with community members, health insurance professionals, and health care professionals; and extended participant observation in government health facilities, insurance offices, and the homes of community members.
The study analyzes the social consequences of new health insurance initiatives, the temporality of care, everyday dimensions of health care uncertainty, and their relevance to concerns within medical anthropology. I demonstrate how Vietnam’s insurance reform affected the terms through which people understood their social relations and risk subjectivities. By detailing the dynamic processes of a health insurance campaign aimed at changing health behaviors, the research reveals how financial policies are not value neutral. Rather, they reshape local moral worlds, social relations, and practices for managing uncertainty in late socialist Vietnam.

Author: 
Amy Dao
Subjects: 
Public health
Public policy (Law)
Health insurance
National health insurance
Social medicine
Title string: 
The Social Life of Health Insurance Temporality, Care, and the Politics of Financing Health in Rural Vietnam
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:j3tx95x6d0

Responsibility While Protecting: Implementation and the Future of Responsibility to Protect

Ten years after the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in 2005, the international community is still faced with challenges of ensuring that genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing are never again committed. In light of RtoP’s 10th anniversary and ongoing situations of mass atrocities around the world, the Columbia University Global Policy Initiative (CGPI) and the International Relations Research Center at the University of São Paulo (NUPRI) organized a two-day conference in April 2015 on Responsibility while Protecting: Implementation Mechanisms and the Future of the Responsibility to Protect. The conference brought together key academic, UN, and governmental voices. Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN, and Dr. Jennifer Welsh, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, presented keynote speeches. Topics under consideration included the Brazilian concept of Responsibility while Protecting (RwP), what happened to RtoP after the 2011 Libya intervention, how RwP has changed RtoP, how we can improve effective implementation of RtoP, and finally what the future of RtoP and atrocity prevention holds. The conference’s three panels and two keynote speeches are detailed in the report as well as recommendations to improve understanding and implementation of atrocity prevention and response.

Topic: 
UNI: 
Publication type: 
Author: 
Margaret M. Powers
Erik Lindblad
Alonzo Neese
Charlotte Segerstrom
Sita Sonmez
Subjects: 
Responsibility to protect (International law)
International law and human rights
Human rights
Atrocities--Law and legislation
Title string: 
Responsibility While Protecting: Implementation and the Future of Responsibility to Protect
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:47d7wm37rx

Responsibility Sharing and the Global Compact on Refugees

Strengthening the Refugee Regime calls for enhancing responsibility sharing. Responsibility sharing was a central commitment in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. It also is a key commitment in the preamble to the landmark 1951 Refugee Convention. Countries of first refuge are promised that their providing refuge will be met by “international cooperation,” though without specifying its content. Yet, just as the 1951 Refugee Convention failed to define what international cooperation meant; so too the New York Declaration is – as was the Humanitarian Summit before it - long on principles; and short on specific commitments. Today, therefore, responsibility sharing, as Peter Sutherland has so aptly characterized it, amounts to “Responsibility by Proximity.” Neighboring countries such as Syria’s neighbors, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan overwhelmingly serve as the refuge for Syrians who have managed to flee its devastating civil war. This means that globally the developing world, both relatively poor and home to so many of the world’s armed conflicts, also serves as the refuge for 86% of the world’s refugees … and it does so without adequate international funding (only 40% of the UNHCR appeal for the region was met in 2016).

Topic: 
UNI: 
Publication type: 
Author: 
Michael W. Doyle
Audrey Macklin
Subjects: 
Refugees
Refugees--International cooperation
Refugees--Legal status
laws
etc.
Title string: 
Responsibility Sharing and the Global Compact on Refugees
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:nvx0k6djm4

Model International Mobility Convention

While people are as mobile as they ever were in our globalized world, the movement of people across borders lacks global regulation. This leaves many refugees in protracted displacement and many migrants unprotected in irregular and dire situations. Meanwhile, some states have become concerned that their borders have become irrelevant. International mobility—the movement of individuals across borders for any length of time as visitors, students, tourists, labor migrants, entrepreneurs, long-term residents, asylum seekers, or refugees—has no common definition or legal framework. To address this key gap in international law, and the growing gaps in protection and responsibility that are leaving people vulnerable, the "Model International Mobility Convention" proposes a framework for mobility with the goals of reaffirming the existing rights afforded to mobile people (and the corresponding rights and responsibilities of states) as well as expanding those basic rights where warranted. In 213 articles divided over eight chapters, the Convention establishes both the minimum rights afforded to all people who cross state borders as visitors, and the special rights afforded to tourists, students, migrant workers, investors and residents, forced migrants, refugees, migrant victims of trafficking and migrants caught in countries in crisis. Some of these categories are covered by existing international legal regimes. However, in this Convention these groups are for the first time brought together under a single framework. An essential feature of the Convention is that it is cumulative. This means, for the most part, that the chapters build on and add rights to the set of rights afforded to categories of migrants covered by earlier chapters. The Convention contains not only provisions that afford rights to migrants and, to a lesser extent, States (such as the right to decide who can enter and remain in their territory). It also articulates the responsibilities of migrants vis-à-vis States and the rights and responsibilities of different institutions that do not directly respond to a right held by migrants.

Publication type: 
Author: 
Diego Acosta
T. Alexander Aleinikoff
Kiran Meisan Banerjee
Elazar Barkan
Pierre Bertrand
Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Joseph Blocher
BorgnäEmma s
Frans Bouwen
Sarah Cliffe
Kevin L. Cope
CréFran peauçois
Michael W. Doyle
Yasmine Ergas
David Scott FitzGerald
Fran Fouinatçois
Justin Gest
Bimal Ghosh
Guy S. Goodwin-Gill
Randall Hansen
Mats Karlsson
Donald Kerwin
Khalid Koser
Rey Koslowski
Ian Matthew Kysel
Justin MacDermott
Susan F. Martin
Sarah A. D. Miller
Elora Mukherjee
Parvati Nair
Steven S. Nam
Daniel M. Naujoks
Jose A. Ocampo
Margaret M. Powers
Benedita Menezes Queiroz
S. Irudaya Rajan
Sarah Rosengaertner
Bianca Z. Santos
Saskia Sassen
Peter J. Spiro
Colleen Thouez
Joel P. Trachtman
Subjects: 
International law
Immigrants--Civil rights
Refugees--Civil rights
Emigration and immigration
Migration
Internal
Title string: 
Model International Mobility Convention
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:6m905qftw5

The Emergence of the American University Abroad

This dissertation explores the relations of independent American universities abroad to one another and to American higher education through a mixed-method comparative case study of three eras (1919-1945; 1946-1990; 1991-2017). Applying insights from the study of organizations and social movements, it investigates 1) the formation, evolution, and eventual maturation of an organizational field of American universities abroad; and 2) the strategies field actors utilize to align frames about American universities abroad with values of potential supporters in the United States. The study employs both qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze data that come from archives, news media, institutional websites, interviews, and an original database. Findings have implications for study of international higher education, American higher education, and American foreign relations. I argue that over the course of a century, the American university abroad has emerged as a distinct institution and structural feature of American higher education. Episodic cooperation among various American universities abroad has served to organize the field to the extent that its “rules” eventually became institutionalized. Instances of continuity and change in the field’s rules are often the result of pressures emanating from U.S. higher education and foreign policies. Meanwhile, the field of American universities abroad, representing the frontier of American higher education, has continually enlarged the latter’s boundaries with each successive period of global expansion.

Author: 
Kyle A. Long
Subjects: 
Education
Higher
International relations
Foreign study
Universities and colleges
Title string: 
The Emergence of the American University Abroad
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:63xsj3txc6

The Politics of Classification in Global Development

Many scholars primarily view international organizations as vehicles used by powerful states to distribute resources. However, this view trivializes the profound influence of their day-to-day operations on the world. This dissertation argues that that the classification systems developed by these bureaucracies significantly affect how classified countries are treated by many influential elites in the global economy. Focusing on the domain of development, I show that whether a country is categorized as a developing country has major effects on high-stakes decisions such as aid, investment, and credit and democracy ratings.
Why do international observers rely so heavily on these blunt categories? I propose two mechanisms by which classifications influence elite behavior: Elites may use classifications cognitively as heuristic devices that simplify decision-making processes or strategically as a way of justifying their behaviors to external audiences. I then show with cross-national data from 1987 to 2015 that a country's World Bank income classification correlates with the rewards it receives from actors who are susceptible to one or both of these mechanisms. Specifically, I find that becoming a middle income country causes a country to lose aid but receive better ratings of its creditworthiness and democracy. These findings are echoed in interviews with stakeholders in the graduation processes of several countries within a World Bank system. I test the micro-foundations of my theory with experimental data by inviting an elite sample of development professionals and students to participate in a hypothetical aid allocation activity. By randomizing the information included on the country profiles and the participation incentives, I show both that a classification effect exists and that, in the case of donors, it is primarily driven by the strategic mechanism. Coupled with the observational findings, which illustrate that classifications affect investors and raters with no such strategic incentives, this suggests that both mechanisms are essential to understanding who uses classifications.
How do these dynamics affect the experiences and behaviors of classified countries and groups within those countries? I argue that classifications produce winners and losers, who strategically respond to their classifications when able and informed. In particular, being categorized as a more developed country punishes non-governmental organizations and those they represent, while business interests and individual leaders benefit materially and socially. I illustrate these patterns through dozens of interviews with representatives from civil society, the business community, and government in Nepal and Botswana, two countries that are currently or have previously "graduated" from the UN's Least Developed Country category. Moreover, I provide qualitative and quantitative evidence that countries use a variety of strategies to attempt to change their classifications, and they do so in both directions. For example, I show that countries manipulate their data as they approach significant thresholds that separate categories, and while some seek to accelerate their transition, others try to hinder it.
This project identifies and explains a relatively unexamined power of international organizations in a context where its deployment significantly affects outcomes for developing countries. Classifications affect the highest level of interactions in ways that are felt by the poorest in society. As numerous countries begin to graduate from their developing country statuses, these findings are especially relevant for ongoing policy debates about how international organizations spread their understandings of development. Far from merely describing the world, these bureaucrats shape it in profound ways.

Author: 
Lindsay R. Dolan
Subjects: 
Political science
International relations
Classification
Investments
Foreign
International economic relations
Title string: 
The Politics of Classification in Global Development
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:v9s4mw6md1

Walking and Learning with Indigenous Peoples: A Contribution to the 5th Anniversary of the International Summer Program on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Policy at Columbia University

The book has been conceptualized to bring out the relevance of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through an analysis of various thematic and geographical areas and case studies. It is written by alumni of the international Summer Program on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Policy that has been held at Columbia from 2013-2017. Its vision is to make the University a cultural bridge of the world, through strengthening leadership and research in human rights and social justice. The International Summer Program on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Policy at Columbia is one of those avenues. This edited volume is devoted to the Fifth Anniversary of the Summer Program. We believe that it is impossible to study the world without including Indigenous Peoples' political practices, cultures, ways of knowing, aspirations and their global movement. It is also incongruous to ignore that Indigenous Peoples are literally changing the face of contemporary politics in every continent and have been and are continuously producing valuable knowledge for both the benefit of Indigenous Peoples and the well being of our entire planet.

Subjects: 
Indigenous peoples
Human rights
International law
Law
Public policy (Law)
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (United Nations. General Assembly)
Title string: 
Walking and Learning with Indigenous Peoples: A Contribution to the 5th Anniversary of the International Summer Program on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Policy at Columbia University
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:79cnp5hqd9

Dr. Strange Geo-Blocking Love Or: How The E.U. Learned To Stop Worrying About Cultural Integration And Love The TV Trade Barrier

The E.U. Antitrust Case that opened on July 23, 2015 against Sky U.K. and six American studios—Disney, Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Sony and Warner Brothers—has its structural roots in the Television Without Frontiers Directive, which was vigorously debated as a last-minute standoff that threatened to derail the conclusion of the GATT Uruguay Round of trade negotiations and is still considered to be the cornerstone of the European Union’s audiovisual policy. This Article examines the unique history of a Cultural Exception with respect to audiovisual works as applied in trade negotiations to Hollywood film and television productions, and argues that, rather than violating E.U. regulations, the decades-old practice of regional contractual restrictions and geo-blocking is both consistent with and a direct result of the E.U.’s protectionist and paternalistic efforts to shield its individual member states’ local production entities from competition and its populations from a perceived and decidedly unwelcomed Svengali-like juggernaut of American cultural influence. The E.U. antitrust action is therefore in direct contravention to the spirit of the trade laws over which Hollywood studios were so stridently subjected to debating and is inconsistent with stated E.U. audiovisual norms. Abolishing regional access limitations will put the future of the E.U.’s various local distributors at risk, for the existing patchwork of distribution related rules impacting foreign property directly impacts American producers’ decisions regarding whether and how to continue to do business in the region. Thus, any attempt to implement the E.C.’s aspirational Digital Single Market 2020 target terms must be reconciled in light of the current political climate in Europe and global technological capabilities if the E.U. is to remain a relevant market at the forefront of the modern entertainment industry and continue to benefit from the uniquely privileged relationship it has enjoyed for nearly a century with its many Hollywood studio production partners.

Topic: 
Publication type: 
Author: 
Batia M. Zareh
Subjects: 
Law and art
Television--Law and legislation
Antitrust law
Motion pictures--Law and legislation
Title string: 
Dr. Strange Geo-Blocking Love Or: How The E.U. Learned To Stop Worrying About Cultural Integration And Love The TV Trade Barrier
GUID update: 
https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:vmcvdncjwv

Pages