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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Institute of International Studies was established in 1955 to promote interdisciplinary research in international, comparative, and policy studies on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. Professor of Geography Michael Watts is its Director, and Harry Kreisler is the Executive Director. The current emphasis is on the following intellectual themes: Peace and security after the Cold War; environment, demography, and sustainable development; development and comparative modernities across regions; and globalization and the transformation of the global economy.

Institute of International Studies

There are 12 publications in this collection, published between 1998 and 2006.
Berkeley Workshop on Environmental Politics (8)

Social Movements and Ecological Modernization: The Transformation of Pulp and Paper Manufacturing

No industry has been affected by environmental social movements as much, in so short a time, and on such a wide geographical scale, as pulp and paper manufacturing. Environmental social movements have had a profound influence on the industry since the mid- to late 1980s. In just a few years, “state of the art” pulping and bleaching has become more environmentally friendly. Manufacturers around the world have spent billions of US dollars adopting new technologies, modifying old ones, and developing local innovations to meet rising environmental demands, expectations, and regulations. Additional millions of US dollars have been spent by public and private institutions on research, development, and testing of new nvironmental processes and technologies for the pulp and paper industry (cf. API 1992; Porter and Linde 1995). The transformation is incomplete -- many environmental problems remain -- but nonetheless profound. All of this can be attributed at least initially to the efforts and influence of environmental social movements.

The Application of Seasonal to Interannual Climate Forecasts Based on El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Events: Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Peru, and Zimbabwe

In this paper we present case studies of the efforts of five nations, Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Peru, and Zimbabwe, to use climate forecasts based on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) system to plan in advance of anticipated anomalous climatic states. We treat the variable use of climate forecasts among these nations as a problem of “fit” between the nature of ENSO, a persistent variability in the ocean–atmosphere system of the tropical Pacific which produces climate variability at local and regional scales around the world, and the human institutions and actors that make and use the forecasts. Our examination of patterns of use of forecasts indicates constraints and suggests opportunities for the useful application of climate forecasts in the future.

Social Memory and the Politics of Place-Making in Northeastern Amazonia

Like “nature,” “culture,” and its glamorous sibling “global,” “local” is one of those deeply compromised words our language will not relinquish. So central to so many anthropological projects it is unlikely to be transcended, instead it continues to be both fought over and reinvigorated. In this essay, I imagine the topography of what we might call a methodology of locality. In trying to understand how we can do our thinking about the local, I begin with a disarmingly transparent question: How, in all its specificity, does this place that holds our attention come into being? Pursuing this puzzle provokes ripples of association that shape interpretation like contour lines on a map, destabilize naturalized binaries, and shadow the unruly series of concentric circles through which a place is tied into multiple worlds.

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Papers (3)

Homeland Security vs. the Madisonian Impulse: State Building and Anti-Statism after September 11

The shock of war is closely associated with the growth of the state, in the United States and elsewhere. Yet each proposal to significantly consolidate or expand executive power in the United States since September 11th has been resisted, refined, or even rejected outright. We argue that this outcome—theoretically unexpected and contrary to conventional wisdom—is the result of enduring aspects of America’s domestic political structure: the division of power at the federal level between three co-equal and overlapping branches, the relative ease with which non-governmental interest groups circumscribe the state’s capacity to regulate or monitor private transactions, and the intensity with which guardians of the state’s purposely fragmented institutions guard their organizational turf. These persistent aspects of US political life, designed by the nation’s founders to impede the concentration of state power, have substantially shaped the means by which contemporary guardians of the American state pursue “homeland security.”

The Nuclear Revolution, Relative Gains, and International Nuclear Assistance

Why do states provide sensitive nuclear assistance to nonnuclear-weapon states? The author argues that states provide international nuclear assistance to constrain other more powerful states. The evidence suggests that the empirical pattern of nuclear assistance is best explained by a number of strategic preconditions: relative power, dependence on a superpower patron, and the nature of the nuclear recipient’s security environment. This research speaks to a broader debate about the impact of nuclear proliferation on the international system. It shows that the costs of nuclear proliferation are most heavily borne by the international system’s most powerful states.

Rights, Liberties, and the Rules of Engagement: Report from the Ninth Annual Travers Ethics Conference

Bringing together experts in the study of violent conflict, criminal justice, U.S. foreign policy, international law, human rights and humanitarian law, and international justice, this conference (held in May, 2005) sought to examine how the laws and practices that govern state conduct during war are changing and will continue to change in the next decade. Guided by a concern that neither the laws of war nor the domestic criminal justice system is entirely appropriate for current conflicts, the conference considered the possibility of developing new rules and norms governing state behavior during wartime, and the role of the United States in such an effort.

Conversations with History: Nobel Laureates' Gallery (1)

Amartya Sen: Reflections on Theory in the Social Sciences

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor, Harvard University, for a discussion of the interplay of economic theory and political philosophy in his work on public choice, development, and freedom. Sen recalls his own intellectual odyssey, commenting on some of the factors that shaped his thinking.

  • 1 supplemental file