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  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Successive administrations have recognized that preventing genocide and crimes against humanity is in the national interest of the United States. The Obama Administration put this rhetoric into action in 2011 by issuing Presidential Study Directive 10, which elevated mass atrocities prevention to a "core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States" and ordered the creation of a standing atrocities prevention structure in the U.S. government. With far- reaching atrocities prevention efforts now underway in the U.S. government, Human Rights First offers an additional, innovative approach that broadens the scope of current atrocities prevention efforts and opens up new avenues for tackling this persistent and complex problem.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Genocide, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Banning Garrett
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: “This is some of the best driving I've ever done,” Steve Mahan joked at the end of a ride in the Google self-driving car. Mahan's 2012 drive—to buy tacos for lunch and pick up his laundry—was especially remarkable since he is 95 percent blind. His hands-free test drive (accompanied by Morgan Hill Police Department Sergeant Troy Hoefling and recorded in a YouTube video) would have been impossible not only without advanced sensors, computers, and software, but also without big data, which both enabled development of the driverless car and inform its movement along the streets and freeways of California. The Google car itself gathers nearly 1 gigabyte of data per second as it scans and analyzes its environment. Think of the potential data gathering of 100 million self-driving cars on the roads of the United States. How will that data—100 million gigabytes per second—be transmitted, stored, and analyzed?
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Intelligence, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, California
  • Author: Stephen J. Hadley, Steven A. Cook, Madeleine Albright
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Among the most important developments in international affairs of the past decade is the emergence of Turkey as a rising regional and global power. Turkey has long been an important country as a stalwart member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an aspirant to European Union (EU) membership, and an important link between the West and the East. Yet the changes in Turkey over the past decade have been so dramatic—with far-reaching political and economic reforms, significant social reforms, and an active foreign policy—that the country is virtually unrecognizable to longtime Turkey watchers. Today Turkey is more democratic, prosperous, and politically influential than it was five, ten, and fifteen years ago.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Democratization, Economics, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Mark P. Lagon
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The rule of law is critical for people to have a meaningful opportunity to thrive. Still, for billions of people around the world today, the rule of law exists on paper but not in practice. Even though a theme for the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Panel in fall 2012 is rule of law, various UN programs devoted to rule of law have not had a transformative impact. Traditional intergovernmental institutions will never offer enough to achieve systemic change. To supplement them and achieve what they alone cannot, the United States should take the lead to forge a more nimble partnership with public, private, and nonprofit sectors and establish a Global Trust for Rule of Law (“Global Trust”). Similar to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (“Global Fund”), a diverse board of donor states, philanthropists, rule of law experts, and civil society representatives would run this Global Trust. Its purpose would be to build developing nations' capacity to implement rule of law and unleash the potential of marginalized groups worldwide, promoting not only human dignity but, crucially, global economic growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, International Law, Non-Governmental Organization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alain Guidetti
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The international strategic landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace. The widespread assumption is that the global balance of power is shifting from the West to the East (and the South), as a consequence of the convergence of two variables: the sustained economic growth of China and Asia over recent decades, and the Western economic downturn since the 2008 global financial crisis. Though interpretations differ on the meaning and magnitude of this power shift, the prevailing assumption is that it reflects the weakness, and for some the relative decline, of the US and the West against Asia's and primarily China's strong rise. The implications of these developments across the Asia-Pacific are deep and have already led to growing strategic competition between Beijing and Washington for preeminence over the Asia-Pacific and new uncertainties over global and regional governance.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, Beijing, Asia, Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: When to press China's leadership on human rights, how hard, and with what tools has been an ever-changing calculation, as successive U.S. administrations have tried to balance America's strategic and economic interests in the expanding U.S.-China relationship with America's leadership as an advocate for and protector of universal rights and freedoms.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The rapid development of the Internet presents profound opportunities and challenges for U.S. interests around the world, particularly around the promotion and protection of human rights. The Internet is the steward of our economic, social, and political activity, but clearly the Internet itself is not the advocate for its possibilities: governments are. How the U.S. government organizes itself and collaborates with the businesses in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector to create policies and priorities for the Internet will set the foundation of whether the Information Age will be a success story for human rights.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Science and Technology, International Affairs, Communications
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The United States has unique experience fighting violent hate crime and discrimination, and the protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people has become a signature human rights initiative of the Obama Administration. In 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd Hate Crime Prevention Act, with bipartisan support and the endorsement of a wide range of constituencies with differing views on LGBTI equality. The law--and the coalition that supported it--is a model of how to marshal the range of U.S. resources to improve responses to all hate crime, including acts of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity bias.
