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  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Since its financial crisis six years ago, Argentina has faded somewhat from the headlines. This is no doubt due in large part to the disproportionate space our media outlets now devote to Iraq and Iran, but also to the fact that other Latin American news stories—particularly Fidel Castro's surgery and the antics of Venezuela's clownish president Hugo Chávez—have dominated coverage of the area. Argentina is not, however, a negligent regional actor.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Robert F. Noriega
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: As Fidel Castro shuffles off the world stage, many non-Cubans are pondering the future of a nation that has spent nearly fifty years trapped under the rubble of the dictator's demented experiment. Too many outsiders, however, are disoriented by the myths that the regime has spun over the past five decades to make the island seem complicated, bedeviled, dangerous, and unapproachable. Castro realized that if the world came to comprehend Cuban reality, then even the intelligentsia might notice something wrong with the way he ran the place.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Central America
  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The recent passing of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and the events surrounding his last illness, death, and burial remind us that we are living through the last moments of a Latin American drama which began nearly a half-century ago with the Cuban Revolution. The only thing lacking to bring the curtain down once and for all is the disappearance of Fidel Castro, who began the whole business. Though no one knows precisely when that eventuality will occur, the Cuban strongman's unprecedented decision last July to transfer effective power to his younger brother Raúl and his failure to reappear publicly after abdominal surgery after nearly six months suggest it cannot be far off.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: South America, Cuba, Latin America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Top economic policymakers from China and the United States met in Beijing in mid-December 2006 for the first round of what has been called the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). There is a lot more at stake than the level of China's currency when the world's premier economic sprinter—China—meets with the world's premier economic long-distance runner—America. The fundamental issue at hand is the creation and preservation of wealth of two nations, each of which has much to teach the other. The right outcome from the dialogue would provide a substantial boost to the global economy in coming years, while the wrong outcome would threaten the continuation of global prosperity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Kevin A. Hassett
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The financial-aid system for college students is in a state of disarray. Federal aid and programs administered through the tax code are bureaucratic and include unfair provisions. Congress should stop using programs with a track record of little success and start using those that will give students the opportunities—and financial aid—they deserve.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Education, Government
  • Author: Kenneth P. Green, Steven F. Hayward
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: On February 2, an AEI research project on climate-change policy that we have been organizing was the target of a journalistic hit piece in Britain's largest left-wing newspaper, the Guardian. The article's allegation—that we tried to bribe scientists to criticize the work of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—is easy to refute. More troubling than the article is the growing worldwide effort to silence anyone with doubts about the catastrophic warming scenario that Al Gore and other climate extremists are putting forth.
  • Topic: International Relations, Environment, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With the recent announcements of a new strategy for Iraq and a commitment to begin increasing the size of U.S. land forces, the White House has taken two important steps to ensure that the tenets of the Bush Doctrine endure beyond the end of President George W. Bush's administration. Since 9/11 and indeed since the beginning of this administration, strategy has been made by an odd combination of ad hoc improvisation and expansive rhetoric. The day-to-day business of fitting means to ends and filling in the policy blanks has either been delegated to subordinates, left to the bureaucracy, or put in the “too hard” box. As time grows short, Bush needs to attend closely to three further matters. The first is as obvious and pressing as Iraq and an important factor in the need to rebuild land forces, especially the Army: a surge in U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. The second and third factors are less frequently discussed but essential for the long-term viability of the Bush Doctrine and the continuity of the Pax Americana: articulate a strategy for the “long war” in the greater Middle East and devise a genuinely global response to the rise of China. This issue of National Security Outlook begins a series devoted to these three measures of the enduring meaning of the Bush Doctrine.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, National Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: My original concept for The Carter Center was a place for mediation, a place where leaders of countries or regions in conflict could come to resolve their differences. Looking at the work of the Center today, with programs that have touched lives in more than 70 countries promoting peace and good health, it is safe to say that the Center has far exceeded Rosalynn' s and my initial dreams.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Six-year-old Ruhmam Issah cries as a health worker slowly removes a long, spaghetti-like worm from her swollen ankle. Beside Issah, here in dusty Savelugu, Ghana, is former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, providing comfort to the girl by way of gentle pats and kind words. President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, visited the hospital in northern Ghana where Issah was being treated to meet with dozens of Guinea worm disease patients receiving care in a national effort to eradicate the disease by this time next year.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The EastWest Institute (EWI) organized an informal roundtable discussion with the goal of presenting the Conflict Prevention Program's flagship project, the International Task Force on Preventive Diplomacy (ITFPD) to the international community based in Brussels. The roundtable also aimed to engage the Brussels community in a brainstorming exercise that would generate constructive feedback on the project. The roundtable convened 15 participants from NGOs based in Brussels, European institutions and foreign governments – all of whom attended in their personal capacities as specialists in the fields of conflict prevention and/or preventive diplomacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Brussels
  • Author: Sahiba Trivedi
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Ambassador Ortwin Hennig is the Vice President and the Head of Conflict Prevention Program of the East West Institute at Brussels. His previous assignments include the Commissioner for Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace Building in the German Government; diplomatic postings in Afghanistan, Russia, German Representation at the European Commission and the OSCE in Vienna. He has also served the Office of the German Federal President as a Foreign Policy Advisor. Ambassador Hennig is an alumnus of the NATO Defense College in Rome having specialized in arms control and security policy matters.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, India, Asia, Germany, Vienna
  • Author: Jeff Procak
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On April 25, 2007, the EastWest Institute, together with the Kennan Institute, organized in Washington DC a two-hour roundtable discussion on the current state and outlook for US-Russia relations. The roundtable used President Putin's speech presented to the 43rd Conference on Security Policy in Munich on February 10, 2007 as a point of reference. The purpose of this gathering was to examine strategies and approaches to reverse the significant decline in Russian-American relations over the last several years. The seminar was attended by 20 prominent experts from the US and Russia, including foreign policy advisors, representatives of the academic, business, and NGO communities, and mass media. Topics discussed included the most important issues on the US-Russia geostrategic agenda: arms control and nuclear non- proliferation, international energy, Russia's WTO accession, trade and economic cooperation, mutual perceptions and role of the media.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Heather Coyne
