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  • Author: Djavad Salehi-Isfahani
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic of Iran marks its 40th anniversary this week. But, with the country beset by a severe economic crisis, the question on everyone’s lips –within Iran and the diaspora alike – seems to be whether the Islamic Revolution has actually improved Iranians’ lives.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Elizabeth N. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When and how do domestic politics influence a state's nuclear choices? Recent scholarship on nuclear security develops many domestic-political explanations for different nuclear decisions. These explanations are partly the result of two welcome trends: first, scholars have expanded the nuclear timeline, examining state behavior before and after nuclear proliferation; and second, scholars have moved beyond blunt distinctions between democracies and autocracies to more fine-grained understandings of domestic constraints. But without linkages between them, new domestic-political findings could be dismissed as a laundry list of factors that do not explain significant variation in nuclear decisions. This review essay assesses recent research on domestic politics and nuclear security, and develops a framework that illuminates when and how domestic-political mechanisms are likely to affect nuclear choices. In contrast to most previous domestic arguments, many of the newer domestic-political mechanisms posited in the literature are in some way top-down; that is, they show leaders deliberately maintaining or loosening control over nuclear choices. Two dimensions govern the extent and nature of domestic-political influence on nuclear choices: the degree of threat uncertainty and the costs and benefits to leaders of expanding the circle of domestic actors involved in a nuclear decision. The framework developed in this review essay helps make sense of several cases explored in the recent nuclear security literature. It also has implications for understanding when and how domestic-political arguments might diverge from the predictions of security-based analyses.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Domestic politics, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, North Korea
  • Author: Ali Tehrani, Azadeh Pourzand
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Winter 2019 marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. The anniversary celebrations occurred in the midst of a difficult era of socio-economic turmoil, the return ofَ U.S. sanctions, and deepening political infighting in the Islamic Republic. Tensions between the government and the people are especially high. The tectonic plates of social change have been shifting below the surface in Iran over the past two decades, with major discontent erupting in the past year. While the country’s political facade appears largely unchanged, tensions and fragmentations among the ruling elite have deepened. Economic conditions are fast deteriorating for the average citizen, while political repression remains a harsh reality. Iran’s citizens, who have clung to hope and the possibility for change through decades of domestic repression and isolation from the global economy, struggle to remain hopeful. Collective fatigue stemming from years of isolation from the global economy, as well as domestic economic hardship, compounds the disappointment Iranians feel from unfulfilled political promises. The Iranian government has repeatedly failed to carry out promised reforms; in recent years alone, President Hassan Rouhani has proven unable to carry out his promises to “open up Iran politically, ease rigid social restrictions and address human rights abuses.” As this situation continues, Iran risks despair and chaos.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Social Movement, Sanctions, Nuclear Power, Reform, Economy, Memory
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Summary, Economy, 5-year summary, Key indicators
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economy, Outlook, Forecast, Overview
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economy, Economic structure, Charts and tables, Monthly trends charts
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Summary, Economy, Background, Fact sheet
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Political structure
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Outlook, Briefing sheet
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Outlook, Briefing sheet
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Outlook, Briefing sheet
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Outlook, Briefing sheet
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Summary, Basic Data, Economy, Background
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Outlook, Briefing sheet
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Syed Fazl-e Haider
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the central component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South Asia, has been a source of significant attention and controversy (China Brief, January 12, 2018; China Brief, February 15). Parts of South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe, however, are also host to another ambitious infrastructure program: the “International North-South Transport Corridor” (INSTC), a transportation development plan first established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India. The INSTC envisions a network to connect Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf ports and rail centers to the Caspian Sea, and then onwards through the Russian Federation to St. Petersburg and northern Europe.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Middle East, India, Asia
  • Author: Roie Yellinek
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: State-directed repression and harassment directed against Muslims in China has drawn broad international condemnation throughout the Western world. However, what has been the reaction from the Islamic world itself? Although reactions among major states have varied (as discussed below), the reaction throughout the Islamic world has largely been one of deafening silence—and when voices are raised, they have been faint.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Prisons/Penal Systems, State Violence, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Xinjiang
  • Author: Barham Salih
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address by President Barham Salih of Iraq followed by a moderated question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Sectarianism, Counter-terrorism, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, New York, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Michel Duclos
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Russia and Iran are allies in Syria not out of mutual sympathy, but for pragmatic reasons. According to many reports, Iranian leaders—notably including Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Al-Quds force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC)—were instrumental in convincing Vladimir Putin to send his air force to Syria and save Bashar al-Assad’s skin in September 2015
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Eric M. Brewer, Elisa Catalano Ewers
