Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Op-Ed

The Unsettled Question

Authors: Elliott Abrams and Uri Sadot
ForeignPolicy.com

Elliott Abrams and Research Associate Uri Sadot look at the demographics of Israelis living in the West Bank. By analyzing trends in electoral data from the past three Israeli elections, they conclude that settlements continue to grow outside the large blocs, albeit in reducing pace, and that the numbers of Israelis currently living outside those blocs is different than what is commonly accepted.

See more in Israel; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Op-Ed

If Trayvon Were Pakistani…

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

Following President Barack Obama's remarks on the Trayvon Martin case, Micah Zenko highlights the inconsistency in Obama's policies towards justice. Although the president has stated in reference to the case that it is wrong to profile individuals based on their "appearance, associations, or statistical propensity to violence," and the use of lethal force cannot be justified as self-defense unless there is reasonable grounds to fear imminent harm, those are the exact foundational principles of U.S. signature strikes.

See more in Pakistan; United States; Drones; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity

Ask CFR Experts

Is an oppressive government better than anarchy?

Asked by Raveena

Both tyranny and anarchy are bad political options for a country. The political theorist Thomas Hobbes, looking at the ravages of anarchy during England's civil war in the 17th century, famously concluded that life without government was terrible because "there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; … no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, [is] solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."

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See more in Fragile or Failed States; Regime Changes

Article

Tender Shoots of Green

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Foreign Policy

"While the United States may want to shed its Afghanistan obligations -- including its commitment to supporting the Afghan economy -- those who care about Afghanistan's security, and America's, will want to make certain the green shoots get tended," writes Gayle Tzemach-Lemmon

See more in Afghanistan; Nation Building

News Release

How to Establish Democracy? New Book Examines Pathways

As countries from Libya to Tunisia to Myanmar navigate complex paths to democracy, a new CFR book offers insights and recommendations from political and economic transitions that have unfolded in recent decades. "By understanding the trade-offs and critical economic and policy decisions that transitioning countries have faced in the past, policymakers can make smarter choices to improve the chances of successful democratization in states undergoing transitions today," write Isobel Coleman, CFR senior fellow and director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative, and Terra Lawson-Remer, CFR fellow, in Pathways to Freedom: Political and Economic Lessons From Democratic Transitions.

See more in Democratization

Audio

Pathways to Freedom: Political and Economic Lessons from Democratic Transitions

Speakers: John Campbell, Isobel Coleman, and Terra Lawson-Remer
Presider: Gideon Rose

John Campbell, Isobel Coleman, and Terra Lawson-Remer discuss their new Council on Foreign Relations book, Pathways to Freedom, which 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.

See more in Democratization

Ask CFR Experts

How can the United States help support peace in Macedonia and the Balkans?

Asked by Selim Ibraimi, from Webster University

The Balkans region in southern Europe has been unsettled since the dismantling of Ottoman dominance there in the late nineteenth century. During the twentieth century, ethnic and sectarian tensions not infrequently brought war to the region, most recently during the 1990s amid the breakup of Yugoslavia. The United States played a significant role in bringing peace to Bosnia in 1995 and to Kosovo in 1999, but the region faces continued instability.

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See more in Kosovo; Macedonia; Peacekeeping