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  • Author: Stefan Svallfors
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: As Hacker and Pierson (2010) have observed, politics is primarily organization: “organized combat.” To understand the outcomes of politics, we have to look at how it is organized over time: by whom and with what resources? I take Sweden as an example of how politics as organized combat has changed quite dramatically in recent decades. Sweden is often cited as an opposite to the United States among the rich capitalist countries, but it has experienced many encompassing policy changes which have not received the attention they deserve. The paper specifies how Swedish organized politics has changed fundamentally, including the dismantling of corporatist arrangements, changes in the economic policy decision-making framework, increased income inequality, weakened political parties and changes in their social bases, the decline of blue-collar union strength, the growth of the policy professionals category, the increased impact of multilevel politics, and the mediatization of politics. Today’s amorphous, invisible mode of elite-driven policy-making diverges greatly from the old corporatist structures and is accompanied by dramatically increasing inequality. Even in Sweden, the impact of money on politics has become stronger. The paper discusses what this implies for current politics and policy-making in Sweden.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Sweden, United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Tami Davis Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In this monograph, Dr. Tami Davis Biddle examines why it is so difficult to devise, implement, and sustain sound strategies and grand strategies. Her analysis begins with an examination of the meaning of the term “strategy” and a history of the ways that political actors have sought to employ strategies and grand strategies to achieve their desired political aims. She examines the reasons why the logic undergirding strategy is often lacking and why challenges of implementation (including bureaucratic politics, unforeseen events, civil-military tensions, and domestic pressures) complicate and undermine desired outcomes. This clear-headed critique, built on a broad base of literature (historical and modern; academic and policy-oriented), will serve as a valuable guide to students and policymakers alike as they seek to navigate their way through the unavoidable challenges—and inevitable twists and turns—inherent in the development and implementation of strategy.
  • Topic: Politics, History, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory Aftandilian
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This manuscript examines the increasingly important form of rivalry and statecraft that has become known as “gray zone strategies.” In regions from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea, such tactics in the hands of ambitious regional powers pose a growing challenge to U.S. and allied interests. This monograph aims to provide a broad introduction to the issue to help leaders in the U.S. Army and the wider joint Department of Defense and national security community better understand this challenge. Dr. Michael Mazarr, a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation and Associate Program Director of the Army’s Arroyo Center there, defines the issue, examines the most notable current cases of gray zone strategies, offers several hypotheses about the nature of this form of conflict, and suggests a number of policy responses.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, National Security, Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. W. Andrew Terill
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In an unexpected effort to protect a key Middle Eastern ally, the Kremlin intervened in Syria with military forces in late September 2015. This effort was undertaken to protect the Bashar Assad regime from Islamist and secular rebels now threatening his regime. Moscow initiated this action with a limited force that may be primarily designed to prevent Assad’s ouster but does not have the capabilities to help him retake large tracks of the country from the rebel groups that are now holding them. The Russian leadership made the decision to use military units in Syria at some political cost, aware that it was poisoning relations with many conservative anti-Assad Arabs and complicating its troubled relationship with Western powers.1 At some point, the Russians will have to consider the questions of how well these efforts have met their goal of bolstering the regime and what will be their next moves. They may also be rapidly faced with pressure to escalate their commitment to support the regime, if current actions do not produce meaningful results. They may also learn the painful lesson of other great powers, that military intervention in the Middle East is often much more problematic than national leaders initially expect.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Islam, Politics, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Dr. Don Snider
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Recently, one of the most respected voices of those who work and teach in the field of American civil-military (civ-mil) relations, Professor Peter Feaver, provocatively offered the following question: When it comes to national security, should one advise President Barack Obama on the best course of action or just the best course of action that he is likely or able to accept and implement?1 Thus, owing primarily to the Obama administration’s difficult civ-mil relations and what some consider to be ineffective policy implementation, particularly in Syria, this question is now sprouting up in journalistic reporting, academic journals, and in classroom discussions here at the U.S. Army War College. The import of the question for military professionals lies in the fact that it could lead one outside the traditional norms of American civil-military relations. These norms have in general held that the responsibility of senior military leaders is simply to give their best professional military advice – no shading allowed, and most certainly no shading that might make policy implementation less than fully effective. In fact in the Army’s new doctrine of the profession (ADRP 1 – The Army Profession),2 the principles are clearly stated: Military leaders offer their expertise and advice candidly to appropriate civilian leadership . . . Army professionals properly confine their advisory role to the policymaking process and do not engage publically in policy advocacy or dissent. Army professionals adhere to a strict ethic of political nonpartisanship in the execution of their duty.3
