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  • Author: Aaron Stein
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The United States has an interest in allowing the Russian Federation to “win” an outright victory in Syria, so long as it secures from Moscow an agreement that is favorable to the Syrian Kurds, builds in negative consequences for an external actor targeting the Syrian Democratic Forces, and establishes a “deconflict plus”-type mechanism to continue to target Islamic State- and Al Qaeda-linked individuals in Syria. A forward-looking policy that the incoming Biden administration could consider is to deprioritize the nascent threat of the Islamic State as a key factor in driving U.S. national security strategy, and instead focus more intently on long-term competition with great powers. This approach would seek to shape how Moscow spends finite defense dollars—at a time of expected global defense cuts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic—in ways that are advantageous to the United States. It also would seek to limit the cost of the U.S. presence in Syria—to include secondary and opportunity costs not accounted for in a basic cost breakdown of the U.S. war against the Islamic State. This approach is not without risk, particularly from a nascent Islamic State insurgency in Russian-controlled territory, but seeks to match U.S. strategic priorities with action and to impose upon a long-term competitor the costs of victory for its intervention in Syria.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, War, Syrian War, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Richard E. Rubenstein, Oakley Thomas Hill
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Why would Trump run the risk of a war by assassinating Iran’s most effective general? Conventional Realist explanations do not answer the question adequately. The imperial strategy and the American Empire’s decline points toward a more convincing (and alarming) explanation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Geopolitics, Donald Trump, Qassem Soleimani
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: In Nigeria, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Mozambique and Somalia
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, Chad, Cameroon, Burkina Faso
  • Author: David Díaz Arias, Luisa Cajamarca, Maya Collombon, Olivier Dabène, Gaspard Estrada, Manuel Gárate, Marie-Laure Geoffray, Damien Larrouqué, Frédéric Louault, Maria Teresa Martínez, Anaís Medeiros Passos, Kevin Parthenay, Gustavo Pastor, Carlos A. Romero, Pierre Salama, Sebastián Urioste
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Amérique latine - L’Année politique is a publication by CERI-Sciences Po’s Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC). The study extends the work presented on the Observatory’s website (www.sciencespo.fr/opalc) by offering tools for understanding a continent that is in the grip of deep transformations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil Society, Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Nationalism, Political Economy, Religion, Governance, Peacekeeping, Economy, Political Science, Regional Integration, Memory, Transnational Actors
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Latin America, Nicaragua, Caribbean, Venezuela, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia
  • Author: Daniel Maxwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Attention to the growing number of people caught in crises characterized by extreme and often protracted levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, and mortality is increasing. The information systems that track these conditions and inform humanitarian decision-making have expanded substantially in the past two decades and in many cases have reached a degree of unprecedented sophistication. These famine early warning systems have become increasingly sophisticated in the past decade, but they still tend to be based on several assumptions that are important to understand. This paper briefly describes existing famine early warning systems and outlines some of the assumptions on which they are based— both in theory and in practice. Then it gives four brief case studies of recent famine or “famine-like” events and pieces together the formal analysis process with an attempt to reconstruct events on the ground from a conflict analysis perspective—highlighting the extent to which the formal famine analysis did or did not deal with conflict analyses and the political kryptonite around the discussion of “intent.” It closes with a summary of gaps in the current system and an assessment of the risks of trying to address those gaps through famine EWS or alternative means.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Middle East, Yemen, North Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Helen Young, Elizabeth Stites, Anastasia Marshak
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This is the third in a series of three briefing papers that form part of the Mind the Gap: Bridging the Research, Policy, and Practice Divide to Enhance Livelihood Resilience in Conflict Settings project. The first two briefing papers accompany regional case-study reports on Chad, South Sudan and the Sudan, and on Uganda that challenge many long-held assumptions about nutrition and livelihoods in countries struggling to recover from conflict, violence and fragility. FAO reviewed these regional case-studies on resilience and vulnerability at a two-day high-level workshop in Rome in November 2018. This brief summarizes the report highlights on the resilience and vulnerability of populations affected by conflict, including insights from the workshop participants and some implications for policies, programs, and future research.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Sudan, North Africa, Chad, South Sudan
  • Author: Elizabeth Stites, Frank Muhereza, Claire McGillem
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This is the second in a series of three briefing papers that form part of the Mind the Gap: Bridging the Research, Policy, and Practice Divide to Enhance Livelihood Resilience in Conflict Settings project. This briefing paper accompanies a report that examines the parallel but separate trajectories of peace-building, recovery, and transformation over post-conflict periods in northern (Acholi and Lango subregions) and northeastern (Karamoja) Uganda. Parallels between these areas include a history of marginalization from the central state, underdevelopment and endemic poverty, and vulnerability to climate change and crossborder incursions. We argue that throughout the post-conflict periods, the initial peace processes in both locations were largely top-down in nature, with little participation from the affected populations. While keeping in mind the key differences in these areas, we highlight the nature of recovery, the ongoing challenges, and the need for external actors to be cognizant of the continuing fragility as they design policies and interventions for these locations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Food Security, Conflict, Pastorialism
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, North Africa
  • Author: Elizabeth Stites, Frank Muhereza, Claire McGillem
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the parallel but separate trajectories of peace-building, transformation, and livelihood recovery in northern (Acholi and Lango sub-regions) and northeastern (Karamoja sub-region) Uganda over the past 15 years. While keeping in mind the key differences in these areas, we highlight the similarities in the nature of recovery, the continuing challenges and the need for external actors to keep in mind the ongoing tensions and vulnerability that could undermine the tenuous peace. Challenges to recovery and long-term stability are similar across the two locations. Both northern Uganda and Karamoja continue to struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition, despite the massive influx of development funds, improved security and expansion of markets. In northern Uganda, the conflict continues to influence household livelihoods. Households that have a member who experienced war crimes are consistently worse off. These continuing problems with food security and nutrition call into question many assumptions about recovery and development. In particular, the idea that peace will bring a natural bounce in economic and household well-being does not appear to hold up in these cases.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: What does victory on President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal terms look like? How has the rise and fall of the Islamic State changed Syria’s political map? How will U.S. President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and the subsequent Turkish invasion of the area change the situation?And what about reconstruction, let alone reconciliation? This WPR report provides a comprehensive look at those questions and several others that will determine what’s to come in Syria, with impacts far beyond the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Proxy War, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş, Omar Özkızılcık
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: On December 19, 2018, U.S. officials stated that the Pentagon has an order to move troops out of Syria as quickly as possible, and began to inform partners in northeastern Syria of their plans to begin an immediate pullback of American forces from the region where they have been trying to wrap up the campaign against the Daesh. Shortly after the Washington Journal report, President Trump wrote on Twitter, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed, “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.” She pointed out that “[t]hese victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign.” Additionally, U.S. officials told Reuters that all U.S. State Department personnel are being evacuated from Syria within 24 hours and U.S. troops will pull out of Syria in a time frame of between 60 to 100 days. This development came after Turkey’s military decisiveness to clear its border of the terrorist threat, Turkey’s airstrikes against PKK positions on the Sinjar and Karajak Mountains in Iraq, and the phone call between President Erdogan and Trump. The decision by Trump will be a turning point in the Syrian conflict, but how this development will reshape Turkish-American bilateral..
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria