Research Projects

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.

2014 (continued)

Africa After 50 Roundtable Series

Director: Jendayi Frazer, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Africa Studies
March 11, 2011—Present

Africa After 50 is a roundtable series that examines new trends and regional dynamics that are shaping Africa's future and will impact U.S. policy opportunities on the continent. The emergence of new strategic players, especially China, India, and Middle Eastern countries, have created a more complex diplomatic landscape for the United States and African countries to navigate. Sustained economic growth over the past decade attracts interest in the region as a frontier and emerging market for global capital. Africa's entrepreneurs, rising urban middle classes and youth, and the introduction of new media are setting the stage for the next fifty years. Political stability and security remain fragile and depend on the increasing effectiveness of national and regional institutions. The African Union and sub-regional organizations in particular, have become more assertive in conflict resolution efforts across the continent, but long-term security will also require good governance innovation at the local and national levels. This series examines Africa's outlook after fifty years of independence from this new baseline by fostering discussion about the changing demographics, political and societal institutions, and the financial and physical infrastructure that will enable positive change. Hence the series focuses on new thinking and new strategies for Africa's transformation.

Roundtable Series on Israeli and Palestinian Unilateralism

Director: Robert M. Danin, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies
February 18, 2011—Present

Increasingly, Israelis and Palestinians are discussing unilateral steps they can take as an alternative to failed negotiating efforts. One notable option that is gaining traction is a possible Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood. Similarly, some Israelis are looking at steps they can take to ensure their security if bilateral agreements prove impossible. Made possible in part by the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Roundtable Series on Israeli and Palestinian Unilateralism aims to create a forum for an informed debate on unilateral actions by examining their legal and political implications and their possible consequences for the region.

Japan’s Political Transition and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Director: Sheila A. Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies
January 11, 2011—Present

The challenges that confront the U.S.-Japan relationship today are many, and the opportunities to devise new ways of cooperating ample. Yet we still know too little about how to adapt our alliance to the changing demands within Japan for greater accountability and transparency in governance. The March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake has confounded the governance pressures on Japan's new government, and expanded our bilateral alliance agenda. The confusion and disconnect between the two governments during the early months of Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) rule suggest the need for a much better understanding of the domestic pressures on Japan's new government for change in alliance policy. The Japan studies program is excited to announce a new study to analyze domestic political change in Japan and its effect on the U.S.-Japan alliance.

This project is made possible by grants from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the U.S.-Japan Foundation.

U.S.-UN Roundtable Series

Directors: Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, and Micah Zenko, Douglas Dillon Fellow
January 1, 2011—Present

The U.S.-UN roundtable meeting series seeks to organize high-level discussions with senior United Nations officials, including officials from member states and regional organizations, on timely issues related to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and international security. A core group of selected invitees from member state governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental communities participate in these discussions. The goal of these meetings is to raise awareness of the role of the United Nations in addressing critical issues of peace and security. This meeting series is cosponsored by CFR's Center for Preventive Action and the Program on International Institutions and Global Governance.

Making Multilateralism Work Workshop Series

Director: Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program
December 2010—Present

The United States has a fundamental stake in a more effective UN system--that is, improving the UN's many specialized agencies, departments, and programs. In the Making Multilateralism Work workshop series, the International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) program will engage U.S. and UN officials on practical steps to improve the UN system's performance in priority areas, including international peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and human rights. Each workshop will culminate in a meeting report and a briefing memo with recommendations for the U.S. government.

This workshop series is made possible by the generous support of the Robina Foundation.

U.S.-Mexico Initiative

Director: Shannon K. O'Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies
December 1, 2010—Present

Director: Shannon K. O'Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies

Over the past thirty years, Mexico has changed dramatically, undergoing rapid and widespread social, political, and economic transformations. It has moved from a closed economy, a one party dominant polity, and poor nation to one with a globally competitive economy, a rising middle class, and a burgeoning democracy. Yet, Mexico continues to face serious issues. Violence and insecurity, the dominance of economic monopolies and oligopolies, limited credit, and weak education and infrastructure hit Mexico's economy and its people. The way that Mexico addresses these current challenges will define its future.

What has also changed is Mexico's relationship with the United States. The two countries have been tied due to geography. But over the last three decades, the nature of this relationship has broadened and deepened to the point where arguably no other nation affects the United States and its citizens as much on a day-to-day basis. Companies, supply chains, energy, the environment, people, communities, beliefs, and security bind the two nations together, making Mexico's path forward matter more than ever for its northern neighbor. It is past time for the United States to forge a new relationship with its southern neighbor. Through research, outreach, and publication, including Shannon O'Neil's book Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead, and her blog Latin America's Moment, the U.S.-Mexico Initiative aims to positively influence and shape U.S. policy toward Mexico. In no uncertain terms, America's future depends on it.

Critical Issues in the Middle East Roundtable Series

Director: Robert M. Danin, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies
October 18, 2010—Present

From the Atlantic to the Gulf of Oman, the Middle East is witnessing unprecedented change and transformation. At this pivotal time of popular uprisings, revolutions, and ongoing efforts toward Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, this roundtable series seeks to generate a deeper, richer understanding of the vast array of issues currently shaping the region. To this end, the series brings together policymakers, opinion leaders, and government officials with the most intimate knowledge of the Middle East to enrich the dialogue both on developments in the region and U.S. policy.

Global Stakes in Human Rights Roundtable Series

Director: Mark P. Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights
September 1, 2010—Present

The Global Stakes in Human Rights Roundtable Series examines the tangible interests of the United States and international community in promoting political, civil, economic, and labor rights.

Bringing together regular participants of diverse sectors and ideological positions, it identifies best practices of international institutions, governments, nonprofits, and corporations to advance democratic pluralism and the rule of law.

Meeting Note: Business and Human Rights

U.S. Foreign Policy Roundtable Series

Director: Robert D. Blackwill, Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy
September 1, 2010—Present

The U.S. Foreign Policy Roundtable Series is an ongoing series that provides a forum for discussion with leading experts on the major issues and developments that impact U.S. foreign policy. The series has covered a broad range of topics, such as domestic and international counterterrorism efforts, the global financial crisis, evolving media coverage of international news developments, and U.S. policy in the Greater Middle East, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Roundtable Series on Aging Populations

April 2010—Present

As nations across the world face the realities of unprecedented population aging, this series examines the resulting policy challenges. As large numbers of people age into retirement at the same time, what will it mean for health, work, and financial security? Are governments ready for this coming demographic trend? Similarly, are global institutions such as the G8 and G20 prepared to face the global implications of a graying world? This series of discussions will serve as a venue for policymakers, scholars, business professionals, and journalists to exchange ideas and reach conclusions on the challenges presented by what has been characterized as a "slow-burning fuse."


Ambassador Apakan's remarks, with brief introduction from Michael Hodin, from the meeting titled "Population Aging and Development: Opportunities for Economic Growth" held on September 7, 2012 can be found here.

High-Level Roundtable Series on International Economics

Staff: Sebastian Mallaby, Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics
April 2010—Present

This roundtable series brings together senior financial experts from the private sector and the academic world to discuss ideas presented by a guest speaker on a pressing topic in international economics.