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  • Author: Nathan Brown
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: All Arab states have large, official Muslim religious establishments that give governments a major role in religious life. These establishments have developed differently, according to each state’s historical experience. Through them, the state has a say over religious education, mosques, and religious broadcasting—turning official religious institutions into potent policy tools. However, the complexity of the religious landscape means they are rarely mere regime mouthpieces and it can be difficult to steer them in a particular direction.
  • Topic: Islam, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maha Yahya, Jean Kassir
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: A sustainable political settlement to end the multiple conflicts in Syria will not be possible without a real focus on the challenges of refugee returns. The complexities of the Syrian wars as well as previous international experiences with similar conflicts underscore that ensuring long-term peace requires a more focused attention on the challenges for effective repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons, including significant security and protection guarantees. Without these, and irrespective of the eventual shape of a political solution, their return may be neither possible nor sustainable—with significant repercussions for peace in Syria, neighboring countries, and states beyond.
  • Topic: War, International Security, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: George Perkovich
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In May 2017, negotiators at the United Nations introduced a draft convention to prohibit the possession of nuclear weapons, as a way to hasten progress toward eventual nuclear disarmament, as called for in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). All the nuclear-armed states except North Korea have boycotted the negotiations, along with many U.S. allies. Unfortunately, the good motives behind the treaty do not mean it will enhance international security, prevent nuclear proliferation, or facilitate actual nuclear disarmament. It may even have unintended consequences that make these goals harder to achieve. Yet there are steps that nuclear-armed states could take, perhaps nudged along by their allies, to help heal rifts that the proposed ban treaty has highlighted.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Eugene B. Rumer
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Deception and active measures in all their incarnations have long been and will remain a staple of Russia’s dealings with the outside world for the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Security, International Affairs, Elections, Democracy, Post Truth Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Wyatt Hoffman, Ariel Levite
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The cyber revolution and ever-growing transfer of human activities into the virtual world are undermining the social contract between modern states and their citizens. Most governments are becoming unable and unwilling to protect citizens and private enterprises against numerous, sophisticated cyber predators seeking to disrupt, manipulate, or destroy their digital equities. Inevitably, states are focused on protecting governmental assets and national infrastructure, leaving themselves with modest residual capacity and resolve to underwrite other cybersecurity risks. Faced with this reality, private entities are reluctantly but increasingly complementing their passive cybersecurity practices with more assertive “active cyber defense” (ACD) measures. This approach carries substantial risks, but if guided by bounding principles and industry models, it also has the potential for long-term, cumulative benefits.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maha Yahya
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Lebanon’s and Iraq’s political systems are based on sectarian and ethnic power-sharing. In summer 2015, both countries faced popular protests demanding better governance. These protests began over poor service provision but escalated into opposition to the countries’ overarching power-sharing systems. These demonstrations were framed as nonsectarian, civic responses to deteriorating conditions and corrupt leadership. While protestors raised hopes that change was possible, their curtailment by the sectarian leadership underlined the challenges of political transformation in divided societies.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Anouar Boukhars
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: More than six years after the revolution that ousted former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia’s border regions remain hotbeds of social discontent and agitation. Aggrieved youth increasingly express their anger through fiery protests, street violence, and in some cases violent extremism. In response to this ongoing social unrest and terrorism, the Tunisian government has developed hardline security policies, whose effects often exacerbate social tensions, political violence, and militancy. Breaking this vicious cycle requires Tunisia’s government to rethink its approach to the border regions.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Salman Ahmed, Alexander Bick
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The sixteen national security strategies issued by presidents Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama reaffirmed U.S. leadership of a liberal international order, even as they acknowledged it enabled the rise of others and eroded U.S. economic dominance. President Donald Trump may decide that is no longer tenable. His forthcoming national security strategy will be closely scrutinized to understand what “America First” means for the U.S. role in the world and whether it represents a shift toward a narrower, neo-mercantile approach.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Rajesh Rajagopalan
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India is a rising power, but its transformation is occurring in the shadow of China’s even more impressive ascent. Beijing’s influence will almost certainly continue to grow and has already upset Asia’s geopolitical balance. India must decide how to secure its interests in this unbalanced environment by choosing among six potential strategic options: staying unaligned, hedging, building indigenous military power, forming regional partnerships, aligning with China, or aligning with the United States. A closer alignment with Washington likely represents India’s best chance to counter China, while efforts to foster regional partnerships and cultivate domestic military capabilities, although insufficient by themselves, could play a complementary role.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Ashley Tellis
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The international community’s routine call for continuous India-Pakistan dialogue is not only misguided but also counterproductive. This entreaty, which often follows major Pakistani-supported terrorist attacks in India, fails to recognize that the security competition between the two nations is not actually driven by discrete, negotiable differences. Rather, the discord is rooted in long-standing ideological, territorial, and power-political antagonisms that are fueled by Pakistan’s irredentism, its army’s desire to subvert India’s ascendency as a great power and exact revenge for past Indian military victories, and its aspirations to be treated on par with India despite their huge differences in capabilities, achievements, and prospects.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Sarah Chayes
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In some five dozen countries worldwide, corruption can no longer be understood as merely the iniquitous doings of individuals. Rather, it is the operating system of sophisticated networks that cross sectoral and national boundaries in their drive to maximize returns for their members. Honduras offers a prime example of such intertwined, or “integrated,” transnational kleptocratic networks. This case thus illustrates core features of the way apparently open or chaotic economies are in reality structured worldwide—and some of the dynamics that are driving climate change, persistent inequality, and spiraling conflict.
