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  • Author: Norah Niland
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: The United States and its allies, in control of Afghanistan since October 2001, failed to support the development of an inclusive, legitimate and accountable political system. This paper examines how the imposition of an inappropriate model of democracy, the prioritization of American interests over those of Afghans, and a pattern of expedient political decisions have contributed to the destabilization of the country. The democracy and state-building model imposed on Afghanistan was stymied from the outset by critical foundational flaws. These include the return to power of discredited warlords reviled by most Afghans, the marginalization of particular groups including the remnants of the Taliban movement, and the concentration of power in an executive Presidency at the expense of a weak parliamentary structure. In 2014, along with the drawdown of US and NATO troops, Afghanistan's disputed election saga ended in a no-victor deal that effectively discarded the (as yet unknown) results of the ballot box. Once again, Washington politics reinforced the grip of a warlord-dominated elite on the machinery of the state and exposed the hollowness of the US-led and UN-supported state building project.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Corruption, Democratization, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Carl Meacham
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Is democracy in danger in the Dominican Republic? Is the country headed toward sustained one-party rule? In an effort to understand the state of Dominican democracy and rule of law, CSIS Americas Program director Carl Meacham led a six-month initiative to answer these questions. This report, which details the project's findings, pays particular attention to alleged growing levels of corruption within the government and the independence—and effectiveness—of the country's judiciary, as well as implications for the Dominican Republic's relations with the United States.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As the presidential election approaches in 2014, with the security transition at the year's end, Afghan women, including parliamentarians and rights activists, are concerned that the hard-won political, economic and social gains achieved since the U.S.-led intervention in 2001 may be rolled back or conceded in negotiations with the insurgents. Afghanistan's stabilisation ultimately rests on the state's accountability to all its citizens, and respect for constitutional, legal and international commitments, including to human rights and gender equality. There will be no sustainable peace unless there is justice, and justice demands that the state respect and protect the rights of women, half its population.
  • Topic: NATO, Democratization, Development, Gender Issues, Peace Studies, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Christian von Soest, Julia Grauvogel
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: International sanctions have been one of the most commonly used tools of Western foreign policy in the post‐Cold War era to instigate democratization globally. However, despite long‐term external pressure through sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States and/or the United Nations, nondemocratic rule in cases such as Belarus, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and Syria has proven to be extremely persistent. In this paper, we analyze a new global dataset on sanctions from 1990 to 2011 and assess which international and domestic factors account for the persistence of nondemocratic rule in targeted regimes. The results of a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of 120 episodes of sanctions provide new insights for the research on both sanctions and authoritarian regimes. Most significantly, sanctions strengthen nondemocratic rule if the regime manages to incorporate their existence into its legitimation strategy. Such a “rally‐round‐the‐flag” effect occurs most often in cases where comprehensive sanctions targeting the entire population are imposed on regimes that enjoy strong claims to legitimacy and have only limited linkages to the sanction sender.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Governance, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Korea, United Nations, Syria
  • Author: Aparna Mathur, Sadanand Dhume, Julissa Milligan, Hemal Shah
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Two decades after the end of the Cold War, US–India relations stand at a crossroads. Not so long ago, many in Washington viewed the signing of the historic US–India civil nuclear deal as the advent of a dynamic partnership with the potential to transform Asia and the world. Today US–India ties are just as often characterized as unrealistic or oversold.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Diplomacy, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, Washington, India
  • Author: Peter Andreas, Angelica Duran-Martinez
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Illicit trade has long been a central feature of Latin America's engagement in the world. In this chapter we first briefly sketch the scope and dimensions of illicit trade in the region, and stress the importance of various types of power asymmetries. Drawing on illustrations primarily from drug trafficking (by far the most studied and documented case), we then outline in a preliminary fashion some of the key issues in understanding transnational illicit flows and their impact on Latin America foreign and domestic policy and governance. We concentrate on four themes: 1) the relationship between illicit trade and diplomatic relations with the United States; 2) the relationship between illicit trade and democratic governance; 3) the relationship between illicit trade and organized violence; and 4) the relationship between illicit trade and neoliberalism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Latin America
  • Author: Steve J. Fox
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The aim of this article is to introduce an original framework in which new media ecologies can be understood to develop. Specifically, it examines the unique, world-leading online ecology of South Korea, to suggest how new forms of democratic process and social organisation can be emulated elsewhere. The discussion identifies and analyses several policy and cultural factors to distil three encompassing variables that comprise a framework for understanding the Korean situation, and the application of new technologies: structure, ethos and activity. Ultimately, it is a framework that may be used to investigate social organisation mechanisms that may potentiate news media's role in democratic society. This concept of social organisation is constructed around the notion of social capital and theorised as an infrastructure for new news media models. In the outcome, it is argued that news media could themselves become civic socialization mechanisms that encourage a more active and engaged citizenry, reflecting social capital's strong relationship with political participation, and thus a continuing foundational role for journalism in democracy.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Communications, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Victoria Christensen
