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  • Author: Marina Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since early last year, the Bush administration has paid unaccustomed attention to the issue of democracy in the Middle East. Following September 11, many U. S. officials have worried that the authoritarianism of most Arab regimes has bred frustration in their countries, and this frustration has in turn favored the growth of terrorist organizations. U.S. discussions about the need for democracy in the Middle East have triggered a strong negative reaction by Arab commentators and journalists, including in discussions of democracy in the Arab press. However, very little of this writing has dealt with the problem of democracy in the real sense—that is, with the issue of how Arab governments relate to their citizens now and how they should relate to their citizens in the future. Instead, Arab commentators have treated democracy as a foreign policy issue, asking why the United States is suddenly discussing democracy in the Arab world and what true intentions it is trying to hide behind the smoke screen of democracy talk. The debate in the Arab press reveals some of the obstacles that the United States faces as it attempts to define its new pro-democracy role in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Thomas Carothers
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Although the current rule-of-law promotion field is still expanding as it approaches the end of its second decade, it still faces a lack of knowledge at many levels of conception, operation, and evaluation. There is a surprising amount of uncertainty, for example, about the twin rationales of rule-of-law promotion—that promoting the rule of law will contribute to economic development and democratization. There is also uncertainty about what the essence of the rule of law actually is—whether it primarily resides in certain institutional configurations or in more diffuse normative structures. Rule-of-law promoters are also short of knowledge about how the rule of law develops in societies and how such development can be stimulated beyond simplistic efforts to copy institutional forms. And the question of what kinds of larger societal effects will result from specific changes in rule-of-law institutions is also still open. Although aid institutions engaged in rule-of-law assistance do attempt some—lessons learned—exercises, many of the lessons produced are superficial and even those are often not really learned. Several substantial obstacles to greater knowledge accumulation in this field persist, including the complexity of the task of promoting the rule of law, the particularity of legal systems, the unwillingness of aid organizations to invest sufficient resources in evaluations, and the tendency of both academics and lawyers not to pursue systematic empirical research on rule-of-law aid programs. Whether rule-of-law aid is on the path to becoming a well-grounded field of international assistance remains uncertain.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: George Perkovich, Joseph Cirincione, Jessica T. Mathews
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: American televisions are filled with war rooms, countdowns, deadlines, and showdowns with Iraq. The almost minute by minute coverage distorts public understanding of how inspections work and creates a false sense of the inevitability of war. No decision has in fact been made. Within the administration some indeed intend the buildup as the prelude to war while for others it presents the credible threat of war that is necessary to compel Iraq's disarmament through inspections.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Frank Upham
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As governments and donor agencies struggle over questions of aid and international development, a growing consensus is emerging regarding the connections between poor governance and underdevelopment. An increasing number of initiatives, from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account to the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), explicitly link improving governance with pursuing sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Lack of pluralism and transparency, inefficient bureaucracies, and underdeveloped public institutions contribute to corruption, reduce governmental responsiveness to citizens' needs, stifle investment, and generally hamper social and economic development. A frequent donor favorite on the laundry list of “good governance” reforms advocated for developing countries is rule of law reform. The new development model contends that sustainable growth is impossible without the existence of the rule of law: a set of uniformly enforced, established legal regimes that clearly lays out the rules of the game.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Linn Hammergren
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: JUDICIAL REFORM EFFORTS IN LATIN AMERICA, and by extension worldwide, seem to fall easily prey to magic bullets. In the past two decades, reformers in the region and aid providers from North America and Western Europe have seized upon a whole series of entry points for judicial reform—including model codes, accusatory criminal justice systems, court administration reforms, information technology, alternative dispute resolution, legal services, and constitutional courts. Sometime during the late 1980s, as the issue of judicial independence came to receive more serious attention, judicial councils joined the list, and nearly a dozen countries adopted them. It was not until the late 1990s that questions about their utility began to emerge. Although Latin America is beginning to reexamine its love affair with the councils, the model has been gaining ground in other regions. Western Europeans, who invented the mechanism, have been suffering their own doubts. This has not prevented their joining with U.S. reformers in recommending it to postcommunist nations in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The cautionary lessons from Latin America's several-decade experiment with judicial councils have not yet been analyzed and disseminated. This essay is a start in that direction.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, France, South America, Latin America, Central America
  • Author: Michael McFaul, Timothy J. Colton
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: A NEW NARRATIVE ABOUT POST -S OVIET R USSIA is taking hold in policy, media, and academic circles and shows signs of entrenching as a new conventional wisdom. By this reading, Russia's experiment with democracy has flat-out failed. So misconceived and mismanaged were the political and economic reforms of the 1990s that they have fueled mass disenchantment with democratic norms and brought authoritarianism back into repute. Russians, in short, are said to be giving up on democracy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sarah E. Mendelson, John K. Glenn
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, Eastern Europe and Eurasia have been host to a virtual army of Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs)-from the United States, Britain, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe-all working on various aspects of institutional development, such as helping to establish competitive political parties and elections, independent media, and civic advocacy groups, as well as trying to reduce ethnic conflict. Little is known-although much good and bad is believed-about the impact of this assistance, carried out on a transnational level in cooperation with local political and social activists. This study, based at Columbia University, was designed to address this gap.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, International Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: P.J. Simmons, Ann M. Florini
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: IN LATE 1999, tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Seattle in one of the most visible manifestations of civil society in recent decades. They had gathered to show their opposition to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the broader forces of economic integration that it represents. The WTO, which was meeting to set an agenda for a proposed new round of global trade negotiations, found it- self under scrutiny as never before. For several days, television news shows around the world displayed protesters being gassed and arrested by the hundreds. Although media reports portrayed the protesters as a combination of American labor unionists who wanted to protect their jobs at the expense of Third World workers and hippies left over from the 1960s, in fact the protesters represented a broad and to some degree transnational coalition of concerns. They objected not only to the WTO's ability to override domestic environmental legislation but also to the very nature of the processes by which governments and corporations are fostering economic integration.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: America