  • Topic: Corruption, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Honduras
  • Author: Michele Dunne, Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Secular political parties in Egypt have always been caught between an overbearing state and a largely Islamist opposition. The brief, chaotic political opening from 2011 to 2013 offered them unprecedented opportunities, but the violence and intense polarization that followed the military coup have put them under more pressure than ever. Formal politics in Egypt is now a tightly controlled game in which no real independence is allowed, but some secular parties might reemerge as contenders should there be another opportunity for free competition.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Frederic M. Wehrey
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Southern Libya remains a region of endemic instability wracked by communal conflict, a shortage of basic services, rampant smuggling, and fragmented or collapsed institutions. The region has long existed on the periphery of Libya’s politics and international concerns—but that must change. Increasingly, the vacuum of governance in the south has drawn in political actors from northern Libya and outside states. Extremists seeking refuge in the south and migrants being smuggled through the region directly impact the security of Libya, neighboring states like Tunisia, and Europe.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, National Security
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Kheder Khaddour
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For decades, the Assad regime rallied support and crushed dissent in Syrian society through mobilizing networks of local intermediaries. Since 2011, the varying relationships between the central authorities in Syria, these local inter- mediaries, and the country’s different localities have played a fundamental role in shaping the outbreak of protests and descent into armed conflict. While six years of war have left the state’s administrative structures in tatters, Bashar al- Assad’s regime has focused on maintaining, reviving, or renewing its network of local intermediaries to keep control in its areas and retake lost territory. However, the conflict has crucially and irreparably changed local politics in Syria, and a return to the pre-2011 status quo is impossible. For any negotiated settlement to be sustainable, these changes will need to be incorporated into a new, decentralized power-sharing bargain, which will shape Syria’s economic and physical reconstruction and postconflict recovery.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Civil War, Political Power Sharing
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Kheder Khaddour
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In 2012, when Bashar al-Assad’s regime withdrew most of its security forces from the Jazira in northeastern Syria, it ceded local power to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing. The PYD replicated past regime behavior, focusing on maintaining a secure hold of this strategic geographical area at the expense of effective governance. This approach has hindered the prospect of building a self-sustained administration. At the same time, outside actors such as Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey, and the United States have inadvertently reinforced the PYD’s security-focused rule while pursuing their own security concerns. Exploring potential avenues to peace and stable governance in Syria requires carefully identifying the interrelated nature of these various actors’ security concerns in the Jazira.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Political Theory, Governance
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Toby Dalton, Wyatt Hoffman, Ariel Levite, Li Bin, George Perkovich, Tong Zhao
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: There is no clear, internationally accepted definition of what activities or technologies constitute a nuclear weapons program. This lack of definition encumbers nuclear energy cooperation and complicates peaceful resolution of proliferation disputes. A “nuclear firewall” could enhance the distinction between nuclear weapons–related activities and other non-weapons uses of nuclear technology. Applying a firewall framework for analyzing nuclear programs could improve international governance of nuclear technology and facilitate peaceful nuclear cooperation and disarmament. It could also expand the time and means available to key states and international bodies, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and United Nations Security Council, to diplomatically resolve impending proliferation crises.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt’s new authoritarian regime is rapidly closing the public space—cracking down on autonomous civil society and independent political parties, asphyxiating the practice of pluralist politics, and thwarting citizens’ peaceful and active engagement in public affairs. The government’s primary strategy is to institute wide-scale repression through lawmaking and justify its behavior through conspiratorial and populist narratives. With unprecedented resolve, it has passed new protest and terrorism laws, introduced legal amendments targeting nongovernmental organizations, and extended the military court’s jurisdiction. Essentially, the regime is adapting lawmaking for its own purposes. To fight against the tide, those challenging the system need to fully understand how.
