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  • Author: Geoffrey Gertz, Homi Kharas
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The past 15 years saw the most rapid decline in global poverty ever, with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the global poverty rate reached several years ahead of schedule. Building on this, governments around the world committed to a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ending extreme poverty everywhere by 2030.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rachid Chennani
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Moroccan state started to seriously interact with the human rights discourse in the early 1990s due to long domestic struggles by human rights advocates and global pressures to reform. At the same time, human rights organizations have developed and set aside much of their political lineage, taking up an active role in policy advocacy and pushing for alternatives to meet growing social and societal demands. The 2011 movement has revitalized the human rights approach to politics and social problems, and culminated a decades-long struggle to peacefully and gradually move to a social rights-based contract with the state. Such a state of affairs no longer seems far off.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Mohamed El Agati
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Egyptian state seeks to control civil society through laws and puts in place security measures to restrict its action, while civil society organizations, especially rights groups, deploy various strategies to ensure a minimal space for action. In this struggle, a solution lies not only in legislation enabling the participation of independent civil society but more in the opening of the political domain itself. In a context where the real danger lies in the continuation of a status quo that prevents the construction of a modern democratic state, civil society must build wider social and political network to enable it to influence state decisions and represent rights holders.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Youssef Mounsif
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: A deeper and broader national transformation took root in Morocco as bridges started to appear over the gap between an alleged elitism of the human rights movement and the “masses”, with human rights organizations refocussing on social, economic and localized causes of various communities. As in other similar countries, rights actors collide with existing economic and political arrangements and the entrenched networks of patronage. This will be their challenge for years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Hatem Chakroun
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The interaction between Tunisian human rights organizations and movements struggling for economic and social rights present the former with hard questions and important challenges. Human rights actors need to scrutinize their role and tactics to decide whether they would remain in the fast eroding mediation level (between the movements and the state) or they could explore other avenues that can address the complex issues of representation and brokerage between human rights defenders and the bearers of these very rights who are busy developing new ways of defending themselves.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The economic and social rights movement has struck some success in working with contentious movements to challenge public policies and institutions in Egypt. However, no organic relationship developed between the two. The contentious movement did not strategically adopt an economic and social rights framing that would have enabled it to get beyond its local, largely apolitical and un-institutionalized characteristics in favour of a nationwide platform.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Philip Stockdale, Scott Aughenbaugh, Nickolas J. Boensch
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In support of the Air University “Fast Space” study, the National Defense University collaborated with Johns Hopkins University, eight think tanks, and subject matter experts to analyze the utility of ultra-low-cost access to space (ULCATS) for the U.S. military. Contributors identified disruptors that could achieve ULCATS and Fast Space as well as space architectures and capabilities that could reduce the cost of access to space. They also offered recommendations for legal, policy, regulatory, authority, and oversight adjustments that could facilitate reductions. The combination of a greater number of innovative commercial space actors, industry advocacy for licensing reform, and optimism regarding reusable launch vehicles will eventually change the ways the United States operates in space. As the economic landscape of space activities evolves, some missions in low earth orbit may be turned over to commercial sector operation, but the next 3 to 5 years might not be revolutionary for government use of space capabilities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ian Anthony, Carrie Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Th e National Security Strategy published by the Swedish government in January 2017 underlines that the security challenges facing the country are complex and subject to rapid change. One current challenge is the re-emergence of traditional forms of power politics, including in the Baltic Sea region, which is described as one of the main areas of friction between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).2
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Blair
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: What are the effects of international intervention on the rule of law after civil war? Rule of law requires not only that state authorities abide by legal limits on their power, but also that citizens rely on state laws and institutions to adjudicate disputes. Using an original survey and list experiment in Liberia, and adopting multiple identification strategies to support a causal interpretation of my results, I show that exposure to the UN Mission in Liberia increased civilians’ reliance on state over non-state authorities to resolve the most serious incidents of crime and violence, and increased non-state authorities’ reliance on legal over illegal mechanisms of dispute resolution. I also find, however, that international intervention did not mitigate and may in fact have exacerbated citizens’ perceptions of state corruption and bias. I conclude by discussing theoretical and policy implications of these apparently contradictory effects.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Liberia
  • Author: Jennifer M. Urban, Joe Karaganis, Brianna L. Schofield
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: American Assembly at Columbia University
  • Abstract: It has been nearly twenty years since section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act established the so-called notice and takedown process. Despite its importance to copyright holders, online service providers, and Internet speakers, very little empirical research has been done on how effective section 512 is for addressing copyright infringement, spurring online service provider development, or providing due process for notice targets. This report includes three studies that draw back the curtain on notice and takedown: 1. using detailed surveys and interviews with more than three dozen respondents, the first study gathers information on how online service providers and rightsholders experience and practice notice and takedown on a day-to-day basis; 2. the second study examines a random sample from over 100 million notices generated during a six-month period to see who is sending notices, why, and whether they are valid takedown requests; and 3. the third study looks specifically at a subset of those notices that were sent to Google Image Search.
  • Topic: Intellectual Property/Copyright, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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