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Trump administration has adopted an aggressive Iran strategy. The United States seeks to achieve—via the application of maximum pressure—nothing short of a fundamental change to policies that have defined the Islamic Republic for decades, if not since its founding, and have been a constant source of tension with the United States. Although the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-impose sanctions on Iran has garnered most of the attention, the administration also is leveraging diplomatic, law enforcement, informational, and other tools to apply pressure across a range of issues: Iran’s missile program, support for terrorism, regional influence, and human rights record
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Fatima Al-Smadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: The sanctions affect Iran in many ways, not only in economic terms. This paper examines the impact of sanctions on Iran’s domestic and foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: In early May 2019, the United States announced it would deploy an aircraft carrier, B-52 strategic bombers, and a Patriot missile battery to the Gulf region, declaring it had received information that Iran intended to strike US targets or those of its allies, directly or through a proxy. The United States followed with a new round of sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Iran
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Although both the United States and Iran say they do not want a direct military confrontation, such escalation by the United States necessarily invites an Iranian response, particularly since Tehran is butting heads with US regional allies like Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Umar Farooq, Asma Shakir Khawaja
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The article is intended to find out the geopolitical implications, regional constraints and benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Researcher reviewed both published research articles and books to find out geopolitical implication, regional constraints and benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. For this purpose, researcher also reviewed newspapers articles and published reports by government and non-governmental stakeholders working on CPEC. Review of the articles and reports indicated that CPEC had enormous benefits not only for China and Pakistan but also for the whole region. But different internal and external stakeholders are not in favor of successful completion of this project. Extremism, sense of deprivation, lack of political consensus, political instability are some of the internal constraints. On the other hand, Afghanistan, India, Iran, UAE and USA are posing constraints to halt the successful completion of CPEC.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, South Asia, India, Asia, Punjab, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: To win the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan did something for which he is never credited: he dramatically increased the budget of the United States Information Agency, the public diplomacy arm of our struggle against communism. Senegal, in September of 1999, was about to hold a presidential election. Because of USIA's long history of promoting journalism in Senegal, the embassy decided to work in partnership with the local Print, Radio and Television Journalists Federation to hold a series of workshops on the role of journalists in covering elections. USIA was uniquely organized to promote democratic development through the long term support of human rights organizations, journalism, programs that helped build the rule of law, educational programs that encouraged the acceptance of diversity in society and, perhaps most importantly, through partnering with and supporting local opinion leaders to help them promote democratic values that stand in opposition to ideologies hostile to the West.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Elections, Democracy, Rule of Law, Ideology, Networks, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Soviet Union, West Africa, Syria, Senegal
  • Author: Ofer Israeli
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: After a century of an American world order established by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson at the end of the First World War, we are facing a shift in Washington’s global attitude. President Trump’s approach to world affairs is different. Although Obama, and to some extent Bush before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, was starting to withdraw from the U.S. historical position of key global superpower, President Trump’s approach to world affairs is a much more drastic acceleration of this move. Continuing in this direction means we may soon face a collapse of America’s century-long preeminence, and the creation of a new world order in which the U.S. is no longer leading the global power, but only first among sovereigns, if at all.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Government, World War I, World War II, Institutionalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union, United States of America
  • Author: Mikael Barfod
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Controversies have abounded, including Palestine and Israel within the UN's Human Rights Council, lack of US support for the International Law of the Sea (since 1994), and the International Criminal Court (since 2002). Collectively, the European Union and its Member States remain by far the largest financial contributor to the UN, providing 30% of all contributions to the budget and 31% of peace-keeping activities in addition to substantial contributions towards project-based funding. 4. Some may object that the European Union has been hampered by the lack of a common position among EU Member States on the future of the UN Security Council (UNSC), where two member-states, UK and France, currently have permanent seats and one, Germany, is desperate to get one.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Human Rights, European Union, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Israel, Asia, France, Germany, United States of America
  • Author: Alon Ben-Meir
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The EU is in a unique position to prevent the outbreak of a war between Israel and Iran that could engulf the Middle East in a war that no one can win.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil War, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Twenty years ago, the United States Information Agency (USIA) was consolidated into the United States Department of State. On this 20th anniversary of that event, it is time to reexamine the wisdom of that decision. In Christopher Datta's opinion, it was a mistake.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Democracy, Rule of Law, Ideology, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Europe, Iran, Soviet Union, West Africa, Syria
  • Author: Haviland Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: It is clear that there are powerful people both in the United States and in Iran who would like to force a real confrontation between our two countries. What is completely unclear is whether or not those hawks on both sides want a modified Cold War type confrontation, built perhaps on cyber warfare, or an all-out military confrontation. What this situation, with all its incredibly profound dangers and possible disastrous outcomes, has done is once again prompt the question, “what is the United States doing in the Middle East and what precisely are our goals there?”
