Authors: Fredrick C. Harris and Robert C. Lieberman
What accounts for the continuity of racial inequality in a postracist America? The fact that an earlier era’s racism was built into the structure of various economic, social, and political institutions, so that even their race-neutral operations today produce imbalanced outcomes.
Multicultural policies accept that societies are diverse, yet they implicitly assume that such diversity ends at the edges of minority communities. By forcing people into ethnic and cultural boxes, they help create the very divisions they were meant to manage.
Apartheid’s legacy of mistrust and prejudice has prevented South Africa from establishing a truly stable multiracial democracy. But increasing contact among the races and the emergence of a black middle class offer hope of reducing the role of race in national politics.
Across the globe, the lessons from affirmative action programs are clear: they can occasionally help in the economic sphere, produce mixed results in improving social cohesion, and are an unmitigated disaster when it comes to politics.
The Houthi movement’s rapid ascent has created opportunities for al-Qaeda to expand and intensified the Saudi-Iranian rivalry, adding a sectarian dimension to Yemen’s turbulence, says expert April Longley Alley.
The U.S. intervention in Libya was a complete failure. Libya has not only failed to evolve into a democracy; it has devolved into a failed state. Violent deaths there have increased, and the country now serves as a safe haven for terrorists.
Though data is scarce given conditions on the ground, reports of child marriage abound amid natural disaster and conflict; parents desperate to protect their daughters may view the practice as their best option. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Kristin Kim Bart discuss strategies to protect girls from child marriage and gender-based violence in fragile states.
John E. Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, join Washington Post associate editor Karen J. DeYoung to discuss Ukraine’s politics, policies, and options going forward.
Leaders from Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine met in Belarus to negotiate a ceasefire between Ukrainian troops and separatists. The ceasefire takes effect February 15, 2015, and outlines the withdrawl of heavy weapons and constitutional reform to provide more automony to groups in the Donetsk and Luhansk, regions in eastern Ukraine.
Whatever you think about sending arms to Ukraine, the debate has clearly had a positive effect on diplomacy. Throughout January, Angela Merkel, François Hollande, Petro Poroshenko, and Vladimir Putin canceled one meeting after another.
William Schabas has recused himself from his post as head of the UN Human Rights Council’s investigation into the Israeli operation in Gaza in 2014. In an article for Newsweek, Elliott Abrams explains why this happened too late to prevent a miscarriage of justice.
Author: Micah Zenko Australian National University, Strategic & Defence Studies Centre
Many predictions have been made that the United States and China will find themselves in competition or even direct conflict. Yet this is not preordained and both sides need to be careful not to talk themselves into a hostile relationship. In this bold new paper, Micah Zenko argues that by identifying clear ideas about acceptable conduct in the key domains (maritime, space, and cyber) the United States and China can avoid conflict without presuming away differences of interest or opinion.
Clint Eastwood’s film American Sniper has become a popular if controversial sensation. Critics accuse it of glamorizing Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, while many have rushed to Kyle’s and the movie’s defense. But one aspect of the debate has gone largely unexamined: How historically accurate is the film?
The Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) prepares mid-year reports on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, as mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2096 (2013), which "recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and reporting to the United Nations Security Council on the situation of civilians in Afghanistan's armed conflict and in particular on civilian casualties."
In recent weeks, Western governments have begun subtly shifting their positions on Syria. The Obama administration seems to have quietly dropped its demand that President Bashar al-Assad resign as a precondition of peace talks. Instead, reports suggest it has embraced proposals that would allow Assad to be part of an interim deal. The new approach implies that the White House and its allies believe that the Syrian president might be open to a compromise that could end his country’s four-year civil war.
The Obama administration will be tempted to take a victory lap because of recent news that Kurdish militiamen have regained control of Kobani, a Syrian town near the border with Turkey. ISIS forces that had been attacking it for months have melted away. This is, to be sure, a nice achievement, but its wider significance is limited.
The Munich Security Report was released on January 26, 2015, described in the press release as "an annual digest on critical questions and important trends in the field of international security policy." The first section of the report focuses on the roles of international actors, Germany, United States, Europe, NATO, Russia, and emerging powers. The second section discusses three "hot spots"-- Ukraine, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. The third section reviews major issues such as terrorism, energy security, and refugee crises, and the fourth section suggests additional reading and research materials.