  • Topic: Crime, Human Rights, International Affairs, Governance, Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: The Obama Administration, as it embarks on its second term, should reaffirm U.S. leadership on the protection of refugees by repairing flaws in the U.S. asylum and resettlement systems. Many of these flaws have persisted for years, undermining U.S. leadership and leaving refugees in difficult and vulnerable situations. The White House should lead this effort and launch stronger mechanisms to safeguard protection throughout U.S. agencies. The administration should also look for opportunities to move some of these repairs forward in concert with broader immigration reform initiatives.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Immigration, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Nearly four years ago, President Obama signed an executive order committing to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. At the time, there was significant bipartisan consensus, supported by the nation's top national security officials, that Guantanamo undermines U.S. national security and compromises American values. Closing Guantanamo is a signature issue for the president's legacy, and it can be accomplished in his second term.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jens Ludwig, Philip J. Cook
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The unprecedented surge in incarceration since 1980 has stimulated a national debate between those who claim that locking up over 2 million people is necessitated by public safety concerns, and those who say the human and financial burden of imprisoning so many of our citizens is intolerable.
  • Topic: Crime, Human Rights, Law, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mohammed ElBaradei
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: "For years, the West has bought Mr. Mubarak's demonization of the Muslim Brotherhood lock, stock and barrel, the idea that the only alternative here are these demons called the Muslim Brotherhood who are the equivalent of Al Qaeda's... I am pretty sure that any freely and fairly elected government in Egypt will be a moderate one, but America is really pushing Egypt and pushing the whole Arab world into radicalization with this inept policy of supporting repression."
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Israel, Arabia, Egypt, Vienna
  • Author: Sylvana Q. Sinha
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: At least 80% of all disputes in Afghanistan are resolved through traditional dispute resolution (TDR) mechanisms, principally community councils called shuras or jirgas. TDR is therefore impossible to ignore as the primary justice institution in the country. Still, most women's groups in Afghanistan tend to oppose international donor or Afghan government support for TDR because they generally exclude women from participation and are known to issue decisions that violate women's rights. In the spring of 2011, the U.S. Institute of Peace in Kabul hosted meetings to examine the broader question of how women can gain greater access to justice. The outcome of the conversations was a more nuanced view of TDR and women in Afghanistan and a recognition that creative engagement rather than condemnation is a more productive approach to resolving deficiencies in women's rights in TDR venues.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Foreign Aid, Law
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Giorgio Sacerdoti
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Some readers of the Columbia FDI Perspective No. 33 of December 14, 2010 may have been surprised to read Hans Smit's contribution against party-appointed arbitrators. The opening of his Perspective could not be expressed in more sweeping terms: "In my judgment, party-appointed arbitrators should be banned unless their role as advocates for the party that appointed them is fully disclosed and accepted. Until this is done, arbitration can never meet its aspiration of providing dispassionate adjudication..."
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Foreign Direct Investment, Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Barbara Slavin
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The broadest and toughest sanctions regime imposed on any country except Libya has not convinced Iran's leaders to abandon a program that appears aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Instead of seeking even more crippling economic penalties—such as an oil embargo—that would fracture the international consensus on Iran, the United States should tighten implementation of measures already in force and enact more sanctions linked to human rights, which have a wide constituency in Europe and demonstrate to the Iranian people that international concerns extend beyond nuclear weapons. The U.S. should also work with its diplomatic partners to craft new proposals that would couple acceptance of limited uranium enrichment with rigorous international monitoring, and encourage China, Iran's major trading partner, to use its leverage in support of nonproliferation.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: For the past 18 months, the G-20 summit countries have worked together to contain the global economic crisis and encourage a sustainable economic recovery. As part of these efforts, the G-20 leaders have sought to constrain the protectionist pressures that invariably arise during times of economic stress and to maintain an open international trading regime. The G-20 trade agenda, as enunciated in the three summit declarations, has covered two specific trade actions: a “standstill” on new protectionism and a charge to complete the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: Whistleblowing is increasingly recognised as an important tool in the prevention and detection of corruption and other malpractice. By disclosing wrongdoing in an organisation, whistleblowers can avert harm, protect human rights, help to save lives and safeguard the rule of law. The clandestine nature of corrupt behaviour means that it may never come to light unless cases are reported by people who discover them in the course of their work. But reporting can come at a high price: whistleblowers often expose themselves to great personal risks in order to protect the public interest. As a result of speaking out, they may lose their jobs, dampen their career prospects, and even put their own lives at risk. To provide a safe alternative to silence, TI recommends policy and legal measures to provide: Effective legal protection of whistleblowers against retaliation with full compensation in case of reprisals; Adequate mechanisms in public, private and not-for-profit organisations to ensure that disclosures are properly handled and thoroughly investigated; Public research, data collection, information and training to inform about the public benefit of whistleblowing.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Corruption, Crime, Human Rights, Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In 2007 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that US companies that had done business with apartheid South Africa could be found liable for monetary damages under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) of 1789 (Khulumani v. Barclay Nat. Bank Ltd., 504 F.3d 254 [2d Cir. 2007]). Liability arises, the Second Circuit declared, from their possible connections with human rights violations committed by South Africa during the apartheid era. Firms named in the suit include Bank of America, IBM, Coca-Cola, and General Motors. The governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland all opposed the lawsuit, as did the government of South Africa, which argued that the suit ran counter to its policy of reconciliation. The Bush administration also opposed the suit, but the Second Circuit rejected the argument that the cases could be dismissed for foreign policy reasons.