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, Minorities, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Fridtjof Falk
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: On November 5th, 2018, the Trump administration re-imposed severe sanctions on Iran. These sanctions, which President Obama called the “toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government,” were lifted by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Deal. The JCPOA was signed with a view to blocking Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, allowing international inspectors into Iran in return for sanctions relief. Withdrawing the United States (US) from the deal was a prominent promise of Donald Trump leading up to the presidential elections of 2016. In a May 2018 speech that described the deal as rooted in “fiction,” President Trump made good on his promise to leave the JCPOA and to move to unilaterally re-impose sanctions on Iran.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Sanctions, Nuclear Power, Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis, Forecast, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis, Recent developments
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Outlook, Briefing sheet
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis, Recent developments
  • Political Geography: Iran, Oman
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, News Analysis, Forecast
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis, Forecast, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis, Forecast, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Outlook, Briefing sheet
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Israel, Kuwait, Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Qatar, Tunisia, Oman, UAE
  • Author: Meir Litvak, Emily Landau, Ephraim Kam
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: This collection contains essays analyzing the state of Iran’s nuclear program and the deterrent relationship between the United States and Iran since the nuclear agreement was presented; Iran’s relations with specific Middle East states; and dominant political and social issues within Iran, and their influence on Iran’s foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Gallia Lindenstrauss
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, despite periodic hostile statements on the one hand and high level visits on the other, Turkey-Iran relations have experienced few surprising developments. As Hakki Uygur has argued, “The Turkish-Iranian relationship can be considered one of the most consistent and predictable sets of relations in the Middle East region.” During this time, Turkish-Iranian relations have fluctuated within a defined range whereby despite the intense competition, they never reach the point of deep crisis. However, even in the case of shared interests, the two states have not proved capable of achieving close strategic cooperation.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Raz Zimmt
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Some two months after the outbreak of the most significant wave of protest in Iran since the 2009 riots, the Iranian authorities are endeavoring to bring the situation back to normal, though various pockets of protest are still discernible. While the wave of protest began to wane already a week after it broke out, demonstrations on a limited scale are ongoing in various parts of the country, mainly concerning wage withholding and the collapse of pension and saving funds. There are also some local instances of defiance against the regime, including anti-establishment graffiti in the public domain, strikes, torched banks, and defaced posters with the Supreme Leader’s picture.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Richard Nephew
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy
  • Abstract: The president’s recent statement that OPEC should reduce their prices may merely be an attempt to assign blame for rising gasoline prices in the midst of the US driving season or an even more cynical attempt to rally his political base in opposition to globalism. Or, it may have something to do with the president’s own decision to create a crisis with Iran. While attention is duly paid to how much Americans have to pay at the pump, a more subtle and complicated story will soon play out with respect to Iran and the reapplication of US sanctions ordered by Trump on May 8, 2018. In fact, unless oil prices are contained, the primary result of the president’s action may be to ensure that Iran profits from the oil market risks that sanctions have created.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Geopolitics, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Global Focus
  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Strategic Visions: Volume 18, Number I Contents News from the Director ......................2 New Web Page...............................2 Fall 2018 Colloquium.....................2 Fall 2018 Prizes..................................3 Spring 2019 Lineup.........................4 Note from the Davis Fellow.................5 Note from the Non-Resident Fellow....7 Update from Germany By Eric Perinovic.............................8 A Conversation with Marc Gallicchio By Michael Fischer.......................10 Fall 2018 Colloquium Interviews Kelly Shannon...............................12 Jason Smith...................................14 Drew McKevitt.............................16 Book Reviews Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 Brandon Kinney.........................18 Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of 1980s America Taylor Christian.........................20 To Master the Boundless Sea: The US Navy, the Marine Environment, and the Cartography of Empire Graydon Dennison.....................23 Losing Hearts and Minds: American-Iranian Relations and International Education During the Cold War Jonathan Shoup.........................25 The Action Plan. Or: How Reagan Convinced the American People to Love the Contras Joshua Stern..................................27
