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Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin
June 2012

June 2012

Egypt Elects a New President

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CFR's Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Steven A. Cook analyzes President-elect Mohamed Morsi's victory in Egypt. As the first civilian leader since Gamal Abdel Nasser and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's win is a sign that the old order is beginning to crumble, writes Cook. However, as it stands the post may prove purely symbolic because on June 17, the Egyptian military issued a constitutional declaration dissolving parliament and stripping the president of his responsibilties as commander in chief.


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Welcome to CFR's Development Channel

CFR invites you to visit the Development Channel, a web-based forum for discussing issues and innovations in global economic development. The Channel explores the shifting global landscape of development with an emphasis on inclusive development in order to generate conversation and ideas to effectively address poverty and inequity. CFR is interested in new research, new thinkers, new leaders, and new approaches. The Channel will highlight contributions from emerging scholars and practitioners, from civil society, academia, business, and the policymaking community. Tune into the Development Channel »

The Growing Palestinian Refugee Crisis

To commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20, CFR's Elliott Abrams analyzes new data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) putting the number of Palestinian refugees at more than 5 million. Abrams is critical of the numbers, noting that since the count includes "not only those who actually left their homes but those in succeeding generations," the number of Palestinian refugees continues to grow "regardless of whether those progeny were born and are settled elsewhere with full citizenship." To learn more about Abrams' concerns on this issue, visit the CFR blog Pressure Points. Read more »

Chinese Dissident Chen Guangcheng's Optimism

Speaking at CFR's New York headquarters recently, Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng expressed his optimism that democracy—in one form or another—will emerge sooner rather than later in China. Chen's message to the United States was clear: keep human rights at the top of the agenda in the bilateral relationship.

Writing on the CFR blog Asia Unbound, CFR's Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies Liz Economy says that "Chen has the potential to emerge as the most potent weapon in China's otherwise fairly dismal arsenal of soft power." Despite his negative experience, Chen "never wavered in his belief that time was on the side of right."

CFR Interview on Iraq's "Precarious Future"

In an interview with Bernard Gwertzman, CFR's Ned Parker discusses the continued violence, poor governance, and corruption in Iraq since the U.S. military pullout and postulates that it could lead to a return to full-on sectarian strife.

In addition to reading the interivew, listen to Parker discuss the religious divide in Iraq and field questions from religious leaders and scholars from across the country in this CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call.