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  • Author: Ian Hall
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975) was synonymous with the Royal Institute of International Affairs for the first half of its history. He held the post of Director of Studies from 1925 to 1954, and thereafter retained an office in Chatham House until his death. Throughout that half-century he combined the roles of scholar and public intellectual, using International Affairs—along with many other outlets—to communicate the fruits and findings of his research to policy-makers and the wider community. During his 50 years at Chatham House Toynbee contributed 19 essays to the journal—which must surely be the most of any individual author—and produced his two monumental multi-volume works, the Survey of international affairs, which he penned, edited or commissioned from 1925 until 1958, and A study of history, which appeared in twelve volumes between 1934 and 1961. He also published a further 50 books and hundreds of scholarly articles during his lifetime, as well as many interviews and lesser pieces. If one includes reviews of books by others, Toynbee's complete works amount to almost 3,000 items.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: Britain, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In the Middle East today there are armed groups that have no respect for the humanitarian imperative. What challenges does this present to the Red Cross? I see two key challenges. The first one is very basic. We want to maintain a very close relationship with people affected by conflict, and access these days is more complex because we are in a very polarized environment. Look at the Iraq front–the problem is not new but it is exacerbated. The second issue is to be able to engage governments and non-state armed groups on a very pragmatic basis on issues related to people under their control. That normally works rather well. What I have found more complex these days is to engage them on issues related to international humanitarian law and the Geneva conventions.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Islam
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Richard Gowan
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Imagine a dystopian future in which NATO, struggling against Islamist terrorism, has to deploy troops on a constant basis across Africa and the Middle East. Then all of a sudden it is struck by a series of calamities: more than 40 personnel are taken hostage in the Middle East, soldiers start dying on a weekly basis on the edge of the Sahara and an operation to handle an outbreak of ebola begins to spiral out of control. NATO, you might expect, would give up in exhaustion. After Afghanistan, western powers have little appetite for quagmires.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Middle East
  • Author: Burhan Wazir
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Middle East is a landscape littered with unrealized peace treaties, broken promises and failed intentions. In the four years since uprisings and reprisals took hold of Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Oman and Tunisia, two diplomatic constants have dominated: The limited influence of American power, and a dearth of leadership in the region. Political intransigence and sectarian violence weren't always the norm in the Middle East. Lawrence Wright's new book, Thirteen Days in September, chronicles an era, almost four decades ago, when compromise was considered an asset. Over 13 days at Camp David in Maryland in 1978, US President Jimmy Carter was able to extract a peace treaty from Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin. The accord is still the most lasting achievement to emerge from the Arab-Israeli conflict of the 20th century.
  • Topic: Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Oman
  • Author: Alan Philps
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: He shares his thoughts on on America's role in an increasingly affluent world, Russia's decline and China's own goals
  • Topic: Economics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, America, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: During its first three years, the Obama administration compiled an impressive record on the politically fraught issue of European ballistic missile defence (MD) cooperation on three different levels: domestically, vis-à-vis Europe and NATO, and in relations with Russia. The administration's MD design, known as the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), will rely on land- and sea-based interceptors to shoot down missiles launched towards Europe by Iran or other Middle Eastern states. It has strong bipartisan support at home and is being implemented in close collaboration with NATO, which agreed in 2010 to make the protection of allies' territory from ballistic missiles a priority. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has ardently pursued MD cooperation with Russia, which has long regarded US missile defence as a threat to its own strategic deterrence capabilities. Given political realities in the US, the administration has little choice but to proceed with plans to deploy a European MD system. Nevertheless, its focus on MD cooperation as a kind of magic bullet in relations with both its European allies and Russia appears too ambitious, and risks doing more harm than good—unless the administration can do a better job of managing expectations, while embedding its ideas for MD cooperation into a broader security dialogue with both the Europeans and Russia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Lee Marsden
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: US foreign policy in the first decade of the twenty-first century has been dominated by religion in a way that would not have seemed possible for most of the second half of the twentieth. Al-Qaeda's attack on the United States in September 2001, the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the upsurge in Islamist militancy and the populist overthrow of despotic US allies in the Middle East all focus attention on the importance of religious actors. For much of this period academic interest has centred on radical Islam and the attempts by western governments, and the United States in particular, to contain Islamism through embarking on the global 'war on terror' in its various manifestations, and supporting pro-western despots in the Middle East. While there has also been much interest in the emergence of elements of the Christian right as foreign policy actors, until recently insufficient attention has been paid to the increasing role played by religious organizations in the delivery of US foreign policy objectives. American faith-based International Relations (IR) scholars and political scientists have successfully agitated for an increased religious dimension to foreign policy, in particular in the areas of diplomacy and overseas assistance and development. While such an emphasis is designed to further US foreign policy interests, this article argues that such a policy can be counter productive where these religious actors pursue sectarian rather than secular objectives. Using faith-based initiatives supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a case-study, the article highlights the potential dangers of faith-based foreign policy approaches.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Travis Sharp
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The United States has entered a period of strategic change. After spending more than a decade fighting a global counterterrorism campaign and two ground wars, it now faces shifting security challenges. The United States has killed Osama bin Laden and decimated the core leadership of Al-Qaeda and like-minded groups in Pakistan, but regional Al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and the Horn of Africa have taken the lead in planning and attempting terrorist attacks. American troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan, but 15,000–30,000 may remain in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghan forces and strike terrorist cells. Iran continues to pursue the ability to produce nuclear weapons rapidly should its supreme leader decide to do so, further destabilizing a Middle East region shaken by the Arab Spring. China continues to invest heavily in military modernization, raising sharp concerns among its neighbours. North Korea may continue to lash out militarily as its new leader Kim Jong Un seeks to demonstrate control. Last but certainly not least, the global economy remains fragile, the American economic recovery has stagnated, and US policy-makers have responded to rapidly growing American debt by reducing government spending in numerous areas, including defence. The size of these budget cuts may increase substantially in the months ahead.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, China, Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, Yemen
  • Author: Thomas Cargill
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The next big thing: Once known only for hunger and war, Africa's moment has arrived
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Jane Kinninmont
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Jane Kinninmont demolishes the theory of monarchical exceptionalism
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia