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Council on Foreign Relations Educators Bulletin
Resources for the Academic Community

January 2013

CFR Report Advocates for Limiting Drone Strikes

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(Courtesy Reuters)


In this new Council Special Report, CFR's Micah Zenko outlines the negative consequences of the United States' drone practice and argues that policy reform is greatly needed. Dr. Zenko analyzes the repercussions of the current drone program and puts forth a number of recommendations for the Obama administration and Congress. Add this text to your syllabus and organize a class debate in which students choose and defend different sides of this controversial issue. Download the Report >>


Experts Comment on the Global Economy in 2013

In this Expert Roundup, five scholars and practitioners from CFR and other organizations forecast the important economic trends, challenges, and opportunities to watch in 2013. While CFR's A. Michael Spence is hopeful that the global economy "appears set for a year of transition to better-balanced economic growth," CFR's Robert Kahn is more pessimistic about Europe's growth potential. Have students share their own predictions for the global economy in the year ahead. Read the Roundup »

The Top Global Hotspots of 2013

CFR's Center for Preventive Action has released its annual Preventive Priorities Survey, which evaluates ongoing and possible conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring or continuing in the coming year, as well as their potential impact on U.S. interests. Assign students to choose one preventive priority to research in-depth, and create a set of recommendations for how the U.S. government should respond. Explore the Survey »

In the Classroom: Bruce Newsome

Bruce Newsome, lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, worked with CFR's Paul B. Stares to use CFR's Preventive Priorities Survey for a project in his Global Security Risks class in which students forecasted global risks for 2013. Students chose a scenario from the survey; analyzed the associated risks in terms of hazards, threats, exposure, and vulnerability; and assessed the likelihood and potential outcomes of these events. Dr. Newsome says that the assignment gave his students a "realistic experience of responding to a client's requirement, choosing methods, executing a plan, and delivering a product on time and of use to policymakers and their advisers."


Electoral Violence in Kenya

In this Contingency Planning Memorandum, Joel D. Barkan, from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, analyzes the risk of violence during Kenya's upcoming elections and argues for the United States to take action to mitigate this threat. Assign this report and lead a discussion on the root causes of electoral violence in Kenya and other African countries. Download the Report »

Mapping Violence in Nigeria

With downloadable interactive maps and graphs that demonstrate the scope of rising violence in Nigeria, this security tracker contains clear, illustrative resources that can be uploaded to course management systems or added to PowerPoint presentations. Access the Security Tracker »

Three Things to Know About Mali's Conflict

As French forces intervene in Mali to curtail rebel forces, CFR's John Campbell highlights three things to know about the escalating violence. Show this video in class to kick off a discussion on how and when countries choose to intervene in conflicts. Watch the Video »


Understanding Mexico's Drug War

CFR's comprehensive Backgrounder addresses the history and present state of drug trafficking in Mexico, Mexico's eradication efforts, and U.S. policy options. This supplemental resource provides students with a clear, accessible overview of a challenging issue. Explore the Backgrounder »

The Importance of U.S.-Mexico Trade Relations

On the blog Latin America's Moment, CFR's Shannon K. O'Neil writes about the significance of the United States' exports to Mexico. Encourage students to post a comment about how the United States should invest in actions that encourage these trade relations. Join the Conversation »


The links below allow you special access to subscribers-only articles from Foreign Affairs.

"The Mirage of the Arab Spring" and "The Promise of the Arab Spring"

Is authoritarianism here to stay in the Arab countries whose uprisings at one time held the promise of democratization? Or are these countries simply following the patterns that have affected all countries undergoing democratic change in the last century? Assign students these two articles by Seth G. Jones, adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, and Sheri Berman, professor of political science at Barnard University, and in pairs, have them simulate a debate between the two authors.



About CFR

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.

About CFR's Academic Outreach Initiative

CFR is committed to serving as a resource for the academic community and encouraging students from all disciplines to consider how international issues shape their own lives and the lives of others across the globe. As part of these efforts, the CFR Academic Outreach Initiative provides a forum for educators and students to interact with CFR experts and join the debate on foreign policy. CFR offers a vast array of research and multimedia tools, developed by leading scholars and practitioners, for teaching and learning about international relations and the role of the United States in the world. For more information, please contact


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