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  • Author: Rachid Chennani
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Moroccan state started to seriously interact with the human rights discourse in the early 1990s due to long domestic struggles by human rights advocates and global pressures to reform. At the same time, human rights organizations have developed and set aside much of their political lineage, taking up an active role in policy advocacy and pushing for alternatives to meet growing social and societal demands. The 2011 movement has revitalized the human rights approach to politics and social problems, and culminated a decades-long struggle to peacefully and gradually move to a social rights-based contract with the state. Such a state of affairs no longer seems far off.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Youssef Mounsif
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: A deeper and broader national transformation took root in Morocco as bridges started to appear over the gap between an alleged elitism of the human rights movement and the “masses”, with human rights organizations refocussing on social, economic and localized causes of various communities. As in other similar countries, rights actors collide with existing economic and political arrangements and the entrenched networks of patronage. This will be their challenge for years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Philip Stockdale, Scott Aughenbaugh, Nickolas J. Boensch
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In support of the Air University “Fast Space” study, the National Defense University collaborated with Johns Hopkins University, eight think tanks, and subject matter experts to analyze the utility of ultra-low-cost access to space (ULCATS) for the U.S. military. Contributors identified disruptors that could achieve ULCATS and Fast Space as well as space architectures and capabilities that could reduce the cost of access to space. They also offered recommendations for legal, policy, regulatory, authority, and oversight adjustments that could facilitate reductions. The combination of a greater number of innovative commercial space actors, industry advocacy for licensing reform, and optimism regarding reusable launch vehicles will eventually change the ways the United States operates in space. As the economic landscape of space activities evolves, some missions in low earth orbit may be turned over to commercial sector operation, but the next 3 to 5 years might not be revolutionary for government use of space capabilities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ian Anthony, Carrie Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Th e National Security Strategy published by the Swedish government in January 2017 underlines that the security challenges facing the country are complex and subject to rapid change. One current challenge is the re-emergence of traditional forms of power politics, including in the Baltic Sea region, which is described as one of the main areas of friction between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).2
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Bier
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Texas law SB 4 imposes jail time on local police who fail to detain anyone whom federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests. Data from Travis County, Texas, show that ICE targets large numbers of U.S. citizens. From October 2005 to August 2017, 814 targets of ICE detainers in Travis County-3.3 percent of all requests-claimed U.S. citizenship and presented officers with a Social Security number (SSN). ICE subsequently canceled or declined to execute about a quarter of those detainer requests. Based on statements from ICE officials, the best explanation for not executing these detainers is that ICE targeted at least 228 U.S. citizens in the county before canceling or declining to execute those detainers. SB 4 will likely increase the detention of U.S. citizens for supposed violations of immigration law by preventing local police from releasing them.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Nancy Glass, Anjalee Kohli, Pamela J Surkan, Mitma Mpanano Remy, Nancy Perrin
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  • Abstract: Prolonged conflict and economic instability challenge the existing support networks in families and society places significant stress on both adults and adolescents. Exploring individual, family and social factors that increase the likelihood of or protect adolescents from negative outcomes are important to the development of evidence-based prevention and response programing in global settings.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Large private enterprises are vital to Egypt’s economy and stability. After the 2011 uprising, they lost political sway due to their ties to the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak. However, Egypt’s economic crisis pushed successive regimes to reverse measures taken against these enterprises, affirming their role in economic revitalization. Though cut off from patronage networks after Egypt’s 2013 coup, enterprises are more autonomous from the state today. This may create advantageous openings if the state’s dependence on them grows.