  • Topic: Diplomacy, War, Military Affairs, Grand Strategy, Empire
  • Political Geography: Japan, Iran, Middle East, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Masoomeh Khandan, Lant Pritchett
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: A long-standing literature in the sociology of organizations (e.g., DiMaggio and Powell 1983) suggests that, as change agents face uncertainty about actions and outcomes, they often seek legitimacy through isomorphism: adopting structures, policies and reforms similar (at least in appearance) to those deemed successful elsewhere. We examine history’s most rapid reduction of fertility—from 8.4 in 1985 to 2.4 in 2002, in rural Iran—as an example of successful autonomous reform. The Iranian state, which was self-consciously cut off from nearly all of the traditional vectors of global isomorphism, initiated a successful behavioral change in a domain (family planning) perhaps unexpected for an Islamic state. We describe and explain the Iranian approach, in particular the rural program, contrasting it with the global strategy of adopting universal "best practices."
  • Topic: Governance, Health Care Policy, Reform, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Mohamed Saleh
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This is the third of a three-part series of essays on Yemen highlighting the magnitude and impact of the civil war on Yemenis. Yemen is located on the southern edge of the Arabian peninsula, with the Red Sea and Egypt to its west, the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa to its south, Oman on its northeastern border, and Saudi Arabia along its northern border. Once benign representations of Yemen’s geography and sovereignty, those borders now symbolize nothing but profound anguish. The edges outlining a nation whose people remain imprisoned while waiting for life-saving aid which may not come. What at one point was a country grappling with the contradictions of 21st century development and economic growth has been bombed so viciously and blockaded so resolutely that close to a million of its inhabitants may die from a disease easily cured by oral rehydration therapy – a medical expression for treatment by purified water and modest amounts of sugar, salt, and zinc supplements. Condiments and a few bottles from a local pharmacy in any European country, and water. That is all. And yet the international community continues to watch in horror, its reaction anemic, its response stunted.
  • Topic: Civil War, War, Arab Spring, Humanitarian Intervention, International Community
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Wael Abdul-Shafi
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Falling oil and gas prices and shrinking demand across global energy markets pose enormous challenges for energy exporting countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia and lead to decreasing revenues from this sector. Despite differences in the structures of their respective national economies, both countries share common challenges in adapting to this new situation. High youth unemployment rates, an underrepresentation of women in the workforce, a public sector unable to absorb the high numbers of university graduates as well as environmental degradation and pollution, all constitute major problems for both countries and their economies. But, while solving many of these issues would ideally demand bilateral cooperation, a political climate of mutual mistrust and enmity currently inhibits such a process.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Andrew J. Tabler
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In this new Transition 2017 paper, Institute expert Andrew J. Tabler argues that Syria remains de facto partitioned, making the establishment of safe zones in non-Assad-controlled areas the Trump administration's most expedient course of action. Moreover, it would further Washington's cause to drive a wedge into the country's Russia-Iran alliance, and both isolate and pressure the Assad regime. If Washington's objectives in Syria are to defeat U.S.-designated terrorist groups and stem the outflow of refugees, President Bashar al-Assad is under no circumstances the right person to entrust with these missions. Simply in practical terms, he lacks the manpower to retake and hold the two-thirds of Syrian territory outside his control any time soon, despite having sufficient support from Russia and Iran to maintain control in large parts of the country. But more important, Assad is an avowed adversary of the West, undeserving of its cooperation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil War, International Security, International Affairs, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Iran, Syria
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, a former Iranian judiciary chief who holds a prominent position in the Assembly of Experts, now has two paths to leadership of the Shiite community. The first is as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, now seventy-seven; the second is to eventually take the place of Najaf-based Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who at eighty-six is the preeminent religious authority in Shia Islam. A certain air of mystery surrounds Shahroudi, whose life has been chronicled heretofore only in a flattering pamphlet produced by his own office. But the trends in his philosophy are clear enough: on the religious front, he has grown more conservative; in matters of Iranian nationalism, a harder-line revolutionary. Author Mehdi Khalaji offers here the first comprehensive study of Ayatollah Shahroudi, encompassing his upbringing in holy Najaf, his move to Iran after the Islamic Revolution, his role as a stalwart in Khamenei's power base, and his brutal tenure as chief justice from 1999 to 2009. A scenario worth imagining, though hardly inevitable, is one in which Shahroudi consolidates power as both Supreme Leader and transnational marja, thereby reinforcing Iran's regional clout and its revolutionary orientation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Fariba Abdelkhah