  • Topic: National Security, Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. M. Chris Mason
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were lost before they began, not on the battlefields, where the United States won every tactical engagement, but at the strategic level of war. In each case, the U.S. Government attempted to create a Western-style democracy in countries which were decades at least away from being nations with the sociopolitical capital necessary to sustain democracy and, most importantly, accept it as a legitimate source of governance. The expensive indigenous armies created in the image of the U.S. Army lacked both the motivation to fight for illegitimate governments in Saigon, Baghdad, and Kabul and a cause that they believed was worth dying for, while their enemies in the field clearly did not. This book examines the Afghan National Security Forces in historical and political contexts, explains why they will fail at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war, why they cannot and will not succeed in holding the southern half of the country, and what will happen in Afghanistan year-by-year from 2015 to 2019. Finally, it examines what the critical lessons unlearned of these conflicts are for U.S. military leaders, why these fundamental political lessons seem to remain unlearned, and how the strategic mistakes of the past can be avoided in the future.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam
  • Author: Dr. Yannis A. Stivachtis
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War, and especially the events of September 11, 2001, have led to the redefinition of the U.S. Army’s role. In this new environment, the purpose of the U.S. Army is not only to win a battle or a war, but also to be involved effectively in peace operations in post-conflict societies. To make the U.S. Army more effective requires prior knowledge about the political, societal, and cultural environment within which these operations would take place, as well as the acquisition of a new set of skills that would allow the U.S. Army to handle sensitive situations relevant to this environment. Due to the presence of several “weak” states in the international system, the United States needs to devise and employ strategies aimed at preventing and managing the outbreak of domestic conflicts that have the potential of undermining regional and international peace and stability. To avoid oversimplifications in the planning process, U.S. policymakers should have a comprehensive view of the relationship between the state experiencing domestic conflict and its society/citizens. For the design and effective implementation of peacemaking and peace/state-building policies, U.S. strategists should be fully aware of what constitutes a security issue for social groups and individuals in third countries. Thus, U.S. strategic planning and actions should be based on the adoption of the broaden definition of security as well as the idea of human security. Since international stability is based on the stability of states, the United States needs to assist the creation and maintenance of “strong” states.
  • Topic: Politics, International Security, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Colin S. Gray
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: To define future threat is, in a sense, an impossible task, yet it is one that must be done. The only sources of empirical evidence accessible are the past and the present; one cannot obtain understanding about the future from the future. The author draws upon the understanding of strategic history obtainable from Thucydides’ great History of the Peloponnesian War. He advises prudence as the operating light for American definition of future threat, and believes that there are historical parallels between the time of Thucydides and our own that can help us avoid much peril. The future must always be unpredictable to us in any detail, but the many and potent continuities in history’s great stream of time can serve to alert us to what may well happen in kind.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, War, History
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Mohammed El-Katiri
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In this monograph, Dr. Mohammed El-Katiri focuses on the variety of challenges that face reform attempts in the post-revolution Arab countries. He examines underlying factors that have prevented new political elites and post-revolution institutions from successfully implementing essential reforms. He explains how these failures have affected the building of these countries' political legitimacy. Dr. El-Katiri concludes with a series of specific policy recommendations, with the aim of preventing further deterioration to the detriment of U.S. interests.
  • Topic: Politics, Popular Revolt, Reform
  • Political Geography: Arab Countries
  • Author: Col. Douglas Mastriano
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The strategic calculus changed in Europe with the 2014 Russian seizure of Crimea and its ongoing war against Ukraine. Compounding the dilemma of an aggressive Russia, is the application of ambiguity to create a clock of uncertainty that prevents a decisive response to counter its destabilizing activities. However, this application of ambiguity is easily defeated, if nations are willing to take concerted efforts now to preempt and deter further Russian aggression. Project 1704 provides an honest assessment of the tenuous strategic environment that now envelopes Eastern Europe and offers specific recommendations on how to continue the 70 years of unparalleled peace that most of Europe has enjoyed.