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Since the summer of 2011, the country of Myanmar has been experiencing rapid democratic reform. Headlines lauding these positive changes have become common-place in the international media. However, experts and academics who have been involved in the decade-long campaign to bring peace and democracy to Myanmar remain divided over how sincere these changes are. Some accuse the Government of carrying out “window-dressing” reforms to please the Western governments and enable the lifting of sanctions. They argue that the Government has a vested interest in maintaining the reins of power and that there is no incentive to make true democratic reforms. During a speech in Oslo in June 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmarese Pro-democracy leader described the recent reforms as positive but warned against blind faith in the process and pointed out the main challenges that remain unresolved – namely the ethnic issues and the ongoing imprisonment of political prisoners.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Political Economy, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United States, China, Tehran, Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne, Danya Greenfield
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The United States and Europe have yet to show the requisite political will or to develop sustainable strategies to help Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen in their democratic transitions more than two years after a wave of popular revolutions toppled decades-old autocracies. To be sure, deepening political, economic, and security challenges in these countries from June 2012 to August 2013, the period analyzed in this report, complicated efforts to provide support. Yet the United States and the European Union (EU) missed important opportunities to capitalize on openings where they existed or to send consistent and sustained diplomatic messages where needed. Faced with the vast amounts of cash the Gulf countries could provide rapidly to the transition countries, especially to Egypt, some in Washington and Brussels wondered if the United States and the EU even had much to offer. In the past year, fatigue and frustration more than energy and hope have characterized US and European engagement with these countries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: David Kirby, Emily McClintock Ekins
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Many people on the left still dismiss the tea party as the same old religious right, but the evidence says they are wrong. The tea party has strong libertarian roots and is a functionally libertarian influence on the Republican Party.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Insurgency, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alex Thurston
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Islamists have become an important political force in Mauritania since formal Islamist associations first emerged in the 1970s. Islamist activism has contributed to the ongoing Islamization of Mauritanian society, as is evident from the proliferation of mosques and Islamic associations in the capital, Nouakchott, and elsewhere. In the 1990s, political liberalization allowed Islamists to participate in elections as independents, and since its legalization in 2007, Tewassoul, the strongest Islamist party in Mauritania today, has become a significant minority voice in the country's politics and has built ties with Islamists elsewhere in the Arab world. These moderate Islamists who participate in elections hold different beliefs and goals from Mauritania's jihadist fringe. Overall, Mauritanian Islamism does not currently pose a threat to the United States. The mainstream of the movement appears committed to democracy and, even so, is unlikely to take power. Islamist parties like Tewassoul have never captured a large share of the vote in elections, and moderate Islamist leaders have explicitly rejected using violence to take over the state. Indeed, the United States may even find an upside to the Islamists' rise: Mainstream Islamist leaders publicly condemn the Muslim terrorist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which the Mauritanian government has been combating since 2005.
  • Topic: Democratization, Islam, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, North Africa
  • Author: Robert D. Lamb, Sadika Hameed
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report presents the results of a study on the link between the rise of militants and the quality of subnational governance in Pakistan: whether a link exists and, if so, what the United States can do about it, if anything. Its basic finding is that Pakistan's governance problems are not caused by militancy, and its problems with militancy are not directly caused by its governance problems, but improving governance will be necessary (though not sufficient) to counter militancy. Pakistan's governance problems are extensive and will take a long time to overcome. But they are not insurmountable, and recent trends offer reason for hope: the military's prestige has declined, the civilian government is likely to complete its full term, the judiciary is increasingly independent, civil society is increasingly confident even in the face of militant intimidation, and recent reforms—the Local Governance Ordinance of 2001 and the Eighteenth Amendment to the constitution—have put in place a set of institutions and incentives that are likely to contribute to improvements in the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Corruption, Democratization, Development, Armed Struggle, Bilateral Relations, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry, Daniel Deudney
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Over the past half-century—what is often called the “American century”—the United States enjoyed extraordinary success, growth, and influence. It was not only the pivotal “arsenal” in the defense of democracy but also the principal exemplar of democratic capitalism that held enormous appeal around the world. During this era, the United States was simultaneously locked in a geopolitical and ideological bipolar struggle with the Soviet Union and, within the free world community, acknowledged as the leader and defender of a broad community of democratic capitalist countries. Not surprisingly, therefore, the United States pursued a multifaceted grand strategy. It played the role of Cold War leader of a coalition in global great power rivalry. It was also the indispensable leader in building order and cooperation within the free world camp. At the same time, the United States often employed its immense influence to advance a universalistic program of human betterment centered on political democracy, market capitalism, free trade, human rights, national self-determination, and international law and organization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Something is brewing in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is not so much that protests have been spreading since 2011; the country has experienced these before and so far they remain relatively small. It is, rather, who is behind them and from where dissatisfaction stems. East Bankers – Jordanians who inhabited the area before the arrival of the first Palestinian refugees in 1948 – have long formed the pillar of support for a regime that played on their fears concerning the Palestinian-origin majority. That pillar is showing cracks. The authorities retain several assets: popular anxiety about instability; U.S. and Gulf Arab political and material support; and persistent intercommunal divisions within the opposition. But in a fast-changing region, they would be reckless to assume they can avoid both far-reaching change and turmoil. Ultimately, they must either undertake the former one or experience the latter.