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  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Ammar al-Hakim’s announcement on July 24, 2017 that he is stepping down as the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) came after generation- al con icts surfaced between a number of the Coun- cil’s senior gures, who had visited Tehran to demand that he should be pressured over his reliance on the youth. Moreover, al-Hakim himself rejected attempts by senior members of the council to assume govern- ment positions, and even sought to build unique rela- tions with Arab and Western countries by presenting himself as an acceptable moderate Shiite gure. The outgoing leader is preparing for the upcoming elec- tions to be held across Iraq.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The escalating crisis between the United States and North Korea is of special importance for Iran. Firstly, the US Administration of President Donald Trump has designated both Iran and North Korea as an imminent threat to the national security of the United States. The approach builds on the administration of former president George W. Bush’s repeated labelling of Iran and North Korea, as well as Iraq, as key rogue states of the so-called axis of evil, who sponsor terrorism and seek to ac- quire weapons of mass destruction.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Andrea Teti, Pamela Abbott, Paolo Maggiolini, Valeria Talbot
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Transformations Project, University of Aberdeen
  • Abstract: Survey data from the ArabTrans 2014 survey contains a unique battery of questions pertaining to the perception of the European Union. This report builds on those questions to analyse perceptions of the EU, its development cooperation programmes, its promotion of democracy, the appropriateness of its response to the Arab Uprisings, and the perception of the EU as an international actor. Overall, the data suggests low levels of awareness and relatively negative opinions of the EU’s actions both in general and in the specific context of its response to the Arab Uprisings. However, respondents’ preferences also suggest avenues for policy development for the Union such that it might simultaneously achieve its interests and meet the demands of MENA populations. Throughout, the paper also takes note of specific patterns and conditions found in individual countries which present particular challenges for the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Andrea Teti
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Transformations Project, University of Aberdeen
  • Abstract: The EU claimed it would learn the lessons of the Arab Uprisings with a ‘qualitative step forward’ in its approach to development, democracy, and security. However, an examination of the conceptual structure of revised EU Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) suggests EU policy changed little, and that in later incarnations it displayed a retrenchment towards conventional notions of democracy, development, and security, prioritising the latter over the former two. The Union seems to have failed to re-examine its approach to democracy, development, and security, falling back on approaches to all three which have been tried – and have failed – in the past.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Pamela Abbott, Andrea Teti
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Transformations Project, University of Aberdeen
  • Abstract: In order to understand why the Uprisings happened in the Arab World in 2010-11 and specifically to understand their origins in Egypt, it is necessary to combine a long term political economy trend analysis with an analysis of short term dynamics (della Porta 2015). This enables us to locate the Uprisings in a socio-economic, cultural and political context in Egypt and analyse the interaction between structure and agency (Beinin 2009; della Porta 2014). In doing so we take account of the three temporalities of capitalism: long term changes; mid-term moves between growth and crisis; and the short term dynamics of the immediate juncture. Specifically, the Uprisings can be located in a crisis of neo-liberalism, the growth of the precariat (Standing 2011), a breakdown of the social contract between the state and citizens, and a perception of growing inequalities and a decline in satisfaction with life (Therborn 2013; Subrabmanyam 2014; Verme et al 2014; World Bank 2015). While in the West the growth of the precariat – is a relatively recent phenomenon, in Egypt a large proportion of workers have always been employed in the informal sector, what happened in the 2000s was that an increasing number of the educated sons of the middle classes were forced into this type of employment. This occurred in the face of sluggish real economic growth, at least partly due to the demographic transition with a decline in decent jobs, (full-time, permanent formal sector) for the increasing number of educated young people coming onto the labour market (Hakimian 2013).
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the years since the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Southern Gulf states and the US have developed a de facto strategic partnership based on a common need to deter and defend against any threat from Iran, deal with regional instability in countries like Iraq and Yemen, counter the threat of terrorism and extremism, and deal with the other threats to the flow of Gulf petroleum exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, North America
  • Author: Bruce Jones, David Steven, Emily O'Brien
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On December 16, 2013, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Saudi Arabia's powerful former intelligence chief, gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal. He was speaking out after a turbulent four months in Middle East and Persian Gulf diplomacy, diplomacy that culminated in an interim nuclear deal between Iran and the major powers. Prince Turki, long a close friend to the United States, used the interview to blast American policy. He was critical of U.S. strategy in the region as a whole, but particularly vehement about leaving Saudi Arabia out of the loop as the United States engaged in secret bilateral diplomacy with Iran. "How can you build trust when you keep secrets from what are supposed to be your closest allies?" he fumed.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Bahraini government will need to distinguish better between protestors and terrorists if it wants Washington and other foreign partners to believe its claims of Iranian support for local militants. On May 5, in what has become an increasingly typical event in Bahrain, several individuals threw Molotov cocktails at a police post in a Shiite village, damaging storefronts but causing no casualties. Such incidents have intensified over the past few months in villages surrounding the capital, Manama -- in March, three police officers were killed by a bombing in al-Daih; last month, an explosion wounded another officer in the same village; days later, a police car was firebombed in Hamad Town.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Violence, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Middle East, Bahrain
  • Author: Aram Nerguizian
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and its allies compete with Iran in a steadily more unsettled and uncertain Levant. The political upheavals in the Middle East, economic and demographic pressures, sectarian struggles and extremism, ethnic and tribal conflicts and tensions all combine to produce complex patterns of competition.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Aaron Reese
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The first half of 2013 has demonstrated clearly that sectarian conflict is spreading in the Middle East. This conflict is a product of developments over the course of 2012, including Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's consolidation of power and the development of an armed opposition movement in Syria. A turning point, however, came this year with the Syrian opposition's loss of the strategic town of al-Qusayr in early June to regime forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah. The intervention of this prominent Shi'a militant group has heightened the "sectarianization" of the conflict. Sectarian narratives provide an emotional rallying point for popular mobilization, and are easily leveraged by actors involved in the conflict to achieve their goals. The rise in sectarian violence sponsored by external actors poses an existential threat to these already-fragile states.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Armed Struggle, Refugee Issues, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Megan Gleason
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This paper, commissioned by the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations, analyzes current trends in United Nations peacekeeping and makes predictions about the development of UN operations over the next five years (to 2017). It covers (i) the changing global context for UN operations and efforts to enhance the organization's performance over the last five years; (ii) trends in troop and police contributions; (iii) projections about potential demand for UN forces in various regions, especially the Middle East and Africa, in the next five years and (iv) suggestions about the types of contributions European countries such as Denmark can make to reinforce UN missions in this period.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Relations, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East
  • Author: Jean-loup Samaan
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Eight years after NATO initiated its engagement with Gulf countries through the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), the results have been modest, not to say disappointing. True, some recent achievements are worth mentioning: the participation in 2011 of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in Operation Unified Protector in Libya, or the appointment, the same year, of the first UAE Ambassador to NATO, which represented an unprecedented and innovative way to strengthen the partnership.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Arabia, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Alexander Wilner
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With the assistance of Adam Seitz of the Marine Corps University, the Burke Chair has compiled a series of chronological reports that focus on Iranian perceptions of national security and assess Iran‟s intentions concerning competition with the US.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Sally Khalifa Isaac
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: This paper was researched and written before the upheaval in the Arab world. It highlights many aspects of the limitations in NATO's relations with its Arab partners. It argues that the current settings governing NATO-Arab relations feature no concrete cooperation schemes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Irfan Shahid
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: The tragic events of Black September, 2001, the year that opened the twenty-first century and the third millennium, more popularly called 9/11, is now a landmark in American history that is deeply carved in the psyche of the American people and is annually perpetuated by commemorative anniversaries. It practically destroyed the bridges that had been constructed between America and the Arab-Muslim world. What had been America's main adversary in the Cold War, namely Communism, has now become the Arabs and the Islamic world, which, ironically, had been America's allies against Communism.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Kevin Ummel
