36:2 – Summer 2012

by Forum Staff on July 26, 2012

What Should the US Do in Southwest Asia?
An Interview with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad
The United States has been at war with al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001. The current Afghan conflict comprises several interacting dis­putes at international, regional, national, and local levels intertwined with regional disputes between In­dia and Pakistan, between Pakistan and Afghanistan over the border and with Taliban groups active in both countries, between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and between the United States and Iran. Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Afghanistan and Iraq, outlines the current issues in the war in Afghanistan, its regional implications and assess the United State’s strategy in Afghanistan and Iran.

Empowering the Saudi Social Development Sector
Natasha M. Matic, Ph.D. & H.R.H Banderi A.R. AlFaisal
Despite Saudi Arabia’s vast contributions to international humanitarian assistance, its national social development sector remains underdeveloped. Informal giving practices, a lack of professionalism and cultural barriers underlie the problem. Natasha Matic and Princess Banderi Al-Faisal of the King Khalid Foundation argue that building organizational capacity and institutionalizing aid should improve the quality of social services, education and entrepreneurship and help decrease rising youth unemployment to maintain the Kingdom’s growth and competitiveness.

The City as a System: Future Conflict and Urban Resilience
David J. Kilcullen
Despite attempts by policymakers to move the United States away from large-scale, prolonged stability operations, history suggests that U.S. forces will continue to be involved in such for years to come. How should Washington best prepare for these future conflicts given its recent difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan? This article attempts to address this crucial question. It argues that the future conflict environment will be characterized by connected, developing world coastal cities – broadly called ‘the city as a system’, with the primary threats being irregular, hybrid and nested. It then distills the impacts of this new environment and threats on the US military and charts out recommendations for operating in it.

Advancing Human Rights and the Prospect for Democracy in North Korea
Carl Gershman
American policymakers tend to fixate on North Korea’s nuclear program and provocative international behavior, failing to appreciate the extent to which the country’s totalitarian system is steadily eroding.  In the post-Kim Jong Il era, possibilities for internal political and economic change and the eventual reunification of the Korean peninsula are clearer than ever before.  Carl Gershman of the National Endowment for Democracy discusses the origins and evolution of the new conditions in North Korea and argues that now is the the time to start preparing for the coming change.

Managing Public Perceptions: New Wealth and Corruption in Brazil
Monica Arruda de Almeida
Following Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s inauguration in 2011, a series of corruption scandals emerged within the highest echelon of her administration. The scandals threatened to blemish Rousseff’s reputation as a pragmatic technocrat with little tolerance for petty politics and administrative incompetence. This article looks at how extensive corruption is in Brazil as well as the ability of the administration of Rousseff to persistently resist criticism.

Alternating Demonstrations: Political Protest and the Government Response in Angola
Rafael Marques de Morais
After decades of war, repression, and authoritarian rule, the fear that has gripped the Angolan people is cracking under the bold protests of a few daring individuals. Their actions are reverberating throughout Angolan society and catalyzing the important democratic shifts occurring throughout the country.  Rafael Marques de Morais discusses the weakening power of the administration’s historic tools of control and the possible tone of future popular uprisings.

(Yet Another) Crisis In Sudan: Khartoum’s Religious Freedom and Human Rights Abuses
Leonard A. Leo & Elizabeth H. Prodromou
Amidst a nationwide crackdown on civil society, the Sudan Armed Forces and paramilitary Popular Defense Forces have repeatedly caused death, dislocation, and starvation in the provinces of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan is a signatory to many international agreements affirming human rights to all people regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity. Yet in these provinces bordering the recently independent South Sudan, Christians, non-Arab Muslims, ethnic Nubas, and people suspected of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North have been targeted for devastation and destruction. Led by President Bashir and the National Congress Party, the government in Khartoum has violated human rights and restricted humanitarian access to South Kordofan and Blue Nile. It is time for the world to confront them for their abusive, undemocratic governance.

Democratizing the Global Fight Against Corruption: The impact of the Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounty on the FCPA
Mark V. Vlasic and Peter Atlee
After briefly describing the state of global corruption and the whistleblower provisions in the recently passed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, this Article explains how adding whistleblower incentives solves the collective action problem and alters the balance of the public choice theory. It argues that through this legislation, the United States has provided a model legal framework for expanding state resources in the fight against global corruption by solving the collective action problem and incentivizing individual participation in a realm that has traditionally been the exclusive purview of state actors.

The Business Case For Sustainable Finance: Beyond Public Relations, Ethics, and Philanthropy
Iveta Cherneva
In the world of finance, environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors until recently have been only present in the soft domains of public relations, ethics and philanthropy. Existing literature focuses on responsible and ethical investment and on why finance should contribute to environmental governance and societal needs. Very little academic literature is dedicated to why sustainable finance makes sense commercially. A systematically presented business case is largely missing. There is need for sector-specific, topic-specific and region-specific perspectives that build the business case for sustainable finance. The post-crisis period marked by reflection and analysis of “what went wrong” offers an unprecedented opportunity for its articulation. The questions at hand are: what are the specific intersections of private capital interest and public interest, and what are the commercial incentives from the finance industry’s point of view that underpin these intersections? The goal is a discussion of the genuine business arguments for sustainable finance, rather than an articulation of what the public needs from the finance industry.

Business and the Global Learning Crisis: Principles for Sustainable Engagement
Justin W. van Fleet, Ph.D
Unlike other areas such as global health, private sector engagement in education in the developing world has been largely inefficient and unimpactful. How can business play a more constructive and productive role in supporting global education among marginalized communities?  This article attempts to address this criticial issue. It highlights the main flaws that have stymied business engagement in the education sector over the past decade and outlines the core principles for a carving out a long-term, sustainable role for the private sector.

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