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The 2016 Presidential Election—Identities, Class, And Culture

by Morris P. Fiorinavia Essays on Contemporary American Politics
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nigel Farage in Great Britain, Donald Trump in the United States, Geert Wilders in Holland, Marine Le Pen in France — all would have represented fringe positions in the politics of their countries a decade or so ago. Not today. Although different in important respects, it is difficult to deny that recent elections reflect a general populist impulse now energizing the electorates of the Western democracies. Essay no. 8 noted that explanations of the resurgence of populism fall into two general categories.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Ayatollah Machiavelli

by Karim Sadjadpourvia Analysis
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Islamic Republic of Iran and its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have arguably become the most powerful country, and leader, in the Middle East. A Machiavellian combination of ruthlessness, radicalism, and realism—underpinned by a 2500-year history of subtle statecraft—has helped Tehran fill political vacuums created by the Iraq war and Arab uprisings. Though American and Iran share numerous common interests—and adversaries—as long as Iran continues to define itself as a revolution rather than a nation-state cooperation will be minimal, containment will be necessary, and confrontation may be unavoidable

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Follies Of Democracy Promotion

by Samuel Tadrosvia Analysis
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

President Obama’s election was warmly greeted in Egypt by both the country’s leader and population. In Cairo, Obama promised a new beginning, not only in America’s relationship with Egypt, but the whole Muslim world. By the time he left office, the American Egyptian relationship was in shambles. In this essay, Samuel Tadros examines the illusions that shaped Obama’s adventure in Egypt in pursuit of an imaginary transition to democracy, offering a cautionary tale for the Trump administration. If the US Egyptian alliance is to be strengthened and Egypt is to survive the regional upheaval, President Trump should forgo the illusions Washington holds about the country and base his strategy toward Egypt not on Egypt as it should be, but on Egypt as it is.

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Chinese Cyber Diplomacy In A New Era Of Uncertainty

by Adam Segalvia Aegis Paper Series
Friday, June 2, 2017

After initially taking a relatively defensive, reactive position on the global governance of cyberspace, China under President Xi Jinping has adopted a more activist cyber diplomacy. This foreign policy has three primary goals: limit the threat that the internet and the flow of information may pose to domestic stability and regime legitimacy; shape cyberspace to extend Beijing’s political, military, and economic influence; and counter US advantages in cyberspace and increase China’s room of maneuver. Measured against its objectives, China’s diplomacy would appear relatively successful. The greatest uncertainty for Beijing moving forward is the state of US-China relations.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Jihadism On Its Own Terms

by Cole Bunzelvia Hoover Institution
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In this essay Cole Bunzel argues that jihadism, the modern movement in Sunni Islam identified with al-Qaida and the Islamic State, is best understood on its own terms, rather than in terms of terrorism, violent extremism, or the larger Islamist movement. Examining the jihadis’ own writings and ideas and emphasizing their self-perception as a distinct movement—“the jihadis,” “the jihadi current”—he explains the nature and contours of their movement as it has developed during the past decades to the present day. As jihadism grows increasingly popular, it has also become increasingly divided.

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Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits: 2017 Edition

by Joshua D. Rauhvia Analysis
Monday, May 15, 2017

Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits – a data-rich study by Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Joshua Rauh -- that calls attention to the fact that almost no state or local government is running a balanced budget, with the reality being that runaway pension costs are consuming state and local budgets. Building off last year’s 2016 report, this year’s study of 649 U.S. pension systems found that systems in 2015 realized average investment returns of only 2.87%, yet the average discount rate that they chose was 7.36%.  This differs from last year's report, where they realized higher average returns.

The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The purpose of this report is to suggest the basis for a new anti-dawa strategy, designed to check the advance of political Islam as an ideology and a movement. In the first part, I describe the constitution of political Islam: the foundational principles, terminology, and objectives of Islamist ideology. In the second part, I analyze the infrastructure of political Islam, in particular the institutions and techniques of dawa. In the third part, I propose a number of policies that I believe will, if properly implemented, halt the spread of political Islam in the United States and perhaps also abroad.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Encryption Debate In Europe

by Daniel Seversonvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, March 20, 2017

The going dark debate has spread to Europe. The commercial growth of encryption and a wave of terrorist attacks have spurred new laws to detect and disrupt terrorism. This article reviews the most recent encryption-related legislation in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Poland. The article discusses the legislative debates, as well as aims to achieve coordination at the EU level. Although Europe has so far disavowed banning encryption or mandating pre-installed backdoors, several countries have enacted statutes authorizing compelled decryption. The article concludes by briefly comparing the European approach to the American legal regime.

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Once Upon A Time Jews Lived Here

by Samuel Tadrosvia Analysis
Thursday, March 16, 2017

For over six decades, Arabic-speaking people have undertaken a deliberate effort to erase the memory of the Jews who lived amongst them. The collective decision was successful with governments and citizens joining in eradicating the physical presence of the Jewish presence in Arabic-speaking countries, which had lasted for over twenty-five centuries. For the past decade, Arabic-speaking people have begun to show interest in this erased memory. In this essay, Samuel Tadros reviews two recent novels dealing with the presence and loss of Jews from Arabic-speaking countries. He explores how the authors attempt to depict these Jews against the background of the Arab Israeli conflict, as well as the limitations and taboos still shaping the attempt to remember.

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The Elephant in the Room: Addressing Child Exploitation and Going Dark

by Susan Hennesseyvia Aegis Paper Series
Friday, January 27, 2017

The public debate over encryption and Going Dark insufficiently addresses the issue of child sexual exploitation. This article describes the particular impacts of Going Dark on the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of child sexual abuse crimes. It reviews the available statistics related to quantifying the scope of the problem and the ways in which these crimes have become easier to commit and more difficult to detect. It concludes that lawful hacking, wherein the government exploits existing software vulnerabilities to circumvent security, is a necessary element of a Going Dark solution. To that end, the article explores the legal and policy questions that must be addressed in order to develop a practical and realistic response.

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