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  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Elites in Tunisia and Jordan stress their need to invest in their human resources, because people are the only resources they have. An array of programs has arisen in both countries to help young people learn life and job skills, find appropriate careers, and launch new businesses. Yet a look at recent and ongoing workforce development efforts in each country reveals that these schemes are intended to produce something fundamentally different in each country. Tunisians are working to overcome the legacies of dictatorship and build a new, more democratic system while simultaneously carrying out economic reforms that aim to alter the state’s role in the economy. Jordanians are trying to alter society and economic incentives within a political status quo where too much change too quickly could threaten the political order, and the government therefore faces compelling reasons both to reform and to keep things as they are. This report examines how similar efforts have evolved in these contrasting contexts
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Richard M. Rossow
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) historic victory in the spring 2014 Lok Sabha1 election was a tremendous accomplishment—yet it still leaves the party with impartial control, at best. Weakness in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP only holds 43 out of 243 seats, may limit the party's ability to enact legislative reforms. And the fact that the BJP only controls 5 of India's 29 states will also blunt the impact of any policy measures adopted at the center. In order to enact a true economic transformation, the BJP will either need the support of a wide range of unaligned parties—which would be a historical abnormality—or to consolidate its power at the state level by winning upcoming state elections. With the BJP's powerful show of force across India in the Lok Sabha election, winning state elections appears to be a viable path.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regime Change, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: India, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Maghreb is in motion. Political changes underway across North Africa have created opportunities for more representative and transparent governance. Debates over the nature of authority and the role of the state that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago now shape political discourse. And yet, doubts remain.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas S. Yarosh, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The political dynamics and violence that shape the current series of crises in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – and daily events in Bahrain Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen – dominate the current course of virtually every aspect of these states including much of the current course of violence and instability in the region. Political dynamics and the current levels of, however, are only part of the story.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Carl Meacham, Robert Funk
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the first round of Chile's presidential elections on November 17, Michelle Bachelet, of the progressive New Majority (Nueva Mayoría) coalition, commanded a resounding lead. Garnering 46.7 percent of the popular vote—and putting her 20 points ahead of Alliance for Chile (Alianza por Chile) candidate Evelyn Matthei, her nearest rival—the former president is the likely victor in the runoff elections scheduled for December 15.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Carl Meacham
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Is democracy in danger in the Dominican Republic? Is the country headed toward sustained one-party rule? In an effort to understand the state of Dominican democracy and rule of law, CSIS Americas Program director Carl Meacham led a six-month initiative to answer these questions. This report, which details the project's findings, pays particular attention to alleged growing levels of corruption within the government and the independence—and effectiveness—of the country's judiciary, as well as implications for the Dominican Republic's relations with the United States.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, Caribbean
  • Author: Kiyoaki Aburaki
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “Decide when it is time to decide, draw a conclusion, don't postpone; this is the type of politics I want to create.” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made this declaration in a press conference on June 26 immediately after the passage of the consumption tax-hike bill in the Lower House of the Diet. Noda's conviction to pass a tax increase had a political cost: 57 lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) voted against the bill, while 15 DPJ members abstained. Former DPJ president Ichiro Ozawa, who leads the anti-tax-hike movement, and his followers created a deep rift within the ruling party over the tax legislation and subsequently damaged Noda's political power base by defecting from the party on July 2.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Sam Khazai
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iraq is in an ongoing struggle to establish a new national identity, and one that can bridge across the deep sectarian divisions between its Shi'ite s and Sunnis and the ethnic division s between its Arabs and its Kurds and other minorities. At the same time, it must build a new structure of governance, economic, and social order after a period of dictatorship, war, sanctions, occupation and civil conflict that began in 1979 and has continued ever since. It must cope with a steadily growing population, and diversify an economy that is so dependent on petroleum exports that they provide some 95% of its government revenues. This struggle can still end in a new round of serious civil conflict and even in the division of the country. At the same time, Iraq does have great potential and its political divisions and ongoing low - level violence do not mean it cannot succeed in establishing stability, security, and a better life for its people.
