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  • Author: Riad al Khouri
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The political situation in much of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is subject to persistent tension due to the Arab–Israeli conflict, the war in Iraq and its spillovers to other countries, and sporadic upsurges of terrorism. In addition, some countries face serious domestic political tensions, a lack of political openness, and the increasing popularity of Islamist opposition groups. Economically, fast demographic and labor force expansion has led to high un- employment and slow growth in per capita incomes. Unsustainable management of the environment and natural resources further threatens prospects for long-term economic growth. In this context, increased economic cooperation between the MENA countries, on the one hand, and the United States and the European Union (EU), on the other, aims not only at promoting growth and development but also at fostering more stable political environments.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Rachid Tlemçani
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Algerians no longer live in fear of being killed by radical Islamists at faux barrages (makeshift roadblocks) or of being “disappeared” by “ninjas” — hooded police - men who break down front doors and take occupants away, never to return. This is a remarkable achievement in a country that during the 1990s was synonymous with horrendous violence perpetrated both by Islamist radicals and by security forces. Algeria has regained stability, with radical Islamism no longer a fundamental threat to security across the country. The virtual quarantine in which the country was confined during the mid-1990s has been lifted. It is also increasingly opening up to foreign investment. Algerians have enjoyed a period of peace and relative prosperity, despite occasional flare-ups of violence. During the presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who took office in 1999, Algeria has transitioned from civil war, state failure, and moral decay to stability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Civil War, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Middle East is broken. The structures and power balances put in place in the late 1970s and amended after the end of the Cold War are no longer. These structures and balances included a number of key elements. Israel was at peace with Egypt and Jordan and in an informal truce with Syria—hence the Arab–Israeli conflict was no longer pursued by any major contiguous state opponents of Israel. A weakened Palestinian movement had been chased out of Lebanon in 1982 and co-opted in the Oslo Accords of 1993. Syria's role in the region was recognized and its influence in Lebanon legitimized—indeed, after 1990, it was promoted to suzerainty. Iraq was bolstered in the 1980s by the United States as a buffer and counterbalance to revolutionary Iran, and later, throughout the 1990s, it was preserved but contained. Saudi Arabia helped manage the finances of this scheme and helped maintain Arab consensus when possible. And the United States saw out the end of Soviet influence in the region, secured a military foothold in the Gulf, and gained in political influence: first as a broker of Israeli–Egyptian peace in the late 1970s, then as the architect of a pro-Iraqi containment policy against revolutionary Iran in the 1980s, as the leader of an Arab and international coalition to liberate Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion in the early 1990s, and as the patron of another major peace initiative launched in the Madrid peace conference.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: At a time when mainstream Islamist movements across the Arab world have chosen to participate in politics, questions have arisen over the nature of their participation and its repercussions on the political environment as well as on the movements themselves. In this regard, the Moroccan Party for Justice and Development (PJD) represents an interesting case. Contesting legislative elections since 1997, the PJD has gradually gained members in Morocco's parliament, winning 9 out of 325 seats in the 1997 elections, 42 in 2002, and 46 in 2007. It has become well entrenched in the Moroccan political process, and its recent electoral gains are not just a temporary breakthrough.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Morocco
  • Author: Marina Ottaway, Mohammed Herzallah
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Many Arab countries traditionally aligned with the United States are showing increasing reluctance to follow Washington's lead in addressing regional problems. This tendency toward an independent foreign policy is particularly evident among the Gulf countries. Even states that host major U.S. military facilities on their soil, such as Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain, consider U.S. policy in the region counterproductive and are forging a new diplomacy. Gulf countries have refused to enter into an anti-Iranian alliance with the United States, and have chosen instead to pursue close diplomatic contacts with Tehran, although they fear its growing influence. They are trying to bring about reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah in Palestine, while the United States is seeking to isolate Hamas. They have helped negotiate a compromise solution in Lebanon, while the United States has encouraged the government to take a hardline position. Yet, the new diplomacy of the Arab countries is not directed against the United States, although it contradicts U.S. policie.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Kuwait, Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott, Diora Ziyaeva
