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School Boards and the Future of Education Politics
School boards are fighting for their survival. Almost everything that they do is subject to regulations handed down from city councils, state boards of education, legislatures, and courts. As recent mayoral and state takeovers in such cities as Baltimore, Chicago, and New York make abundantly clear, school boards that do not fulfill the expectations of other political players may be stripped of what few independent powers they still retain. Teachers unions exert growing influence over board decision-making processes. And with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, the federal government has aggressively inserted itself into matters of local education governance. B esieged is the first full-length volume in many years to systematically examine the politics that surround school boards. A group of highly renowned scholars, relying on both careful case studies and quantitative analyses, examine how school boards fare when they interact with their political superiors, teachers unions, and the public. For the most part, the picture that emerges is sobering: while school boards perform certain administrative functions quite well, the political pressures they face undermine their capacity to institute the wide-ranging school reforms that many voters and local leaders are currently demanding.
Russian Post-Communist Political Reform
For hundreds of years, dictators have ruled Russia. Do they still? In the late 1980s, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev launched a series of political reforms that eventually allowed for competitive elections, the emergence of an independent press, the formation of political parties, and the sprouting of civil society. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, these proto-democratic institutions endured in an independent Russia. But did the processes unleashed by Gorbachev and continued under Russian President Boris Yeltsin lead eventually to liberal democracy in Russia? If not, what kind of political regime did take hold in post-Soviet Russia? And how has Vladimir Putin's rise to power influenced the course of democratic consolidation or the lack thereof? Between Dictatorship and Democracy seeks to give a comprehensive answer to these fundamental questions about the nature of Russian politics.
In recent decades, Islamist political movements in many Arab countries have strategically invested in a political process that was stacked heavily against them. And, to the surprise of many, they have actually succeeded by gaining more seats in parliaments and demonstrating their position as the only opposition movements with a popular base. Between Religion and Politics is a broad, cross-national study of Islamist parties in Arab parliamentary elections. The book focuses on those movements that have cast themselves, at least in part, as electorally oriented political parties. It probes the environment in which the movements operate, the checkered relationship between Islamists and national rulers, the Islamists' political platforms, and efforts to build alliances with other opposition groups. By examining the debates within the Islamists movements, Between Religion and Politics is able to assess the party leaders' evaluations of their political experiences and their prospects for future participation.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood: Islamist Participation in a Closing Political Environment
Jordan and Its Islamic Movement: The Limits of Inclusion?
Party for Justice and Development in Morocco: Participation and Its Discontents
Pushing toward Party Politics? Kuwait's Islamic Constitutional Movement
Between Government and Opposition: The Case of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform
Hamas: Battling to Blend Religion, Politics, Resistance, and Governance
Force and Legitimacy in a Changing World
America's three most recent wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq have raised profound questions about when to use military force, for what purpose, and who should make the decision whether to go to war. These crucial questions have been debated around the world with increasing intensity, and by beginning to provide important answers, Beyond Preemption moves the debate forward in significant ways. During the past three years, the contributors to this volume have engaged in a global dialogue with political officials, military figures and strategists, and international lawyers from around the world on when and how to use force and in what way its use can best be legitimized. They found consensus that the world has changed so dramatically that much of the old way of thinking about when and how to go to use force to deal with new challenges has become largely obsolete. Drawing on these high-level discussions, Ivo Daalder and his colleagues make specific proposals for how to forge a new international consensus on the vexing questions about the use of force, including its preemptive use, to address today's interrelated threats of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and humanitarian crises. In Beyond Preemption, the authors also consider the critical matter of how these strategies could be best legitimized and be made palatable to domestic audiences and the international community at large. Contributors include Bruce W. Jentleson (Duke University), Anne E. Kramer (Brookings Institution), Susan E. Rice (Brookings Institution), James B. Steinberg (Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin).
A Presidential Briefing Book
President Obama has just three years left in office to define his legacy in world affairs. He's facing a number of critical challenges—the ongoing war in Syria, the Iran nuclear negotiations, an enigmatic North Korea and other significant crises in world affairs. The president's advisors are busy devising policy recommendations aimed at grappling with these thorny issues. From these, the president must decide which priorities to pursue and how to best exercise U.S. power and influence to manage and shape the global order.
This book presents a set of policy analysis and recommendations from The Foreign Policy scholars at the Brookings Institution. Designed to provide the White House with innovative and actionable policy initiatives, the book is constructed as a series of memos to President Obama. This year, the memos are divided into five categories:
Big Bets are issues where the president should consider investing his power, time and prestige in major efforts that can have a transformational impact on America and the world. Double Downs are derived from the Big Bets from last year's recommendations that the president should redouble his efforts on.
Black Swans are those low-probability but high-impact events that can divert the president and his administration's higher purposes, such as dramatic negative events that he will want to take steps in advance to avoid or to mitigate their consequences.
Nightmares are events that look more likely than a Black Swan and could prove particularly troublesome for U.S. interests and the global order, and for which the administration should prepare.
Holds are updated policy recommendations to stay the course on approaches suggested last year.
Contents: Big Bets
Reassert U.S. Leadership of a Liberal Global Order by Robert Kagan and Ted Piccone
Secure the Future of the Internet by Peter W. Singer and Ian Wallace
Solidify the U.S.-Afghanistan Alliance by Michael E. O'Hanlon and Gen. John Allen (USMC, Ret.)
Lift the Ban on U.S. Oil Exports by Tim Boersma and Charles K. Ebinger
Strengthen Stability in Africa by Michael E. O'Hanlon
Broaden the Approach to Iran by Suzanne Maloney
Pursue Regime Change in Syria by Michael Doran
Return to the Asia Rebalance by Jonathan D. Pollack and Jeffrey A. Bader
Reach Out to Cuba by Ted Piccone
Avert Conflict in the South and East China Seas by Richard C. Bush III, Bruce Jones and Jonathan D. Pollack
Israeli-Palestinian Violence Erupts by Natan B. Sachs
Putin's Russia Goes rogue by Fiona Hill and Steven Pifer
Venezuela Breaks Down in Violence by Harold Trinkunas
Korean Crisis Prompts Confrontation with China by Jonathan D. Pollack and Richard C. Bush III
Iran Nuclear Talks Fail by Robert Einhorn and Kenneth Pollack
Afghanistan's Presidential Election Goes Awry by Vanda Felbab-Brown
Muslim Brotherhood Radicalizes by Daniel L. Byman and Tamara Cofman Wittes
Avoid a U.S.-Saudi Divorce by Bruce Riedel
Close the Deal on Free Trade by Mireya Solis
Manage the Impact of Climate Change by Elizabeth Ferris
Deepen Economic Ties to Turkey by Kemal Kirisci
Beyond New START by Steven Pifer
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Terrorists
When Edward Snowden hit the send button on a laptop in Hong Kong in June 2013, just shy of his 30th birthday, he became the poster boy for an acutely American conundrum: the tension between the government's constitutional commitment to the privacy of individuals and its responsibility for the safety of the nation. Stuart Taylor, Jr. reviews 200 years of surveillance in the U.S., the leading actors in the NSA debate since Snowden's leaks, and the challenges that lie ahead—namely, finding the right balance between national security and individual privacy. Taylor also enlists four experts representing four distinct perspectives on the issue: U.S. senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S senator John Wyden, former NSA inspector general Joel Brenner, and deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Jameel Jafer.
THE BROOKINGS ESSAY: In the spirit of its commitment to high-quality, independent research, the Brookings Institution has commissioned works on major topics of public policy by distinguished authors, including Brookings scholars. The Brookings Essay is a multi-platform product aimed to engage readers in open dialogue and debate. The views expressed, however, are solely those of the author. Available in ebook only.
Reflections on the Upper Crust
Meet the Billionaires: the 1,645 men and women who control a massive share of global assets worth $6.5 trillion. Darrell West reveals what the other 99.99998% of us need to know.
With rich anecdotes and personal narratives, West goes inside the world of the ultra wealthy. Meet U.S. billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson, Michael Bloomberg, David and Charles Koch, George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Donald Trump as well as international billionaires from around the globe.
