Essays

Essays Icon

Filter By:

Topic

Author

Research Team

Use comma-separated ID numbers for each author

Support the Hoover Institution

Join the Hoover Institution's community of supporters in advancing ideas defining a free society.

Support Hoover

Blank Section (Placeholder)

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.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

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.

Blank Section (Placeholder)

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.

middle east
Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Ten Proposals On The Middle East For The New US Administration

by Russell A. Berman, Charles Hillvia Analysis
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Of the foreign policy challenges that face the new administration in Washington, perhaps none is more significant than that of the Middle East.  From spawning terrorism to supplying the bulk of the world’s fuels to destabilizing Europe with a wave of migration, its problems reverberate far beyond its borders.  Under the Obama administration, Iran and Russia have been allowed to supplant the United States as a regional hegemon, and the result has been destabilizing to the point of threatening the international order. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)

The Story of the Tunisian Revolution

by Samuel Tadrosvia Analysis
Monday, December 19, 2016

The simple narrative of a frustrated Tunisian street vendor's desperate act igniting the flames of Arab revolutions has captured the world’s imagination. Yet no serious examination has been undertaken to understand what actually took place in the halls of power that led to Tunisia’s strongman, Zein El Abedine Ben Ali, fleeing his country. In this essay, Samuel Tadros examines an important book written by two Tunisian journalists investigating the revolution. The story offers us important insights into the nature of Arab regimes, their inherent weaknesses, the culture of mistrust they sow, and how the powerful house Ben Ali had constructed was figuratively built on sand. The story of what transpired in Tunisia during its revolution stands as a cautionary tale regarding the narratives that have come to dominate the way the Arab revolutions and events in the broader region have been reported and understood.

World Puzzle
Blank Section (Placeholder)

Strategic Planning for the New Administration

by Colin Dueckvia Analysis
Thursday, December 15, 2016

The next administration will face urgent, practical questions of how to organize its National Security Council decision-making process while developing a strong foreign policy strategy.  Strategic planning can help to make international success more likely, in part by providing the president with clear, well-informed policy options.  Yet no process can work if it does not fit the individual president.  To that end, the following essay examines the new president-elect's decision-making style, and then outlines six specific NSC recommendations: 1. Learn from private sector experience, 2. Develop and execute a meaningful national security strategy early on, 3. Restore a proper balance of responsibilities between the NSC and line departments and agencies, 4. Encourage the president's national security adviser to play the roles of honest broker, policy entrepreneur, and presidential agent, 5. Appoint and empower a strategic planning directorate on the NSC staff, and 6. Consider creating an effective strategic planning board.  In the end, the case is made that strategy is possible; bureaucratic consensus overrated; and defeatism unhelpful.

Blank Section (Placeholder)

International Spillover Effects

by Jennifer Daskalvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, December 12, 2016

As the encryption debate continues, proponents on both sides decry the negative international side effects of the policies they oppose.  This essay analyzes the claims, examining the potential effects of the specific policies being pursued.  It ultimately concludes that even the “no new regulation” approach has potentially significant spillover effects.  These effects are bidirectional and dynamic: US policies and practices have a spillover effect internationally; but the policies and practices of foreign actors also influence the effectiveness of any decryption policy, and thus the scope and distribution of any such effect.  This highlights the need for centralized, executive-level review of sought-after decryption orders, so as to better account for the potential effects.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

A Future For NATO And The European Union

by Paul Rahevia Analysis
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union are in disarray. The former has fulfilled its mission. Were it not for Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and invasion of Ukraine and the refugee crisis in Europe spawned by the sectarian Muslim conflict raging in Iraq and Syria, it would be an empty shell without any obvious function. The latter has overreached. A great success as a customs union, it is a disaster as a currency union; and the attempt to turn it into a federation—oligarchic in governance and equipped with an intrusive administrative apparatus—will end in tears.

Pages