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper provides high-resolution estimates of the global potential and cost of utility-scale photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies and uses a spatially explicit model to identify deployment patterns that minimize the cost of greenhouse gas abatement. A global simulation is run with the goal of providing 2,000 TWh of solar power (-7% of total consumption) in 2030, taking into account least-cost siting of facilities and transmission lines and the effect of diurnal variation on project profitability and required subsidies. The American southwest, Tibetan Plateau, Sahel, and Middle East are identified as major supply areas. Solar power consumption concentrates in the United States over the next decade, diversifying to Europe and India by the early 2020's, and focusing in China in the second half of the decade—often relying upon long-distance, highvoltage transmission lines. Cost estimates suggest deployment on this scale is likely to be competitive with other prominent abatement options in the energy sector. Further development of spatially explicit energy models could help guide infrastructure planning and financing strategies both nationally and globally, elucidating a range of important questions related to renewable energy policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Globalization, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East, Sahel
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Candidate Obama pledged that his Middle East policy would include re-engagement with Syria; President Obama will find that the past is not easily overcome. The reasons behind his vow remain pertinent. Syria holds important cards in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine, is Iran's most important Arab ally and has substantial influence over Hamas and Hizbollah. There are indications of potential common ground on which to build, from resuming Israeli-Syrian negotiations, to consolidating progress in Iraq to blunting the rise of jihadi militancy and sectarianism. But significant obstacles to healthy, mutually beneficial relations remain, along with a legacy of estrangement and distrust. They dictate the need for a prudent approach that seeks first to rebuild ties and restore confidence. It will be critical to reassure Damascus that the U.S. is interested in improving relations and resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict, not in regime change. It is also equally critical not to compromise on core principles such as Lebanon's sovereignty or the integrity of the international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Rami G. Khouri
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: With its army and its diplomatic posture, the American administration is now deeply part of the Middle East. Many of the problems of the region have been clearly aggravated, and in some cases sparked, by American policy, though many of them are a joint venture between Arabs and is, between Tirrks and Iranians, and between Europeans of different nationalities. But because the United States is such a decisive player in the Middle East, it has inordinate power to affect things in the region for good or for bad.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Harvey Sapolsky, Christopher Preble, Benjamin Friedman
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Foreign policy experts and policy analysts are misreading the lessons of Iraq. The emerging conventional wisdom holds that success could have been achieved in Iraq with more troops, more cooperation among U.S. government agencies, and better counterinsurgency doctrine. To analysts who share these views, Iraq is not an example of what not to do but of how not to do it. Their policy proposals aim to reform the national security bureaucracy so that we will get it right the next time.
  • Topic: International Relations, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The policy of isolating Hamas and sanctioning Gaza is bankrupt and, by all conceivable measures, has backfired. Violence is rising, harming both Gazans and Israelis. Economic conditions are ruinous, generating anger and despair. The credibility of President Mahmoud Abbas and other pragmatists has been further damaged. The peace process is at a standstill. Meanwhile, Hamas's hold on Gaza, purportedly the policy's principal target, has been consolidated. Various actors, apparently acknowledging the long-term unsustainability of the status quo, are weighing options. Worried at Hamas's growing military arsenal, Israel is considering a more ambitious and bloody military operation. But along with others, it also is tiptoeing around another, wiser course that involves a mutual ceasefire, international efforts to prevent weapons smuggling and an opening of Gaza's crossings and requires compromise by all concerned. Gaza's fate and the future of the peace process hang in the balance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Martin Beck
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The region of the Middle East is highly conflict-loaded. The absence of one distinct regional power may be considered both cause and consequence of this structural feature. At the same time, there are significant power gaps between states in the Middle East, with Israel among the most powerful actors and accordingly defined as a potential regional power. Due to the specific empirical setting of the Middle East region, an analytical design emphasizing relational and procedural dynamics is required. In attempting to develop such a design, this paper utilizes three well-established schools of thought of international relations: (neo)realism, institutionalism, and constructivism. These three schools of thought are further used for developing hypotheses on both Israeli regional policy and its effects on the Middle East. After illustrating these hypotheses in relation to four periods in the contemporary history of Israel, theoretical lessons to be learned for the analysis of regional powers in other world areas are presented.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: W. Andrew Terrill
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: One of the most important and longstanding strategic relationships for the United States within the Arab World has been with Jordan. The value of this relationship has increased significantly since 2003 as the result of ongoing U.S. difficulties in Iraq and the wider Middle East. Jordan's longstanding ties with the West, ongoing counterterrorism efforts, and moderate policies toward Iraq and Israel suggest that it may become a central target of violent extremism in coming years. Moreover, Jordan's strategic location within the Middle East (bordering Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the Palestinian West Bank territory) make it an especially attractive target for any revolutionary group with region-wide aspirations.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Robert Jervis
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: The US will leave Iraq at some point, and needs to plan for this eventuality. There are many uncertainties involved, but taking them seriously is the first step toward being able craft a policy that will reduce the damage to us, Iraq, and the region. Even if the US stays until the violence is brought down, its departure will lead to the reopening of local and regional bargains because of the lack of enforcement. The greatest danger is that heightened civil war will lead to intervention by Iraq's neighbors, but the very possibility of large-scale violence creates possibilities for arrangements to avoid it because all of the parties know that they could lose badly if things get out of control.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas F. Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: There are significant and little appreciated differences in the trajectory of Sunni extremist terrorism and that of Shi'a extremism. The differences exist across six key areas that impact American policy considerations, especially in light of steadily escalating tensions with Iran. First and foremost, Sunni radicals and Shi'a extremists differ in the overall approach and main objectives for their use of terror. The former tend to operate in a continuous, mid-to-high intensity manner, seeing war against infidels and apostates as a perennial condition featuring overlapping waves. Outside of an ongoing and seemingly open-ended campaign against Israel, terrorist attacks by Shi'a groups have by and large featured discrete terror campaigns tethered to state and organizational objectives. Second, Sunni terrorists and Shi'a extremists manifest different patterns for recruiting terrorist operatives and developing terrorist missions. Shi'a terrorists, unlike their Sunni counterparts, enjoy direct state support and for that reason are far more likely to originate from Iranian embassies, consulates and state‐run businesses. Third, despite holding a minority viewpoint within the wider Sunni Islamic community, Sunni extremists, especially Salafi-Jihadis, rely more extensively on the support of their coreligionist expatriate communities in facilitating terrorist activities. Fourth, while employing similar tactics and methods, Shi'a terrorist groups have shown a much greater propensity to kidnap innocents to barter, while Sunni extremists more frequently abduct to kill. Fifth, Shi'a terror groups exhibit a much higher incidence of targeted assassinations for specific political gain, rather than the high-casualty killings featured in Sunni terrorism, and particularly of the Salafi-Jihadist variant. Finally, each sect's extremists manage publicity and propaganda differently. The Sunni approach to information management tends to feature doctrine and resources geared to take immediate credit and widely amplify a terrorist event. Shi'a terrorists, while not averse to normal media publicity and amplification, by and large take a much lower-key approach.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There is a fundamental shift taking place in the world economy to which the multilateral trading system has failed to adapt. The Doha process focused on issues of limited significance while the burning issues of the day were not even on the negotiating agenda. The paper advances five propositions: the traditional negotiating dynamic, driven by private sector interests largely in the rich countries, is running out of steam; the world economy is moving broadly from conditions of relative abundance to relative scarcity, and so economic security has become a paramount concern for consumers, workers, and ordinary citizens; international economic integration can contribute to enhanced security; addressing these new concerns–relating to food, energy and economic security-requires a wider agenda of multilateral cooperation, involving not just the WTO but other multilateral institutions; and despite shifts in economic power across countries, the commonality of interests and scope for give-and-take on these new issues make multilateral cooperation worth attempting.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Richard Dalton(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The dispute over Iran's nuclear programme is deadlocked. Five years of negotiations, proposals, UN resolutions and sanctions have failed to achieve a breakthrough. As diplomacy struggles and Iran continues to advance its nuclear capabilities, the issue becomes ever more grave and pressing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Danielle Pletka, Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The conflict between Iran and the United States began in 1979 with the Iranian Revolution and the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran. Born partly of ideological differences and partly of real and perceived differing national interests, it has continued, alternately hot and cold, for almost three decades and seems unlikely to end soon. Like most previous conflicts, its conclusion cannot be foreseen. Many such struggles, like the Anglo-German tensions between 1871 and 1945 and the centuries-long tensions between Britain and France, lead to full-scale war. Others, like the Anglo-Russian or Russian-Ottoman tensions throughout the nineteenth century, lead to more limited conflict. And some, like the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, are resolved without direct armed confrontation. One key to resolving any such conflict is understanding both the nature of the enemy and the scope of the conflict—insights that have eluded most Americans and, indeed, many Iranians. This report addresses this lack of understanding and argues that while neither Americans nor Iranians desire full-scale military confrontation, Iranian activism and American passivity are contributing to a drift toward war.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Iran, Middle East, France, Germany, Syria
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Ambassador Javad Zarif presented his credentials as the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 5 August 2002 to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Dr. Zarif is a career diplomat and has served in different senior positions in the Iranian Foreign Ministry and at various international organizations. His responsibility from 1992 until his appointment as Permanent Represetative was Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Sebastien Kurpas, Henning Riecke
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Rarely has an EU Presidency been met with such high expectations as Germany's in the first half of 2007. With hindsight, it might be said that these expectations have largely been fulfilled. The agreement on a detailed mandate for the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) under the Portuguese Presidency now offers a way forward for a Union that has been 'in crisis' since the French and Dutch no-votes. This report offers an overview of the German Presidency's aims in the various policy areas and makes an assessment of the achievements of its six-month term. A summary of the content and structural background of German EU policy is given, explaining developments since unification, Germany's motivations for European integration, public opinion on European integration and the stances taken by the key political players in Germany. Insight into the organisational structures of the Presidency appears in the annex.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Emad El-Din Shahin
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on results from a survey among members of the Muslim Brothers and the Wasat Party, Emad El- Din Shahin, Professor at the American University in Cairo and Harvard University, looks at changes in Egyptian political Islam and examines the views of mainstream Islamists of the European Union polices and initiatives in the Mediterranean. The discussion focuses on the Muslim Brothers, the country's main opposition force, and the Wasat Party, as purporting to represent an evolving Islamic centrist orientation. Despite their seemingly different orientations, the commonalities between the two groups regarding their views of the EU far outweigh their differences. Their shared Islamic frame of reference and a perceived inconsistency of EU policies in the region largely explain this similarity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Sarah Ellen Graham
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: Two key themes stand out within current US government reports and foreign policy commentaries on American public diplomacy. These are: firstly, that US efforts to attract 'hearts and minds' in the Middle East were inadequate before and immediately after the 11 September 2001 attacks on America and must be improved, and secondly that the administration of public diplomacy has required major reform in order to meet the challenge of engaging Arab and Muslim audiences into the future. This paper assesses US public diplomacy in a regional context that has not been subject to significant scrutiny within the post-11 September debates on US public diplomacy: the Asia–Pacific. This oversight is lamentable, given Washington's significant security and economic interests in the Asia–Pacific, and because the Asia–Pacific is a region undergoing significant economic, diplomatic and political shifts that are likely to complicate Washington's ability to bring about desired outcomes in the future. This paper demonstrates, furthermore, that the Asia–Pacific represents an important case study from which to reflect on the administrative and substantive questions raised in recent critiques of US public diplomacy at a general level.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Development, Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Australia/Pacific
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In Hamburg existierte eine der größten Spezialbibliotheken Deutschlands zum Nahen Osten; sie umfasst ca. 37.000 Bände und war bis Ende 2006 dem Verbund GIGA German Institute of Globaland Area Studies angeschlossen. Besitzer ist die Deutsche Orient-Stiftung, die begonnen hat, die Bibliothek aus Hamburg abzutransportieren. Die Deutsche Orient-Stiftung hat bislang nicht erklärt, ob und wod ie Bibliothek, die über Jahrzehnte mit öffentlichen Mitteln aufgebaut wurde, wieder der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht werden wird. Das GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies ist empört, wie die Deutsche Orient-Stiftung mit dieser wissenschaftlich einzigartigen Sammlung von Fachliteratur zum Nahen Osten umgeht. Für den Wissenschaftsstandort Hamburg entsteht hierdurch ein großer Schaden.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Germany
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The beginning of 2007 offers a conflicting picture of the global economy for those trying to discern trends, challenges and opportunities. Concerns about energy security and climate sustainability are converging — finally bringing consensus in sight on the need for action in the United States. But prospects for breaking the global stalemate are still years away. Though some developing countries are succeeding in bringing hundreds of millions out of poverty, too many are still mired in a doom spiral of conflict, poverty and disease— despite the entry of new philanthropists, advocates and global corporations into the field of development. China's projected 9.6 percent growth rate is sending ripples to the farthest reaches of the planet—creating opportunities but also significant risks. The United States remains in the “goldilocks” zone, but this is premised on continued borrowing from abroad at historically unprecedented rates while many Americans fret about widening inequality and narrowing opportunity. While the United States concentrates on civil war in the Middle East, most leaders in the region are preoccupied with putting an outsized cohort of young people to work and on the road to becoming productive citizens.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Muhammad-Sodiq Muhammad-Yusuf (also known as Mamamsodiq Mamayusupov), the former mufti of the Muslim Spiritual Administration of Central Asia, Uzbekistan's first mufti after independence, and the most prominent theologian in the country, is a figure worthy of attention by anyone interested in the political role that Islam might play in Uzbekistan.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Middle East, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Never has the cause of political reform in the Arab world received as strong verbal support— on both the international and domestic political levels—as it did in Palestine between 2002 and 2006. And while much of the Palestinian reform agenda remained unrealized, Palestinian governance changed in fundamental ways during the reform wave. But international backers of reform in particular had a remarkably short-term focus, a highly personalized view of the process, and a very instrumental view of reform, leading them to turn harshly against the achievements of the Palestinian reform movement when it brought unexpected results. What can this combination of success and disillusioned failure teach us about the cause of Arab political reform?