  • Topic: Politics, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Crimea
  • Author: Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph, completed ahead of the November 2014 deadline, examines some of the underlying factors which will be constant in dealing with a nuclear capable Iran under President Hassan Rouhani, and which will help determine the success or failure of talks in 2015. It analyzes Rouhani's eventful first year in office in order to provide pointers to what may be possible—and to some key limiting factors—for Iran under his leadership. During that time, Rouhani has been forced to balance his own progressive instincts with the instinctual caution of more conservative elements of the Iranian ruling elite. As a result, foreign hopes for his influence on Iran’s place in the world have moved from initial optimism to a more sober assessment of the options available to him. This monograph provides an essential backdrop to the forthcoming renewed negotiations with Iran by providing an introduction to the complex interplay of issues and interests which constrain the Iranian leadership
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Dr. Colin S. Gray
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: American Landpower is a strategic instrument of state policy and needs to be considered as such. This monograph explores and explains the nature of Landpower, both in general terms and also with particular regard to the American case. The monograph argues that: (1) Landpower is unique in the character of the quality it brings to the American joint team for national security; (2) the U.S. has a permanent need for the human quality in Landpower that this element provides inherently; (3) Landpower is always and, indeed, necessarily strategic in its meaning and implications—it is a quintessentially strategic instrument of state policy and politics; (4) strategic Landpower is unavoidably and beneficially joint in its functioning, this simply is so much the contemporary character of American strategic Landpower that we should consider jointness integral to its permanent nature; and, (5) notwithstanding the nuclear context since 1945, Landpower retained, indeed retains, most of the strategic utility it has possessed through all of history: this is a prudent judgment resting empirically on the evidence of 70 years’ experience. In short, the strategic Landpower maintained today safely can be assumed to be necessary for security long into the future. No matter how familiar the concept of strategic Landpower is when identified and expressed thus, it is a physical and psychological reality that has persisted to strategic effect through all of the strategic history to which we have access.
  • Topic: National Security, Politics, History, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Landpower
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Juha Jokela
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The Arctic region is currently undergoing major and rapid transformation, both environmentally and economically. This report, the outcome of a EUISS Task Force, examines how these changes carry significant political implications, and highlights the new security challenges that are emerging in the region.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Politics, Biosecurity
  • Political Geography: Arctic
  • Author: Aarya Nijat, Jennifer Murtazashvili
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In the days after September 11, the international community’s desire to “rescue” Afghan women from their social, political, and economic fate was key to mobilizing global support to topple the Taliban regime. Since then, the Afghan government and the international community have invested vast resources seeking to improve the status of women in the country, primarily through programs to support women leaders in politics, business, and civil society. Drawn on interviews and focus group discussions with more than two hundred people, this report seeks to understand factors that contribute to the emergence of women leaders by identifying and assessing the past decade and a half’s efforts to promote women’s leadership.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Politics, Governance, Social Movement
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Basil Ugochukwu
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Actions taken to mitigate and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change must be centred on human rights. This paper analyzes a few examples of national, subnational and corporate climate change policies to show how they have either enshrined human rights principles, or failed to do so. It also examines the challenge of integrating human rights principles in climate change actions. Climate change policies, if they are to respect all human rights, must actually use human rights language to articulate adaptation or mitigation measures.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Cohen, Melanie Hyde, Penelope Van Tuyl, Stephanie Fung
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: On 7 August 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) reached an important institutional milestone when the Court published its long-awaited Trial Judgment in the first case against two of the surviving alleged senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge--Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan ("Case 002/01"). The Court found both men guilty of crimes against humanity, and sentenced them each to life imprisonment, while awarding "moral and collective reparations" to the 3,869 Civil Parties participating in the trial. Despite hopes that the five-year process of judicial investigation, trial, deliberation, and Judgment-drafting would produce a rigorous and insightful final product, in reality, as this report argues, the Case 002/01 Judgment fails to deliver the most fundamental output one expects from a criminal trial--systematic application of the elements of crimes to a well-documented body of factual findings. Based, in part, on insight gained from the continuous presence of a team of trial monitors throughout trial, this report provides commentary on how a contentious and confusing trial process in Case 002/01 ultimately produced a similarly problematic final Judgment.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Politics, History
  • Political Geography: Cambodia
  • Author: James M Dorsey, Teresita Cruz-del Rosario
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: An analysis of the Middle Eastern and North African militaries has produced a laundry list of literature, much of which was either valid for a specific post-World War II period or highlighted one of more aspects of military interest in the status quo or attitudes towards political change. Leaving aside the geopolitical differences between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, a comparison of the transition in both regions brings into focus the building blocks that are needed for an armed force to embrace change. Southeast Asian nations succeeded whereas the countries in Middle East and North Africa, with the exception of Tunisia, have failed for several reasons.
