With concise historical analysis and forward-looking prescriptions, Pathways to Freedom offers an authoritative and accessible look at what countries must do to build durable and prosperous democracies—and what the United States and others can do to help.
Efforts to provide the world's women with economic and political power are more than just a worthy moral crusade: they represent perhaps the best strategy for pursuing development and stability across the globe.
Following the 2009 disputed Iran presidential election, CFR's Isobel Coleman, a leading expert on women's issues, says that if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory stands, "you'll see a much more restricted Iran." This will "fall heavily on women, but it won't stop them," she says.
Experts from the Council on Foreign Relations and the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution propose a new, nonpartisan Middle East strategy drawing on the lessons of past failures to address both the short- and long-term challenges to U.S. interests.
Every year, 536,000 women die during childbirth, and an additional 8 million become severely disabled. The death toll doesn't end with the mothers: 5 percent of all newborns die after their mother's death, and millions of other children are left orphaned. Isobel Coleman and Laurie Garrett argue that the way to reduce this staggering level of maternal mortality is to "pass legislation that shows real resolve, with money and legislated programs behind it."
In February, Tamara Cofman Wittes and Isobel Coleman met with business leaders, academics, journalists, and civic activists in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Among Wittes and Coleman's key findings are that many Saudis welcomed the emergence of a more open atmosphere, pointing to King Abdullah's ascension to the throne, dynamism in neighboring Gulf states, and a new "post-post-9/11" environment as key catalysts for the change. Yet, there was frustration at the unpredictability and arbitrariness of the newly expanded social and political space. The next U.S. administration may have a new, but narrow, window of opportunity to reintroduce itself to Saudi Arabia. Many Saudis argued for the creation of a deeper, multi-dimensional relationship between both countries that engages civil society, not just the government and business sectors.
On CNBC's Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and Bill Griffeth, Isobel Coleman discusses the ousting of the democratically elected President Morsi, and possible U.S. responses to the political crisis in Egypt.
A transformation is taking place behind the headlines in the Middle East as women are earning more college degrees, having fewer children, and are entering the workforce in unprecedented numbers. Isobel Coleman talks with Rocky Mountain PBS about these trends and their new relevance after the Arab uprisings.