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Islam in Uzbekistan: Religious Education and State Ideology is the fourth paper of the ongoing series on Islam in Central Asia. It provides a historical overview of religious education in Central Asia, focusing on the hujra system and its founders, and assesses the efforts of the Uzbek government to define the content of Islam that has been presented in public life since independence was obtained in 1991. It examines the presentation of Islam in the schools—especially in Tashkent Islamic University, seen as the premier training institution for secular teachers of Islam—and the presentation of Islam in the mass media.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Education
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Asia, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Gerald F. Hyman
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States engendered a variety of responses: some domestic, some foreign; some short-term, some long-term; some direct, others indirect. The assault on the Taliban in Afghanistan was clearly one direct, immediate, foreign response. The establishment of the Department of Homeland Security was direct, relatively swift, and domestic. Among the long-term, indirect, foreign responses was a serious review and consequent reform of U.S. foreign assistance programs, and the role they play in U.S. foreign policy and national security.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy, Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In the late summer 2007, amid great anticipation from Egypt's ruling elite and opposition movements, the Muslim Brotherhood distributed the first draft of a party platform to a group of intellectuals and analysts. The platform was not to serve as a document for an existing political party or even one about to be founded: the Brotherhood remains without legal recognition in Egypt and Egypt's rulers and the laws they have enacted make the prospect of legal recognition for a Brotherhood-founded party seem distant. But the Brotherhood's leadership clearly wished to signal what sort of party they would found if allowed to do so.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Omayma Abdel-Latif
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Sunni Islamist movements are gradually emerging as a significant part of Lebanon's power scene. The Lebanese army's three-month military campaign against one such movement, Fateh al-Islam, in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in North Lebanon, which ended in early September, triggered a fierce debate about these groups and their political and social agendas. Until recently, Islamist arguments did not resonate with the majority of Lebanon's Sunni Muslims. However, turbulent events and an incoming tide of public opinion following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the assassination of former prime minister Rafi q al-Hariri in February 2005, a rising tide of sectarianism across the region, and the Israeli war against Hizbollah and Lebanon in July 2006 have all given Islamists a framework for advancing their agenda among Lebanon's Sunna. They are no longer an irrelevant political force.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: Valery Tishkov
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Gorbachev's liberalization brought the opening of Russia to the outside world and with it interest in and contact with the Russian 1 diaspora. After the dis- solution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the problem of the diaspora evolved quickly, when it was transformed into a political and even a humanitarian challenge.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Christopher Boucek
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of a wave of deadly terrorist attacks that began in 2003, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a wide-ranging counterterrorism campaign. Central to Saudi counterterrorism efforts has been the use of unconventional “soft” measures designed to combat the intellectual and ideological justifications for violent extremism. The primary objective of this strategy is to engage and combat an ideology that the Saudi government asserts is based on corrupted and deviant interpretations of Islam. The impetus for this soft approach came in large part from the recognition that violent extremism cannot be combated through tradition security measures alone. This Saudi strategy is composed of three interconnected programs aimed at prevention, rehabilitation, and post- release care (PRAC).
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Ömer Taspinar
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In what represents a remarkable departure from its policy of non-involvement, Turkey is once again becoming an important player in the Middle East. In recent years, Ankara has shown a growing willingness to mediate in the Arab– Israeli conflict; attended Arab League conferences; contributed to UN forces in Lebanon and NATO forces in Afghanistan; assumed a leadership position in the Organization of Islamic Conference and established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Islam, Nationalism, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Robert Lucas
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Although migration has expanded less rapidly than either trade or direct investment, migration has become increasingly contentious. The immediate labor market impacts on host countries appear small and dynamic gains from induced technical progress remain undocumented. Circular migration from low-income countries offers a key safety valve where the home state fails to provide employment and security, but there are dangers from over-dependence on the migration–remittance nexus. The least-developed countries benefit only through south–south migration and are probably harmed by a rapidly expanding brain drain. Impact on sending countries: Remittances from migrants back to their home countries can promote rapid growth in developing regions, and the withdrawal of laborers can induce higher wages or less underemployment for those left behind. However, remittance flows can decline quickly and unexpectedly, as currently observed in Mexico. Migration of highly skilled workers can become problematic through "brain-drain" of talented healthcare workers and educators in developing regions.   