  • Topic: Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Transition
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Asia, North Africa, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Neelanjan Sircar, Bhanu Joshi, Ashish Ranjan
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The exit polls are out in Bihar, and we are none the wiser. It is seemingly a photo finish between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Janata Dal United [JD(U)]-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-Congress Grand Alliance. The Bihar election is ending as it began, full of theatre and intrigue. We can only guess how it ends. We were making our way to East Champaran; we didn’t realise Narendra Modi’s rally would be in Gopalganj district that day. The rally was over, but traffic had stopped moving 2 km from the rally site; we would be stuck at the same spot for the next few hours. Nowhere else to go, we got out of the car and started chatting with rally-goers. An exuberant BJP supporter exclaimed, “We have 8-10 lakh people today!” This was clearly an overestimate, but the crowd was bigger than we had seen elsewhere. We stopped in at a roadside stand where 4-5 men were being served their thalis and asked from where they had come to attend the rally. “Dewaria,” responded one man (Dewaria is in Uttar Pradesh (UP), not Bihar). He went on, “None of us are from Bihar. People are coming from Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Allahabad. The Party gives us enough money to eat lunch as well.” The Muslim shopkeeper who was cooking for them, the only person there who would actually be voting in Bihar, was clearly supporting the Grand Alliance, but he was happy for the extra money generated from the rally. The real reason for the traffic bottleneck then became clear. The road had narrowed to a single lane. While we headed further into Bihar, bus after bus, each with a “UP” license plate, was headed the other way. We analysts often mistakenly use rallies to gauge the hawa for a party. But, ultimately, rallies are about theatre and spectacle, while elections are won on the strength of the ground-level campaign. Privately, a section of BJP workers have been telling us that they can now see the NDA losing in this election, not something we heard in the first couple of weeks of the campaign. In our previous piece, using available data, we argued that the NDA would have to do very well in the third and fourth phases of this five-phase election if it is to win, something that even BJP leaders have now said publicly. Given that the NDA was well ahead in 2014, the NDA might still pull off this victory. It is clear, however, that the Grand Alliance has run a stronger ground campaign than the NDA, and that the campaign has had a major impact on changing voters’ minds. The NDA now seems unlikely to get near the 172 assembly constituency (AC) segments it won in 2014. In the remainder of this piece, we assess the structure of the Grand Alliance, how it shaped the campaign, as well as how the campaigns, for both NDA and the Grand Alliance, conducted themselves during this election.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Elections
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Alexey Malashenko
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Islam Karimov has essentially been in power in Uzbekistan since 1989. Rumors abound that Karimov will not take part in the country's next presidential election in 2015, but it seems likely that he will participate. If he does, he is guaranteed to win. Though it is still too early to talk about the chances specific candidates have of replacing Karimov, it is important to look closely at the current ruling elite and the president's possible successors to see where the country might be heading.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Regime Change, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Uzbekistan
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is unclear that the United States has any current assessments and strategy to deal with either these governance or economic issues. If it does, it has provided no transparency as to what these plans are, and has failed to develop any effective public measures of the effectiveness of its civil aid programs after more than 10 years of effort, and in spite of the fact that the civil dimension of counterinsurgency efforts is at least as important as the military efforts. It is also important to note that World Bank and UN reporting show the same lack of progress in governance, economics, and human development in Pakistan as in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, India