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Tag Archives: Democracy

The EU’s Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Strategy Introduced: first signs of strengths and weaknesses

The EU’s Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Strategy Introduced: first signs of strengths and weaknesses

Two and a half years after the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU showed up with a new human rights face for its external relations. The often repeated words of Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stating that human rights have to be a “silver thread” that runs […]

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All Eyes on Asia for U.S. Long-Term Strategic Foreign Policy

All Eyes on Asia for U.S. Long-Term Strategic Foreign Policy

U.S. President Barack Obama is returning to Asia for his first overseas trip since winning re-election. He will attend, for the second consecutive year, the East Asia Summit which is viewed by the U.S. as the emerging eminent multilateral forum for regional leaders from 17 other states to discuss salient strategic and security issues. The […]

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The Great Renewal of the Chinese Nation

The Great Renewal of the Chinese Nation

Reminiscent of the carefully-choreographed 2008 Beijing Olympics, China’s unveiling on Thursday of the lineup of the new Politburo Standing Committee, its highest leadership body, took every precaution to ensure an orderly transfer of power. Security in Beijing was tightened, shops were ordered to remove fruit knives from their shelves, hotels opened and inspected all stored […]

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Contrasting Elections in the U.S. and China

Contrasting Elections in the U.S. and China

When two of the world’s largest superpowers undergo political transitions at the same time, contrasts are inevitable.  One of the best comparisons comes from the above cartoon, which contrasts the bombardment of information from the American press with the deafening silence from China’s new leadership.  While many Americans are sick and tired of the relentless […]

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A Tale of Two Different Political Systems

A Tale of Two Different Political Systems

The late theologian and political analyst Reinhold Niebuhr in his essay entitled “Optimism, Pessimism, and Religious Faith” wrote the following about Soviet Marxism: “But after many five-year plans have come and gone and it is discovered that strong men still tend to exploit the weak, and that shrewd men still take advantage of the simple, […]

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The Paradox of Development in Iran

The Paradox of Development in Iran

Looking at the Human Development Index (HDI), the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) seems to have done relatively well in three key areas of health, education and income. While Iran’s score is far from perfect, it is indicative of a rather constant improvement in development areas. In HDI (2011) Iran scored 88 out of 187 […]

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U.S. must tread carefully in Zimbabwe

U.S. must tread carefully in Zimbabwe

Council of Foreign Relations senior fellow Ambassador John Campbell recently released a policy innovation memorandum entitled, “Zimbabwe: An Opportunity for Closer U.S.-South Africa Relations.” It is heartening to see analysts writing on topics they perceive as beneficial to closer relations between the United States and South Africa. Campbell, a former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, makes […]

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The Democratic Rollback in Southeast Asia

The Democratic Rollback in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s youngest and poorest country, Timor-Leste, went to the polls on Saturday in the second round of parliamentary elections that will determine their next government as well as whether UN peacekeepers might be able to leave the country by year’s end. According to the World Bank, nearly half of the country’s 1.1 million people […]

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The Quiet Election

The Quiet Election

After some spectacular financial fireworks and a volcano that caused havoc throughout western Europe, Iceland is back to its usual position in the international system: mostly overlooked.

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Transitional Justice in the Arab World

Transitional Justice in the Arab World

The Arab Spring, or rather the Arab Uprising, has made history.  Future generations will study this brave series of uprisings as a new chapter in the history of the Middle East-North African (MENA) region. Current generations are both proud and anxious as they watch history unfold before their eyes. Governments throughout the world are worriedly […]

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Glimmers of Hope in Pakistan

Glimmers of Hope in Pakistan

Pakistan’s prospects careen from bad to worse, but there is still some possibility that it might one day evolve in a more liberal and moderate direction Events over the last few weeks have amply demonstrated the growing decrepitude of the Pakistani state, providing fresh justification for its perennial ranking at the top of the world’s […]

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Comment: Syria – the Murder of Tolerance

Comment: Syria – the Murder of Tolerance

The following piece was originally published in YOUR MIDDLE EAST. Reprinted with Permission by Eliot Benman I was standing in the kitchen of an old Damascene house in the Christian quarter of Bab Touma when a figure burst through the door, brandishing a gun and crying “Kill the Islamists, kill the Islamists!” He pointed the gun […]

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Questions About Turkey’s Role in Syria

Questions About Turkey’s Role in Syria

Syrian refugees sit outside their tents at Reyhanli refugee camp in Hatay province on the Turkish-Syrian border in April. Turkey’s prime minister recently warned that ‘Syria must be aware that in the event of a repetition of border violations, Turkey’s stance will not be the same.’ A fifth of Turkish military’s top brass is under […]

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Voices on the Future of Mexico: Enter the Debate!

Voices on the Future of Mexico: Enter the Debate!

This week The Economist has created a very interesting and innovative forum to discuss the pros and cons of the PRI party regaining power in Mexico after losing the presidency to the PAN in 2000. This forum takes two campaign leaders from both parties and places them in an open debate over the next week […]

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A Candid Discussion with Michele Dunne of the Atlantic Council: Egypt’s Prospects for Democracy

A Candid Discussion with Michele Dunne of the Atlantic Council: Egypt’s Prospects for Democracy

Dr. Michele Dunne is director of the Atlantic Council‘s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. She has served in the White House on the National Security Council staff, and on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff and in its Bureau of Intelligence and Research. She was also a diplomat in Cairo and Jerusalem. She sat down with […]

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