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Engaging and influencing public policy debates on areas of their expertise is a core part of the mission of academics. The last decade has in many ways been the golden age of academic policy engagement. Social media, the proliferation of online publishing platforms, and a generational change in disciplinary norms and practices has unleashed an impressive wave of writing by academics aimed at an informed public sphere. The Project on Middle East Political Science has worked to promote such public and policy engagement, with hundreds of academics each year contributing their expertise on the Middle East on publishing platforms such as The Middle East Channel and The Monkey Cage and through direct policymaker engagement.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: In years past, Islamist televangelists like Amr Khaled, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Tareq Suwaidan seemed like the future of Arab media. Advancing a form of “soft Islam” focused on personal betterment and religiosity, these preachers were seen by some as a potential counterweight to extremist voices and by others as a sinister leading edge of radicalization. The contretemps between Amr Khaled and Yusuf al-Qaradawi over the Danish Cartoons Crisis of 2006 inspired numerous academic articles
  • Topic: International Affairs, Social Media
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Michael A Mehling, Gilbert E. Metcalf, Robert Stavins
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Paris Agreement has achieved one of two key necessary conditions for ultimate success—a broad base of participation among the countries of the world. But another key necessary condition has yet to be achieved—adequate collective ambition of the individual nationally determined contributions. How can climate negotiators provide a structure that will include incentives to increase ambition over time? An important part of the answer can be international linkage of regional, national, and sub-national policies—that is, formal recognition of emission reductions undertaken in another jurisdiction for the purpose of meeting a Party’s own mitigation objectives. A central challenge is how to facilitate such linkage in the context of the very great heterogeneity that characterizes climate policies along five dimensions: type of policy instrument; level of government jurisdiction; status of that jurisdiction under the Paris Agreement; nature of the policy instrument’s target; and the nature, along several dimensions, of each Party’s Nationally Determined Contribution. We consider such heterogeneity among policies, and identify which linkages of various combinations of characteristics are feasible; of these, which are most promising; and what accounting mechanisms would make the operation of respective linkages consistent with the Paris Agreement.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jacqueline L. Hazelton
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How can the United States best assure its interests abroad when a partner state faces an insurgency? The question has vexed policymakers, military officers, and scholars throughout the Cold War and into the post–9/11 era. When the United States finds its military might turned against itself by insurgents, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, thoughts often turn to the small U.S.-supported counterinsurgency campaign in El Salvador from 1979 to 1992. The Salvadoran government defended itself against Marxist-nationalist-liberal-socialist rebels in a civil war that ended in a peace deal. The small-footprint U.S. intervention is appealing as an alternative to the tens of thousands of troops deployed in bigger quagmires. Conventional wisdom says that the brutal, repressive Salvadoran government instituted liberalizing, democratizing reforms to defeat the insurgency. Analysis of contemporaneous documents and interviews with participants, however, reveals that the campaign is a poor model for future U.S. interventions, for three reasons. First, the government retained power by waging a war of terrorism and attrition against insurgents and civilians alike. Second, Salvadoran elites resisted U.S. pressure for reforms. Third, chance rather than U.S. choices played a significant role in the war's outcome, meaning that replication of the pattern of events is unlikely.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Hana Jaber
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In this new research paper, Hana Jaber outlines the history of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and its transformation to a political force, and identifies the unexpected developments the group has experienced in an increasingly complex regional context.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Jordan
  • Author: Yosra El Gendi
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: On October 13, 2014 in Corniche Street, Alexandria a police superintendent at a checkpoint and a navy officer engaged in a fist fight. The army officer contacted the military police which took the police officer and superintendent at the checkpoint to an army base where they were requested to stand hours in the sun as a form of punishment (Madgy et al., 2015). While many insist that these are individual incidents (Abdel- Aal, 2015). This is only one incident of at least 6 of clashes between members of both institutions since the 2011 uprising (Madgy, 2015). These incidents that point to the different security institutions’ extensive powers and the divisive structure in which they are based, a structure that was once called a “mamluk state” (al- Sherif, 2012). This points to the failed processes of state-building at the core of the institutional weaknesses in Egypt.
  • Topic: Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Belhassen Ennouri
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The field of democratization studies is interested by the transformation of political systems from authoritarian regimes to another type of political system that cannot be pre-determined. This study has emerged in the context the so-called third wave of democratization that began with the Spanish and Portuguese experiences in the 1970s, and then spread to Latin America in the 1980s, sweeping Eastern Europe in the 1990s. Indeed, the success of the Spanish experience in democratization has rendered the case a useful model for studying other cases. The study of the democratic transition – itself an experimental process – has moved from investigating historical experiences to developing a theoretical framework that involves a procedural and practical approach to understanding the instability and volatility of the phenomenon. The study of the democratic transition has been criticized, despite important contributions on the part of researchers. To this point, the notion of a “theory of transition” is at the heart of critical scientific debate.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Salam Kawakibi
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In this new research paper, ARI’s Deputy Director, Salam Kawakibi analyses the Assad regime’s exploitation of sectarian and confessional divisions and deconstructs the myths used in its political rhetoric to gain power and present itself as the ultimate line of defence for minorities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Can Kasapoglu
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In military history, bastions were defensive strongholds, mostly with a pentagonal outline, which off ered perfect combat emplacements for crossfi re. Th ereby, they off ered excellent advantages to defenders and enabled counter-balancing capabilities against besiegers’ artilleries. Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, a famous French military engineer, Marshal of France (mid-17th to early 18th centuries), and a master of the bastion system along with other fortifi cations, even designed ‘bastioned towers’ to protect main walls by fl anking enemy fi re.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ian Hope
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Th e Warsaw Summit affi rmed Alliance interest in and commitment to many geographic regions and nations, without stating priorities. Th e Western Balkans drew attention, with Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro receiving specifi c mention in the Summit Communiqué.2 However, the Summit promoted a continuance of current NATO activity in this region, not a shift or amelioration. Implicit in this is that the status quo, a small NATO force in Kosovo to enhance security and several liaison offi ces to monitor partnership activity and the application of the Membership Action Plan in the other Western Balkans states, is suffi cient. Th is paper will argue that such eff orts are too small and disjointed to meet the growing challenges in the region, especially given NATO’s obligation to confl ict prevention in the wake of its signifi cant and successful interventions there in 1996 and 1999.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zviad Adzinbaia
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Black Sea security directly impacts the economic development, peace and stability of the Euro-Atlantic theater. NATO and the EU, as well as their members and partners, have immense interests in ensuring a secure and prosperous environment in the Black Sea, advancing trade relations through the East-West corridor, and further promoting the notion of a Europe “whole, free and at peace.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jan Ballast
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 21 October 2016, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) appointed its fi rst Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security (ASG-I&S), Dr. Arndt Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven.2 His appointment was the result of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on 8-9 July 2016 in Warsaw, where the Heads of State and Government stated the requirement to strengthen intelligence within NATO.3 In doing so, the Alliance underlined that improved cooperation on intelligence would increase early warning, force protection and general resilience.4
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Uwe Hartmann
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The year 2014 marks a strategic ‘inflection point’ in world history. To make sense of the new security challenges, NATO offi cials and member states’ governments have used the term ‘hybrid warfare,’2 although some scholars have criticized it as a buzzword lacking a clear defi nition. However, since hybrid warfare is rather more about exploiting the vulnerabilities of statecraft than about destroying armed forces, states have slightly diff erent understandings of it consistent with their own specifi c security challenges. Consequently, for scientifi c research, as well as for security organizations such as NATO, finding a common definition is not easy and probably not useful.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Helbig, Guillaume Lasconjarias
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Is Colombia going to be NATO’s next global partner? In June 2013, the question was alreaady worthy of attention, when Colombia and NATO entered into an “Agreement on the Security of Information” that was signed between then-NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and Colombia’s Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón. While the deal encompassed not much more than sharing intelligence in areas of common concern, the agreement surely was “a fi rst step for future cooperation in the security fi eld” and Ambassador Vershbow remarked that “Colombia’s expertise in enhancing integrity in the military is precisely the kind of substantive contribution that exemplifi es the added value of cooperation.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Brooke Smith-Windsor
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: To this day, a visit to NATO’s offi cial website paints a glowing account of its 2011 military intervention in Libya under United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973:2 Following the Gaddafi regime’s targeting of civilians in February 2011, NATO answered the United Nation’s (UN) call to the international community to protect the Libyan people … a coalition of NATO Allies and partners began enforcing an arms embargo, maintaining a no-fl y zone and protecting civilians and civilian populated areas from attack or the threat of attack under Operation Unifi ed Protector (OUP). OUP successfully concluded on 31 October 2011.3 While immediate operational goals may have been achieved, and urgent threats to lives in Benghazi and elsewhere averted, more than half a decade hence the post-intervention legacy is far from rosy. What followed the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in October 2011 is a Libya and neighbourhood still rife with instability and violence facing the spectre of widespread civil strife and even collapse
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Adaner Usmani, Benjamin Bradlow
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)
  • Abstract: Over the last several decades, dozens of authoritarian regimes have fallen and been replaced by formal democracies. These new democracies are not all of identical quality -- some have made substantially greater progress than others towards deepening democratic institutions. We make use of a new dataset which identifies five distinct dimensions of democratization in order to study this variation. We argue that prolonged unarmed contentious mobilization prior to transition drives democratic progress in each of these five dimensions. Mobilization matters because it generates a new, democratically-oriented political elite and because it furnishes non-elites with the capacity for autonomous collective action. In panel regressions spanning the 1950 to 2010 period and using original data, we show that the duration of antecedent anti-authoritarian mobilization is a significant and consistent predictor of subsequent democratic deepening. To illustrate the mechanisms, we present a historical analysis of democratic transition in Brazil. This case study shows how both formal political actors and non-elite collective actors, emboldened by prolonged mobilization, drove deepening of democracy post-transition.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aida Kržalić
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Centre For Security Studies
  • Abstract: From the security point of view, we can identify two main purposes as to why state authorities seek to use the secret data collection. The use of secret data collection may be to improve national security, prevent risks and threats to the security of citizens, national security, society, institutions, economic and other vital interests of society and the state from the various terrorist and extremist groups. Considering that this is a preventive activity, these actions are characteristics of intelligence and security agencies. It is important to emphasize that with these kind of activities, intelligence and security agencies are reaching "for collection of data and information on the activities, plans and intentions of various domestic and foreign, state and non-state actors, their processing and analysis are a very important segment that is often neglected in our country, which is the timely dissemination of information to the different users" (Petrovic 2015: 15).
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Turkey has been in the news repeatedly in 2016, from the coup attempt of July to the subsequent government purges to its renewed fight against the PKK and crackdown on Kurdish populations. However surprising these developments may appear for an outside observer, they are deeply rooted in the history of the Turkish state, the evolution of the ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP), and the complex identity politics of the region. In October, more than a dozen scholars of Turkish politics gathered at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston for a Project on Middle East Political Science workshop to delve into some of these underlying themes. The memos produced for that workshop have been published individually on the POMEPS website and the full collection is now available as a free download here. The authors in this collection provide rich context, new data, and sharp analysis of the nuanced challenges facing the country and the region today
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The Arab uprisings triggered a fierce regional countermobilization by threatened regimes and the elites who benefited from the status quo. This resurgent autocracy did simply restore the old order, however. It created new forms of populist mobilization and established new relationships among civil and military state institution. In May 2016, the Project on Middle East Political Science and Oxford University’s Middle East Center convened a workshop to dig deeply into the new regional politics generated by the authoritarian reconstruction.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The barriers to women’s political participation in the Middle East have long preoccupied scholars and analysts. The Arab uprisings of early 2011 disrupted virtually every dimension of Arab politics and societies, forcing a systematic re-evaluation of many long-held political science theories and assumptions. The place of women in politics and the public sphere were no exception.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Cherine Chams El-Dine
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Since the end of July 2015 a major popular uprising has erupted in Iraq’s provinces – aside from the territories under the control of the so-called Islamic State (IS) and the Kurdish provinces. This protest movement, deemed to be the largest secular popular movement challenging the post-2003 political order in Iraq, has largely departed from the narrow sectarian paradigm that has so far monopolised the analysis of Iraqi politics. This paper examines the uprising’s actors, its slogans, its internal dynamics/organisational structure, and the Iraqi government’s frenetic response to popular demands.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Isam al Khafaji
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Syrian revolt, which has disintegrated into a bloody attrition war, has been largely viewed as that of a majority Sunni population trying to depose a regime belonging to the minority Alawite sect. While this view may present a partially true explanation, it fails to explain why the involvement of different Sunni regions in the revolt varied to a large extent and the rising gap between the anti-Assad urbanites on the one hand and the armed militants on the other. It further fails to account for the wide diversity within the rebellion camp and the hostilities among the mushrooming opposition groups.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Ebony Bertorelli, Patrick Heller, Siddharth Swaminathan, Ashutosh Varshney
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: Drawing on data from a large household survey in Bangalore, this paper explores the quality of urban citizenship. Addressing theories that have tied the depth of democracy to the quality and effectiveness of citizenship, we develop an index of citizenship that includes various measures and then explore the extent to which citizenship determines the quality of services and infrastructure that households enjoy. Our findings show that citizenship and access to services in Bangalore are highly differentiated, that much of what drives these differences has to do with class, but we also find clear evidence that the urban poor are somewhat better in terms of the services they receive that they would be without citizenship. Citizenship, in other words, abates the effects of class.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Atul Pokharel
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: Implementing municipal-scale policies is challenging in megacities. Despite this, between 1986 and 2006, Delhi converted its entire public transportation network of nearly 100,000 vehicles to use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) instead of diesel and petrol. The use of CNG is widely assumed to have been ordered by the Supreme Court of India. But this overlooks how autorickshaws, privately owned and making up three-fourths of these vehicles, came to use CNG even though the court did not order it. Using two new sources of data, I show that the conversion of autos was jointly led by the largest private manufacturer together with the city government. The court facilitated coordination between several other actors, allowed them to experiment, and monitored progress over two decades leading up to the auto conversion. After capping the total number of autos, it ultimately refrained from passing judgment on two consequential aspects of greening them: vehicle ownership and fuel type. As a result, auto owners were buffeted by decades of incremental policy experimentation. Eventually, these experiments reconfigured auto ownership as some sold their operating permits to become renters, while state institutions remained indifferent to this shadow conversion underfoot.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Patrick Heller
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the interaction of politics and business through the lens of the city. The power of business to influence politics in India would lead to a prediction that Indian cities are, in the classic sense of the term, growth machines. Yet we argue in this paper that fundamental problems of governance in India’s megacities have precluded the possibility of business coalitions exerting cohesive influence over investments policies in cities. The result has been the predominance of what we call cabals, that are expert at extracting rents from the city, but in the end fail to promote development in the sense of an institutionalized process of economic and social improvement in the city. Where there has been high growth, it has not been accompanied by the expansion of the cities’ infrastructure and overall coordination capacities. In the end, what is good for business and politicians had neither been good for capitalism in terms of dynamic accumulation nor for inclusion of middle and poorer social groups.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Atul Pokharel
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: What is the relationship between flexible governance and fairness? I examine this question in a new longitudinal dataset of irrigation canals in Nepal that were celebrated as paradigmatic cases of successful local governance. The prevalent explanation is that users have avoided knotty collective action problems by committing to rules and mutually monitoring compliance. These rules are understood to have been iteratively crafted over decades so as to render cooperative behavior reasonable. Embedded in a local context that is assumed to be common knowledge for users but ultimately impenetrable to outsiders, it is critical that locals discursively devise the rules and uniformly enforce them. Revisiting these cases three decades later, I first illustrate a distinction between two aspects of flexible governance: flexible rules and flexible enforcement. The former refers to changing rules over time, the latter to variations in enforcement. I document the predicted flexibility of the rules in these cases. I then show that a significant number of successes are associated with flexible enforcement. Whether flexible enforcement helps or hinders sustained collective action appears to depend on how fair users perceive the rules to be. Thus, discretionary enforcement may be related to the possibilities and limits of local governance in achieving fair outcomes, and not just for merely solving collective action problems.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ivo Daalder, Michèle Flournoy, John Herbst, Jan Lodal, Steve Pifer
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: This report is the result of collaboration among scholars and former practitioners from the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Center for a New American Security, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. It is informed by and reflects mid-January discussions with senior NATO and US officials in Brussels and senior Ukrainian civilian and military officials in Kyiv and at the Ukrainian “anti-terror operation” headquarters in Kramatorsk. The report outlines the background to the crisis over Ukraine, describes why the United States and NATO need to engage more actively and urgently, summarizes what the authors heard in discussions at NATO and in Ukraine, and offers specific recommendations for steps that Washington and NATO should take to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses and thereby enhance its ability to deter further Russian aggression.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Ukraine
  • Author: Mathilde Dugit-Gros
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Has Western involvement in the Arab Spring generated more scepticism in North Africa and the Middle East about foreign influence? This study compares public opinion about foreign influence across five MENA countries: Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Tunisia. Using data sets from the second and third waves of the Arab Barometer, the study compares the periods pre- and post-2011.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ismail Alexandrani
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: It is not yet clear what narrative will be told by history, but a dominant media narrative, the official one, has already been found for the on-going turbulence in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. It appears that social media in the Nile Valley has preceded its counterpart in the Sinai Peninsula in developing this narrative due to geographical and demographic factors which are out of the control of the security and military authorities in Egypt. The main bridge connecting the northern Sinai with the Nile Valley has been closed since 30 June, 2013 (setting transport links back to the time when ferries made their way across the Suez Canal between great sea ships) and the military and security authorities have, to a great extent, succeeded in concealing whatever is happening on the ground that contradicts their narrative
  • Topic: War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: et al Miguel Centeno
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: Starting from the assumption that the aim of development is to increase human flourishing, this paper develops an analytical perspective on how effective states are built. Modern theories of development see the state as the key agent for delivering the most critical forms of productive investment – investment in capability expanding collective goods. Accomplishing this requires bureaucratic capacity, as earlier analyses of state effectiveness have argued, but state-society relations are equally crucial. We focus on the “Sen-Ostrom” model – deliberative mechanisms to specify goals plus engagement of communities as “co-producers” of services – as the key elements of effective state society relations. Our effort to identify institutions and strategies that might lead to the efficacious engagement of the broadest possible cross-section of the populace led us to a re-engagement with left social democracy. But, resuscitating traditional models of left social democracy is not sufficient; different contexts require new conceptualizations. Patrick Heller’s “state-civil society model” and Cheol-sung Lee’s “embedded cohesiveness/political network model” gave us tools for revising, deepening and extending the basic party-union dynamics of the traditional left social democratic model. Putting the Huber-Stephens analysis of left social democracy together with the Heller and Lee models offers a promising platform for future debate on the general political logic of state-society relations
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dina Smeltz
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The 69‎th session of UN General Assembly is being held against the backdrop of international crises that include the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, ISIS military gains in Iraq and Syria, and continuing negotiations with Iran. According to the recently released 2014 Chicago Council Survey of American opinion on foreign policy, majorities are confident in the UN’s ability to carry out humanitarian efforts and peacekeeping. They are more skeptical, however, of the UN’s effectiveness when it comes to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, resolving international conflicts, and sanctioning countries that violate international law.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fred H. Lawson
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: By the autumn of 2013, the Middle Eastern regional security complex (RSC) had taken on a new configuration, which was substantially different from—and much more explosive than—the one that existed prior to the large-scale popular uprisings that broke out across the Arab world in the winter of 2010-11. Foreign policies adopted between 2000 and 2010 by the Ba‘thi regime in Damascus, the leaderships of Hizbullah and HAMAS, and the Israeli government to parry overlapping internal and external threats created an unprecedented patchwork of strategic rivalries and alignments. Large-scale popular unrest in Iraq and Egypt in early 2011, along with the outbreak of full-scale civil war in Syria later that same year, generated an even more intricate web of interstate security dynamics. The reconfigured RSC that emerged out of the “Winter of Arab Discontent” is only beginning to be explicated, and can best be addressed by tracing the connection between domestic political conflicts and shifts in external belligerence and alignment across the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Sherif Mohy El Deen
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: These two papers are the result of field investigations into the bloody events that have erupted in the region of Kerdasa on the outskirts of Cairo and in the Sinai peninsula in late 2013. The papers observe the mechanisms by which the Egyptian security forces are dealing with the protests of the citizens there, and shed light on their continuing activities and psychological repression more than two years after the outbreak of the revolution. This repression continues despite talk of the need to change the security institutions and the essential challenge of changing the relationship between the state and its citizens to allow for the construction of a democratic foundation.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Dina El Khawaga
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: On July 7, 2014, following the government’s announcement of its plan to reduce the fuel subsidy, President Abd al Fattah al Sisi stated that “Egypt is in a state of war, many are hostile to it within and outside the country who do not want this country to be saved.
  • Topic: War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Murhaf Jouejati
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Under the Assad regime, Syria acquired a well-deserved reputation as a repressive mukhabarat state dominated by vast, overlapping internal security agencies that operated with near impunity, reporting directly to the president. Having presided over so much destruction and division, however, it is likely that the Assad regime will eventually be replaced by a government with a better claim to legitimacy. Security sector reform will be a key challenge for establishing the legitimacy of any post-Assad political order, but what would such a system look like and how could it be constructed?
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria