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  • Author: James Aird
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: As Egypt’s ‘Year of Education’ begins, the government pushes much needed reform in pre-university education across the country. Supported by a $500 million World Bank loan, the government is accelerating efforts to train teachers, build schools, and implement tablet technology in primary and secondary education. The reforms include one ambitious project that is especially deserving of more attention: the expansion of a pilot program adapting Japanese educational techniques to the Egyptian context. At a meeting in Tokyo on February 29th, 2016, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced a joint partnership that sought to link Egypt to Japan through educational development, in part thanks to al Sisi’s personal admiration for Japan’s education system. As part of the joint partnership, Japanese and Egyptian administrators and policymakers set out to reshape Egyptian pedagogy. Modeled on Japan’s Tokkatsu education system, which refers to a program of “whole child development,” Egypt aims to build schools that place great emphasis on teaching students to be responsible, disciplined, and clean, as opposed to the more traditional model prioritizing higher standardized testing scores. A Tokkatsu-inspired curriculum is already being used at over forty schools that accepted more than 13,000 students in September 2018. While President al Sisi plans to personally monitor the new education system, other MENA states should also watch closely. If it successfully contributes to building Egypt’s human capital and improving students’ competitiveness, other states in the region might consider implementing similar educational policies.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Reform, Children, Partnerships, Youth
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Syed Fazl-e Haider
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the central component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South Asia, has been a source of significant attention and controversy (China Brief, January 12, 2018; China Brief, February 15). Parts of South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe, however, are also host to another ambitious infrastructure program: the “International North-South Transport Corridor” (INSTC), a transportation development plan first established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India. The INSTC envisions a network to connect Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf ports and rail centers to the Caspian Sea, and then onwards through the Russian Federation to St. Petersburg and northern Europe.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Middle East, India, Asia
  • Author: Edward Marks
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The Trump Administration Middle East Plan appears to call for a Palestinian “Bantustan” (maybe two with Gaza) and legally enforced separation of communities based on ethnic grounds. It is difficult to believe that this resurrection from the discredited past could be acceptable to anyone but its authors, who appear to be completely oblivious to the history of South Africa. That includes Netanyahu, who has obviously been fully engaged in the plan’s development. However the plan will be unacceptable to everyone else, including Saudi Arabia and other Arab governments who have been flirting with Israel and the US in an informal anti-Iranian alliance. The plan would certainly exacerbate – if that is possible – the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. The Kushner Plan would be like throwing oil on a fire; it will end badly for everyone concerned.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Apartheid, Development, Diplomacy, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North America, United States of America, West Bank, Golan Heights
  • Author: Andi Zhou, Sam Kanson-Benanav, Collin Smith, Yi Xu, Amn Nasir, Sameer Anwar, Saim Rashid, Muqueet Shahzad, Lauren Eades, William O'Connell, Caper Gooden, Paige KW Gasser, Laurie Georges, Seleeke Flingai, Erika Parks
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: These are critical times for those who work to further the public interest. Across the globe, divisions and distrust erode the clarity required to tackle the great challenges of our day. Those who advocate for truth find themselves under attack from those who fear what they might lose if the status quo is changed. There is exceptional need today for powerful voices speaking on behalf of sound policy. The 10 articles in this 29th edition of the Journal of Public and International Affairs all reflect a dogged determination among young policy professionals around the world to press ahead in spite of the headwinds. These pages contain fresh ideas on electrifying rural Myanmar, reforming the U.S. banking system, strengthening the Jordanian labor market, and preventing recidivism among convicted sex offenders in Texas, to name just a few. The JPIA was born from the conviction that graduate students have a unique and invaluable voice in key policy debates. The authors of these articles, together with the 45 editors from 13 graduate programs around the world who selected and reviewed them, will shape the future of economic, international, domestic, and development policy in the decades to come. We strive continually, especially at this moment, to amplify their voices.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, Labor Issues, Business , Mental Health, Accountability, Public Sector, Hezbollah, Services, Electricity, Pollution, Waste
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, South Asia, Middle East, Canada, Brazil, South America, Central America, Lebanon, Mozambique, North America, Mexico, Jordan, Southeast Asia, Myanmar, United States of America
  • Author: Austin Schiano, Juan E. Chebly, Federico Ruiz
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: I deologically terrorist organizations have taken an increased prominence in the public consciousness. These organizations draw from a global support base, including young and increasingly educated populations. These organizations often take shape in the scope of a larger sentiment, and are able to rise to prominence through an ability to engage alienated individuals who are often on the margins of society. For many around the world, this issue has become an inescapable and harsh reality. It is time that we evaluate what is causing the growth of these networks, and consider sustainable development solutions to combat them. It is this paper’s attempt to highlight some examples of sustainable development solutions that successfully counter violent extremism, and to provide recommendations based on these successful examples. The answer to many of these problems can be having a bottom-up approach to building stronger communities. Inclusion and participation in public policy can empower citizens of all ages to become agents of human development and kick-start a virtuous cycle of peace that effectively eradicates extremism. It is the responsibility of public institutions to recognize best practices and support them to their best capacity with adequate policy and regulation. It is clear that we must first understand terrorism and its various foundations, before we can meaningfully fight against it.
  • Topic: Development, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State, Peace
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, United Nations, Syria
  • Author: Erika Weinthal
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In the Middle East, water often crosses political borders; because water is a shared resource, its effective management demands cooperation among different users. In the absence of cooperation, conflict is likely. Indeed, conflict and cooperation over shared water has defined Israeli-Palestinian relations since 1967 when Israel gained full control over the Eastern and recharge zone of the western Mountain aquifer, as well as the southern Coastal aquifer. These resources, combined with water from the Sea of Galilee have provided about 60% of Israel’s water consumption. With the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, Israel placed restrictions on the drilling of new wells for the Palestinian population in the West Bank, and instead chose to supply water to Palestinian households through its national water company, Mekorot. The signing of the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (Oslo I) and the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Oslo II) between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization offered an historic opportunity to move from conflict to cooperation over shared water resources. Unlike many other peace agreements, water was codified in the Oslo Accords, as it was understood that water sharing was of critical importance for human security, economic development, and regional cooperation. Specifically, the Oslo Accords called for the creation of a Joint Water Committee (JWC) during an interim period before the final status negotiations, comprised of equal number of members from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, whose functions would include the coordinated management of water resources and water and sewage systems in the West Bank. Oslo II, Article 40 on water and sewage recognized Palestinian water rights in the West Bank and the need to develop additional water supply. Oslo II also detailed specific water quantities to be allocated to the Palestinian population, mostly from the eastern Mountain aquifer in the West Bank.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Water, Conflict, Negotiation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, West Bank
  • Author: Itzhak Galnoor
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Israeli democracy has followed a unique trajectory. Despite its strengths – regular and fair elections, an independent judiciary, a pluralistic party system etc. – the author argues that democratic development is in fact “interrupted.” The author identifies four main areas: the continuous occupation since 1967, the status of the Arab citizens within Israel, the growing socio-economic gaps, and the relationship between the state and religion. In order to mitigate the threats to Israeli democracy, the author espouses going back to fundamental democratic values – above all, democratic education in schools to build an enduring trust in democracy among young people.
  • Topic: Development, Culture, Minorities, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Jennifer Rowland, Nada Zohdy, Brian Katulis, Michael Wahid Hanna, Faysal Itani, Muhammad Y. Idris, Joelle Thomas, Tamirace Fakhoury, Farouk El-Baz, Kheireddine Bekkai, Amira Maaty, Sarah McKnight
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Our Spring 2015 volume captures the troubling developments of the past year in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2014, the Syrian conflict that has so beguiled the international community spilled over into Iraq, with the swift and shocking rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). ISIS is causing the ever-complex alliances in the region to shift in peculiar ways. In Iraq, US airstrikes provide cover for Iranian-backed militias fighting ISIS; while in Yemen, the United States supports a Saudi intervention against a different Iranianbacked armed group that has taken control of the Yemeni capital. Meanwhile, simmering political disputes in Libya escalated into a full-blown civil war, sparking concern in neighboring Egypt, where the old authoritarian order remains in control despite the country’s popular revolution. The Gulf countries contemplate their responses to record-low oil prices, continuing negotiations between the United States and Iran, and the threat of ISIS. And Tunisia remains one of the region’s only bright spots. In November, Tunisians voted in the country’s first free and fair presidential elections. This year’s Journal brings new analysis to many of these complex events and broader regional trends. We begin with the positive: an exclusive interview with former Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. In this year’s feature articles: Brian Katulis zooms out to assess the Obama administration’s record in the Middle East over the past six years; Michael Wahid Hanna refutes the notion that the Iraqi and Syrian borders will need to be redrawn as a result of ISIS’ takeover; and Faysal Itani analyzes the US coalition’s strategy to defeat ISIS, arguing that it cannot succeed without empowering Sunni civilians. Muhammed Idris and Joelle Thomas turn to economics in an assessment of the United Arab Emirates’ efforts to go green. Tamirace Fakhoury points out a blind spot in the study of the Middle East and North Africa: how large diaspora communities affect political dynamics in their home countries. Farouk El-Baz takes us to Egypt, where he proposes a grand economic plan to pull the country out of poverty and set it on a path toward longterm growth. From Egypt, we move west to the oft-neglected country of Algeria, where Kheireddine Bekkai argues for more inclusive education policies on national identity. Finally, Amira Maaty comments on the region’s desperate need for robust civil societies, while Sarah McKnight calls for improvements in Jordan’s water policies.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Environment, Migration, History, Natural Resources, Social Movement, Islamic State, Economy, Political stability, Arab Spring, Military Intervention, Identities, Diversification
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Algeria, North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
  • Author: Charles Simpson
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In 2003, Dr. Richard Norton presented a gloomy picture of urbanization: “Imagine a great metropolis covering hundreds of square miles… a territory where the rule of law has long been replaced by near anarchy in which the only security available is that which is attained through brute power.” Norton is describing his vision of the “feral city,” a space where political, economic, and military stressors bring about a city’s decline, a concept that became a major concern of security thinkers over the next decade. Reading Norton’s descriptions, large urbanized refugee communities of the Syrian crisis appear especially vulnerable to feral relapse. However, despite superficial parallels to Norton’s description, field research presented in this article will argue that the 82,000-resident Za’atari Syrian refugee camp—perhaps the most grimly reported refugee camp in the region—stands significantly in contrast to the “feral city” model: rather than declining to a “feral” state, Za’atari’s residents and authorities have demonstrated incredible resilience while maintaining, strengthening, and innovating new governance mechanisms for achieving human security. A wider search for feral cities in Mogadishu and Syria suggests that this resilience to feral decline is more the rule than the exception for modern cities.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Urbanization, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Jordan, Somalia