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Democratization, Regime Change, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since it assumed power after Hosni Mubarak's ouster, the performance of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has been, at times, head-scratching. Extolled in the wake of the uprising as the revolution's protector, many have come to view it as an agent of the counter-revolution. It often has been obstinate, before abruptly yielding to pressure. It values its long ties with Washington, from which it receives much assistance, but seemed willing to jeopardise them by targeting U.S.-funded NGOs. Suspected by Islamists of seeking to deprive them of opportunity to govern and by non-Islamists of entering a secret pact with the Muslim Brotherhood, it finds itself in the worst of both worlds: an angry tug-of-war with liberal protesters and a high-wire contest with Islamists. It displays little interest in governing, wishing instead to protect privileges, but erratic behaviour threatens even that. On the eve of presidential elections that have become a high-stakes free-for-all, the SCAF should take a step back and, with the full range of political actors, agree on principles for a genuine and safe political transition.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: International, particularly U.S., military and civilian aid has failed to improve Pakistan's performance against jihadi groups operating on its soil or to help stabilise its nascent democracy. Lopsided focus on security aid after the 11 September 2001 attacks has not delivered counterterrorism dividends, but entrenched the military's control over state institutions and policy, delaying reforms and aggravating Pakistani public perceptions that the U.S. is only interested in investing in a security client. Almost two-thirds of U.S. funding since 2002 ($15.8 billion) has been security-related, double the $7.8 billion of economic aid. Under an elected government, and with civilian aid levels at their highest in decades, the U.S. and other donors can still play a major part in improving service delivery, supporting key reforms and strengthening a fragile political transition vital to internal and regional stability. Re-orientation of funding from military security purposes to long-term democracy and capacity building support is the best way to guarantee the West's and Pakistan's longterm interests in a dangerous region. But aid policies must be better targeted, designed and executed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Terrorism, Foreign Aid, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia
  • Author: Patrick Keller
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The American President is still the most influential actor in international affairs. Despite the talk of American decline and the evidence of rising powers, despite the new complexities of globalization and the increased relevance of non-state actors, the U.S. President continues to play a special role. As head of the strongest of all national economies, commander in chief of the mightiest armed forces in the history of the world, and leader of the present-day democracy with the oldest constitution, his policies and his bearing shape international politics more than those of any other actor. It is thus understandable that not just the American people but also U.S. allies in NATO and the world at large follow the current presidential campaign with keen interest. Given that the United States is first among equals in the Alliance, strategists in NATO member states have a particular desire to discern the future President's stance on international security affairs because they will need to plan accordingly. However, in contrasting the positions of President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, they encounter three basic problems.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Ebru Oğurlu
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, the Eastern Mediterranean has been increasingly fraught with growing competition between regional players, most notably Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel, signalling an apparent return of power politics in regional relations. Of all actors involved, Turkey stands out for being both an ever more influential power and a source of serious concern to other countries in the region due to its greater assertiveness and perceived hegemonic ambitions. Against the backdrop of recent regional developments and their international implications, including the dispute over drilling rights off Cyprus' coasts, Turkey's image as a constructive and dialogue-oriented country, a critical achievement pursued by a generation of Turkish politicians, diplomats and officials, risks being replaced by one of an antagonistic/assertive power. Facing the first serious challenge to its claim to embody a benign model as a secular Muslim democracy and a responsible international actor, Turkey should not indulge in emotional reactions. It should opt instead for a more moderate and balanced approach based on the assumption that only cooperation and constructive dialogue, even with rival countries, can help it realize its ambition of being the regional pivot.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Development, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Asia, Colombia, Cyprus
  • Author: Anar Valiyev
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: As Azerbaijan celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence, democratic development remains a key challenge facing the country. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan successfully coped with immediate problems such as poverty reduction and economic and political stability, the need to reform the public administration and decentralize governance has become particularly urgent. The main problems, however, remain the same: low public trust in institutions, the absence of a democratic political culture and the lack of bridging social capital. In this regard, the assistance of the Transatlantic Community is necessary. The European Union and the United States should pursue a developmental approach to democracy promotion in Azerbaijan, which has higher chances to succeed than a more explicitly political approach, considering the weak institutional capacity in the country.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Ted Piccone, Emily Alinikoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the emerging global order takes shape, debate is growing more intense around the trajectory of the rising powers and what their ascendency to positions of regional and international influence means for the United States, its traditional allies, and global governance more broadly. Commentary about these rising powers— often referred to in a generic way as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) but actually encompassing a dozen or so countries largely represented in the G-20—ranges from alarmist to sanguine. Pessimists argue that China, with its impressive economic growth and increasingly global reach, is well-positioned to challenge the United States' role of global superpower and to weaken the commitment of other rising powers, and various international organizations, to liberal values. More optimistic analysts insist that the rise of middle powers, most of which are democracies of varying stripes, bodes well for the world: millions are being lifted out of poverty, rule of law is taking hold and the international system is bound to be a more inclusive, representative one.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Globalization, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Arabia