Relationship between trade and migration: Subsidies in many industrialized countries often protect the sectors in which migrants seek work. There is little or no coherence between the trade and migration policies adopted by higher-income countries. Better internal coordination is necessary to reconcile the two agendas.   Policy implications: Many countries prefer a policy of temporary migration, in which migrants contribute to the local economy but depart before they become dependents. But such programs should be better managed, as reports of abuse and exploitation by recruiters and intermediaries become more common. Effective contracting schemes will require better oversight to improve worker conditions, increased transparency, and bilateral cooperation between the host and recipient nations. Lucas concludes:   "The net potential gains to migrants entering the industrialized countries are extremely high. Yet the impacts of any additional migrations on the incomes of those left at home and of natives in the host countries are more ambiguous. While migrants are clearly the big winners, others may even lose." Robert Lucas is a professor of Economics at Boston University. His research has included work on internal and international migration, employment and human resources, income distribution and inter-generational inequality, international trade and industry, the environment, and sharecropping.  He has served as chief technical adviser to the Malaysia Human Resource Development Program, and director of undergraduate studies and the M.A. program in Economics at Boston University. He is also a Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for International Studies. His latest book, International Migration and Economic Development: Lessons from Low-Income Countries, was published by Edward Elgar Press in 2005.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Migration
  • Author: Sven Behrendt
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In recent years, Arab and other emerging economies' sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)—government-controlled pools of assets designed to engage primarily in foreign investments—have grown into a relevant class of investors in global financial markets. Their past and projected growth has triggered an intense debate about their impact on the structure and architecture of the global financial system.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Amel Boubekeur
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Despite the repression of radical Islamist movements since 1992 and the promulgation of a National Reconciliation law in 1999 aimed at encouraging the repentance of jihadi fighters, Algeria is still subject to regular terrorist attacks. Rather than follow the 1990s model of Islamist parties that believed in politics, expressed themselves within the system, discussed the concept of democracy, and had the goal of building an Islamic State, the radical anti-state rhetoric in Algeria today finds its expression in movements that do not believe in working within the political system. These movements are Salafist in nature and include Jihadi Salafism, personified by the recently formed al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), and Da'wa Salafism, inspired by Saudi Wahhabism. These apolitical or anti-political Salafi trends are the result of the marginaliza-tion of political Salafists, mainly during the 1990s. They reveal the failure of participationist strategies among the moderate Islamist parties and their difficulties in mobilizing their base, a growing depoliticization among the new young Islamist generation, and the urgent need to reinvent pluralistic politics in a post-conflict Algeria.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government, Islam, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria
  • Author: Margaret Lay
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The global trade and environment regimes have a rich history of conflicts and synergies that holds important lessons for current initiatives to develop and implement effective national and global climate policy. This paper explores the relationship between the trade and environment regimes and asks how climate negotiators can harness the powerful incentives of international trade to support the next global climate regime.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Omayma Abdel-Latif
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In September 2007, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt released its first political party platform draft. Among the heavily criticized clauses was one that denied women (and Copts) the right to be head of state. “Duties and responsibilities assumed by the head of state, such as army commanding, are in contradiction with the socially acceptable roles for women,” the draft stated. In previous Brotherhood documents there was no specific mention of the position of head of state; rather, they declared that women were allowed to occupy all posts except for al-imama alkubra, the position of caliph, which is the equivalent of a head of state in modern times. Many were surprised that despite several progressive moves the Brotherhood had made in previous years to empower women, it ruled out women's right to the country's top position.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Marina Ottaway, Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Islamist parties and movements in Arab countries that have strategically chosen to participate in the legal political process, acknowledging the legitimacy of the existing constitutional framework, have gained great political importance. Their participation raises two major questions: are they truly committed to democracy? And will participation have a positive, moderating influence on their positions, pushing them to focus on public policy platforms rather than ideological debates?
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Albert Keidel
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since market reforms began in 1978, China's economy has shown cyclical fluctuations. These cycles of change appear in obvious statistical patterns-faster growth and then slower growth, higher price inflation and then lower inflation, stronger investment flows and then weaker investment-and all are accompanied by other cyclical fluctuations in a range of variables and policy initiatives. Most of these fluctuations tend to move together. Their beauty is that they allow analysis of which fluctuations influence others and, by extension, which policies might make a difference in managing China's economy. In this regard, the cyclical interaction between China's formal urban economy and its rural economy is particularly relevant for the issues facing Chinese policy makers today.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: On June 24, 2003, at a Camp David meeting with his Pakistani guest, President George W. Bush declared that key al- Qaeda terrorists had been successfully neutralized thanks "to the effective border security measures and law enforcement cooperation throughout [Pakistan], and ... to the leadership of President Pervez Musharraf." Although Osama bin Laden was still at large, Bush nevertheless concluded that "the people reporting to him, the chief operators [of al-Qaeda], ... people like Khalid Sheik Mohammed, are no longer a threat to the United States or [to] Pakistan, for that matter."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Sherman Robinson, Sandra Polaski, Scott McDonald, Manoj Panda, A. Ganesh-Kumar
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India's economic growth has accelerated in recent years, and its share of world trade has expanded. These are welcome developments for the country and, given India's large share of the world's population, for the global economy. Yet, despite these recent positive trends, India faces daunting challenges and policy decisions if it is to maintain high economic growth rates, employ its burgeoning population, and raise incomes across the full range of households, skill levels, sectors, and regions. India remains the largest reservoir of poverty in the world. Its recent high growth has been driven mainly by its modern services sector, which accounts for only a small proportion of overall employment and household incomes. Its agricultural sector is in a deep crisis, whether measured by slow growth rates, persistent rural poverty, or widespread farmer suicides.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Marina Ottaway, Paul Salem, Amr Hamzawy, Nathan J. Brown, Karim Sadjadpour
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After September 11, 2001, the Bush administration launched an ambitious policy to forge a new Middle East, with intervention in Iraq as the driver of the transformation. "The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution," declared President Bush on November 7, 2003. In speech after speech, Bush administration officials made it abundantly clear that they would not pursue a policy directed at managing and containing existing crises, intending instead to leapfrog over them by creating a new region of democracy and peace in which old disputes would become irrelevant. The idea was summarized in a statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the war between Lebanon and Israel in the summer of 2006. Pushing Israel to accept a cease- fire, she argued, would not help, because it would simply re-establish the status quo ante, not help create a new Middle East. The new Middle East was to be a region of mostly democratic countries allied with the United States. Regimes that did not cooperate would be subjected to a combination of sanctions and support for democratic movements, such as the so-called Cedar Revolution of 2005 in that forced Syrian troops out of the country. In extreme cases, they might be forced from power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Karim Sadjadpour
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: There is perhaps no leader in the world more important to current world affairs but less known and understood than Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. Neither a dictator nor a democrat—but with traits of both—Khamenei is the single most powerful individual in a highly factionalized, autocratic regime. Though he does not make national decisions on his own, neither can any major decisions be taken without his consent. He has ruled the country by consensus rather than decree, with his own survival and that of the theocratic system as his top priorities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Pierre Goldschmidt
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: There are presently clear indications that we are about to see a revival of nuclear energy worldwide. It is important to make this expansion of nuclear energy for the production of electricity and desalinated water as safe and secure as possible. In the coming decade, however, the rate of this expansion will be limited by several factors: in some recipient states, by the lack of an adequate industrial infrastructure, or an insufficient nuclear safety culture with a truly independent control organization; and in supplier states, by a limited capacity to produce certain types of nuclear equipment, such as reactor vessels.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Border Control, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Deepti Choubey
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Policy makers have returned to the debate over whether and how total nuclear disarmament should take place. The notion that preventing the spread of nuclear weapons is much harder without also reducing their number seems to be motivating much of this interest. Consequently, officials in both the United States and other nuclear-weapon states hope that in direct exchange for renewed action on disarmament, non–nuclear-weapon states will support nonproliferation efforts.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Bilateral Relations, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Christopher Boucek