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The pro-reform AK Party's resounding victory in the July 2007 parliamentary elections gives both it and the European Union (EU) a chance to relaunch Turkey's accession process, which has floundered since 2005 due to Europe's enlargement fatigue and a neo-nationalist backlash in the country. That process, pursued with real application, has the capacity to help both sides. Popular opinion may show fatigue but leaders and diplomats need to keep avenues open for when political confidence returns, as past experience with the enlargement process suggests it can.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Amid the media and military focus on Baghdad, another major Iraqi city – Basra – is being overlooked. Yet Basra's experience carries important lessons for the capital and nation as a whole. Coalition forces have already implemented a security plan there, Operation Sinbad, which was in many ways similar to Baghdad's current military surge. What U.S. commanders call “clear, hold and build”, their British counterparts earlier had dubbed “clear, hold and civil reconstruction”. And, as in the capital, the putative goal was to pave the way for a takeover by Iraqi forces. Far from being a model to be replicated, however, Basra is an example of what to avoid. With renewed violence and instability, Basra illustrates the pitfalls of a transitional process that has led to collapse of the state apparatus and failed to build legitimate institutions. Fierce intra-Shiite fighting also disproves the simplistic view of Iraq neatly divided between three homogenous communities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Civil War, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Shlomo Brom
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Despite the current stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians, the issue of Palestinian statehood is sure to reemerge. Israeli national security thinking on Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution has undergone a revolutionary change in the past two decades from total rejection to broad acceptance. After the 1967 war, Israeli thinking was characterized by the denial of the existence of a Palestinian national identity, and the perception that a Palestinian state would pose an existential threat to Israel. The first intifada, which broke out at the end of 1987, convinced the Israeli security community that the denial of Palestinian national identity was pointless and that only a political solution could resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although security measures alone may have contained the conflict, they simultaneously perpetuated it. At the same time, Israel's regional threat perceptions began to change as the conventional balance of power tilted in Israel's favor, and the likelihood of large-scale ground war was gradually replaced by the threats of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles on one hand, and terrorism and guerrilla warfare on the other. These new perceptions led Israel's political leadership to initiate the Oslo process, which enjoyed wide support among the security community. This process led to mutual recognition between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people, and implicitly to Israel's recognition of the Palestinian right to statehood. The collapse of the Oslo process in 2000 and the outbreak of the second intifada had a conflicting impact on Israeli national security thinking. On one hand it had a moderating effect on Israeli thinking about the terms of the resolution of the conflict and led to broad acceptance of Palestinian statehood, while on the other it deepened Israel's mistrust of the Palestinians and shook its belief in the feasibility of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians. The most salient facet of present Israeli national security thinking is the growing importance of demography over geography because current population trends threaten Israel's Jewish and democratic character. As the acquisition of territory has become less important, national security is being defined in broader terms to include threats to the character of the state. The wide acceptance of Palestinian statehood has not precluded an intense debate on the nature of this state and its relationship with Israel. Those who assume that it will be a dysfunctional state hostile to Israel favor unilateral separation, while those who believe in the feasibility of a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel continue to argue for a negotiated settlement.
  • Topic: International Relations, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Oslo
  • Author: Max G. Manwaring
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Another kind of war within the context of a “clash of civilizations” is being waged in various parts of the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere around the world. Some of the main protagonists are those who have come to be designated as first-, second-, and third-generation street gangs, as well as their various possible allies such as traditional Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs). In this new type of war, national security and sovereignty of affected countries is being impinged every day, and gangs' illicit commercial motives are, in fact, becoming an ominous political agenda.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Governor Tom Vilsack was elected Iowas 39th Governor in 1998, the first Democratic governor of the state in more than 30 years. He was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2002.
