Organization of Government

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Economist: What's Gone Wrong with Democracy

"Democracy is going through a difficult time. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes. Even in established democracies, flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife. Yet just a few years ago democracy looked as though it would dominate the world."

See more in Global; Russian Federation; Organization of Government

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CRS: The National Security Council: An Organizational Assessment

Author: Richard A. Best

The NSC staff has emerged as a major factor in the formulation (and at times in the implementation) of national security policy. Similarly, the head of the NSC staff, the National Security Adviser, has played important, and occasionally highly public, roles in policymaking. This report traces the evolution of the NSC from its creation to the present

See more in United States; Defense and Security; Organization of Government

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CGD: Quality of Official Development Assitance Assessment

Authors: Nancy Birdsall and Homi Kharas

The United States may be the largest donor of foreign assistance in the world, but it ranks among the lowest in terms of quality and effectiveness of its aid, according to a report by the Center for Global Development (CGD), in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, that assesses more than 150 countries' foreign aid money.

See more in United States; Foreign Aid; Organization of Government

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USIP: Iraq and the Gulf States: The Balance of Fear

Author: Jon B. Alterman

This special report from the United States Institute of Peace says that Iraq’s neighbors are playing a major role—both positive and negative—in the country’s worsening crisis, and reviews the interests and influence of the countries surrounding Iraq and the impact on U.S. bilateral relations.

See more in Organization of Government; Nation Building; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures; Iraq

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GAO: Homeland Security: Challenges in Creating an Effective Acquisition Organization

Author: Michael J. Sullivan

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has some of the most extensive acquisition needs within theU.S. government. This report summarizes GAO reports and testimonies, which have reported on various aspects of DHS acquisitions. It examines areas where DHS has been successful in promoting collaboration among its various organizations, challenges it still faces in integrating the acquisition function across the department, and DHS' implementation of an effective review process for its major, complex investments. Since its establishment in March 2003, DHS has been faced with assembling 23 separate federal agencies and organizations with multiple missions and cultures into one department. This mammoth task involved a variety of transformational efforts, one of which is to design and implement the necessary management structure and processes for the acquisition of goods and services. The report highlights the need for improved oversight of contractors and adherence to a rigorous management review process.

See more in United States; Organization of Government