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of a wave of deadly terrorist attacks that began in 2003, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a wide-ranging counterterrorism campaign. Central to Saudi counterterrorism efforts has been the use of unconventional “soft” measures designed to combat the intellectual and ideological justifications for violent extremism. The primary objective of this strategy is to engage and combat an ideology that the Saudi government asserts is based on corrupted and deviant interpretations of Islam. The impetus for this soft approach came in large part from the recognition that violent extremism cannot be combated through tradition security measures alone. This Saudi strategy is composed of three interconnected programs aimed at prevention, rehabilitation, and postrelease care (PRAC). Although only in operation for the past four years, the Saudi strategy—especially the rehabilitation and counter-radicalization programs—has generated very positive and very intriguing results. To date, recidivist and rearrest rates are extremely low, at approximately 1 to 2 percent. Similar programs designed to demobilize violent extremists and their supporters are increasing in popularity, with a number of countries adopting comparable counter-radicalization programs. Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all established rehabilitation and engagement programs, as has the U.S. military through Task Force 134 in Iraq. As such, the importance of understanding the Saudi strategy, and counter-radicalization broadly, is increasing in relevance in the fight against violent radical Islamist extremism
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Counter-terrorism, Radicalization
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Marina Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Incumbent regimes in the Arab world, monarchical and republican alike, have weathered the period of intense, worldwide political change that has followed the end of the Cold War without giving up much of their power. Though not completely untouched by events that have shaken the rest of the world, most Arab regimes have survived the wave of political transformation that has engulfed the rest of the world relatively intact. Many regimes have carried out reforms, but the reforms have been directed at modernizing the economy and addressing social issues rather than redistributing power in the political system. Indeed, most regimes that talk of political reform are in reality avoiding it. To be sure, there have been some political changes: For example, more political parties exist today in most Arab countries than fifteen years ago, and more countries hold elections of varying quality. Access to information and the quality of political debate have increased in many countries as well. Power, however, remains firmly where it was: in the hands of kings and presidents.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown, Amr Hamzawy
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In the late summer 2007, amid great anticipation from Egypt's ruling elite and opposition movements, the Muslim Brotherhood distributed the first draft of a party platform to a group of intellectuals and analysts. The platform was not to serve as a document for an existing political party or even one about to be founded: the Brotherhood remains without legal recognition in Egypt and Egypt's rulers and the laws they have enacted make the prospect of legal recognition for a Brotherhood-founded party seem distant. But the Brotherhood's leadership clearly wished to signal what sort of party they would found if allowed to do so.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Sufyan Alissa
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt's economic reform was initiated in 1991 within the context of stabilization and structural adjustment programs. And since the appointment of Prime Minster Ahmed Nazif and his ministerial economic team in 2004, reform has been pursued more intensely, apparently taking new directions. The government has implemented a number of reform measures and has announced concrete plans to restructure the financial sector, adjust regulations, enhance trade liberalization, and privatize most state-owned enterprises.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Reform
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Sufyan Alissa
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since 1989, Jordan has passed through several phases of economic reform aimed at stabilizing the economy and managing the transition from a state-dominated model to one that is private export led. Initiated under severe economic crisis conditions, the reform process in Jordan has been slow, selective, and uncoordinated. Thus far Jordan has succeeded in stabilizing its economy and engaging in a process of trade and financial liberalization and privatization, but it has failed to find long-lasting solutions to major social and economic challenges facing the country.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Martha Ottaway, Omayma Abdel-Latif
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Women are beginning to play a bigger role in shaping the politics of Islamist political movements in the Middle East. Mounting evidence suggests that women activists have made important inroads in Islamist movements by creating strong women's branches and pushing for broader political participation and representation in the upper echelons of the entire movements. Although women in these movements deny that they are embracing a Western-style feminist agenda and remain instead quite concerned with the preservation of Islamist values, most display dissatisfaction at being relegated to the women's branches of their respective movements. They want to be seen as potential leaders, not just as dedicated organizational foot soldiers, and in many countries they are pushing the leadership of their movements for change. To some extent the women's demand for greater recognition of the importance of their role in the service of the Islamist cause is also translating into activism in the cause of women's rights and equality more generally, just as it has with women activists in other political movements elsewhere in the world.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Islam, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Kuwait has a long history of consultative government, constitutionalism, and participatory politics unique among the monarchies of the Gulf region. The ruling Al Sabah family's place in the political system was established by agreement—not force—among the leading families of the trading city of Kuwait in the mid-eighteenth century; administration by consultation continued until the late nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, while the country was a British protectorate, authoritarian tendencies within the ruling family were countered by a strong constitutional movement that started in the 1920s, bore fruit in parliamentary elections in 1938, and resulted in a fairly democratic constitution when the country became independent in 1961. Since then, Kuwait has had 11 parliamentary elections, and the National Assembly has continued to play a very powerful role in the state.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Kuwait