  • Topic: International Relations, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: In this interview, Karim Sadjadpour, the International Crisis Group's Iran analyst, discusses the possible outcome of the present impasse between the United States and Iran on the latter's nuclear aspirations. Mr Sadjadpour has written on Iranian society and politics, Iran's nuclear program, Iran-Iraq relations, and U.S.-Iran relations. He is a regular contributor to BBC World and National Public Radio, and has also published pieces in the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, New Republic, and others. This interview was conducted the day after the Asia Society event "Understanding Iran's Nuclear Aspirations: Pragmatism or Brinkmanship?" on March 28, 2006.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Shanthi Kalathil
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Having lapsed in importance following the end of the Cold War, public diplomacy has reemerged as a focal point for policymakers, scholars, and practitioners. Particularly following the attacks of September 11, 2001, American public diplomacy in the Middle East has rocketed to a place of prominence in the U.S. foreign policy toolkit. Yet even as resources and attention are trained on refining the U.S. public diplomacy strategy, there is little consensus on core problems, effective solutions, and what success might tangibly look like.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Julia Choucair
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since independence in 1947, Jordan has shown a remarkable ability to survive as a political entity. Surrounded by regional conflict and starved of resources, it has endured a massive influx of Palestinian refugees and numerous coup attempts. For decades, the Hashemite monarchy has overcome these political and economic storms by weakening institutionalized opposition to its rule and relying on the distribution of benefits and privileges to create a cohesive support base and a security establishment loyal to the existing political order. The regime has been able to sustain this situation by capitalizing on Jordan's geographic centrality. Benefiting from Jordan's image as an oasis of stability in a deeply troubled region, the monarchy has been able to secure a flow of external assistance that has helped counteract the lack of natural resources and maintain domestic political stability. But the balance has always been precarious. The contemporary process of political reform in Jordan must be understood in this context.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy, Dina Bishara
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The 2006 Lebanon war has had a profound effect on Islamist movements that have chosen to compete as legal parties in the political systems of their countries, testing their relationship with the ruling regimes as well as their respect for pluralism and tolerance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries, Lebanon
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Recent election results in several Arab countries have transformed formerly theoretical questions into pressing policy concerns: Can Islamist political parties operate within the boundaries of a democratic system? Will participation breed moderation? Strong showings by Hizbollah in Lebanon and by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have made these questions seem less speculative. And the victory of Hamas in the first election it contested has made the questions impossible to avoid.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Jordan, Mumbai
  • Author: Frédéric Grare
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Taliban insurgents and their Al Qaeda allies, once thought defeated in Afghanistan, are regaining strength. Regrouped and reorganized, better equipped and financed, and more sophisticated tactically, they are threatening both the reconstruction process and the U.S.-led coalition forces on the ground. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, sixty-six U.S. troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2005, more than in the previous four years combined.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Middle East, Taliban
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The issue of political reform in Syria straddles the line between reform of political institutions and removal from power of a particular regime and entails both domestic and external actors. The regime of Bashar al-Asad is under pressure from Syrian citizens who want a different political system and different leadership. He is also under pressure from the United States, which wants Syria to change its regional policy: stop intruding in Lebanese affairs, reduce support of Palestinian groups, and make a bigger effort to prevent infiltration of radical Islamists into Iraq. As a result, it is impossible to separate completely a domestic process of political reform from the external pressures. The two are entangled to a much greater extent than in any other country in the region except Iraq, and the analysis that follows reflects this entanglement.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Julia Choucair
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Lebanon is arguably the most democratic Arab state. Under parliamentary rule since becoming independent in 1943, it has regular elections, numerous political parties, and relatively free and lively news media. Lebanon also has one of the most complex political systems in the Middle East, based on the premise that a careful balance in all aspects of political life must be maintained among the seventeen recognized religious communities. While this confessional system has spared Lebanon the authoritarianism experienced by many Arab regimes in the twentieth century, paradoxically it has also prevented the transition to a truly democratic state. Nor has the confessional system eliminated the factional strife it was designed to avoid.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Although it is possible that negotiations between the leading powers in the international community and Iran may produce a settlement to the vexing issue of Iran's nuclear program, it is more likely that those negotiations will fail. If that happens, U.S. policymakers face a set of highly imperfect options.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran, Middle East