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  • Author: Thierry Delpeuch
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Several prolific research fields dedicate themselves to the analysis of the contemporary phenomena of circulation, transfer and convergence of public policies. These clusters of studies have in common to explore the impact of external influences and foreign sources of inspiration or imitation on policy making process. Two major research orientations can be distinguished among these studies. The first one develops a perspective in the close proximity of the new sociological institutionalism. It scrutinizes the causal grounds and the social impacts of the expansion of policy transfers, by putting the stress on the influence of cultural and institutional factors. The second one, which is related to the sociology of social action, primarily examines the implementation of concrete policy transplant operations from one social context to another, by meticulously investigating the social characteristics of transfer agents and analyzing their interactions. Our argument is that the various approaches covered here–which are sociology of diffusion, new sociological institutionalism, europeanization studies, lesson-drawing and policy learning literature, structural sociology, and, of course, the research stream which identifies itself as policy transfer studies - are today on the way to overcome their divergences and to consolidate a common framework of sociological knowledge about policy transfers, grounded in both holistic and individualistic sociological traditions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Political Theory, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was the deadliest act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil and focused the attention of law enforcement, policy makers, and the public on the long overlooked or ignored activities of American paramilitary groups. Although the actions of those convicted for the bombing—Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Michael Fortier—were not driven principally by theology, the political movements from which they drew their inspiration have long been associated with the beliefs of a movement that has taken the name “Christian Identity.” It is characterized by ideas purporting to draw religious authority for anti- Semitism, white supremacism, and neo-Nazism.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Violence, Religion, Insurgency, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Nepal's constituent assembly (CA) election is an important milestone on the country's path to permanent peace and prosperity. The Nepali people have demonstrated their dedication to ending the decade-long conflict and their interest in a new and inclusive leadership that will tackle the difficult issues involved in drafting a new constitution and restructuring the Nepali state, and will work to address the critical need for poverty alleviation and widespread development in Nepal.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Umej Bhatia
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: It was the year of the first moon landing. Emmanuel Sivan, an Israeli historian, stepped into a Paris cinema in the Bohemian Latin Quarter. Entering the theatre, the Israeli found himself in the company of boisterous young Arabs who had come to see “Al-Nasir Salah al-Din ” (“Saladin ” ). The movie celebrated the legendary Muslim hero of the Crusades, the Ayyubid Sultan Salah al-Din Abu'l Muzaffar Yusuf ibn Ayyub, better known as Saladin. Directed by the Egyptian film-maker Youssef Chahine, “Saladin” was first released in 1963 when Egypt's charismatic leader Gamal Abdel Nasser dominated pan-Arab and Third World politics. Nasser roused the Arab street with declarations like “in the days of our forefathers the name they adopted for deception and treachery was the Crusades”. However, by the time Paris screened “Saladin”, the Nasser era evoked nostalgia instead of awe. The Six Day War of June 1967, an Arab fiasco known euphemistically as Al Naksa (the setback), had come and gone, dimming the lights on Nasser and his brand of radical populism. But, Israel remained the sworn enemy of all political Arabs.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Thomas R. Pickering, Chester A. Crocker, Casimir A. Yost
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: This report is about the central foreign policy choices the next president of the United States, the Congress, and the American people will face in 2009 and beyond.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas R. Pickering, R. Nicholas Burns, Robert Kimmitt, Marc Grossman, David D. Newsom
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: On October 29, 2007, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy hosted a roundtable with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns, and his predecessors as Under Secretaries from past administrations. This was a rare opportunity to hear from the nation's top diplomatic practitioners together in one room. The Under Secretary for Political Affairs is the third most senior position in the State Department, and traditionally at the center of U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy formulation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Government, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jean du Preez (ed)
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: With the support of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Aff airs, the Monterey Nonproliferation Strategy Group (MNSG) has focused its work over the past two years on specifi c issues that have a direct bearing on the strength and vitality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). To date, the strategy group's agenda has included ways and means to eliminate the threat of fi ssile material; renewed commitments and new approaches to verifi cation of and compliance with the nuclear nonproliferation regime; practical and achievable nuclear arms reduction and disarmament; the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East; and nuclear challenges and policy options for the next U.S. administration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Jonathan B. Tucker
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: States seeking to produce chemical weapons (CW) typically rely on the importation of intermediate chemicals called “precursors,” which have legitimate industrial applications but can also be converted into military-grade CW agents, such as mustard gas or sarin. The dual-use nature of precursor chemicals poses challenges for policy makers seeking to prevent CW proliferation. Under U.S. Department of Commerce regulations, manufacturers planning to export CW precursors to certain countries must obtain prior government authorization in the form of an export license. Yet despite significant improvements over the past decade in the export-control systems of the United States and other industrialized countries, trafficking in precursors and other dual-use items relevant to CW production has continued.
  • Topic: Crime, International Law, International Trade and Finance, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran
  • Author: Patrick Gaughen
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Even as U.S. operations to co-opt large elements of the Sunni insurgency and target irreconciliable al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters resulted in lower levels of violence during the summer, U.S. forces have simultaneously pursued rogue elements of Muqtada as-Sadr's Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM). These operations, often in collaboration with Iraqi Security Forces friendly to Sadr's main Shi'a rival, the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq (ISCI), took place within the broader context of a violent struggle between ISCI and the Sadrist Trend for supremacy within the Shi'a community, the lucrative income from control of the Shi'a shrines, and control of southern oil fields. This struggle has increasingly centered on the city of Diwaniyah, located in southern Iraq, approximately halfway between the capital of Baghdad and the southern port city of Basrah.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Syria
  • 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