Foreign Policy Blogs

Global Engagement

Elections: Necessary But Not Sufficient

Elections: Necessary But Not Sufficient

Today (Tuesday, November 2) is Election Day in the United States.  While it is an off-year for presidential elections, in my home state of New York the entire state legislature is up for election, governor, attorney general, comptroller, both US Senators (rare as they are usually staggered , but one is running for Hillary Clinton’s […]

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Women and D.I.Y Foreign Aid

Women and D.I.Y Foreign Aid

Nicholas Kristoff has an article (here) in the New York Times magazine on what he sees as a two-part trend: 1. do-it-yourself foreign aid;  and, 2.  the notable role of women in that effort.  I won’t rehash the substance of the article but it is worth asking if this D.I.Y. approach to foreign aid is a reaction […]

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Two New Blogs on the Middle East

Two New Blogs on the Middle East

There are two new blogs on that focus on the Middle East, both worth following: 1. From the Potomac to the Euphrates, by Steven A. Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Cook introduces the blog with the following post: I hope the site will be a forum for readers who share my passionate interest […]

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Track II Diplomacy and Election Observers: OSCE

Track II Diplomacy and Election Observers: OSCE

Earlier this month I served as a member of the US delegation to the election observation mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (overseeing presidential, parliamentary and cantonal elections held on October 3).  The observation was implemented by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) […]

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SUNY Announces Post in International Education and Public Diplomacy

SUNY Announces Post in International Education and Public Diplomacy

The State University of New York announced that Ambassador Robert R. Gosende has been named the John W. Ryan Fellow in International Education for 2010-2011.  Here is the official SUNY press release: SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher Announces Robert Gosende as 2010-11 John W. Ryan Fellow in International Education September 10, 2010 Albany – State […]

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US Cultural Engagement: Only One of Many Voices

US Cultural Engagement: Only One of Many Voices

I came across two articles that speak volumes about the reality of how culture, particularly pop culture, is transmitted from one country to others (and how the US is much less dominant than some triumphalist voices assume and proclaim). 1.   “Soft Rock Power” in Foreign Policy reports on the work by Joel Waldfogel and Fernando […]

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David Rieff on Development Contractors in War Zones

David Rieff on Development Contractors in War Zones

I have written before about the negative effects on the US Government because of an over-reliance on contractors, especially by USAID.  But the distortion runs both ways – the organizations scrambling for and implementing those contracts are also affected.  In an article this month in The New Republic, “How NGOs Became Pawns in the War […]

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Updates on US and UK International Development

Updates on US and UK International Development

Two stories about important trends in international development at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the the British equivalent, the Department for International Development (DfID): 1. Federal Times article on decreasing reliance on contractors and increasing insourcing at USAID can be found here. An excerpt: USAID is trying to rebuild a work force […]

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Slumdog Study Abroad?

Slumdog Study Abroad?

There is an excellent op-ed in today’s New York Times, Slumdog Tourism, by Kennedy Odede.  It notes the increase in “slum tourism” in places like Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai and Nairobi. Slum tourism has its advocates, who say it promotes social awareness. And it’s good money, which helps the local economy. But it’s not worth […]

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Bill to Support K-12 Language Learning

Bill to Support K-12 Language Learning

Thanks to Mark Overmann at the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange for the summary of this important legislation: Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced last Friday the Excellence and Innovation in Language Learning Act (HR 6036), a bill that would authorize $400 million in funding for FY 2011 for the […]

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Development & Higher Education: USAID in Egypt

Development & Higher Education: USAID in Egypt

USAID is to be commended for creating and successfully implementing a program in Egypt that combines the best of development policy and US higher education resources.  The LEAD Program (Leadership for Education and Developoment) anually selects two students from each of Egypt’s 27 governorates to attend the American University of Cairo.  The scholarships are reserved […]

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Parliaments in Perspective: Converging and Diverging Views

Parliaments in Perspective: Converging and Diverging Views

Last weekend I attended the 9th Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians, held at Wroxton College in the UK.  The workshop is organized by the Centre for Legislative Studies at the University of Hull and co-sponsored by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Research Committee of Legislative Specialists of the International Political Science Association. The driving […]

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Reading Crystal Balls in Foreign Policy

Reading Crystal Balls in Foreign Policy

In May I was invited to be an observer at the Scenarios Initiative of the Center for Global Affairs (CGA) at NYU. The focus of the session I attended was Turkey’s possible futures over the next decade.  It is a fascinating and useful process, described on its website in the following way: The NYU Center […]

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Links from Around the Web

Links from Around the Web

1.  Ethiopia’s Election Results and the Myths of African Politics, by MG Zimeta in the latest edition of The Atlantic 2.  50 Years of African Independence: the Music of West Africa in Robert Nolan’s excellent FPA blog, Music and Global Affairs 3. US food aid policies create 561 jobs in Kansas, risk millions of lives […]

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Insourcing at USAID

Insourcing at USAID

_______________________________________________________________________________ Federal Times.com has a story this week about USAID’s moves to do more of their work in house instead of farming it out to contractors. The U.S. Agency for International Development plans to bring in-house more work related to program design and monitoring and evaluation, Administrator Rajiv Shah said May 5.   Shah made the […]

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