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Culture, Diplomacy, and Counterinsurgency
Fernando Gentilini served nearly two years as the civilian representative of NATO in Afghanistan, running a counterinsurgency campaign in the wartorn nation. Afghan Lessons is the fascinating story of his mission, a firsthand view of Afghanistan through a kaleidoscope. He explores Afghan history, literature, tradition, and culture to understand some of the most basic questions of Western involvement: What is the purpose? What does an international presence mean, and how can it help?
Highlights from Afghan Lessons
"This is a book about different worlds, different realities. The reality of everyday life in an unreal world. People that need to be looked after, jobs that need to be done, a country that needs to be restored, all from within the necessary confines of an armed camp. And this in the middle of another reality, which we do not understand, full of things forgotten under decades of war. The keys to this reality lie in the past, perhaps lost." from the Foreword by Robert Cooper
"To tempt me to explore their country, the Afghans kept repeating that there were three different Afghanistans: 'The first is the one you Westerners imagine; another coincides with the city of Kabul; the third is the country of remote provinces, far away from the cities, and of the three, this is the only real Afghanistan.'"
"'There can be no development without security and no security without development.' ... Everyone said it over and over again, both the civilians and the military, but depending on whether it was said by the former or the latter, the emphasis was placed on the first or second part of the slogan. In all honesty this seemingly obvious concept concealed two contrasting ways of seeing things."
Growth Traps and Opportunities for Six African Economies
Examining the economic forces that will shape Africa's future. Africa’s Lions examines the economic growth experiences of six fast growing and/or economically dominant African countries. Expert African researchers offer unique perspectives into the challenges and issues in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa. Despite a growing body of research on African economies, very little has focused on the relationship between economic growth and employment outcomes at the detailed country level. A lack of empirical data has deprived policymakers of a robust evidence base on which to make informed decisions. By harnessing country-level household, firm, and national accounts data together with existing analytical country research—the authors have attempted to bridge this gap. The growth of the global working-age population to 2030 will be driven primarily by Africa, which means that the relationship between growth and employment should be understood within the context of each country’s projected demographic challenge and the associated implications for employment growth. A better understanding of the structure of each country’s workforce and the resulting implications for human capital development, the vulnerably employed, and the working poor, will be critical to informing the development policy agenda. As a group, the six countries profiled in Africa’s Lions will largely shape the continent's future. Each country chapter focuses on the complex interactions between economic growth and employment outcomes, within the individual Africa’s Lions context.
The Future of Finance
As the global economy continues to weather the effects of the recession brought on by the financial crisis of 200708, perhaps no sector has been more affected and more under pressure to change than the industry that was the locus of that crisis: fi nancial services. But as policymakers, fi nancial experts, lobbyists, and others seek to rebuild this industry, certain questions loom large. For example, should the pay of fi nancial institution executives be regulated to control risk taking? That possibility certainly has been raised in offi cial circles, with spirited reactions from all corners. How will stepped-up regulation affect key parts of the fi nancial services industry? And what lies ahead for some of the key actors in both the United States and Japan?
In After the Crash, noted economists Yasuyuki Fuchita, Richard Herring, and Robert Litan bring together a distinguished group of experts from academia and the private sector to take a hard look at how the fi nancial industry and some of its practices are likely to change in the years ahead. Whether or not you agree with their conclusions, the authors of this volume the most recent collaboration between Brookings, the Wharton School, and the Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research provide well-grounded insights that will be helpful to fi nancial practitioners, analysts, and policymakers.
A landmark dissenting opinion arguing against the death penalty. Does the death penalty violate the Constitution? In Against the Death Penalty, Justice Stephen Breyer argues that it does; that it is carried out unfairly and inconsistently and, thus, violates the ban on "cruel and unusual punishments" specified by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. “Today’s administration of the death penalty,” Breyer writes, “involves three fundamental constitutional defects: (1) serious unreliability, (2) arbitrariness in application, and (3) unconscionably long delays that undermine the death penalty’s penological purpose. Perhaps as a result, (4) most places within the United States have abandoned its use.” This volume contains Breyer's dissent in the case of Glossip v. Gross, which involved an unsuccessful challenge to Oklahoma's use of a lethal-injection drug because it might cause severe pain. Justice Breyer's legal citations have been edited to make them understandable to a general audience, but the text retains the full force of his powerful argument that the time has come for the Supreme Court to revisit the constitutionality of the death penalty. Breyer was joined in his dissent from the bench by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their passionate argument has been cited by many legal experts including fellow Justice Antonin Scalia—as signaling an eventual Court ruling striking down the death penalty. A similar dissent in 1963 by Breyer's mentor, Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, helped set the stage for a later ruling, imposing what turned out to be a four-year moratorium on executions.
Strategy and Tactics for Social Innovation
While governments around the world struggle to maintain service levels amid fiscal crises, social innovators are improving social outcomes for citizens by changing the system from within. In Agents of Change, three cutting-edge thinkers and entrepreneurs present case studies of social innovation that have led to significant social change. Drawing on original empirical research in the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands, they examine how ordinary people accomplished extraordinary results.
Sanderijn Cels, Jorrit de Jong, and Frans Nauta offer lively illustrations and insightful interpretations of how innovators, social entrepreneurs, and change agents are dealing with powerful opponents, the burdens of bureaucracy, and the challenge of securing resources and support. This book will appeal to anyone who is intrigued by imaginative, cross-boundary thinking and transformative change. It will be of particular interest to those who want to know how exactly innovators pull it off. With practitioners, scholars, and students of public policy and management in mind, the authors dissect the strategies and tactics that social innovators employ to navigate the risky waters of their institutional environments.
Contents Part 1: Introduction: Chess Masters and Acrobats 1. Strategy and Tactics
2. Crafting the Case: The Art of Making a Start
3. Prompting Progress: The Art of Making Things Happen
4. Managing Meaning: The Art of Making Sense
Part 2: Front-Line Innovations 5. Under the Radar: Medical Informatics in Japan
6. Relentless Incrementalism: Financial Literacy Training for Newcomers in Canada
7. Join the Club! Alzheimer Cafés in the Netherlands
8. Just a Tool? Implementing the Vulnerability Index in New Orleans
Part 3: Innovations in Governance 9. The Sun Kings: Solar Energy in Germany
10. Change on Steroids: Public Education in New Orleans
11. The Value of Values: Higher Education in Virginia
12. A Window of Opportunity: Institutional Reform in Denmark
Conclusion: Innovating Strategically
The Learning Curve
Aid to promote democracy abroad has emerged as a major growth industry in recent years. Not only the United States but many other Western countries, international institutions, and private foundations today use aid to support democratic transitions in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Though extensive in scope, these activities remain little understood outside the realm of specialists. Debates among policymakers over democracy promotion oscillate between unhelpful poles of extreme skepticism and unrealistic boosterism, while the vast majority of citizens in aid-providing countries have little awareness of the democracy-building efforts their governments sponsor. Aiding Democracy Abroad is the first independent, comprehensive assessment of this important new field. Drawing on extensive field research and years of hands-on experience, Thomas Carothers examines democracy-aid programs relating to elections, political parties, governmental reform, rule of law, civil society, independent media, labor unions, decentralization, and other elements of what he describes as "the democracy template" that policymakers and aid officials apply around the world. Steering a careful path between the inflated claims of aid advocates and the exaggerated criticisms of their opponents, Carothers takes a hard look at what such programs achieve and how they can be improved.
How America Lost the Third World
In Alliance Curse, Hilton Root illustrates that recent U.S. foreign policy is too often misguided, resulting in misdirected foreign aid and alliances that stunt political and economic development among partner regimes, leaving America on the wrong side of change. Many alliances with third world dictators, ostensibly of mutual benefit, reduce incentives to govern for prosperity and produce instead political and social instability and economic failure. Yet again, in the war on terror and in the name of preserving global stability, America is backing authoritarian regimes that practice repression and plunder. It is as if the cold war never ended. While espousing freedom and democracy, the U.S. contradicts itself by aiding governments that do not share those values. In addition to undercutting its own stated goal of promoting freedom, America makes the developing world even more wary of its intentions. Yes, the democracy we preach arouses aspirations and attracts immigrants, but those same individuals become our sternest critics; having learned to admire American values, they end up deploring U.S. policies toward their own countries. Long-term U.S. security is jeopardized by a legacy of resentment and distrust. A lliance Curse proposes an analytical foundation for national security that challenges long-held assumptions about foreign affairs. It questions the wisdom of diplomacy that depends on questionable linkages or outdated suppositions. The end of the Soviet Union did not portend the demise of communism, for example. Democracy and socialism are not incompatible systems. Promoting democracy by linking it with free trade risks overemphasizing the latter goal at the expense of the former. The growing tendency to play China against India in an effort to retain American global supremacy will hamper relations with both an intolerable situation in today's interdependent world. Root buttresses his analysis with case studies of American foreign policy toward developing countries (e.g., Vietnam), efforts at state building, and nations growing in importance, such as China. He concludes with a series of recommendations designed to close the gap between security and economic development.
Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century
The emergence of the People's Republic of China on the world scene constitutes the most significant event in world politics since the end of World War II. As the world's predominant political, economic, and military power, the United States faces a particularly significant challenge in responding to China's rising power and influence, especially in Asia.
Offering a fresh perspective on current and future U.S. policy toward China, Michael Swaine examines the basic interests and beliefs behind U.S.-China relations, recent U.S. and Chinese policy practices in seven key areas, and future trends most likely to affect U.S. policy. American leaders, he concludes, must reexamine certain basic assumptions and approaches regarding America's position in the Western Pacific, integrate China policy more effectively into a broader Asian strategy, and recalibrate the U.S. balance between cooperative engagement and deterrence toward Beijing.
Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West
The Mountain West Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah has become the new swing region in American politics. All signs point to these states, especially Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, being crucial in the 2012 election. Unfortunately, the rise of this region has been underreported in the media, and many political observers have only the most superficial understanding of the profound economic, political, and social changes that continue to reshape the Mountain West. America's New Swing Region is the remedy.
Led by bestselling author and political analyst Ruy Teixeira, a talented group of scholars assembled by the Brookings Mountain West program (housed at the University of NevadaLas Vegas) presents the facts and the narrative necessary for understanding what is happening in this region and why it is so important.
Contents 1. Introduction and Overview
2. America's New Swing Region: The Political Demography and Geography of the Mountain West
3. Metropolitan Voting Patterns in the Mountain West: The New and Old Political Heartlands
4. Hispanics, Race, and the Changing Political Landscape of the United States Mountain West
5. The Political Attitudes of the Millennial Generation in the Mountain West
6. The Mountain West Today: A Regional Survey
7. Reapportionment and Redistricting in the Mountain West
Contributors include Karlyn Bowman (American Enterprise Institute), David Damore(University of NevadaLas Vegas (UNLV), William Frey (Brookings Institution), Scott Keeter (Pew Research Center), Robert E. Lang (Brookings, UNLV, and the Lincy Institute), Tom Sanchez (Virginia Tech University), and Ruy Teixeira (Century Foundation and the Center for American Progress).
From Adams to Clinton
The Constitution states that "no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States," yet it seems political nobility is as American as apple pie.
America was founded in rebellion against nobility and inherited status. Yet from the start, dynastic families have been conspicuous in national politics. The Adamses. The Lodges. The Tafts. The Roosevelts. The Kennedys. And today the Bushes and the Clintons.
Longtime presidential historian Stephen Hess offers an encyclopedic tour of the families that have loomed large over America's political history.
Starting with John Adams, who served as the young nation's first vice president and earned the nickname "His Rotundity," Hess paints the portraits of the men and women who, by coincidence, connivance, or sheer sense of duty, have made up America's political elite. There are the well-known dynasties such as the Roosevelts and the Kennedys, and the names that live on only in history books, such as the Bayards (six generations of U.S. senators) and the Breckinridges (a vice president, two senators, and six representatives).
Hess fills the pages of America's Political Dynasties with anecdotes and personality-filled stories of the families who have given the United States more than a fair share of its presidents, senators, governors, ambassadors, and cabinet members.
This book also tells us the stories of the Bushes and what looks to be a political dynasty in waiting, the Clintons. Emblematic of America's growing diversity, Hess also examines how women, along with ethnic and racial minorities, have joined the ranks of dynastic political families.