  • Topic: Governance, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Ananth Padmanabhan
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs or drones, have decentralized airspace access, allowing agriculturists, construction workers, and other civilian users to integrate aerial monitoring into their daily work. This technological revolution comes with a set of concerns, impinging as it does upon the proprietary, reputational, and security interests of individuals. An appropriate regulatory response and new policy recommendations must go beyond the current regulatory intervention in India.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: India
  • 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: Kheder Khaddour, Kevin Mazur
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: With all eyes on western Syria, developments in eastern Syria, which is populated mainly by tribal communities, will be just as important for the country’s future. Numerous parties involved in Syria’s conflict—including the Assad regime, radical Islamists, Turkey, and the Kurds—have sought to integrate tribal leaders into their political agendas, believing their tribes would follow. However, these leaders no longer have the authority they once did. Syria’s conflict has forced tribal communities to turn inwards, and such localization has further undermined tribal solidarities.
  • Topic: Political structure, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Hardeep.S Puri
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India faces significant challenges in the area of trade policy— the global economic slowdown, increasing protectionism, the stalled mega-trade deals that could in time be revived, and perhaps more important, its own domestic preoccupations. For India to achieve its policy objectives, the government and industry, particularly the manufacturing sector, must prepare for opportunities and greater engagement in an evolving multilateral trade arena. India’s priorities should include taking policy measures to conform to global standards and supporting the World Trade Organization (WTO) to relaunch multilateral negotiations.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Eugene Rumer, Richard Sokolsky, Paul Stronski, Andrew Weiss
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Russian relationship is broken, and it cannot be repaired quickly or easily. Improved personal ties between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin may be useful, but they are not enough. The Trump administration needs to temper expectations about breakthroughs or grand bargains with Moscow. Instead, the focus should be on managing a volatile relationship with an increasingly emboldened and unpredictable Russian leadership. The real test for any sustainable approach will be whether it advances U.S. interests and values, especially in the wake of Moscow’s reckless meddling in the November presidential election.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rachel Kleinfeld
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a target to “Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related deaths everywhere.” Given the vast decline in violence since the Middle Ages, particularly since the end of the Cold War, this ambitious target is achievable. But policymakers know the least about the countries receiving the most aid. To ensure that aid and policy are effective, current data gaps and deficiencies must be fully understood and improved. Equally important, the target must include indicators that capture all the main types of violence, not just homicide.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Basic Data, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andre Movchan
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia faces bleak economic prospects for the next few years. It may be a case of managed decline in which the government appeases social and political demands by tapping the big reserves it accumulated during the boom years with oil and gas exports. But there is also a smaller possibility of a more serious economic breakdown or collapse. A proper analysis requires consideration of a number of key and often overlooked features of Russia’s post-Soviet economy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Economic structure
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Alexander Baunov
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Revolutionary or dynamic regimes around the world tend to encourage supporters to act independently, or even engage in decentralized violence. By contrast, more conservative, static regimes typically discourage and distrust such unplanned, spontaneous demonstrations of support. For most of Russian history, the country’s leaders have employed a top-down political system. When Crimea was annexed in 2014, the Kremlin temporarily allowed more decentralized patriotic activism to rally support, but they soon saw the potential risks and reverted to more centralized political control. Russia’s reinstated traditional conservative rule may seem dull, but, paradoxically enough, its return might prove beneficial to future reformers.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Constantino Xavier
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India has extensive experience conducting evacuation operations, but given the rising economic contributions and political influence of Indian citizens abroad and the increasing complexity of these operations, the incentives to ensure the success of future ones are now even greater. As India’s diaspora continues to grow, so will the challenges New Delhi faces in protecting this diverse and geographically dispersed population. To overcome these issues, the Indian government will have to institutionalize best practices, bolster its diplomatic and military capabilities, and improve coordination.
  • Topic: Diaspora, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: India