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  • Author: Bernard Gwertzman (interviewer)
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After nine months of political wrangling, Iraq's parliament confirmed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's new coalition government December 21. Though the government is "a good basis for setting out," says Iraq expert Joost Hiltermann, there's much uncertainty about how cohesive it will be and whether the inclusive government formed can govern. Hiltermann says there are questions about who will head the three major security ministries, whether a new National Council for Strategic Policy--designed as a "real check" against Maliki's power--will be approved by parliament, and whether Ayad Allawi, who headed the Iraqiya bloc that won the most seats in the election, will want to head that council. The United States pushed a power-sharing agreement "that went beyond the sharing of ministerial positions," says Hiltermann, but it remains to be seen whether various factions, including the prime minister and his allies, will allow that to happen.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Government, Politics, Governance, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Richard Lapper
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The popularity of the new political and economic model being developed in Venezuela has been a consistent source of aggravation for the U.S. government. Since first winning the presidency in December 1998, Hugo Chávez has been able through repeated electoral victories and radical constitutional reform to dominate Venezuela's government and public institutions. Undaunted by stiff U.S. opposition, President Chávez has launched what he calls a Bolivarian revolution, named after Simón Bolívar, a nineteenth-century leader of Latin America's independence wars. Chávez has reasserted the role of the state in the Venezuelan economy and developed extensive social programs to advance an anti- U.S., anti-capitalist crusade. New or newly reinvigorated alliances with established U.S. adversaries have helped internationalize Chávez's aims. Most alarming to those concerned with the health of Venezuelan democracy, Chávez and his allies have concentrated political power in the hands of the executive, curtailed the independence of the judiciary, shown limited tolerance for domestic critics, and openly intervened in the electoral politics of neighboring states.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Robert M. Gates, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Susan Maloney
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Twenty-five years after its Islamic revolution, Iran represents a challenge and an opportunity for the United States. The issues at stake reflect the urgent and multifaceted dilemmas of U.S. security in the post–9/11 era: nuclear proliferation, state support of terrorism, the relationship between religion and politics, and the imperative of political and economic reform in the Middle East. At this time, as Iraq—Iran's neighbor and historic adversary—embarks on a difficult transition to post-conflict sovereignty, and as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extends its scrutiny of Iranian nuclear activities, Iran looms large on the U.S. policy agenda. Recognizing this relevance to vital U.S. interests, the Task Force advocates selectively engaging with Iran to address critical U.S. concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Catherine E. Dalpino
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The outcome of national elections in the Philippines on May 10 is still to be determined. For the past three years, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has governed as an appointed head of state in the wake of President Joseph Estrada's forced resignation on corruption charges. Her administration inherited a country in crisis, and it began the critical process of economic stabilization and growth. Economic indicators in the past two years have shown modest progress. In this interim period, the Philippines has been a steadfast ally of the United States in the war against terrorism. These fragile gains could be imperiled if the Philippines does not complete the electoral process in an expeditious and credible manner. Whatever the outcome of the polls, the winner will have little time to lose in addressing a number of short- and long-term problems in the Philippines.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Pat Choate, Stuart Eizenstat
  • Publication Date: 09-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: September 29, 1997 Dr. LESLIE GELB: Good evening. Welcome to another in a series of Council on Foreign Relations great debates, which have been put together, advised, supported by a group of folks that I'd like to mention because they've worked with us so hard over the last couple of years doing these great debate programs, trying to bring more of the issues to you in the debating format and doing these policy impact hearings, these old-style congressional hearings where we try to prepare very carefully, to lay out a complicated set of facts and some policy alternatives.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David J. Vidal
  • Publication Date: 05-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the architecture of postwar American foreign policy, the twin themes of the Cold War and the national interest emerge as unshakable pillars. In the design of the conference, one session was set aside to explore the practical and political meanings of these themes for minorities. Conferees were asked to consider how Cold War foreign policy priorities intersected with minority concerns. They were also asked to assess whether the declaration made by Hans J. Morgenthau --that "we should have one guiding standard for thought and action, the national interest"--was a useful benchmark. These two points of departure struck the organizers as indispensable to any rethinking of the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America