Below you will find a chronological list of research projects in the Studies Program. You can search by issue or region by selecting the appropriate category. In addition to this sorting control, you can search for specific subjects within the alphabetical, regional, and issue categories by choosing from the selections in the drop-down menu below.
Each project page contains the name of the project director, a description of the project, a list of meetings it has held, and any related publications, transcripts, or videos.
This series has been made possible by the generous support of the Population Resource Center.
January 1, 2003—June 30, 2004
This study group drew attention to the unraveling of the bipartisan consensus that Chinese economic development is good for U.S. security; provided a framework for assessing what security benefits and risks the United States can expect from its future economic relations with China; and described what the end of this consensus means for U.S. policy toward China, and Asia in general.
With the resulting analysis the project director wrote a policy article, which provided brief descriptions of the security benefits that Chinese economic growth was expected to bring to the United States, outlined the security critique of U.S.-China economic relations, and addressed the integration and interaction of economic and security issues in the Sino-U.S. relationship.
October 1, 1999—August 1, 2000
This roundtable examined the military and political lessons drawn from the recent air war over former Yugoslavia. The sudden end of the Kosovo crisis hampered serious analysis about the use of force as an element of diplomacy and foreign policy in future crises, leaving crucial questions about the nature of military intervention and coercive diplomacy unanswered.
The roundtable focused on four major issues surrounding the air war: the role of air power as the new American way of war; the true effectiveness of the air campaign; collateral damage and effects of force protection on strategy and tactics; and the future of coalition warfare and the use of force for coercive diplomacy. The roundtable brought together members and experts in Washington, D.C., to discuss these issues.
March 1, 1999—December 31, 1999
The utility of the Clinton Administration’s "dual containment" policy on Iraq and Iran is diminishing as regional conditions and the expectations of outside powers change. At some point, perhaps as early the next two to three years, conversations between the United States, Iraq and Iran will begin. The purpose of this study group is to analyze the likely positions of Iraq, Iran, and the United States regarding future security in the Persian Gulf region and to lay the intellectual groundwork for these discussions. The security interests of these countries must, at a minimum, be identified and accommodated if a new regional security structure is to occur. The end product will be an article that clearly lays out the interests of the parties in question and identifies those intersecting areas of security where fruitful discussions are possible and desirable.
January 1, 1999—December 31, 1999
Current debate about the nature of the emerging international landscape is disappointingly thin. Contentious theories about the end of history and the clash of civilizations aside, the analytic community has made little progress in mapping out the key elements of a new international system. This group will examine contending visions of order and seek to generate a more fertile discussion of desirable outcomes and how policymakers can achieve them. Analysts working on these questions and their implications for American grand strategy will make presentations to the group. The project will lead to a "white paper" for the administration that takes office in 2001. In addition, Charles Kupchan will produce a book, as well as other shorter articles and op-ed pieces.
This roundtable covered two "unconventional" terrorist threats to the United States. The first meeting, "Global Monitoring of Infectious Disease: The National-Security Implications," addressed the national security implications of the global monitoring system for infectious disease. Margaret Hamburg of the Department of Health and Human Services spoke about the U.S. monitoring system and the role of HHS in fighting biological terrorism; Stephen Morse of the Defense Advanced Research Agency discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the global regime and the role of PROMED. The second session, "Sources of Terrorism in South Asia and the Middle East," consisted of three panel presentations by regional academic and policy experts on the sources of extremism, the movements and groups involved in violent opposition, and the challenge posed by fundamentalists to governments and regional stability. In recognition of the important role of news organizations in covering terrorist incidents in these regions, one panel was devoted to the discussion of the sometimes controversial presentation of terrorism in the media.
December 1, 1998—May 1, 1999
This yearly study group allows the Council’s current Shepardson Fellow to benefit from the feedback of relevant experts on discussion papers/chapters from a book-in-progress. This year’s Fellow is John Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago, who is writing a book on great power relations since the French Revolution and the relevant lessons for U.S. security policy.
September 1, 1996—May 1, 1998
Conversion and rationalization of arms production capacity and the successful transition to lower armament levels have emerged as central determinants of international security. This study group focused on an international comparative analysis of "supply-side resistance" to successful downsizing and searched for national and multilateral strategies for countering such resistance. Session topics included national security, arms proliferation, industrial-base management, and economic prosperity. An edited volume, based on the study group's proceedings, will be published in the second half of 1999.
February 1, 1998—March 1, 1998
This roundtable took stock of the existing effort in the United States (military and nonmilitary) and through the United Nations to reduce the huge number of civilian casualties from antipersonnel mines. Sesions focused on technological opportunities to lower the cost of removal and organizational needs to improve coordination of the international effort. Participants considered the possible use of economic instruments to promote innovation and better use of demining technologies in the field.
January 1, 1997—June 1, 1997
Economic sanctions are an increasingly important and frequently used tood lf statecraft. Confronted with intractable situations abroad, policymakers and the public alike often view sanctions as an attractive middle option between doing nothing and intervening directly. This popularity, however, runs counter to a widespread sense in the foreign policy community that sanctions rarely accomplish much while inflicting substantial hidden costs on various constituencies. Economic globalization, technological development, and the information revolution, moreover, may be altering the degree to which, and circumstances under which, sanctions can be effective. This study group explored the utility of sanctions, looking at the mahor post-Cold War experiences of sanctions through a comparative analysis to derive lessons from recent history for current and future policy. The resulting publication was Economic Sanctions and American Diplomacy (1998), edited by Richard N. Haass.
The new Law of the Sea regime has exposed conflicting territorial claims--designed to take advantage of oil, gas and fishery resources--that have provoked military confrontation. Methods of resolving these disputes, and progress made in their negotiation, including disputes over islands in the Persian Gulf and the Aegean Sea and the Spratly Islands, were discussed at a two-day conference that attracted many senior members of the diplomatic missions to the United Nations. The problems of sea access in the former Yugoslavia were also addressed. Speakers included Professor John Norton Moore of the University of Virginia, Marrack Goulding, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Alvaro de Soto, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Davis Robinson, former legal advisor for the U.S. Department of State, Robert Turner of the University of Virginia, Myron Nordquist of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Paul Szasz, Acting Deputy Director of the U.N. Office of Legal Affairs, and Ruth Wedgwood of the Council and Yale University.
May 1, 2001—June 30, 2004
The Democracy Promotion Roundtable is a monthly series of seminars examining various topical issues facing the democracy promotion community. The sessions aim to advance the policy debate on economic, political, and bureaucratic constraints to the current wave of democratization - affecting some 90 countries around the world. With this aim in mind, the roundtables serve as a forum to bring policy practitioners, non-governmental democracy promotion agencies, academics, think-tanks, and advocacy professionals together to discuss emerging policy issues involving democratization - ideas that are vetted by the collective experience of the participants. Sessions normally involve 2-3 panelists, each presenting for approximately 10-15 minutes on a selected theme. The remainder of the 90 minute sessions are opened for questions and broader dialogue. Some of the panelists that have participated in these sessions include William Easterly, Carl Gersham, Harold Koh, Paula Dobriansky, and George Folsom, among others.
May 1, 2002—June 30, 2003
February 1, 2002—May 1, 2003
Meetings of this series help to review and critique draft chapters of Jagdish Bhagwati's book analyzing the origins of globalization, its social consequences, and the institutional innovations—domestic and international—that govern it. Bhagwati assesses the various critiques of globalization through the lenses of poverty, insecurity, labor standards, gender, the environment, culture, sovereignty, and democratic deficit and concludes that globalization is not merely economically benign, but socially benign as well.
May 1, 1998—September 1, 2000
This study group is exploring how U.S. policymakers can promote the consolidation of fledgling democracies abroad. The study group is underway at a time when many new democracies are grappling with unprecedented economic, political, and social turmoil. Whether they survive and stabilize or collapse back into authoritarianism will be one of the critical factors shaping international politics in the early 21st century. The study group seeks to bridge the gap between the academic and policy worlds by asking questions such as: What factors are most important for the consolidation of new democracies? Can these factors be manipulated from the outside? What would a serious U.S. strategy for promoting democratic consolidation look like, and what results could it expect to produce? The end product of the study group will be an article or book by Gideon Rose.
September 1, 1997—November 1, 1997
This study group examined the sources of tension in U.S. relationships with the Muslim world and evaluated feasible policy alternatives for improving relations with individual Muslim countries and the Muslim world as a whole. Meetings addressed topics such as the "Islamic factor" in U.S. foreign policy, U.S. relations with self-declared governments of God (e.g., Iran and Afghanistan), and reconciling the promotion of human rights and democracy with American economic and strategic interests in the Muslim world.
April 1, 1997—September 1, 1997
Around the world, new technologies and political openinigs pit traditional societies against the force of global ideas and the pressures they bring for change. Many of these societies are majority Muslim. This study group explored some Muslim responses to these new condidtions by looking at the public activities of individuals and institutions within their own societies. It probed the links between their development options and Western models of modernization, examining in particular various perceptions of the U.S. role in these global transformations. The sessions dealt with election of Islam, the transformation of associational life, contemporary Muslim thinkers, and the impact of the new media and the flow of ideas.
November 1, 1996—May 1, 1997
The concept of "culture and development" is surfacing today at the World Bank, the British Council, UNESCO, SIDA, and other agencies within the development community. At the base of this concept is the recognition that cultural factors--ranging from religion to artistic expression--fortify or impede movements toward democratization and modernization. This project aimed to find and examine the best definitions and ideas, to produce a conceptual framework for the subject, and to determine the best practices in the field. Speakers addressed the issue through the lenses of religion, anthropology, identity, and the arts.
Since September 11, 2001, U.S.-Middle East policy has sought to promote reform in the Arab and Islamic World as a U.S. national security priority. This roundtable series sheds light on the complex issues that the countries of the Middle East present and explores the different avenues available to U.S. policymakers seeking to promote change in that region. By drawing on the experience of a variety of speakers with particular expertise on social, political, and economic reform, women's issues, education, and the media, this roundtable series intends to enrich the current debate on reform promotion in the Arab world with a range of top-tier perspectives and policy recommendations in an informal discussion setting.