How does regional interdependence influence the prospects for conflict, integration, and democratization? Some researchers look at the international system at large and disregard the enormous regional variations. Others take the concept of sovereignty literally and treat each nation-state as fully independent. Kristian Skrede Gleditsch looks at disparate zones in the international system to see how conflict, integration, and democracy have clustered over time and space. He argues that the most interesting aspects of international politics are regional rather than fully global or exclusively national. Differences in the local context of interaction influence states' international behavior as well as their domestic attributes.
In All International Politics Is Local, Gleditsch clarifies that isolating the domestic processes within countries cannot account for the observed variation in distribution of political democracy over time and space, and that the likelihood of transitions is strongly related to changes in neighboring countries and the prior history of the regional context. Finally, he demonstrates how spatial and statistical techniques can be used to address regional interdependence among actors and its implications.
Kristian Skrede Gleditsch is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.
At the turn of the century, Colorado's Cripple Creek District captured the national imagination with the extraordinary wealth of its gold mines and the unquestionable strength of the militant Western Federation of Miners.
Elizabeth Jameson tells the entertaining story of Cripple Creek, the scene in 1894 of one of radical labor's most stunning victories and, in 1903 and 1904, of one of its most crushing defeats. Jameson draws on working-class oral histories, the Victor and Cripple Creek Daily Press published by 34 of the local labor unions, and the 1900 manuscript census. She connects unions with lodges and fraternal associations, ethnic identity, families, households, and partisan politics. Through these ties, she probes the differences in age, skill, gender, marital status, and ethnicity that strained working-class unity and contributed to the fall of labor in Cripple Creek.
Jameson's book will be required reading for western, ethnic, and working-class historians seeking an alternative interpretation of western mining struggles that emphasizes class, gender, and multiple sources of social identity.
Long recognized by naturalists and adventurers as a dramatically unique region, the Arctic has recently emerged as an area of increasing political, strategic, and economic importance. The Arctic is both one of the world’s largest and smallest regions, encompassing 15% of the earth’s land mass, yet inhabited by fewer than 1% of the world’s population. Its physical vastness is coupled with a wealth of natural resources; in oil alone, the Far North contributes that majority of Russia’s production and 25% of US output. At the same time, the Circumpolar North is home to diverse indigenous peoples and cultures, thus setting the stage for conflicts of international scope. In this collection of essays, Oran Young provides a foundation for studying the politics of the Arctic as a distinctive international region. Expanding the traditional approach to area studies, he examines the Far North not only for its unique features, but also as an arena within which to develop new approaches to various issues of worldwide interest. Young challenges persistent stereotypes that marginalize the region, moving beyond the romanticism of many observers to arrive at an understanding of the complex social and ecological systems of the Far North. In doing so, Young thoughtfully establishes the Arctic as an area of international importance both in its own right and in relation to other geopolitical regions.