  • Topic: Apartheid, Human Rights, International Law, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, United Kingdom, America, South Africa, Germany
  • Author: J. Scott Carpenter, David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On August 18, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak travels to Washington for a White House meeting with President Barack Obama. The trip -- Mubarak's first visit to the United States in six years -- marks the culmination of a six-month effort by the Obama administration to hit the reset button with Cairo. After years of tension resulting from the last administration's focus on human rights and democratic development, the traditional U.S.-Egyptian bilateral "bargain" has been effectively restored. In exchange for cooperation on key mutual interests -- the peace process and the Iranian threat --Washington appears to have shelved longstanding concerns over internal Egyptian governance. While the new dynamic may help mitigate some regional crises, the political and economic challenges Cairo faces will not age well, particularly as the state enters its first period of leadership transition in twenty-eight years.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The intensification and spread of the conflict in Afghanistan is increasingly affecting civilians. In 2008 there were over 2,100 civilian casualties, 55% of which were caused by militants. Despite steps to reduce civilian casualties, international military forces (IMF) caused 552 civilian deaths through airstrikes in 2008, which is up by 72% on 2007. IMF have also carried out or supported raids and search operations, a large number of which have involved an excessive use of force, including loss of life, physical assault, dam age to property and theft, as well as aggressive and improper treatment of women. Such conduct not only generates anger and mistrust towards foreign troops, but is steadily eroding popular support for the international presence in the country. Furthermore, many individuals detained by Afghan and US forces are held for long periods without charge or trial, and there are allegations of mistreatment and torture.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Japan experienced a disastrous decade of economic stagnation and deflation from 1991 to 2001 after bubbles in its stock market and land market collapsed. While some economic pain was unavoidable—given a 60 percent plunge in equity prices between late 1989 and August 1992, accompanied by the onset of what ultimately became a 70 percent drop in land values by 2001—the "lost decade" was not an inevitable outcome. It required a series of persistently wrong economic policy decisions that ignored the lessons learned in America's Great Depression of the 1930s and the subsequent research on the causes of that painful period.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With a newly elected South Korean president willing to join the United States in standing up to North Korea, the Bush administration now has a unique opportunity to put pressure on Kim Jong Il to abandon his country's nuclear program and desist from its human rights abuses. In this article, AEI's Nicholas Eberstadt asks whether the administration will seize the opportunity.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Human Rights, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: David Cortright
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: Repressive counterterrorism measures (CTMs) have led to an erosion of civil liberties and human rights in many countries. The repercussions have been felt keenly by civil society groups, especially in the global South. Overly restrictive security policies have contributed to a climate of suspicion toward nongovernmental groups, particularly those that challenge social exclusion and unequal power relations. Many of the organizations that work against extremism by promoting human rights and development are themselves being labeled extremist and are facing constraints on their ability to operate.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Human Rights, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Smock
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On April 4, the U.S. Institute of Peace convened its Sudan Peace Forum to discuss new strategies for dealing with the ongoing crisis in Darfur. This USIPeace Briefing summarizes the discussion, which was conducted on a not-for-attribution basis. It was written by David Smock, the vice president of USIP's Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. It does not represent the views of USIP, which does not advocate specific policies.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: James Q. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Federal district court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has ruled that the warrantless interception of telephone and Internet calls between a foreign agent and American persons is illegal and unconstitutional. It is possible that she is right about the illegality, but she is almost surely wrong that it is unconstitutional. The government has appealed this decision to the Sixth Circuit. No one can say what it will decide, although other appeals courts have tolerated such surveillance. Ultimately the Supreme Court will have to decide the matter. The Constitutional arguments against the surveillance are unpersuasive. A Washington Post editorial dismissed them as “throat clearing.” Judge Taylor refers to the free speech provision of the First Amendment but fails to explain how listening to a conversation or reading e-mail abridges anyone's right to speak. Taken literally, a Constitutional ban on intercepts would make it impossible to overhear the mafia plotting murders or business executives fixing prices.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Brian Concannon
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: New Year's Day has a history of hope for former slaves in the hemisphere: Haiti freed its slaves and declared its independence on New Year's 1804; 59 years behind its southern neighbor, President Lincoln issued the U.S. Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. But since then hope has been scarce in Haiti. This year the island nation rang in the New Year with a toll of alarm. A massacre in the urban settlement of Cité Soleil on Dec. 22 left over 20 dead and many wounded by gunfire from UN troops. In this article, human rights lawyer Brian Concannon discusses the need to clear up the past in order to move toward future peace. In particular, he urges the U.S. Congress to thoroughly investigate the role of the United States in the 2004 coup d' etat in Haiti. For more information on Haiti, see related articles (below). For more information on the Institute for Justice Democracy in Haiti, a member of the IRC Americas Program U.S.-Latin America Relations Network, see http://americas.irconline. org/am/3673.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: James Q. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: National Review, at its founding in 1955, had as its mission stating and defending a conservative view in a nation that many believed had known only a liberal tradition. It was a difficult task, not only because of liberalism's apparent supremacy, but because it was not easy to define a conservative alternative. Conservatism could mean free-market economics, the reassertion of a traditional morality, or the endorsement of a religious or classical basis for moral thought. In the spirited discussions that took place in this magazine and elsewhere, each of these views had its proponents, and—as they made quite clear—their views were often in conflict. Individualism and free-market economics could leave morality to personal and even aberrant judgments, but a revival of moral thought and a reassertion of its religious basis could easily suppress individual choice and impose regulatory restraints on the market.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Henry J. Aaron
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Providing all beneficial care to those who need it is rapidly becoming unaffordable, even for a nation as rich as the United States. The highly decentralized U.S. payment system is unique in its lack of effective levers for limiting health care spending, and managed care has largely been ineffective. A different solution, considered extreme by many in the United States, is rationing.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Imagine a nation almost half the size of the United States where large portions of the population are sick—not with just one disease but several at once. Such is the daily reality for those living in Nigeria, a nation with one of the highest burdens of disease in Africa.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Nigeria
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Iraq is obviously the overwhelming focus of the Bush administration's policy of attempting to transform the Middle East into a zone of liberal democracies. The United States is also trying to formulate a second, more gradual track of democracy promotion for the authoritarian and semiauthoritarian Arab states that make up the rest of the region. Strengthening civil society is often proposed as a key element of a U.S. strategy for this second track of Middle Eastern democracy promotion.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Marina S. Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS MADE THE PROMOTION OF WOMEN'S RIGHTS and the empowerment of women a central element of its new campaign to modernize and democratize the Arab world. The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the major program through which the United States seeks to facilitate the transformation of the Arab world, makes women's rights one of its priorities. No official U.S. speech about reform in the Middle East fails to mention the cause of women's rights. And the issue of women is sure to be raised at meetings where Middle East affairs are discussed, regardless of the main purpose of the gathering.
