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Council on Foreign Relations Educators Bulletin
Resources for the Academic Community

November 10, 2011

"Back to School" Discussion on Iran with Isobel Coleman and David E. Sanger

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Isobel Coleman, CFR's senior fellow and director of the Civil Society Markets and Democracy initiative and the Women and Foreign Policy program, and David E. Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times


On October 21, students and professors from over seventeen schools in the tristate area attended the second annual “Back to School” event, hosted by CFR and Foreign Affairs, with the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The event featured a discussion on Iran with CFR's Isobel Coleman and New York Times' David E. Sanger. Coleman and Sanger addressed issues ranging from Iran's “Green Movement” to its nuclear program. Watch or listen to the discussion with your students at: Audio|Video


Issue Guide: The Arab Uprisings

Share with your students a wide variety of resources on Arab countries undergoing historic transformation. As the one-year anniversary of the start of the Arab Spring approaches, “The Arab Uprisings” provides relevant, up-to-date background information and analysis by CFR fellows and other leading experts on the pressing issues facing Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Yemen. Read more »

Promoting Human Rights: Is U.S. Consistency Desirable or Possible?

CFR’s Markets and Democracy Briefs can be used in the classroom to offer snapshots of current thinking on critical issues surrounding democracy and economic development. In this new brief, CFR's Mark Lagon argues for a more consistent approach to human rights promotion than the United States has pursued in the past and outlines important policy considerations. Read more »

In the Classroom

Ambassador Sallama Shaker, visiting professor of Middle East and Islamic studies at Yale University, incorporated The New Arab Revolt: What Happens, What it Means, and What Comes Next, published by CFR and Foreign Affairs, in her fall seminar titled “Religion, Middle East Politics, and Conflict Resolution.” Ambassador Shaker used the book to prepare her class for a conflict resolution simulation exercise. She found the book “instrumental in helping students understand the root causes of the Arab revolutions” and felt its “insightful and invaluable perspectives on the major problems that led to the Arab awakening of 2011” promoted “analytical reading.”

Purchase The New Arab Revolt in a variety of digital and print formats.


African Democracy: Elections Despite Divisions

In this Markets and Democracy Brief, CFR’s John Campbell and Asch Harwood discuss why and how the United States should support free, fair, and credible elections in African countries. Read more »

American Options in Syria

In this Center for Preventive Action Policy Innovation Memorandum, Elliott Abrams explains why the United States should pursue a strategy of isolating Bashar al-Assad’s regime from Syria’s Alawite and business communities in order to weaken his support base, end the violence, and lay the basis for a stable, democratic system. Read more »

Why Libya Has a Real Shot at Democracy and Stability

In this CNN op-ed, Isobel Coleman argues that despite numerous challenges, Libya is well-positioned for stability, democratization, and economic prosperity during its political transition. Read more »


Enhancing U.S. Diplomatic Engagement with Nonstate Armed Groups

In this Center for Preventive Action Working Paper, Payton L. Knopf argues that the State Department must develop a framework for engaging with nonstate armed groups that includes clear guidelines as to why, when, and how diplomats should conduct such outreach. Read more »

Partners in Preventive Action

In this Council Special Report, Paul B. Stares and Micah Zenko assert the need for cross-border cooperation in developing policies for conflict prevention and peacemaking. The authors assess the strengths and weaknesses of international institutions and provide a set of practical recommendations for how the United States can strengthen the global architecture for preventive action through partnerships. Read more »


Connect your students with Foreign Affairs!

"Humanitarian Intervention Comes of Age"

Jon Western, five college associate professor of international relations at Mount Holyoke College, and Joshua S. Goldstein, professor emeritus of international relations at American University, discuss how despite setbacks of past humanitarian intervention missions, the international community has grown increasingly adept over the last twenty years at using military force to save lives.

"The True Costs of Humanitarian Intervention"

Benjamin A. Valentino, associate professor of government at Dartmouth College, argues that given the massive opportunity costs and complicated realities of military intervention, countries should focus instead on saving lives by offering assistance to refugees and victims of conflict and natural disasters and funding public health campaigns.



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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