  • Topic: Democratization, Peace Studies, War, Counterinsurgency, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Johnson
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Corruption in the Philippines diverts, delays, and distorts economic development, undermines the quality and credibility of democracy, and reduces the quality of life. That is so not just because of its extent but also because it comes in particularly disruptive and intractable forms. Philippine corruption is an example of the Oligarch-and-Clan syndrome—one found in countries offering significant and expanding political and economic opportunities in a setting of very weak institutions, but a pattern shaped by historical, cultural, and geographical influences specific to the country. Oligarch-and-Clan corruption is particularly disruptive, in development terms. Because of institutional weaknesses and the power of corrupt oligarchs and their followings, it often faces ineffective opposition. More than other syndromes it is closely linked to violence, and sharply limits the state's ability to perform such basic functions as revenue collection, maintenance of institutional foundations for the economy, law enforcement, conflict resolution, and dealing with security threats.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Corruption, Democratization, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Philippines
  • Author: Robert D. Lamb, Sadika Hameed
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report presents the results of a study on the link between the rise of militants and the quality of subnational governance in Pakistan: whether a link exists and, if so, what the United States can do about it, if anything. Its basic finding is that Pakistan's governance problems are not caused by militancy, and its problems with militancy are not directly caused by its governance problems, but improving governance will be necessary (though not sufficient) to counter militancy. Pakistan's governance problems are extensive and will take a long time to overcome. But they are not insurmountable, and recent trends offer reason for hope: the military's prestige has declined, the civilian government is likely to complete its full term, the judiciary is increasingly independent, civil society is increasingly confident even in the face of militant intimidation, and recent reforms—the Local Governance Ordinance of 2001 and the Eighteenth Amendment to the constitution—have put in place a set of institutions and incentives that are likely to contribute to improvements in the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Corruption, Democratization, Development, Armed Struggle, Bilateral Relations, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia
  • Author: Duncan Wood
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Although security is commonly seen as the defining issue in Mexico's upcoming presidential election, the country's economic development ranks a close second in voters' minds. On July 1, despite the pervasiveness of the drug war in the political and social discourse, voters will make their decision based largely on the perceived successes and failures of 12 years of rule by the National Action Party (PAN). This is partly because the three main parties have currently presented minor differences in tackling the security problem and partly because the Mexican economy continues to show such a dramatically uneven development pattern. Of particular importance are continuing high levels of inequality manifested in Mexico's society, a direct result of an economic system that, despite its current vitality, still offers little opportunity for upward mobility for most citizens.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development, Economics, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Sam Khazai
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iraq is in an ongoing struggle to establish a new national identity, and one that can bridge across the deep sectarian divisions between its Shi'ites and Sunnis as well as the ethnic divisions between its Arabs and its Kurds and other minorities. At the same time, Iraq's leaders must try to build a new structure of governance, economics, and social order after a mix of dictatorship, war, sanctions, occupation, and civil conflict that began in the 1970s and have continued ever since.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Post Colonialism, Regime Change, Counterinsurgency, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Vivek Kocharlakota, Adam Seitz
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: US competition with Iran has become the equivalent of a game of three-dimensional chess, in which other states are outside players that can constantly intervene, and one where each side can modify at least some of the rules with each move. It is a game that has been going on for some three decades. It is clearly unlikely to be ended by better dialog and mutual understanding, and that Iran's version of “democracy” is unlikely to change the way it is played in the foreseeable future. This does not make dialogue and negotiation pointless. Dialogue and negotiation do reduce the risk of escalation and misunderstanding. They offer a peaceful means of placing limits on Iran's behavior, of helping to convince Iran's regime that such limits are really in its interest, and establishing “rules of the game” which limit the risks involved to both sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Michael M. May, Roger Speed
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In September 2002, President George W. Bush announced his new National Security Strategy. Although this doctrine retains some elements from the past, in some respects it is a bold departure from previous U.S. policy. It declares that the United States finds itself in a unique position of military and political dominance and that it has a moral duty to use this strength to establish a new liberal democratic world order. The National Security Strategy and Bush's supporting speeches argue that the United States must in effect establish and maintain a global military hegemony to secure its envisioned democratic, peaceful world. According to the strategy, carrying out this mission requires that any challenge to U.S. military dominance must be blocked, by force if necessary. A significant challenge to world stability comes from terrorists and certain states that are seeking weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Concerned that the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment may no longer work, and that "if we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long," Bush announced in the National Security Strategy a new "preemption doctrine" against such threats. Earlier, in 2001, the Bush administration's Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) addressed the nuclear aspect of the issue. The review recognized the new cooperative relationship with Russia and the rising threat from the potential proliferation of WMD. The latter point was seen as particularly important, since future conflict with a number of regional powers was thought possible--North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya all were thought to sponsor or harbor terrorists and to have active WMD and missile programs. The NPR presented a new U.S. strategic military doctrine intended to transform the defense establishment with the creation of a new triad, consisting of offensive strike systems (both nuclear and conventional), defenses (both active and passive), and a revitalized defense infrastructure that will provide new capabilities to meet emerging threats. According to the NPR, the new triad will have four primary missions: to assure, dissuade, deter, and defeat. Bush later added a fifth mission, to preempt, which he characterized as proactive counterproliferation--the use of military force to prevent or reverse proliferation. The "Bush doctrine" called for new nuclear weapons to meet the requirements of these missions. It was argued that smaller nuclear weapons could reduce collateral civilian damage and make U.S. use of nuclear weapons more "credible," therefore deterring hostile nations or even dissuading opponents from acquiring WMD. However, our analysis indicates that low-yield nuclear weapons would likely be militarily effective in only a few cases, and even then the collateral damage could be significant unless the targets were located in isolated areas. Moreover, even if they were militarily effective, they would likely add little or nothing to U.S. deterrent capability, nor be effective at dissuading WMD acquisition. Indeed, the new weapons concepts advanced to date seem to have little to do with deterrence of a nuclear (or other WMD) attack on the United States or its allies. Instead, they appear to be geared toward a warfighting role, which could ultimately undermine rather than enhance U.S. security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jing-dong Yuan, Phillip C. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao's first visit to the United States this week has put the spotlight on the upcoming Chinese leadership transition. But will the changeover be a true transfer of power?
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Brent Won-ki Choi, Ray Yep
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The "Dear Leader" is flirting with Russia these days. For the past few weeks, there have been reports of various engagements between high officials of Pyongyang and Moscow. They range from trifles like Chairman Kim Jong-il's joining Russian officials to celebrate Russia's Maslenitsa festival to seemingly endless dialogue on economic cooperation. In addition to friendly gestures such as inviting a Russian orchestra to the North's prestigious Mansudae Assembly Hall to perform, Konstantin Pulikovski, representative of Russia's Far East, came to discuss a series of economic cooperation projects with the North. Some reports even suggest Chairman Kim is making a habit of visiting Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov once a week. The latest highlight is the North's proposal that Russia establish a joint nuclear reactor, which Moscow said it would "consider."
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Frank Ching, Sunny Kai-sun Kwong, Michael M.Y. Suen, Eric Bjornlund
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Sir Winston Churchill once said, “At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper—no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the point.” Churchill's statement in 1944 underlines the determination of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government to encourage voters to turn out in record numbers for this September's Legislative Council ( LegCo) elections.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Hong Kong