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The U.S. Institute of Peace recently hosted Farooq Kathwari, head of the Kashmir Study Group, to discuss the prospects for peace in Kashmir. Kathwari's personal involvement and commitment to the peace process give him a unique ability to see potential for a way around the obstacles in this seemingly intractable conflict. During the session, Chester Crocker, a member of the Kashmir Study Group and a USIP board member, described those obstacles in more depth, providing a framework for analyzing what peacemaking efforts like Kathwari's have been able to achieve and which aspects of the process remain fragile. This USIPeace Briefing highlights the central points made during that discussion and does not represent the views of the Institute, which does not advocate specific policies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, India, Kashmir
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser, Chietigj Bajpaee
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: To better understand perspectives in the United States and China on internal developments in North Korea, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in partnership with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, convened a daylong conference on December 5, 2006. The conference took place on the eve of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks in Beijing, which subsequently ended without tangible progress. The participants discussed North Korea's economy, the role of external actors on North Korea's decision-making, and Chinese and U.S. visions for the future of the Korean Peninsula. The seminar also included a simulation based on a scenario of an explosion at Yongbyon that creates a radioactive plume that moves across the Sea of Japan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Jytte Klausen
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: British security officials have announced their conclusion that Britain is now al-Qaeda's "number one" target. Over 1,000 individuals have been arrested on terrorism charges since September 11, 2001, and about two hundred individuals currently await trial. Twenty-three have been convicted on terrorism charges. In November 2006, MI5's head, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, estimated that there were 30 major plots under way, and that an attack in the UK was "highly likely."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Beth Cole, Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: How can the international community increase the likelihood of success in societies emerging from conflict? This question was discussed at a public Institute event, Nation Building in the 21st Century: Prescriptions for Success, on March 9, 2007. The panel of speakers included Representative Sam Farr (D-CA); Ambassador James Dobbins, director of International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND National Security Research Division; Ambassador John Herbst, coordinator for the Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization; and Beth Cole, senior program officer at the Institute. Daniel Serwer, Institute vice president for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations, moderated. The discussion drew on a new RAND book, The Beginner's Guide to Nation Building, whose authors include Dobbins and Cole, a “Framework for Success for Societies Emerging from Conflict” developed by USIP, and new operating models nearing approval by the U.S. government for the deployment of civilians to missions abroad. This USIPeace Briefing highlights the main points made during the discussion and does not represent the views of the Institute, which does not advocate specific policies. Drawing on past experience, the panel emphasized that the success of future nation building missions depends on acquiring support from policymakers in Congress and the Administration, applying lessons learned in the past, using common frameworks and doctrine for the future, and increasing civilian capacity, which is sorely lacking.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Yll Bajraktari, Greg Maly
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000, Serbia has struggled to find its way. Is the country shifting toward the West or East? What will happen with Kosovo? Does Serbia need Europe? Does Europe need Serbia? These issues were discussed at a May 7, 2007 event at USIP featuring James Lyon, special Balkans advisor for the International Crisis Group; Boris Stefanovic, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Serbia; and Martin Sletzinger, director of East European Studies at the Wilson Center for Scholars. Daniel Serwer, vice president for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations at USIP, moderated the discussion. This USIPeace Briefing summarizes the main views expressed by the panelists and participants. It does not represent the views of USIP, which does not take positions on policy issues.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Mongolia, Kosovo, Balkans
  • Author: Sarah Dye, Linda Bishai
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On April 20, 2007, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) Task Force on Public Health and Conflict wrapped up its 2006-2007 activities with a public event featuring Dr. Christopher Murray of Harvard University School of Public Health. This USIPeace Briefing summarizes Dr. Murray's presentation and the discussion that followed on armed conflict as a public health problem.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Health, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mona Yacoubian
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This is the fifth in a series of USIPeace Briefings on Syria published by the Institute's Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention. Written by Mona Yacoubian, director of the Institute's Syria Working Group and special adviser to the Muslim World Initiative, it is based on discussions at a recent seminar held at the Institute. The views expressed do not reflect those of USIP, which does not take policy positions
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The much-discussed and often delayed Iraqi hydrocarbon law, approved by the Iraqi cabinet in February, is a bellwether for the future of the Iraqi state. Successful passage and implementation of the law would reflect a strong spirit of compromise and help to calm violence. If, on the other hand, the proposed law fails to pass, it will have negative repercussions for Iraq's social, economic and political stability.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Scott Lasensky
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The international response to the Hamas takeover of Gaza has largely focused on building support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, including announcements by the United States and the EU that the 15-month aid embargo was ending, with assistance to be channeled through the "emergency" government led by Salam Fayyad. But the Hamas takeover has also led to a variety of calls for greater international intervention in Gaza, well beyond the work of the UN and other aid agencies, the Egyptian mediation team, and the European Union monitoring force at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Egypt
  • Author: Robert Perito, Greg Maly
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: At their White House meeting on May 8, 2007, President Bush promised Haitian President René Préval that the United States would do more to help Haiti fight drugs and drug traffickers. Préval agreed that drugs threaten Haiti's government, which lacks the capacity to fight international narcotics trafficking alone. The two presidents were right to emphasize this issue. The nearly unimpeded flow of narcotics through Haiti undermines the rule of law and the legitimacy of Haiti's government. It fosters corruption in the police, courts, and customs; fuels weapons trafficking; finances armed gangs; breeds insecurity; and hampers economic development by discouraging investment and tourism. Haiti is an important transshipment point for cocaine reaching the United States and a major concern for American authorities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Health
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Haiti
  • Author: Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: While a considerable amount of analysis has focused on the media's potential to support democracy efforts and build sustainable peace, no similar effort has been given to analyze the role media can play in conflict prevention. Nor has the media's capacity to incite conflict been sufficiently analyzed and the lessons learned.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Relations, War
  • Author: Beth Cole, Catherine Morris
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Afghanistan supplies more than 90 percent of the world's opium. Despite concerted efforts to tackle the drug problem in Afghanistan, the industry continues to grow at an alarming rate, particularly in the south, where reconstruction efforts lag amidst poor security. Afghanistan's opium crop grew 59 percent from 2005 to 2006, according to UN reports, and officials expect a crop equal to if not greater than the 2006 crop in 2007. Overall, the industry accounts for nearly one-third of the country's economy and remains one of the chief threats to Afghanistan's security and development, as it becomes increasingly linked to corrupt Afghan officials and the Taliban.