  • Author: Monika Heupel
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Resolution 1540 (2004) is the most comprehensive response of the UN Security Council to the exposure of the transnational nuclear smuggling network set up by Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan. The resolution is exceptional in that it compels every UN member state to criminalize the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to nonstate actors in its national legislation and establish effective domestic controls to prevent proliferation. If effectively implemented, Resolution 1540 would make a real difference. It would make proliferation more difficult and less attractive, facilitate the dismantlement of proliferation networks, and create momentum to strengthen other aspects of the nonproliferation regime.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Sufism is a mystical form of Islam that has flourished in the Muslim world for centuries. Sufism has placed a distinctive stamp on the way the religion has been practiced in many Arab countries, in parts of Africa, in Turkey, and especially in Central Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central Asia, Turkey, Kuwait, Arabia
  • Author: Sufyan Alissa
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The issue of economic reform in the Arab world is surrounded by many key questions. How do we define meaningful economic reform and what does it entail? To what extent has such economic reform advanced in the region? What is needed to accelerate the process? Are ruling elites motivated to undertake real economic reform and are they capable of doing so? Are state institutions able to implement economic reform and handle its consequences? Is it possible to have economic transformation without political reform? Furthermore, in individual countries, what can we say about the timing of reform-has it been planned out and phased in or pushed through quickly in response to crises? Who have been the winners and losers? What has been the interplay between economic and political reform-have they proceeded independently or can we detect a direct connection? What has been the role of external rents-whether oil revenues, remittances, or bilateral aid-in the speed or slowness, the depth or shallowness, of the process?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Hugh Roberts
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Algerian state constituted at the end of the eight-year war of independence by the victorious Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) exhibited an impressive degree of continuity and stability during its first 26 years, from 1962 to 1988. In February 1989, however, the regime of President Chadli Bendjedid abruptly introduced a pluralist constitution and legalized parties which, based on rival Islamist and Berberist conceptions of identity, polarized public opinion by advocating mutually exclusive Islamist and secularist conceptions of the state. In doing so, the regime set in motion a process that profoundly destabilized the state. Instead of restoring order, however, the army's eventual intervention in January 1992 precipitated a descent into armed conflict which, while greatly reduced since 1998, has still not entirely ended.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy, Marina S. Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Secular parties in the Arab world—a broad range of political organizations that vary in their political orientation from liberal positions to vaguely socialist programs—are facing a crisis. Caught between regimes that allow little legal space for free political activity on one side and popular Islamist movements that are clearly in the ascendancy throughout the Arab world on the other, they are struggling for influence and relevance, and in some cases even for survival.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Sandra Polaski, Jianwu He, Li Shantong
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China's economic growth during the past twenty-five years has been remarkable, averaging more than 9 percent a year. While there have been earlier episodes of comparable growth rates in countries such as Japan and South Korea, there is no precedent for such rapid growth in a country the size of China, whose population of 1.3 billion is thirteen times that of Japan when that nation began its rapid growth. The impact on the rest of the world of economic dynamism on this scale is already being felt. If China continues its rapid growth in the coming decades, it will take the global economy into uncharted terrain.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Muhammad-Sodiq Muhammad-Yusuf (also known as Mamamsodiq Mamayusupov), the former mufti of the Muslim Spiritual Administration of Central Asia, Uzbekistan's first mufti after independence, and the most prominent theologian in the country, is a figure worthy of attention by anyone interested in the political role that Islam might play in Uzbekistan.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Middle East, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Never has the cause of political reform in the Arab world received as strong verbal support— on both the international and domestic political levels—as it did in Palestine between 2002 and 2006. And while much of the Palestinian reform agenda remained unrealized, Palestinian governance changed in fundamental ways during the reform wave. But international backers of reform in particular had a remarkably short-term focus, a highly personalized view of the process, and a very instrumental view of reform, leading them to turn harshly against the achievements of the Palestinian reform movement when it brought unexpected results. What can this combination of success and disillusioned failure teach us about the cause of Arab political reform?
