By Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2008–2010
"Recent evidence confirms that the Osirak reactor was intended not to produce plutonium for a weapons program, but rather to develop know-how that would be necessary if Iraq acquired an unsafeguarded reactor better suited for large-scale production of plutonium. Israel's attack triggered a far more focused and determined Iraqi effort to acquire nuclear weapons."
By Monica Duffy Toft, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy; Former Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Former Director, Initiative on Religion and International Affairs.
This policy brief provides background information on how Islam in its various manifestations has developed and spread throughout the world and the role of elites in this evolution. Having emerged in seventh-century Arabia, Muslim communities have formed and thrived across the globe. Indeed today, the majority of Muslims live outside of the Middle East. From the earliest days of Islam, the movement of people and ideas has impacted the institutions of political power in countless regions and modern nation-states. Such changes in religious and political landscapes have occurred partially with the help of decisions by the ruling elites about the desired character of their states. This brief points to a few key reasons why past elites have incorporated Islam into their bids for power and, with that precedent, why today’s religious bids for control more often occur within Muslim societies as elites compete for power.
...[A]fter adopting a policy, decisionmakers should resist the temptation to marginalize any skeptics. Indeed, it may be advisable for someone to deliberately play the role of "devil's advocate" and question optimistic appraisals of likely outcomes. Following the 2002–03 decision to invade Iraq, U.S. war planners were extremely overconfident about the prospects for stabilizing the country. Skeptical voices were sidelined or excluded. If senior officials had anticipated the shift to implemental mind-sets and the associated overconfidence, a "devil's advocate" would have helped to challenge shaky assumptions behind the strategy.
The Kyoto Protocol establishes a very complex and ambitious regime, in architecture if not stringency. The problem is that relatively few states, representing only about a quarter of the world's emissions, have been willing to assume emission targets under Kyoto....The future of the Protocol thus seems doubtful at best. Even in the most optimistic scenario, a new round of emissions targets couldn't be agreed in time to prevent a legal gap between the first and second commitment periods. A possible middle ground would be to establish a transitional regime that would be political in nature, but that could evolve over time into a legally-binding regime.
By Ayman Ismail, Former Research Fellow, The Dubai Initiative
Over the five years prior to the financial crisis, global private equity and venture capital investments grew exponentially. Private equity firms and funds are becoming increasingly important actors in emerging markets: they act as a source of financing for new enterprises and as growth capital for existing ones, as owners and managers of portfolio companies, and as employers for both management and labor.
By Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Valentina Bosetti, Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Michela Catenacci and Audrey Lee, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2009–2011
Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century, or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.
By Fred McGoldrick, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, May 2011–June 2013
For several years, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has been unable to reach a consensus on the adoption of revised guidelines for its members. The most contentious issue is how to strengthen restraints on the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing (E&R) technologies in a manner that would be acceptable to all NSG members, and credible to the major exporting states and the nuclear industry. This issue will be back on the agenda this month when the NSG meets in plenary session.
"Husbanding resources is simply sensible. In the competitive game of power politics, states must unsentimentally realign means with ends or be punished for their profligacy. Attempts to maintain policies advanced when U.S. relative power was greater are outdated, unfounded, and imprudent. Retrenchment policies—greater burden sharing with allies, less military spending, and less involvement in militarized disputes—hold the most promise for arresting and reversing decline."
By Sebastian Rosato, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2005–2006
"...[A]bsent an overwhelming threat, the Europeans have had little reason to maintain their economic union. This is not to argue that the demise of the Soviet Union has given them a reason to dismantle the EU—only that it has removed their incentive to preserve it. Consequently, the EU has started to fray as member states have put national interests ahead of those of the union."
Morocco, one of the fastest growing countries in Africa, enjoys a diversified economy with growing manufacturing and service sectors. However, like many similar emerging markets, it faces the challenge of integrating a large number of smallholder farmers into an increasingly sophisticated economy. This policy brief outlines opportunities for Morocco to improve the economic outcomes of smallholder farmers by expanding production of high-value agricultural products. The paper identifies challenges small farmers face in producing high-value products, proposes aggregation as a policy recommendation for improving participation in these markets, evaluates the benefits and limitations of this choice, and provides implementation recommendations to mitigate unintended negative consequences of aggregation.