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Elections have been trivialized in Iran. They allow for the expression of diversity, in particular ethnical and denominational, of historical regional identities, and prove the growing professionalization of political life. Paradoxically, such professionalization withdraws the Republic away into the levels of family, parenthood, autochthony, and even neighborhoods or devotional sociability, which are all institutions that instill a feeling of proximity, solidarity, communion; close to the notion of asabiyat. As the saying goes, the Islamic Republic has become a « parentocracy » (tâyefehsâlâri). The country’s industrial development isn’t at odds with such ponderousness since it lies on a web of very small family businesses. The analysis of the 2016 legislative elections in four wards reveals how important the issue of property is in political life, indivisible as it is of the various particularistic consciences. The connections with notables are still there, revealing lines of continuity with the old regime as well as longstanding agrarian conflicts that have not been erased by the Revolution and that are being kept alive through contemporary elections.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Sociology, Governance, Elections, Borders, Networks, Identities
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Russia and the West: Reality Check." The current level of Russian presence in the Middle East is unprecedented for the region since the fall of the Soviet Union. Records of diplomatic and political contacts show increased exchange of multilevel delegations between Russia and the main regional countries. After 2012, Moscow has attempted to cultivate deeper involvement in regional issues and to establish contacts with forces in the Middle East which it considers as legitimate. Moreover, on September 30, 2015, Russia launched air strikes against Syrian groupings fighting against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Before that time, Russia had tried to avoid any fully-fledged involvement in the military conflicts in the region. It was also the first time when it adopted an American military strategy by putting the main accent on the use of air power instead of ground forces. Under these circumstances, the turmoil in the Middle East, which poses a political and security challenge to the EU and United States, makes it crucial to know whether Russia could be a reliable partner in helping the West to stabilize the region or whether, on the contrary, Moscow will play the role of a troublemaker.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Military Intervention, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, United States of America, European Union, Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Author: Simon Palamar
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In July 2015, the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, signed on to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement in which Iran would put substantial and verifiable limits on its nuclear science and engineering activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Many observers hailed the agreement as an important — if imperfect — tool for keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Former US President Barack Obama argued that “the United States, our partners, and the world are more secure because of the JCPOA.”
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Iran
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, Summary, Outlook, Highlights
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Armenia
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Israel, Libya, Palestine, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Oman
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Kuwait, Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Qatar, Tunisia, Somalia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Mauritania
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Qatar, Tunisia, Somalia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Mauritania
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Kuwait, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Kuwait, Oman
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Bahrain
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Israel, Syria
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Syria
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Russia, Japan, China, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Philippines, Djibouti, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Bahrain, Qatar, Thailand, Rwanda, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Laos, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Russia, China, Iran, Sudan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Ukraine, India, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Greece, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Poland, Lithuania, Vietnam, Philippines, Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Estonia, Armenia, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Nepal, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Tanzania, Croatia, Latvia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand, Rwanda, Oman, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Laos, Myanmar, Slovenia, Slovakia, Belarus, Brunei
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Country Data and Maps
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics, News Analysis
  • Political Geography: Iran