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe, Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is among the most mineral-rich countries in Africa. During the war, those natural resources fueled the conflict, and provided illegal sources of wealth for some. Now, as the DRC undertakes the rebuilding of its economy, the management of natural resources serves as a key component in its development strategy. Properly and profitably managing natural resources in the DRC is a complex task that must take into account security issues, regulatory reform, the structure and legality of past contracts, and the political environment for change. To address these issues, the U.S. Institute of Peace organized a meeting of the Congo Peacebuilding Forum on May 17, 2007. Panelists included Rico Carisch, of the United Nations Group of Experts for the DRC, and Peter Rosenblum, of Columbia University School of Law. This briefing summarizes the main points discussed by participants at the meeting.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Scott Worden, Christina Caan
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Nearly six years after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, efforts to develop civil society are showing tentative signs of progress. Advances are especially evident in the increasing capacity of Afghan non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Kabul. But the effectiveness of civil society in influencing development in the provinces remains low, and rising insecurity in many regions threatens the future prospects of the nascent Afghan civil society.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe, Christina Parajon
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Child soldiers and women are among the most vulnerable victims of Congo's war. Attending to their needs for reintegration, counseling, and medical attention are critical components for consolidating peace. The two groups face somewhat different problems. Whereas women often do not have sufficient resources to heal the social and physical wounds they have endured, child soldiers face greater difficulties in reintegrating with their families and communities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Linda Bishai, Sara Dye
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On March 22, 2007, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) Task Force on Public Health and Conflict held its third symposium, "Iraq: Rebuilding a Nation's Health." The Task Force is committed to raising the profile of conflict analysis and resolution in the field of public health education.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Health
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Christina Caan
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Over the past four years, suicide bombings have become a choice weapon of the insurgency in Iraq. Today, terrorists and insurgents perpetrate suicide attacks regularly, taking a profound physical and psychological toll on the local population and the multinational forces serving in the country. Curbing the incidence of these attacks depends in part on understanding the motivations that trigger them. In his latest book on this challenging topic, Mohammed Hafez offers trenchant insights into the deadly phenomenon of suicide bombing, shedding much needed light on the strategy and ideology behind what often appears to be an inexplicable act of terror.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Emily Wann
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Nepal is in a period of transition to peace and democracy, progressing on many fronts but encountering some challenges and threats to sustainable peace along the way. King Gyanendra relinquished absolute control and reinstated the House of Representatives on April 24, 2006, underscoring the movement toward democracy. The Maoists and the government of Nepal signed a peace agreement on November 21, 2006, and then a ceasefire agreement on December 8, 2006, ending the ten-year insurgency. An Interim Constitution was adopted on January 15, 2007, and the Maoists joined the government. Despite these positive steps, the Terai region, located in the southern lowlands of Nepal near the border of India, has experienced a surge in violence from the last six months.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Rachel Steele
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the election of new leaders and the establishment of a new constitution, the government of Afghanistan has been trying to prove its legitimacy and ability to foster stability, security, and the rule of law. The Taliban resurgence is playing a major role in public perception of the government's competence and the role of the international forces. Understanding current trends in public opinion can aid in tailoring the international intervention to ensure that prior progress is not lost and that elements corroding the strength of the state are diminished.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Adi Greif
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: From the controversy raging in London over Muslim women wearing the niqab to the upsurge in violent crime in Paris, Muslims in Europe are at the center of a storm of disagreement. Although many Muslim youth are comfortable as Muslim and European, others feel estranged from society. A tiny minority of these youth are drawn to violence, in part as a solution to their alienation. USIP's Muslim World Initiative helped sponsor a conference hosted by the British organization Wilton Park that discussed a wide variety of problems confronting Muslim youth in Europe. A theme that ran through the conference was how to combat the alienation of Muslim youth and encourage responsible citizenship. The conference brought together a wide range of Muslims, scholars and government representatives from countries around the world.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Karon Cochran-Budhathoki
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This USIPeace Briefing highlights the findings regarding the security situation in Nepal in the run up to constituent assembly elections scheduled for November 22, 2007. Since February 2007 the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has held individual meetings and group dialogue sessions on strengthening security and the rule of law in Nepal. These events have taken place in Washington, D.C., Kathmandu, Banke, Siraha, Kailali, Jhapa, Chitwan and Rupandehi Districts. During the sessions and meetings, including with members of the security sector, challenges and solutions to strengthening security and the rule of law were identified and discussed. While election security for the upcoming Constituent Assembly Election was not the primary subject of the discussions, various participants offered a number of recommendations and raised several concerns. Additionally, general security issues, many of which are related to election security, were discussed and can be included in a broader long-term security strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Scott Worden
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Against a backdrop of halting progress by many international courts, the Special Court of Sierra Leone (SCSL) has quietly had significant success in accomplishing its mission to provide justice for the perpetrators most responsible for the horrific crimes committed against the people of Sierra Leone. Three years into the Court's operation, it has achieved guilty verdicts in cases against five defendants—with two verdicts in the past two months—that have set several important precedents in international law. The SCSL has just begun its last and most prominent case with the trial in The Hague of Charles Taylor for his role in fueling the violence in Sierra Leone while he was President of neighboring Liberia. The Taylor trial is expected to end in the fall of 2008, and with that, the Court will begin its wrap-up phase.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Sara Dye
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In over 30 conflict zones today there are estimated to be upwards of 300,000 children used to support military activities as porters, sentries, sex slaves, spies, and combatants. On June 1, 2007, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) hosted an event on the use, prevention, and reintegration of child soldiers around the world. The event featured experts working in the field, each of whom approached the issue of child soldiers from a different perspective. These differing perspectives underscored the complexities inherent to the child soldier problem, as attempts to curb the use of child soldiers, to prevent their recruitment, and to successfully reintegrate ex-combatants into their communities continue to challenge practitioners and advocates.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Christina Boswell
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Debates about the "securitisation" of migration may over-state the effectiveness with which states are able to link immigration policies with the defence of the national political community against external threats. The example of Italy under Berlusconi, or UK policy since 9/11, show that a "securitarian" rhetoric is sometimes still accompanied by liberal economic policies and regularisation programs, or can easily undermine state legitimacy when a tough line on closed doors is difficult to deliver. Because of the lack of scrutiny on some policies at the European level, however, European immigration policies have been one area where governments have been able to avoid political protest or human rights concerns and implement a tough security based policy, often "outsourcing" the implementation to regions of origin.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jørgen Carling
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Much of the current immigration to Europe is 'unwanted' in the sense that receiving countries would prefer to be without it. Some of this immigration is 'unavoidable', limited by states' incapacity to implement their rules. The migrants in question are people who arrive in Europe, usually through the services of human smugglers, and are impossible to return even if their requests for residence are rejected. A second, and much larger, part of the 'unwanted' immigration is 'reluctantly accepted' by European governments. This includes migrants who are granted asylum or other forms of protection, and migrants who are admitted for family reasons. Political pressure to reduce the number of immigrants in these groups has intensified considerable. A critical point which justifies the label 'unwanted' is that support for admitting these migrant groups is largely based on political motivation to uphold the supporting principles rather than a positive evaluation of the immigration flows they generate. This brief discusses the strategies used by states to reduce 'unwanted' immigration.
  • Topic: International Relations, Migration, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Gry Thomasen
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The biggest surprise in the current Danish debate is that there is still very broad coverage of EU issues involving the media and public conferences, particularly regarding the Constitutional Treaty; energy and the environment; enlargement to South Eastern Europe and beyond; and more recently the difficult relations between Russia and the EU. The public debate over the Constitutional Treaty is active, while the government looks forwards to what the German Presidency, as well as the 'No' countries, put forward as suggestions after the French Presidential elections. Following Denmark's four-point suggestion at Lahti for an EU energy policy, the Danish concerns over renewable supply, increased efficiency, a liberalised market, and more research in order to improve energy security have heightened. After the Commission's report of enlargement and integration capacity, the Danish debate has focused on support for the Croatian bid for EU membership, whilst emphasising the need for considerable reforms in Turkey. Finally, following the rebuke by Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Poland in Lahti on the question of human rights in Russia after the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the failure to overcome the Polish-Russia impasse at the EU-Russia summit is also important in the Danish debate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Finn Stepputat
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This brief provides a concise overview of the problems and dilemmas that confront organizations and companies working in fragile states and presents the major guidelines, recommendations and ethical frameworks that have emerged to address these issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Gil Loescher, James Milner, Edward Newman, Gary Troeller
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Despite the need for a multifaceted approach to protracted refugee situations, the overall response of policy makers remains compartmentalised. Security, development and humanitarian issues tend to be discussed in different forums, each with their own institutional arrangements and independent policy approaches. Meaningful comprehensive solutions for protracted refugee situations must overcome these divisions and instead incorporate the recent policy initiatives of a wide range of actors. This type of broader engagement—with a catalytic role by UNHCR—cannot occur without the sustained engagement of all branches of the UN system. In this way, the establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Commission provides both a timely opportunity and a possible institutional context for this type of cross-sectoral approach.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Erik Thorbecke, Machiko Nissanke
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: While the economic opportunities offered by globalization can be large, a question is often raised as to whether the actual distribution of gains is fair, in particular, whether the poor benefit less than proportionately from globalization and could under some circumstances be hurt by it. This Policy Brief summarizes and examines the various channels and transmission mechanisms, such as greater openness to trade and foreign investment, economic growth, effects on income distribution, technology transfer and labour migration, through which the process of globalization affects different dimensions of poverty in the developing world.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Globalization, Poverty
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, David Clark
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief is an outcome of the UNU-WIDER research project 'Social Development Indicators'. The overall aim of the project was to provide insights into how human well-being might be better conceptualized and, in particular, measured, by reviewing various concepts and measures and then offering recommendations for future practice and research. This Policy Brief outlines a contextual background to the project, by introducing some key concepts and measures used in assessing achieved well-being, especially at the national level. Highlighted are some of the best known and most widely used well-being measures. The Policy Brief then provides an overview of the five edited volumes that have emerged from the project, summarizing some of the main conclusions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Development, Poverty
  • Author: David Makovsky, Shimon Peres
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Can Israel live with an Iranian nuclear bomb? If the Iranians continue to do three things simultaneously -- namely, develop nuclear weapons, be a center of terror, and be fanatical in their ambition to run the entire Middle East -- eventually the three will mix and nuclear bombs may fall into the irresponsible hands of terrorists. Then it will be a problem for the rest of the world. The world cannot live with terrorists obtaining nuclear capacity, and sooner or later the world will take action. However, I do not believe that Israel has to be a volunteer or pioneer in that endeavor.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi, Wafa' Abdel Rahman, Owen Kirby
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Democratic development in the Palestinian Authority (PA) is at the top of the Bush administration's priorities. While the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections of January 2006 were democratic, democratic elections by themselves do not constitute a democratic system. The current situation in the West Bank and Gaza cannot be called democratic by international norms. Respect for the rule of law and human rights and observation of individual rights and freedoms do not currently prevail in the PA.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Michael Jacobsen
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Media headlines following the April 30 release of the State Department's annual report on global terrorism developments, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, focused on the theme of increased terrorism. But the335-page document, along with its accompanying statistical assessment produced by the National Counter terrorism Center (NCTC), also contained important insights into the U.S. administration's evolving strategy to counter the terrorist threat.
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay, Yuksel Sezgin
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 20, thousands of secular Turks demonstrated in the Black Sea port city of Samsun against the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has an Islamist pedigree. It was the most recent display of protest in a power struggle between the AKP and its opponents over determining a replacement for outgoing president Ahmet Necdet Sezer. In addition to the protestors and Sezer, the courts and the Turkish military have weighed in against the AKP. Far from backing down, as Turkey's Islamists would have done in the past, the AKP has stepped up the pressure by introducing a constitutional amendment package that calls for direct presidential elections to replace the current system of voting in parliament. President Sezer could decide the fate of this package, but the political crisis will continue.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Despite the public bluster of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the regime's behavior shows that it suffers from deep self-doubt. The arrests of visiting Iranian-born U.S. scholars Haleh Esfandiari (director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson Center) and Kian Tajbakhsh (a consultant for philanthropist George Soros's Open Society Institute programs) reflect Tehran's fear that political change could be easily sparked. A May 22 ABC News report that President Bush has authorized a covert CIA program against the regime will only add to Iran's suspicions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: David Pollock
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The May 28 meeting between the U.S. and Iranian ambassadors to Iraq was mostly notable for its length -- four hours -- and the lack of anything to show for all that time together. And the very next day, Iran announced that three detained Iranian Americans visiting their homeland, including renowned scholar and women's rights advocate Haleh Esfandiari, were being formally charged with espionage -- charges that would be merely laughable if they were not so tragic.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Barry Rubin, Theodore Kattouf
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 30, 2007, Barry Rubin and Theodore Kattouf addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Professor Rubin, a visiting fellow at the Institute, is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA), and author of the just-released book The Truth about Syria (Palgrave). Mr. Kattouf, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria and the United Arab Emirates, is president and CEO of AMIDEAST, a nonprofit group dedicated to enhancing educational links between the United States and the Middle East. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Syria
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Vice President Dick Cheney departed today on a trip to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. A bland statement issued from his office on May 3 said he was asked to travel by President Bush and would be having "discussions with the leaders of these countries on key issues of mutual interest." No details were offered of the subjects of these discussions, but vice presidents do not travel halfway around the world unless there is important business to conduct.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nuclear Weapons, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Jake Lipton
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 14, suicide bombers unsuccessfully targeted the U.S. consulate and an American cultural center in Casablanca, four days after another group of bombers blew themselves up in a confrontation with city police. On April 11, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, or GSPC) claimed responsibility for two suicide car bombings in Algiers, one targeting the prime minister's office and the other a police station. No group has claimed responsibility for the Moroccan incidents, but together with the Algerian attacks -- which killed 33 and wounded up to 330 -- they indicate that both northwestern Africa and the United States face an acute threat from established regional militant groups allied with international terrorist networks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: North Africa
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At an April 3 news conference in Tehran, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad unexpectedly announced the decision to release fifteen captured British marines and sailors. In a theatrical gesture that included assailing Western policy in the Middle East and accusing the British crew of entering Iranian waters, he pardoned the detainees to mark both the Prophet Muhammad's birthday on March 30 and what he reportedly called "Christian Passover." (In Farsi, "Pesah" means Passover and "Fash" means Easter. According to the Islamic Republic News Agency report of his remarks, the president used Pesah instead of Fash.)