  • Topic: Democratization, Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Economic performance over the past two decades has been impressive. Underpinned by an increased reliance on competitive forces, which have been stronger than in most other member countries for some time, productivity and output have accelerated significantly. In recent years, helped by timely macroeconomic policy responses, the economy has demonstrated its capacity to adjust to adverse shocks, so that the per capita growth gap against other countries has widened further. The outlook is for this to continue in the next few years, with real GDP expanding by around 4 per cent per annum. Nonetheless, there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed to sustain these laudable economic outcomes. By far the top priority is to confront the current and projected federal budget deficits. The fiscal stimulus of the past few years has been helpful in supporting the recovery, but if public dissaving is not reduced, interest rates may be higher, ultimately implying slower growth in economic potential. Increased budget discipline, and indeed significant reform on both the spending and revenue sides of the budget, will be necessary because of the impending demographic pressures on government finances. Corrective fiscal measures will also assist the unwinding of the current account deficit, which is unusually large for this stage of the cycle. As the Federal Reserve begins to move the federal funds rate back to a more neutral level, it will need to be especially attentive to the clarity of its communications with the markets. Further corporate-governance and accounting reforms would help to underpin confidence of domestic and foreign investors, thereby facilitating orderly current-account adjustment. Less reliance on import restrictions and maintaining a leadership role in trade liberalisation would favour structural adjustment at home. Furthermore, despite the generally pro-competitive thrust of antitrust and other regulatory policies, a number of areas deserve attention, notably intellectual property rights, telecommunications and electricity, where further reforms would be welfare enhancing.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sergio Carrera, Joanna Apap
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This report carries out an assessment of the European measures and practices implemented within the scope of the Schengen borders regime after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States. In particular we look at: the re-introduction of border checks on the basis of Art. 2.2 of the Schengen Convention, along with the plan to put protestors under surveillance and deny entry to suspected troublemakers; and the policies on intrusive surveillance through the use of biometric technologies and databases , as well as the controv ersial EU/US bilateral relations on the transfer of Passenger Name Record information (PNR).
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Loretta Bondi
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: CTR: Were there any big surprises at this meeting? Ambassador Kuniko Inoguchi: I was positively impressed by the strong participation of African states and other countries most affected by the presence of small arms and light weapons. It was very good to hear their voices directly and very encouraging to see a truly cooperative spirit both in the informal consultations and at the Biennial Meeting with states delivering very focused statements.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Loretta Bondi
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: CTR: What gave impulse to these agreements? Dr. Athanassios Papaioannou: The idea came up in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001.Belgium, which held the rotating EU Presidency at that time, made the proposal. Both the Ministers' Council of Justice and the United States warmly accepted it. Lengthy negotiations started during2002, and they were successfully concluded [this month] during the Greek Presidency.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Loretta Bondi
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: CTR: What is the comparative advantage of the OAS convention over the other dozen anti-terrorism treaties that have been developed in the past three decades? Ambassador Paul Durand: Beyond [the innovation of] human rights, I am not sure it did a lot more new. I think that the value added is that there is now a basis of understanding among 34 countries that you do not find in broader forums such as the UN. As for human rights, we were not going into the area of responsibilities of states [sponsors]. We tackled [this] issue in the context of states' obligations to respect human rights norms. Although this is new [in a terrorism convention], it did not cause an awful lot of consternation. Members were on board.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This question is usually answered in one of two ways. The "just around the corner" view, often favored by Western government officials and the media, argues that the region's conflicts and lack of significant progress could be rectified quickly if only the proper policies and detailed solutions were proposed. In contrast, the "victim" view, often favored in academia and in the Arab world, argues that the area's problems result primarily from external aggression and oppression. The irony is that those styling themselves progressive and pro-Arab in the West actually do great damage to the lives of Arabs in the Middle East, in part by embracing reactionary dictatorships.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Amy W. Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 6, Lorne W. Craner, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, will testify before Congress on the State Department's just-released "2001 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" covering 195 countries. How the reports characterize human rights and influence U.S. policy in the Arab world is especially important this year. Traditionally, human rights have not figured prominently in U.S. policy toward the region. However, some U.S. officials have recently alluded to the promotion of "freedom" in the Middle East as part of the war against terrorism. Most notable were President George W. Bush's State of the Union remarks that "America will always stand firm for the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women, private property, free speech, equal justice, and religious tolerance."
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Amy W. Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Urgent regional matters — such as Iraq and the Arab–Israeli peace process — will dominate the agenda during Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's visit to Washington this week, while Egypt's transition to a free-market economy and U.S.– Egypt trade ties will also receive attention. Egyptian domestic politics, however, will register little, aside from U.S. frustrations over anti-Semitism in the Egyptian press and concern about the status of Egypt's Coptic Christians. Although the regime appears quite stable, having secured a "victory" in its 1990s conflict with violent extremist groups, the state of political reform in Egypt, America's most important Arab ally, merits a closer look. That is because Egypt's long-term economic reform — in which Washington has invested so much — can succeed only if accompanied by meaningful political liberalization.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Secretary of State Colin Powell and former President George Bush celebrate the tenth anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait, for many Gulf Arabs the occasion marks a decade since Saddam Husayn's tanks put the lie to the promises of security that local leaders had made to their people. After popular trust in these Gulf leaders was tarnished by their need to rely on U.S. and allied forces to expel the Iraqis (despite the billions of dollars of oil wealth these rulers had spent on high-tech weaponry over the years), Gulf monarchs started to concede to their peoples a greater say in political life.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Kuwait
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Five months after the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising, the U.S. government yesterday issued its first systematic assessment of the intifada-related actions of Israelis and Palestinians in the form of the State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for the year 2000. A close reading of the twenty-four page chapter on "the Occupied Territories (including areas subject to the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority)" reveals numerous condemnations of the actions of Israeli and Palestinian security forces, in almost identical language, with the latter also criticized for its abuses against fellow Palestinians. However, the report also displays a disturbing trend toward selective and distorted reporting on key issues, with the effect of minimizing egregious Palestinian behavior and enhancing the image of Israeli culpability.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: John Lindsay-Poland
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The United States maintains a complex web of military facilities and functions in Latin America and the Caribbean, what the U.S. Southern Command (known as SouthCom) calls its "theater architecture." U.S. military facilities represent tangible commitments to an ineffective supply-side drug war and to underlying policy priorities, including ensuring access to strategic resources, especially oil. Much of this web is being woven through Plan Colombia, a massive, primarily military program to eradicate coca plants and to combat armed groups (mostly leftist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). In the last five years, new U.S. bases and military access agreements have proliferated in Latin America, constituting a decentralization of the U.S. military presence in the region. This decentralization is Washington's way of maintaining a broad military foothold while accommodating regional leaders' reluctance to host large U.S. military bases or complexes.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alan Dowty
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: The election of controversial Likud leader Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister of Israel resulted more from the disillusionment of the left than the triumph of the right. Sharon's efforts to end the second intifada through stronger military responses are a recipe for escalation. The international community should support the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee, which proposes that the Palestinians renounce the use of violence as a tool in exchange for an Israeli reversal of punitive measures taken since the intifada began, accompanied by a freeze on further settlement growth.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: The eyes of the world were fixed on recounts and judicial twists in the 2000 U.S. presidential election for weeks last fall. When the suspense finally lifted and a winner emerged, the experience left Americans wiser and more educated about their own democracy.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Human Rights, Migration, Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Lynn Fredriksson
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The half-island nation of East Timor was a colony of Portugal for some 450 years. After the Portuguese dictatorship fell in April 1974, the Indonesian government began to intervene in the decolonization process. When it became clear that it had little political support in East Timor, the Indonesian regime launched a military offensive from West Timor and fomented a civil war in the summer of 1975.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Human Rights, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Southeast Asia
  • Author: George Ann Potter, Linda Farthing
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: In September 2000, Bolivia, South America's poorest country, was rocked by a series of civilian protests, including roadblocks throughout the country. Unionists, teachers, peasant coca farmers, and others have demanded that the Bolivian and U.S. governments stop trying to completely eradicate coca growing and cease construction of three new military bases in the Chapare region. Among the other demands, protesters also want the government to improve alternative development programs in the coca growing region. In mid-October, the two sides reached a 19-point “truce”, but protesters vowed to reinstate the roadblocks in 30 days if the government did not adhere to the the agreement.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Abigail Abrash
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Papua is a leading example of a failed decolonization process. Indonesian integration-cum-colonization of Papua—implemented with U.S. complicity—has amounted to an undeclared war against the indigenous population. Indonesia's military buildup and East Timor-style militia activities threaten to destabilize Papua and the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Environment, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Southeast Asia, Papua
  • Author: Miriam Young
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Sri Lanka's troubles are rooted in the practices of its former colonial power and in unaddressed political and economic grievances following independence. This is a war that takes few prisoners; both parties practice blatant disregard for international humanitarian law, causing ongoing civilian suffering and massive internal displacement. The war has eroded Sri Lanka's social achievements in health and education.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Philip S. Robertson
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: A world-class human rights abuser, Burma's military junta is condemned both by the UN Human Rights Commission—every year since 1989—and by the International Labor Organization for its systematic use of forced labor. The SPDC continues to refuse to recognize the results of the 1990 elections, won overwhelmingly by the National League for Democracy (NLD), and has imprisoned over 55 NLD parliamentarians. Economic sanctions by the U.S. and other nations continue to pressure the SPDC regime, despite a recent ruling by the Supreme Court overturning the Massachusetts Burma law.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Burma, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Carlos Salinas
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Violence and warfare in Colombia are often blamed on the drug trade, but the roots run much deeper. The overwhelming majority of victims are noncombatant civilians. Since 1987, more than 35,000 noncombatant civilians have been murdered or have “disappeared.” Despite rich natural resources, Colombia's wealth is unevenly distributed, with some sectors of the population in deep misery.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America