Asia Publications, June 2011

5 07 2011

A list of Asia publications that were highlighted in the June issue of the Democracy Resource Center Bulletin.

Burma’s New Challenges
http://csis.org/publication/pacnet-32-burmas-new-challenges
The political situation in Burma is often understood in terms of conflict between pro-democracy forces (Aung San Suu Kyi and allies) and the military government. This is problematic for two reasons… Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)

Pakistan-U.S. Relations: A Summary
http://bit.ly/kVwgPq
This CRS report summarizes important recent developments in Pakistan and in Pakistan-U.S. relations. These include high-profile political assassinations in early 2011; the Raymond Davis affair involving a CIA operative accused of murder in the city of Lahore; and the May killing of Osama bin Laden in the city of Abbottabad, among others. Source: Congressional Research Service

Understanding Electoral Violence in Asia
http://bit.ly/lDtbf4
This report investigates electoral violence in Asia through analyses of case studies commissioned by UNDP for seven countries in South and South-East Asia: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Inclusion of a publication does not imply ownership or endorsement by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); rather, these are publications that the Democracy Resource Center believes would be of interest to NED staff and others interested in democracy promotion.

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Middle East & North Africa Publications, May 2011

1 06 2011

A list of recent reports on the Middle East & North Africa that were highlighted in the May issue of the Democracy Resource Center Bulletin.

Arab Spring Fails to Improve U.S. Image
http://pewglobal.org/2011/05/17/arab-spring-fails-to-improve-us-image/
With the exception of Indonesia, Obama remains unpopular in the Muslim nations polled, and most disapprove of the way he has handled calls for political change roiling the Middle East. Source: Pew Global Attitudes Project

Constitutional Reform in Transitional States: Challenges and Opportunities Facing Egypt and Tunisia
http://www.usip.org/publications/constitutional-reform-in-transitional-states-challenges-and-opportunities-facing-egypt-
This Peace Brief examines some of the challenges to constitutional reform in transitional states and offers mechanisms for increasing the legitimacy and democratizing effect of constitutional reform. Source: United States Institute of Peace

A Decade of Struggling Reform Efforts in Jordan: The Resilience of the Rentier System
http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/?fa=view&id=43939
Efforts at reform in Jordan have been blocked by a resilient class of political elites and bureaucrats, who fear that such efforts would move the country away from a decades old rentier system to a merit-based one. Source: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Inclusion of a publication does not imply ownership or endorsement by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); rather, these are publications that the Democracy Resource Center believes would be of interest to NED staff and others interested in democracy promotion.





Advancing Freedom and Democracy Reports, May 2009

10 03 2010

URL: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/afdr/2009/index.htm
Source: U.S. State Department

The reports are divided into four parts. Part one is a concise statement, similar in content to the first and second paragraphs in the introduction to the Department of State’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights, regarding the political and human rights conditions in each country. Part two is a statement of the U.S. government’s priorities to promote democratic principles, practices, values, and human rights. It also includes specific actions and activities, to the extent anticipated, to be undertaken and supported by the chief of mission and other U.S. officials. Part three highlights the greater range of the post’s ongoing diplomatic, public diplomacy, foreign assistance, and other public actions to address the priorities stated in part two. For the 2009 reports, part three includes material that had been incorporated within a part four of the 2008 reports.





Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy

10 03 2010

URL: http://opencrs.com/document/R41070/
Source: Congressional Research Service

This report notes that Al Qaeda (AQ) has evolved into a significantly different terrorist organization than the one that perpetrated the September 11, 2001, attacks. At the time, Al Qaeda was composed mostly of a core cadre of veterans of the Afghan insurgency against the Soviets, with a centralized leadership structure, made up mostly of Egyptians. Most of the organization’s plots either emanated from the top or were approved by the leadership. Some analysts describe pre-9/11 Al Qaeda as akin to a corporation, with Osama Bin Laden acting as an agile Chief Executive Officer issuing orders and soliciting ideas from subordinates. Some would argue that the Al Qaeda of that period no longer exists. Out of necessity, due to pressures from the security community, in the ensuing years it has transformed into a diffuse global network and philosophical movement composed of dispersed nodes with varying degrees of independence.





Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations

9 03 2010

URL: http://opencrs.com/document/RL34170/
Source: Congressional Research Service

This report notes that with limited natural resources, a crippling illiteracy rate, and high population growth, Yemen faces an array of daunting development challenges that some observers believe make it at risk for becoming a failed state. Between 2007 and 2008, Yemen ranked 153 out of 177 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index, a score comparable to the poorest sub-Saharan African countries. Over 43% of the population of nearly 24 million people lives below the poverty line, and per capita GDP is estimated to be between $650 and $800. Yemen is largely dependent on external aid from Persian Gulf countries, Western donors, and international financial institutions, though its per capita share of assistance is below the global average.





U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

9 03 2010

URL: http://opencrs.com/document/RS22967/
Source: Congressional Research Service

This report notes that since the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993 and the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1994, the U.S. government has committed over $3.5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians. Since the death of Yasser Arafat in November 2004, U.S. assistance to the Palestinians has been averaging about $400 million a year. During the 1990s, U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinians averaged approximately $75 million per year. Despite more robust levels of assistance this decade, Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Hamas’s heightened role in Palestinian politics have made it more difficult to implement effective and lasting aid projects that serve U.S. interests.





Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations

9 03 2010

URL: http://opencrs.com/document/RL34074/
Source: Congressional Research Service

This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations and. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups–chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population.