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Michael Jacobson
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released on March 1, offers a little-noted reference to a dubious claim: an Iranian government statement (made to the UN) that Tehran has established a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The report notes that Iran has provided no further details. Even if the Iranian claim were true, the creation of an FIU would do little to combat terrorism financing in the nation, given Tehran's official support for terrorist groups. In other countries, FIUs are an important element of effective counterterrorism policy -- though the record of key Middle Eastern nations is somewhat mixed in this regard.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Simon Henderson, David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 28, the Arab League will convene the annual summit of its twenty-two member states in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Despite a record of disunity and inconclusiveness, this annual meeting of Arab leaders remains the subject of intense interest in the region. Rising Sunni-Shiite tensions, talk of a peace opening with Israel, and developments in Iraq, the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Lebanon have generated more attention for this year's summit than usual.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Palestine, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Riyadh
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 23, at 10:30 a.m. local Iraqi time, fifteen British naval personnel were seized by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the northern Persian Gulf. The British personnel -- eight from the Royal Navy and seven from the Royal Marines -- were in two light craft returning to the frigate HMS Cornwall after successfully inspecting a merchant ship for goods being smuggled into Iraq. Iran has accused the personnel, who include one woman, of illegally entering Iranian territorial waters, and has threatened to put them on trial. The incident is a diplomatic and military embarrassment to Britain. Meanwhile, fears of escalation in the Gulf have contributed to a global surge in oil prices.
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iraq, United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Exum, Zack Snyder
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 26, 2006, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak proposed a package of amendments to the Egyptian constitution with the purported aim of introducing more democratic freedom into Egypt's sclerotic political system. In effect, however, these "reforms" will serve only to strengthen the ruling party's stranglehold on Egyptian politics and send Egypt farther down the road toward authoritarian rule. On Monday, March 26, after minimal public debate, the Egyptian populace will vote on this package of amendments through referendum. Opposition groups are expected to boycott the vote.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Seth Wikas
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the coming weeks, Syria will participate in two important regional conferences. On March 10, it will join Iraq's other neighbors and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in Baghdad. On March 28-29, it will participate in the Arab League summit in Riyadh. Syria's detractors continue to criticize Damascus for failing to seal the border with Iraq and for meddling in Lebanese internal affairs in violation of UN Security Resolution 1701. Of equal importance is the downturn in Syria's relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran. Last week's Saudi-Iranian summit has Damascus worried about its role in Lebanon and the possibility of an international tribunal on the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, a crime for which Syria is widely believed to be responsible. Will the upcoming conferences give Syria a chance to improve its regional standing, or will its isolation continue?
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 20, the Lebanese cabinet—with a Hizballah-led opposition boycott—extended the term of the UN commission investigating the February 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. While the commission's work can now continue for as long as one more year, any future decision about organizing an international tribunal to try those indicted for the murder remains hostage to a vote—requiring the opposition's assent—in the paralyzed Lebanese parliament. Meanwhile, Hizballah continues to press its demand for increased political power within a “national unity” government, threatening civil disobedience should its demands not be met.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Selahattin Ibas
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, led all countries to assess the threat of terrorism and generate new perspectives on countering it. This is necessarily a global effort. Even when terrorist activity is executed in a single country, the preparatory training, planning, directing, financing, and logistical support are conducted in several.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 20, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Jihad al-Bina, Hizballah's construction company in Lebanon, effectively shutting the terrorist group's firm out of the international financial system. While the designation will not take effect at the United Nations -- sanctions under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 only target elements associated with al-Qaeda or the Taliban, to the exclusion of any other terrorist groups -- international lenders and donors, including financial institutions, NGOs, and governments, are unlikely to want to assume the reputational risk of working to rebuild Lebanon in partnership with Hizballah instead of the Lebanese government. Moreover -- and contrary to conventional wisdom -- the designation presents a rare public diplomacy opportunity in the battle of ideas in the war on terror.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Taliban, Lebanon
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As recently as December, Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas refused to back a proposal for a unity government offered by Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member and head of the Independent Palestine list Mustafa Barghouti. That deal was based on the concept of a technocratic compromise under which Hamas officials would not have held the prime ministership or led any ministries. Yet under the terms of the February 8 Mecca accord, the current prime minister, Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh, will stay on as head of the next government, and the only portfolios Hamas members specifically will not hold are the finance, foreign affairs, and interior ministries, which will be headed by independents acceptable to both sides. The key question then is why Fatah settled for a unity agreement in February that provided it far less gains than previous unity proposals rejected by Abbas.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Gaza, Mecca
  • Author: Selahattin Iban
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The general view held by Middle Eastern nations is that political sensitivities make it impossible for regional or neighboring countries to perform peacekeeping in the area. However, the example set by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in the past twelve years points to the fallacy of this view.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Fatah-Hamas unity agreement reached in Mecca last week has powerful implications for all regional players. The most serious challenge it poses is to U.S. diplomacy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Mecca
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: One year after Hamas\'s sweeping electoral victory, Palestinian politics is not only locked in a dysfunctional stalemate, but also marred by increasingly deadly factional violence in Gaza. Since a roadside bomb exploded on January 25—targeting a vehicle carrying members of Hamas\'s Executive Force—more than thirty-two people have been killed, seventy-five injured, and dozens kidnapped in the deadliest wave of fighting between Hamas and Fatah to date. Despite a truce that was supposed to have gone into effect this morning, fighting persists in Gaza.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Development
  • Political Geography: Gaza
  • Author: David Schenker, Andrew Exum
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Violent clashes in Beirut on January 25 between students of rival political parties have overshadowed the promising news that Lebanon received pledges of $7.6 billion at the Paris III donor conference on Lebanons economy. The violence, which was largely along sectarian lines, was the latest in a series of escalating political/religious confrontations. This troubling trend raises the specter that Lebanon may once again be sliding toward civil war.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 25, Lebanon will participate in Paris III, the third international donor conference for Lebanon convened by French president Jacques Chirac since February 2001. The top agenda items are grants and soft loans for Lebanon and the economic reform plan of Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora. For Siniora and his "March 14" ruling coalition, the success of the conference -- i.e., international commitments to provide billions to Lebanon -- is exceedingly important, as the government is coming under increasing pressure from the Hizballah-led opposition. Indeed, this week, the opposition upped the ante in its continuing effort to topple the Siniora government, closing key Lebanese arteries, including the highways into Beirut and the airport road. If Paris III is broadly perceived as "successful," it will strengthen Siniora and demonstrate that the March 14 coalition can govern and advance key Lebanese interests without Hizballah participation in government. Should international donors not prove particularly generous, the momentum will shift toward the opposition.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, France
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As international pressure on the Iranian government toughens, the Iranian regime is facing more fragmentation at home. In an unprecedented action against a sitting president, 150 of the 290 members of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) signed a letter blaming President Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad for raging inflation and high unemployment, and criticizing his travel to Latin America at a time when he has not sent the Majlis a draft budget for the fiscal year that starts March 21. Under Iranian law, this letter constitutes the first step required if the Majlis wants to remove the president from office.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Latin America
  • Author: Martin Walker, Joe Klein
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush's plan of a troop surge coupled with counterinsurgency tactics comes too late for Iraq. Securing Baghdad is a precondition for establishing a secure Iraq. The success of U.S. counterinsurgency tactics is contingent upon a functional central government. The resources that will be devoted to securing Baghdad could be best employed in Afghanistan. Currently, the Iraqi government is a fig leaf for Shiite militias and it is doubtful that Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's government will wage war on Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Exum
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the context of debate surrounding U.S. military strategy in Iraq, Prussian military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz offers this classic directive: it is essential to understand the nature of the war you are fighting. To this end, the U.S. military in Iraq no longer faces a traditional insurgency conflict -- as those the French fought in Algeria or the United States fought in Vietnam -- in which one faction seeks to undermine and supplant the national government. Instead, the strategic landscape of Iraq today bears far more resemblance to the Lebanese civil war of the 1970s and 1980s, in which various sectarian militias battled each other for control of specific parts of the country. The Iraq war has indeed become a militia war.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Vietnam, Algeria
  • Author: Corinna Johnson
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Women in International Studies (WIIS), Georgetown University, in cooperation with the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), U.S. Army War College, conducted a colloquium, “The Roots of Terror: Understanding the Evolving Threat of Global Terrorism,” on February 12, 2007. This colloquium brought together over 150 U.S. and international government officials, academic experts, think tank members, and college faculty. The moderators and speakers were outstanding scholars and practitioners from an impressive array of universities, think tanks, and government and private agencies. The speakers' goals were to examine (1) recruitment and support strategies used by terrorist organizations, (2) the environments that enable terrorism, and (3) implications for the future of counterterrorism. A panel was devoted to each of these goals. Media coverage included C-SPAN live broadcast and rebroadcast and a talk-radio interview with an SSI participant. The colloquium addressed timely strategic issues, supported the research and publication missions of both the U.S. Army War College and Georgetown University, and promoted mutually beneficial relationships with universities, national security research institutes, and government agencies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Douglas Johnson
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: On March 29-31, 2007, the Strategic Studies Institute and the Triangle Institute for Security Studies conducted a colloquium on “Global Climate Change: National Security Implications.” Other supporting organizations included the Army Environmental Policy Institute, The Center for Global Change (Duke University), Creative Associates, The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions (Duke University), The Environmental Change and Security Program (The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), and the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Globalization
  • Political Geography: North Carolina
  • Author: Michael Shank, Marwan Kabalan
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) apparently has a penchant for badness. For visiting Syria, the Speaker received a harsh reprimand by Vice President Dick Cheney who thought it “bad behavior.” Though the Speaker remained relatively un-phased by the scolding, Cheney made his point. The warning contained a deeper meaning—one that the Speaker understood immediately and that may explain why she passed on House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Lantos' (D-CA) recommendation to do the same with Iran. Take a closer look at Cheney's criticism and two questions arise. Does bad behavior connote an undermining of U.S. foreign policy, i.e. that U.S. officials should not engage in direct dialogue with adversaries? Or, does bad behavior suggest that the legislative branch should not, under any circumstances, challenge the executive branch? According to Cheney, it's the latter. In a radio appearance, the veep said, “The President is the one who conducts foreign policy, not the speaker of the House.” But before examining the schism widening between legislative and executive branches on foreign policy issues, the former point—i.e. should the U.S. dialogue with adversaries—needs attention.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Even as American officials reluctantly agreed last month to include Syrian representatives in multiparty talks on Iraqi security issues, the Bush administration continues to block Israel from resuming negotiations with Syria over its security concerns. In 2003, President Bashar al-Assad offered to resume peace talks with Israel where they had left off three years earlier, but Israel, backed by the Bush administration, refused. Assad eventually agreed to reenter peace negotiations without preconditions, but even these overtures were rejected.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Davvid Warszawski
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: On January 15, a Moroccan court gave editor Driss Ksikes and journalist Sanaa al-Adzi three-year suspended sentences for publishing jokes related to Islam. Here, Dawid Warszawski of Poland's leading daily Gazeta Wyborcza comments on the case.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: North Africa
  • Author: Jason Yossef Ben-Meir
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The new strategy of the United States in Iraq does not include an extensive overhaul of reconstruction efforts at this critical time. Very little money is now being appropriated for reconstruction. As the Iraq Study Group Report explains, of the $21 billion to date that has been appropriated for the “Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund” (IRRF), $16 billion has been spent and the remaining funds have been committed. The administration requested $750 million for 2007, and President Bush's new proposal is to add $1.2 billion to that.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: John Gooneratne, Mavara Inayat, Jamshed Ayaz Khan, Swaran Singh, Alyson J. K. Bailes
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: In any survey of present-day regional cooperation, South Asia is liable to be cited as one of the problem cases. The dominant strategic feature of the region is the tension and rivalry between India and Pakistan, two powers that have more than once gone to war or to the verge of war and that now have nuclear weapons. Unlike the East–West confrontation of cold war times, this confrontation has not (yet) led to more than a few fragmentary elements of a larger structure of confidence building and conflict avoidance. Even this major challenge is only one of the difficulties in the way of a non-zero-sum multilateral security order for the region. The discrepancy of size and power between India, a nation of over 1 billion people, and all its neighbours leads to natural concerns among the latter about India's dominance in the region and potential interference in their affairs. At different times this has been a significant strand in the policy thinking of states such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka and has led them to seek security assistance first and foremost from outside South Asia when they need it.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Are policies to protect the environment giving value for money – and how can we know? Recognising that policy decisions should be based on a comparison of costs and benefits, a number of OECD governments have introduced legal provisions requiring a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of new environmental regulations or measures.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Environment, Government
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Parliamentarians are at the heart of democratic systems. They pass laws and hold government purse strings. Because of their important role in national policy-making, it is only natural that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) co-operate with parliamentarians when formulating its policy advice. So keeping parliamentarians informed of its activities and getting their feedback is a high priority for the Organisation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Government
  • Author: Linda Jakobson
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China has in a very short time span embraced multilateral mechanisms to address a broad range of issues and avoided confrontation with the United States. Both stances have shaped Asian and European views of a rising China. At present, Asian and European leaders take China's word regarding its peaceful intentions as a rising power. However, Asian and European policy-makers tend to refrain from confronting China too strongly on issues sensitive to Beijing (poor implementation of intellectual property rights, disregard for human rights, etc). The more prosperous China grows, the less influence any other country will have over Beijing's policies. A rising China is a challenge to others because of its sheer size, its great need for imported energy, and the environmental degradation it causes due to its ongoing industrialization. The troubled relationship between China and Japan is one of increasing concern and could lead to aggravated tensions in East Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The European Union is suffering a deep crisis: disdain, disillusionment and distrust top the list of prevailing sentiments towards the European institutions, as was brought home dramatically by the failed referenda on the Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moldova, Middle East, France, Georgia, Netherlands
  • Author: Willem H. Buiter
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On October 3, 2005, Turkey officially started negotiations for membership in the European Union. Whether Turkey becomes a full member of the EU is likely to be a defining decision, both for the existing EU members and for Turkey. The regional - and geo-political consequences of success or failure of the negotiations, and its cultural and ideological impact, are likely to be even more significant than its economic consequences, although even from an economic perspective the stakes are very high. Turkey's population of over 70 million is larger than that of the ten countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 combined. Unlike the EU-25 (and in particular the ten new member states), the Turkish population is young and growing. Its present per capita income is lower than that of any of the EU-25 countries – about at the level of Romania and Macedonia, using Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) estimates of per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, with the right institutions and policies, Turkey could become a true tiger economy. But this is not guaranteed. With the institutions and policies of the second half of the 20th century, it could end up a mangy cat instead of a tiger.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Eastern Europe, Romania, Macedonia
  • Author: Eneko Landaburu
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The answer to the question posed in the subtitle is yes, indeed, there are concrete alternatives to enlargement. As there must be. Enlargement has been a key tool in projecting stability across our continent. But it is a reality that the EU cannot expand ad infinitum – everything has its limits. We must honour our present basic commitments, while strictly insisting on the criteria. One of these criteria is our own absorption capacity – it is clear that in some member states the pace and scale of enlargement is approaching the limits of what public opinion will accept. To overstretch, rather than consolidate, the Union would be detrimental not only for us but also our partners. These are all issues with which our leaders will struggle in Vienna in a few months time.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Vienna
  • Author: Sebastian Kurpas, Justus Schönlau
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The assertion that the enlarged EU will become dysfunctional under the current treaty provisions has been one of the strongest arguments in favour of the Constitutional Treaty. Also after the two 'no' votes to the text, political leaders continue to see the necessity of institutional reform. Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair, neither of whom is keen to resume the ratification process as such, have stressed independently that the issue needs to be addressed in the near future. The British Prime Minister argues that the EU cannot function properly with 25 member states under today's rules of governance, adding "Having spent six months as EU president, I am a good witness of that." His French counterpart even predicted that the status quo would eventually "condemn the EU to inertia and paralysis."
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rym Ayadi
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Following seven years of painstaking and demanding negotiations, European bankers and regulators breathed a sigh of relief when the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) finally got through the European Parliament on 28 September 2005, and was formally approved by the Council of Ministers of the 25 EU member states on 11 October 2005. The new CRD will finally apply the complex, risk-sensitive Basel II capital adequacy rules to some 8,000 European banks and some 2,000 investments firms in two stages, the first in January 2007 and the second one year later.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The central recommendation of the Amato report of April 20051 set the year 2014 as the target accession date for the whole of the Western Balkans, which would take the EU from the 27 (in 2007 or 2008) to 32 member states minimally, 33 with Turkey, and 35 in the event of independence for Montenegro and Kosovo. This scenario is in contradiction with the present mood of the EU following the French and the Dutch referenda, which rejected the Constitution that was itself designed to pave the way institutionally for further enlargement. The EU has now officially entered a period of profound reflection on its future, a process which cannot be hurried.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Montenegro
  • Author: Lex Rieffel, Sarah Zalud
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The face of America that has been welcomed most enthusiastically in the rest of the world for decades has been the face of a volunteer: assisting with disaster relief, building houses for poor families, teaching English to university students, and so much more.
  • Topic: International Relations, Education, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Johannes F. Linn, Colin I. Bradford Jr.
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The global challenges confronting political leaders today—whether the stalemate of global trade negotiations, the threat of Avian flu, the struggle over Iran going nuclear, or the fight against global poverty—cannot be solved by yesterday's institutions. They demand new approaches to global governance that are more inclusive, more representative, and thus more effective. The G8 summit, in particular, is a forum of the eight industrialized countries that were the dominant powers of the mid-twentieth century. By excluding the emerging powers of the twenty-first century, it has become increasingly ineffective, unrepresentative and illegitimate. U.S. global interests are best served by increasing the inclusiveness and effectiveness of the global steering process rather than sticking with the obsolete, overly formalized and unrepresentative G8.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James C. Capretta
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Although Social Security reform appears to be off of the national agenda for now, real funding problems remain for America's popular retirement program that policymakers need to address. The payroll taxes that support Social Security's “pay–as-you-go” system will begin to fall short of outlays in 2017 and will be sufficient to finance only 74 percent of scheduled annual benefits by 2041, when the Social Security trust fund is projected to be exhausted.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany, Sweden
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: By electing a parliament dominated by Hamas, Palestinians have sharply challenged U.S. policy. The initial American reaction—undermining the new government—will leave the population in chaos, with various Palestinian groups vying for influence. Political constraints preclude anything but a Hamas government in the short term. But the Hamas victory should not be viewed as a defeat for the American vision of reform—which, indeed, may offer a path out of the current deadlock. The United States should develop a policy for the longer term to continue calming the Israeli- Palestinian conflict; maintain the Palestinian Authority; and work for political reform by focusing on the judiciary, media, and other institutions that are independent of the current regime.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Frédéric Grare
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The risk of an Islamist takeover in Pakistan is a myth invented by the Pakistani military to consolidate its hold on power. In fact, religious political parties and militant organizations are manipulated by the Pakistani Army to achieve its own objectives, domestically and abroad. The army, not the Islamists, is the real source of insecurity on the subcontinent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Jim Harper, Jeff Jonas
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, spurred extraordinary efforts intended to protect America from the newly highlighted scourge of international terrorism. Among the efforts was the consideration and possible use of “data mining” as a way to discover planning and preparation for terrorism. Data mining is the process of searching data for previously unknown patterns and using those patterns to predict future outcomes.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, National Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Andrew Mwenda
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Africa is the world's poorest continent. Between 1974 and 2003, the per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa declined by 11 percent. Africa continues to trail the rest of the world on human development indicators including life expectancy; infant mortality; undernourishment; school enrollment; and the incidence of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. The international aid lobby advocates more foreign aid and greater debt relief for Africa as solutions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: When the third round of the normalisation talks concludes in July 2006, India and Pakistan will be no closer than when they began the process in February 2004 to resolving differences, including over Kashmir. What they call their "composite dialogue" has helped reduce tensions and prevent a return to the climate of 2001-2002, when they were on the verge of all-out war, but progress has been limited to peripheral issues. India's prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, have reiterated commitments to sustain the dialogue. It is unrealistic, however, to expect radical change. International, particularly U.S. support for the process will likely dissuade either side from pulling out but asymmetry of interests and goals militates against a major breakthrough. The need is to concentrate on maintaining a cold peace until a long process can produce an atmosphere in which the support of elected governments in both states might realistically bring a Kashmir solution.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East, India, Kashmir
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: With Romania's expected entry into the European Union in 2007, the EU will share a border with Moldova, a weak state divided by conflict and plagued by corruption and organised crime. Moldova's leadership has declared its desire to join the EU, but its commitment to European values is suspect, and efforts to resolve its dispute with the breakaway region of Transdniestria have failed to end a damaging stalemate that has persisted for fifteen years. Young people have little confidence in the country's future and are leaving at an alarming rate. If Moldova is to become a stable part of the EU's neighbourhood, there will need to be much greater international engagement, not only in conflict resolution but in spurring domestic reforms to help make the country more attractive to its citizens.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Moldova, Eastern Europe, Romania
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Middle East is immersed in its worst crisis in years following the capture of three Israeli soldiers by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Lebanese Party of God (Hizbollah) in late June 2006 and early July, Israel's comprehensive offensive throughout the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, and the daily firing of rockets deep into Israel. And horrific as it is, the current toll of death and destruction could reach entirely different proportions should a new threshold be crossed – a Hizbollah rocket that strikes a chemical plant or a heavily populated area in Tel Aviv or Haifa, an Israeli bombing raid resulting in massive casualties, a major ground offensive, or the expansion of the war to Syria or Iran. A political solution to the twin crises of Lebanon and Palestine must be the international community's urgent priority. Waiting and hoping for military action to achieve its purported goals will have not only devastating humanitarian consequences: it will make it much harder to pick up the political pieces when the guns fall silent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Peacebuilding cannot succeed if half the population is excluded from the process. Crisis Group's research in Sudan, Congo (DRC) and Uganda suggests that peace agreements, post-conflict reconstruction, and governance do better when women are involved. Women make a difference, in part because they adopt a more inclusive approach toward security and address key social and economic issues that would otherwise be ignored. But in all three countries, as different as each is, they remain marginalised in formal processes and under-represented in the security sector as a whole. Governments and the international community must do much more to support women peace activists.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Debt, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Southern Serbia's Albanian-majority Presevo Valley is a still incomplete Balkan success story. Since international and Serbian government diplomacy resolved an ethnic Albanian insurgency in 2001, donors and Belgrade have invested significant resources to undo a legacy of human rights violations and improve the economy. Tensions are much decreased, major human rights violations have ended, the army and police are more sensitive to Albanian concerns and there is progress, though hesitant, in other areas, such as a multi-ethnic police force, gradual integration of the judiciary, and Albanian language textbooks. Ethnic Albanians appear increasingly intent on developing their own political identity inside Serbia and finding a way to cohabit with Serbs, something that should be encouraged and supported. Nevertheless, the Kosovo status process threatens to disrupt the Presevo Valley's calm.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Balkans, Albania, Southern Serbia
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) signed under African Union (AU) auspices on 5 May 2006 between Sudan's government and the faction of the insurgent Sudan Liberation Army led by Minni Arkou Minawi (SLA/MM) is a first step toward ending the violence but strong, coordinated action is needed if it is to take hold. The document has serious flaws, and two of the three rebel delegations did not accept it. Fighting between rebel and government forces is down somewhat but violence is worse in some areas due to clashes between SLA factions, banditry, and inter-tribal feuds, while the Chad border remains volatile. If the DPA is not to leave Darfur more fragmented and conflict-prone than before, the international community must rapidly take practical measures to shore up its security provisions, improve prospects for the displaced to return home, bring in the holdouts and rapidly deploy a robust UN peacekeeping force with Chapter VII authority.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Darfur
  • Author: Mark P Thirlwell, Dr. Malcolm Cook
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Globalisation implies a big increase in the payoffs from successful cross-border economic cooperation. Yet the main international institutional mechanisms designed to facilitate such cooperation, the G7 and the IMF, are not up to it. Both the G7’s membership and the IMF’s governance structure significantly under-represent several key players in the modern global economy, a potentially fatal handicap when it comes to tackling some of the most pressing challenges now facing policymakers. Moreover, neither gives Australia a permanent seat at the top table.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In December 2004 China's top political leadership agreed to fundamentally alter the country's growth strategy. In place of investment and export-led development, they endorsed transitioning to a growth path that relied more on expanding domestic consumption. Since 2004, China's top leadership, most notably Premier Wen Jiaobao in his speech to the National People's Congress in the spring of 2006, has reiterated the goal of strengthening domestic consumption as a major source of economic growth. This policy brief examines the reasons underlying the leadership decision, the implications of this transition for the United States and the global economy, and the steps that have been taken to embark on the new growth path.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia