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  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report is one in a series commissioned by The Century Foundation to explore issues of interest to American policymakers regarding Russia, aimed at identifying a framework for U.S.-Russian relations and policy options for a new administration and Congress that could help right the two countries' troubled relationship at a crucial juncture. The papers in the series explore significant aspects of U.S.-Russian relations, outlining a broad range of reasons why Russia matters for American foreign policy and framing bilateral and multilateral approaches to Russia for U.S. consideration. A high-level working group, co-chaired by Gary Hart, former U.S. senator from Colorado, and Jack F. Matlock, Jr., former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, has provided direction to the project and offered recommendations for action that the United States might take.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Carothers
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Pessimism about the progress of democracy in the developing and postcommunist worlds has risen sharply in recent years. Negative developments in a variety of countries, such as military coups, failed elections, and the emergence of antidemocratic populist leaders, have caused some observers to argue that democracy is in retreat and authoritarianism on the march. A broad look at the state of democracy around the world reveals however that although the condition of democracy is certainly troubled in many places, when viewed relative to where it was at the start of this decade, democracy has not lost ground in the world overall. The former Soviet Union is the one region where democracy has clearly slipped backward in this decade, primarily as a result of Russia's authoritarian slide. The Middle East has also been a source of significant disappointment on democracy but mostly in comparison with unrealistic expectations that were raised by the Bush administration. In most of the rest of the world good news with respect to democratization is found in roughly equal proportion to bad news and considerable continuity has prevailed as well.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Communism, Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East
  • Author: Muriel Asseburg
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since the Middle East peace conferences in Madrid (1991) and Washington (1991–1993), Europeans have gradually stepped up their political involvement in the Middle East. While Europeans have had strong trade and cultural relations with their neighboring region for decades, they have, in parallel with the Middle East peace process and the development of European Union (EU) foreign policy instruments, moved to assert their political interests more forcefully. These policies have largely been motivated by geographic proximity and geopolitical considerations—chiefly, the fear of security threats emanating from Europe's neighborhood (a spillover of conflict in the form of terrorism, organized crime, migration, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction), Israel's security, and access to energy resources. The implicit assumption has been that these different European interests can best be reconciled in an environment where there is peace between Israel and its neighbors (and therefore no contradiction between good relations between the EU and Israel and good relations between the EU and the wider, resource-rich region) and where the people of the Mediterranean and the Middle East find decent living conditions in their countries. As a consequence, Europeans have first focused their efforts on the realization of a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian confl ict, which they consider to be the core of the region's instability. They have, second, aimed at supporting comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors. And they have, third, sought to provide an environment conducive to peace in the region as well as to deflect what were (and still are) perceived as security risks emanating from the region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Ibrahim Saif
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The recent oil boom (2002 to mid-2008) generated a large volume of revenues for the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia (SA). Estimated at an annual average of U.S. $327 billion over the period 2002– 2006, the revenues more than doubled their average as compared with the preceding five years. The abundant revenues were instrumental in boosting economic growth; and macroeconomic indicators such as growth and investment in the GCC were also robust over the period 2002–2007. On the other hand, other indicators pertinent to the labor market, the structure of the economy, and governance were less positive.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Organization, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman
  • Author: Yezid Sayigh
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As they emerge from conflict, states can rarely commence the arduous task of reconstruction and consolidate their governments until they undertake extensive restructuring of their security forces. Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen are all fractured, quasi-democratic states with divided societies, and deep disagreement over what constitutes the national interest. Successful reform in each will require security institutions that answer to democratically-elected civilian leaders, but the U.S. and European approach has thus far focused largely on providing military training and equipment, targeted toward counterterrorist capabilities.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Like Islamist parties across the Arab world, Yemen's Islamist Congregation for Reform (Islah) has a religious ideology and platform. Islah participates in legal politics in hopes of accomplishing constitutional and socioeconomic reforms, and over time it has committed itself to upholding democratic procedures internally as well as externally.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Governance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Arabia
  • Author: Henri J. Barkey
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The consequences of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq will doubtless be debated for years to come. One result, however, is already clear: the long suppressed nationalist aspirations of the Kurdish people now dispersed across four states—Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria—have been aroused, perhaps irrevocably, by the war. Already in Iraq, Kurdish regions, which have benefited from Saddam Hussein's overthrow, have consolidated themselves into a federal region. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is a reality and a force for further Kurdish empowerment as it seeks to incorporate other Kurdish-majority areas and the oil-rich Kirkuk province in particular into its domain. The KRG's existence and demands have already alarmed all of Iraq's neighbors and the Baghdad government. The issues are far from being settled. If ignored or badly handled, Kurdish aspirations have the potential to cause considerable instability and violence in Iraq and beyond at a particularly delicate time.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Nationalism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Kurdistan
  • Author: Sharon Squassoni
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After several decades of disappointing growth, nuclear energy seems poised for a comeback. Talk of a "nuclear renaissance" includes perhaps a doubling or tripling of nuclear capacity by 2050, spreading nuclear power to new markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and developing new kinds of reactors and fuel-reprocessing techniques. But the reality of nuclear energy's future is more complicated. Without major changes in government policies and aggressive financial support, nuclear power is actually likely to account for a declining percentage of global electricity generation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Riad al Khouri
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The political situation in much of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is subject to persistent tension due to the Arab–Israeli conflict, the war in Iraq and its spillovers to other countries, and sporadic upsurges of terrorism. In addition, some countries face serious domestic political tensions, a lack of political openness, and the increasing popularity of Islamist opposition groups. Economically, fast demographic and labor force expansion has led to high un- employment and slow growth in per capita incomes. Unsustainable management of the environment and natural resources further threatens prospects for long-term economic growth. In this context, increased economic cooperation between the MENA countries, on the one hand, and the United States and the European Union (EU), on the other, aims not only at promoting growth and development but also at fostering more stable political environments.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Middle East is broken. The structures and power balances put in place in the late 1970s and amended after the end of the Cold War are no longer. These structures and balances included a number of key elements. Israel was at peace with Egypt and Jordan and in an informal truce with Syria—hence the Arab–Israeli conflict was no longer pursued by any major contiguous state opponents of Israel. A weakened Palestinian movement had been chased out of Lebanon in 1982 and co-opted in the Oslo Accords of 1993. Syria's role in the region was recognized and its influence in Lebanon legitimized—indeed, after 1990, it was promoted to suzerainty. Iraq was bolstered in the 1980s by the United States as a buffer and counterbalance to revolutionary Iran, and later, throughout the 1990s, it was preserved but contained. Saudi Arabia helped manage the finances of this scheme and helped maintain Arab consensus when possible. And the United States saw out the end of Soviet influence in the region, secured a military foothold in the Gulf, and gained in political influence: first as a broker of Israeli–Egyptian peace in the late 1970s, then as the architect of a pro-Iraqi containment policy against revolutionary Iran in the 1980s, as the leader of an Arab and international coalition to liberate Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion in the early 1990s, and as the patron of another major peace initiative launched in the Madrid peace conference.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Egypt