The Working Group on Islamism and the International Order is issuing a new series of long working papers. This series of essays grapples with the eroding of the old Middle Eastern order of states and the sweeping changes that have hit the Greater Middle East in the past few years. It’s a mantra, but it is also true: the Middle East is being unmade and remade. The aim of these essays is to examine the new history of the region through a searching inquiry.
Allan H. Meltzer, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, writes that in advance of the 2014 election, the Obama administration has drawn the political discussion away from its unpopular and flawed healthcare plan, usually called Obamacare, to bring public attention and support for increased income redistribution. President Obama openly encouraged envy of the top one percent of income earners. Reducing the share received by the highest earners to provide revenue for larger transfers to the lowest earners has long been a main objective of his administration.
“NAFTA at Twenty,” a conference on the twentieth anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, was hosted by the Hoover Institution. The conference brought those who negotiated NAFTA for Canada, the United States and Mexico together with leading scholars who have studied NAFTA’s effects. Some of the questions addressed at the conference were: How did NAFTA, which was controversial from its inception, come about? What were its economic and political challenges and opportunities? What has it accomplished for the United States, Mexico, and Canada?
The newly renovated archives reading room reopened on March 31, with seats for sixteen more researchers—and their laptops and cameras. It can now hold fifty-five researchers: forty of those working with paper-based collections, eight computer workstations for those using digital collections, six microfilm readers, and a DVD viewing station. More computer workstations and microfilm readers may be added in the future.
In December 1981, when Poland’s communist authorities declared martial law and arrested thousands of Solidarity activists, two distinguished Polish diplomats protested by renouncing their allegiance to the Moscow-dominated government in Warsaw and seeking political asylum in the United States. One was Romuald Spasowski, ambassador to the United States; the other was Zdzisław Rurarz, Poland’s ambassador to Japan. The Spasowski papers came to Hoover nearly two decades ago, the Rurarz archives only now. That both collections ended up here and not in Poland or elsewhere reflects the donors’ confidence in the strength and the credibility of the Hoover Archives, which are already home to the largest and most comprehensive holdings on modern Poland outside Poland.
Thanks to a 2013 grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, five unique amateur films from the William P. Miller papers have been preserved. Those films, made from approximately 1943 to 1945, feature footage of the North African and European theaters during World War II.
One significant consequence of the revolution in Russia in 1917 was the mass exodus of opponents of the Bolshevik regime: the first mass political emigration of the twentieth century. The fate of these émigrés continues to interest historians and other researchers to this day; bearing in mind growing trends in international history and migration studies, it will continue to do so in the future.
Three campaign ads from Ronald Reagan's unsuccessful presidential primary run in 1976, and four press-conference-style meetings of Governor Reagan with high school students, have been added to California Light and Sound.
Hoover research fellow Carson Bruno discusses the proposal to divide California into six states on the John Batchelor Show. Topics include the potential effect on the Congressional delegation, wealth distribution, and the impact on social programs.
Steven Teles of Johns Hopkins University talks with EconTalk host Russell Roberts about kludgeocracy, a term Teles coined in a National Affairs article to describe what he sees as the complex and unproductive state of political governance in the United States, particularly at the federal level. Topics include size versus complexity of government, how federalism leads to kludgeocracy, education policy, and the Affordable Care Act.
Hoover senior fellow Victor Hanson discusses his new book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost – from Ancient Greece to Iraq on Armstrong and Getty. Topics include Vladimir Putin, mass killings of the last century, and the Russian reset.
In his background essay, Max Boot analyzes how British, and subsequently, Soviet involvement in Afghanistan, suggest that the country's current stability can be maintained with continued assistance from the U.S. In the featured commentary essays, Col. Joseph Felter discusses the uncertainties of Afghanistan's internal political situation and Kimberly Kagan warns that the departure of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan will have disastrous consequences for both countries.