The growing political engagement of this small supra-wealthy group raises important questions about influence, transparency, and government performance, and West lays bare the wealthification of politics, including:
How billionaires can block appointments and legislation they don't like
Why the supra-wealthy moved into policy advocacy and referenda at the state level
Why billionaires run for office in more than a dozen countries around the world
Knowledge Hubs for the Life Sciences
Biological resource centers (BRCs) collect, certify, and distribute organisms for use in research and in the development of commercial products in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and biotechnology industries. They maintain a large and varied collection, including cell lines, micro-organisms, recombinant DNA material, biological media and reagents, and the information technology tools that allow researchers to access biological materials. BRCs have established themselves as a crucial element in the life science innovation infrastructure, from their early impact on virology, to their crucial role in addressing cross-culture contamination in the 1970s, to their current leadership in promoting a global biodiversity network. Today they confront new challenges, resulting from shifts in the nature of biological research, the interaction between public and private researchers, and the increasing focus on biosecurity. This book provides a systematic economic assessment of the impact of biological resource centers through their role in facilitating cumulative knowledge in the life sciences and building on their roles as knowledge hubs institutions that facilitate the transfer of scientific and technical knowledge among members of a research community. The knowledge hubs framework offers insight into how to develop and evaluate policy proposals that impinge on the control and access of biological materials. Stern argues that science and innovation policy must be premised on a clear understanding of the role that knowledge hubs play and the policy mechanisms that encourage their sustained growth and effectiveness.
How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics
A host of catastrophes, natural and otherwise, as well as some pleasant surprises like the sudden end of the cold war without a shot being fired have caught governments and societies unprepared many times in recent decades. September 11 is only the most obvious recent example among many unforeseen events that have changed, even redefined our lives. We have every reason to expect more such events in future. Several kinds of unanticipated scenarios particularly those of low probability and high impact have the potential to escalate into systemic crises. Even positive surprises can be major policy challenges. Anticipating and managing low-probability events is a critically important challenge to contemporary policymakers, who increasingly recognize that they lack the analytical tools to do so. Developing such tools is the focus of this insightful and perceptive volume, edited by renowned author Francis Fukuyama and sponsored by The American Interest magazine. Bl indside is organized into four main sections. "Thinking about Strategic Surprise" addresses the psychological and institutional obstacles that prevent leaders from planning for low-probability tragedies and allocating the necessary resources to deal with them. The following two sections pinpoint the failures institutional as well as personal that allowed key historical events to take leaders by surprise, and examine the philosophies and methodologies of forecasting. In "Pollyana vs. Cassandra," for example, James Kurth and Gregg Easterbrook debate the future state of the world going forward. Mitchell Waldrop explores why technology forecasting is so poor and why that is likely to remain the case. In the book's final section, "What Could Be," internationally renowned authorities discuss low probability, high-impact contingencies in their area of expertise. For example, Scott Barrett looks at emerging infectious diseases, while Gal Luft and Anne Korin discuss energy security. How can we avoid being blindsided by unforeseen events? There is no easy or obvious answer. But it is essential that we understand the obstacles that prevent us first from seeing the future clearly and then from acting appropriately on our insights. This readable and fascinating book is an important step in that direction.
The Rise of America's Accidental Cities
A glance at a list of America's fastest growing "cities" reveals quite a surprise: most are really overgrown suburbs. Places such as Anaheim, California, Coral Springs, Florida, Naperville, Illinois, North Las Vegas, Nevada, and Plano, Texas, have swelled to big-city size with few people really noticing including many of their ten million residents. These "boomburbs" are large, rapidly growing, incorporated communities of more than 100,000 residents that are not the biggest city in their region. Here, Robert E. Lang and Jennifer B. LeFurgy explain who lives in them, what they look like, how they are governed, and why their rise calls into question the definition of urban.
Located in over twenty-five major metro areas throughout the United States, numerous boomburbs have doubled, tripled, even quadrupled in size between census reports. Some are now more populated than traditional big cities. The population of the biggest boomburb Mesa, Arizona recently surpassed that of Minneapolis and Miami.
Typically large and sprawling, boomburbs are "accidental cities," but not because they lack planning. Many are made up of master-planned communities that have grown into one another. Few anticipated becoming big cities and unintentionally arrived at their status. Although boomburbs possess elements found in cities such as housing, retailing, offices, and entertainment, they lack large downtowns. But they can contain high-profile industries and entertainment venues: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Arizona Cardinals are among over a dozen major-league sports teams who play in the boomburbs.
Urban in fact but not in feel, these drive-by cities of highways, office parks, and shopping malls are much more horizontally built and less pedestrian friendly than most older suburbs. And, contrary to common perceptions of suburbia, they are not rich and elitist. Poverty is often seen in boomburb communities of small single-family homes, neighborhoods that once represented the American dream.
Boomburbs are a quintessential American landscape, embodying much of the nation's complexity, expansiveness, and ambiguity. This fascinating look at the often contradictory world of boomburbs examines why America's suburbs are thriving and how they are shaping the lives of millions of residents.