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Sarah Phillips
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since the Republic of Yemen was created in 1990 through the unification of the northern and southern states, the Yemeni regime has very consciously framed its policies in the language of democracy, while simultaneously muzzling initiatives that might help facilitate democratic consolidation. There has been a marked increase in the level of popular political activity, but the country's power structures have proven resilient to political reform.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Kuwait's Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), founded in 1991, is a relatively new political actor in Kuwait. Yet by the standards of regional Islamist movements, it is one of the most experienced in parliamentary and electoral politics. The ICM can claim some real electoral and programmatic successes, but any move beyond marginal or incremental achievements rests largely on its ability to build on the success of an ad hoc and diverse coalition of Islamist, liberal, and populist political forces. In short, if the ICM navigates difficult waters, it may be able to achieve many of its goals while demonstrating the broader potential of an Islamist electoral movement as part of a coalition pressing for liberalizing political reform. Kuwaiti political history suggests strong reasons for skepticism-the opposition has never been able to maintain a united front for long, and the Kuwaiti government has tools at its disposal to disperse, placate, and even exclude dissenters. But the opportunities beckoning the movement and other opposition political forces are stronger than they have ever been.
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Kuwait
  • Author: Veron Mei-Ying Hung, Mei Ying Gechlik
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, the country's commitment to abiding by the global body's rules has captured the attention of businesses and policy makers in the United States. Such attention is likely to grow because the Democrats are expected to use their regained power in Congress to toughen their stance on China trade issues, including intellectual property protection.
  • Topic: International Relations, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The history of the development of Islamic radicalism in Uzbekistan, and in Central Asia more generally, is a potentially contentious one. There is very little agreement either within the policy community in the United States or in Central Asia itself as to what Islamic radicalism is and who among devout Muslims should be considered as posing a threat to the secular regimes.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Central Asia, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Julia Choucair
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since independence in 1947, Jordan has shown a remarkable ability to survive as a political entity. Surrounded by regional conflict and starved of resources, it has endured a massive influx of Palestinian refugees and numerous coup attempts. For decades, the Hashemite monarchy has overcome these political and economic storms by weakening institutionalized opposition to its rule and relying on the distribution of benefits and privileges to create a cohesive support base and a security establishment loyal to the existing political order. The regime has been able to sustain this situation by capitalizing on Jordan's geographic centrality. Benefiting from Jordan's image as an oasis of stability in a deeply troubled region, the monarchy has been able to secure a flow of external assistance that has helped counteract the lack of natural resources and maintain domestic political stability. But the balance has always been precarious. The contemporary process of political reform in Jordan must be understood in this context.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Amr Hamzawy, Dina Bishara
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The 2006 Lebanon war has had a profound effect on Islamist movements that have chosen to compete as legal parties in the political systems of their countries, testing their relationship with the ruling regimes as well as their respect for pluralism and tolerance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries, Lebanon
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Recent election results in several Arab countries have transformed formerly theoretical questions into pressing policy concerns: Can Islamist political parties operate within the boundaries of a democratic system? Will participation breed moderation? Strong showings by Hizbollah in Lebanon and by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have made these questions seem less speculative. And the victory of Hamas in the first election it contested has made the questions impossible to avoid.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Jordan, Mumbai
  • Author: Matthew Ocheltree, Sherman Katz
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia has been in the process of seeking membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) since June 1993. Currently, the United States is the only major economic power that has yet to finalize a bilateral market access agreement with the Russian Federation. Most observers of the situation concur that the enforcement of intellectual property rights laws remains, along with agriculture, one of the two major hurdles to Russian accession to the World Trade Organization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Frédéric Grare
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Taliban insurgents and their Al Qaeda allies, once thought defeated in Afghanistan, are regaining strength. Regrouped and reorganized, better equipped and financed, and more sophisticated tactically, they are threatening both the reconstruction process and the U.S.-led coalition forces on the ground. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, sixty-six U.S. troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2005, more than in the previous four years combined.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Middle East, Taliban
  • Author: Frédéric Grare
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The year 2007 will be crucial for the future of democracy in Pakistan. If the election schedule announced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sher Afghan Niazi is followed, presidential elections will be held in the fall and the general and provincial elections will be held on January 30, 2008. All these elections will be carefully scrutinized by many in the United States and elsewhere, not least because they will include, among other political forces, a coalition of religious political parties, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). Many commentators in the West believe that the Pakistani regime will portray the elections as a contest between Islamists represented by the MMA and the enlightened moderation of President Pervez Musharraf and the Pakistan Army. However, the reality is that the Islamic forces will not be a defining factor. They are a dependent variable whose power is largely determined by the army. The only real questions are whether the army's tactics for manipulating the 2007–2008 elections will differ from those used in 2002 and what role the Islamic parties will play in the process.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Islam, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Asia