Middle East & North Africa

16 Items

Great Decisions Cover

Foreign Policy Association

Journal Article - Foreign Policy Association

The State of the State Department and American Diplomacy

| Jan. 03, 2019

During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders talks to reporters as he arrives at at Quicken Loans Arena before the start of the second day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Putting the Populist Revolt in Its Place

| October 6, 2016

In many Western democracies, this is a year of revolt against elites. The success of the Brexit campaign in Britain, Donald Trump’s unexpected capture of the Republican Party in the United States, and populist parties’ success in Germany and elsewhere strike many as heralding the end of an era. As Financial Times columnist Philip Stephens put it, “the present global order – the liberal rules-based system established in 1945 and expanded after the end of the Cold War – is under unprecedented strain. Globalization is in retreat.”

In fact, it may be premature to draw such broad conclusions.

Some economists attribute the current surge of populism to the “hyper-globalization” of the 1990s, with liberalization of international financial flows and the creation of the World Trade Organization – and particularly China’s WTO accession in 2001 – receiving the most attention. According to one study, Chinese imports eliminated nearly one million US manufacturing jobs from 1999 to 2011; including suppliers and related industries brings the losses to 2.4 million.

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.

People in Trafalgar Square, London, hold their phones up with a victory sign as they celebrate in a day of solidarity with Tahrir Square in Egypt. February 12, 2011.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Public Discourse

God and Democratic Diplomacy

    Authors:
  • Timothy Samuel Shah
  • Daniel Philpott
| May 18, 2011

"Democracy, with its open debate and its popular control, was supposed to have exposed religion as a crutch for primitive people. Surprisingly, though, religion has profited precisely from the open debate and room to operate that democracy affords. The best squelchers of religion are, in fact, secular dictators."

Egyptian anti-government protesters, make traditional Muslim Friday prayers at the continuing demonstration in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Public Discourse

God and Political Science

    Authors:
  • Timothy Samuel Shah
  • Daniel Philpott
| May 16, 2011

"...[T]he success of these political enemies of God helped to make it seem that secularization was the wave of the future. They made it seem that religion was a dying supernova, enjoying its penultimate glow before disappearing from history. They made it easily forgivable to think of the 20th century as the 'Godless Century,' at least as far as politics was concerned, making it increasingly common to ask whether God was dead, as Time magazine famously did on its cover in April 1966. They made it possible to view religion as absolutely defenseless in the face of modernity."

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

U.S. General David Petraeus, Commander designate, U.S. Central Command, leaves 10 Downing Street in London after a meeting with the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Sept. 29, 2008.

AP Photo

Paper - International Security Program, Belfer Center

U.S. Interagency Regional Foreign Policy Implementation: A Survey of Current Practice and an Analysis of Options for Improvement

| April 2010

The United States has a complex, multi-agency structure to plan, synchronize, and execute foreign policy and national security. By statute, the State Department is the lead agency for foreign policy. However, in practice, the much larger and better-funded Department of Defense conducts much of America's foreign policy activity, often with little coordination with the State Department or other relevant agencies. Over the past two decades, the military's Geographic Combatant Commands have taken an increasing lead in planning and executing foreign policy activities around the world. This has often effectively put a military face and voice on America's foreign policy, sometimes to the detriment of broader U.S. goals and relationships. More effective U.S. foreign policy requires greater interagency coordination at all levels and a greater role for the State Department as America's lead agency for foreign policy.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrate the signing of a nuclear fuel swap agreement among the countries, in Tehran, on May 17, 2010.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Center for Strategic Research

Being "Smart" with "Smart Power": Why Should Washington Accept the Tehran Nuclear Declaration?

| June 9, 2010

"...[R]ising regional powers such as Turkey and Brazil can fulfill the role of active partners and help bridge the seemingly irreconcilable differences between the two sides; Iran and 5+1. These actors' perspectives on issues such as international peace and security, comprehensive global disarmament and nuclear monopolies have many supporters in the international community, especially among the Non-Aligned Movement's members, who are fed up with duplicity and self-aggrandizing policies of some of the great powers."

Book - MIT Press Quarterly Journal: International Security

Going Nuclear: Nuclear Proliferation and International Security in the 21st Century

The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa.