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Investigating the Effects of Armed Conflicts on Financial Resource Mobilisation among Non-Governmental Organisations in Burkina Faso

May 22, 2024

The interwoven, yet complex relationship between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the sociopolitical context in which they operate has long been a subject of inquiry. How does the sociopolitical context influence the emergence of CSOs and the thematic areas in which they operate? In what ways do CSOs influence social and political issues? And how do donors influence or are influenced by CSOs in countries where the socio-political context is constantly mutating? Such intricate questions capture the purpose of this research endeavour which seeks to investigate the effect of armed conflicts, as an evolving context, on resource mobilisation among civil society organisations, particularly NGOs in Burkina Faso.

Back in Stock? The State of Russia's Defense Industry after Two Years of the War

April 23, 2024

This report examines Russia's evolving defense industrial capabilities and limitations during the second year of the Russia-Ukraine war and analyzes how these changes have affected and will continue to affect battlefield outcomes in Ukraine. The report starts with an overview of Russia's domestic arms production efforts throughout 2023, followed by a detailed examination of key Russian weapons systems (such as tanks, artillery, drones, missiles, and electronic warfare systems) and their changing roles on the battlefield. The report then analyzes Russia's general procurement dynamics and identifies the imported components and weapons categories that Russia's defense industry has particularly relied on in the second year of the war.

The Institute of International Education: From Prima Donna Idealism to Parastatal Behemoth and Neoliberal Broker (1919–2003)

March 14, 2024

The Institute of International Education (IIE) administers the most prestigious awards for international education such as the Fulbright awards. IIE has dominated international education from 1919 to the present as an intermediary between states and private organizations. The Institute's combination of private administration and capital with the brand of the US government has characterized the shift from massive public spending and bold liberal internationalism in the postwar era to the neoliberalism of the late-twentieth century. In my dissertation, I argue that Americans came to rely on international students as proxies to end global conflicts, fortify the United States' geopolitical standing, advance capitalist economic development in the Global South, and keep US colleges financially afloat. The Carnegie Endowment and Rockefeller Foundation sponsored IIE to be the vanguard of international educational exchanges in the early twentieth century. After World War II, with the federal government and the Ford Foundation as new IIE partners, Carnegie and Rockefeller became wary of how this unchecked growth and IIE's administrative weakness would threaten the core missions of international liberalism. The internal documents available at the Rockefeller Archive Center from IIE, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and the Ford Foundation bely the optimism of IIE's published materials. The reports of students also depict the United States as a country aspiring to lead the postwar world but struggling with racial discrimination and a shifting national identity. 

Listening to Each Other? – Opportunities and Challenges in Music Exchanges between the United States and the People’s Republic of China in the Late Twentieth Century

March 4, 2024

Cultural exchanges between the United States and the People's Republic of China were formalized in the 1970s. With the ever-increasing interest in understanding each other's culture, American and Chinese governments and cultural institutions organized exchange trips in different fields. Music was among the first professions that was used to establish rapport. This essay introduces some of the early efforts to facilitate the musical exchanges, including by the Asian Cultural Program of the JDR 3rd Fund and the Center for United-States Arts Exchange founded by Chou Wen-Chung. It highlights how the American non-profit sector shaped the cultural dialogue through grantmaking from the 1970s to the 1990s. Despite the legacy of fostering interests in learning the cultural differences between the two countries, archival materials show a Euro-American-centric sentiment by expecting Chinese visitors to bring American knowledge back to their home, and that Americans have the expertise and knowledge to assist Asians to better understand their own cultural heritage. With mostly white Americans in control of the visitors they could bring in, who tended to be talented performers and artists of ancient or traditional art forms, they avoided more politicized contemporary works and discourses. Chinese immigrants in America were also limited in terms of their ability to participate in these cultural exchanges. Such a narrow approach to cultural exchange also limited Americans' understanding of China (and Asia, at-large) in the contemporary context.

Palestinian Girls Resistance: Towards Our Liberation

March 1, 2024

Palestinian Girls Resistance: Towards Our Liberation is a publication curated with the experiences, wisdom, pain, dreams, and power of six Palestinian activists fighting against the occupation and systems of oppression while pushing towards liberation. Their stories were originally collected in 2019 as a part of the Stories of Girls' Resistance, a global feminist storytelling initiative dedicated to shifting narratives by documenting a true recount of history grounded in the role of girls' resistance across social movements and geographies.

Transatlantic China Policy: In Search of an Endgame

February 22, 2024

While China policy has changed markedly on both sides of the Atlantic in the past decade, transatlantic cooperation on China remains limited in extent and impact, ad hoc and reactive. Yet enhanced pooling of efforts and more systematic cooperation promises increased policy effectiveness. This paper investigates the reasons for this limited cooperation on China in three separate but related domains: economics; security; and the multilateral system and global norms. It identifies where there is a need for better mutual understanding of divergent positions, and where and through what mechanisms cooperation might be strengthened.

Can Ukraine Transform Post-Crisis Property Compensation and Reconstruction? Recommendations for the Diia Platform and eRecovery Program

February 7, 2024

The potential for Ukraine's eRecovery program to help transform post-crisis property compensation and restitution globally is hard to overstate. The program allows Ukrainians whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by Russian aggression to apply for and receive compensation through the Ukrainian government's Diia e-government platform. This innovation marks the first-ever example of a compensation process for damaged or destroyed property that is implemented digitally, at scale, while hostilities are ongoing. If managed effectively, it could significantly decrease the time and costs of getting displaced persons back into their homes, while increasing the transparency and security of the property return process. The program faces significant but addressable challenges, including legal ambiguities, technical limitations, and practical issues in implementation. The eRecovery program is a dynamic case study of government innovation that highlights the complexities and opportunities in digital governance for crisis recovery. It also suggests a need for active refinement to ensure effectiveness and inclusivity in addressing widespread displacement and property damage.The efficiency and fairness with which a country can restore property rights to victims of conflict plays a decisive role in that country's post-crisis recovery and trajectory toward stability. The success and potential replication of Ukraine's approach could highlight the transformative power of digital public infrastructure to strengthen crisis management and recovery efforts while limiting the potential for corruption. The current moment presents a significant and time-sensitive opportunity to help shape the eRecovery program to better serve the needs of all Ukrainians. Included in this report are recommendations designed for Ukrainian government administrators and international partners supporting humanitarian and recovery efforts. Recommendations fall broadly into two categories: some are specific to interoperability and the Diia platform, and others encompass recommendations to foster an effective, fair, and trusted recovery program.

Nelson Rockefeller’s Report and Richard Nixon’s Foreign Policy towards Latin America

October 13, 2023

This research paper is composed of four parts. The first one presents Nelson Rockefeller's mission to Latin America in 1969 and details his official report to President Richard Nixon. In the second part, I highlight the main aspects of the new foreign policy designed by the Nixon administration toward Latin America. The third part points out several primary sources related to the mission that could help academics improve their current understanding of the Latin American Cold War. Lastly, the final section of this paper evaluates the results of this new policy.

The Ideology of Putinism: Is It Sustainable?

October 2, 2023

Does Vladimir Putin have an ideology? The authors of this report argue that he does. Borrowing heavily from czarist and Soviet themes, as well as other intellectual sources like the twentieth-century radical right, Putinism elevates an idea of imperial-nationalist statism amplified by Russian greatness, exceptionalism, and historical struggle against the West. Statism, a key pillar of Putin's ideology, includes deference to a strong, stable state, allowing Russians to be Russians; such statism is based on exceptionalism and traditional values. Another pillar is anti-Westernism, which, when combined with Russian exceptionalism, promotes a messianic notion of Russia as a great power and civilization state, guarding a Russo-centric polyculturalism, traditional family and gender roles, and guarding against materialism and individualism. That this ideology is not spelled out in philosophical texts but most often absorbed through signs, symbols, and popular culture makes it both malleable and easily digestible for less-educated people. Will this ideology help keep Putin in power? This report suggests that it could. Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine and its radical break with the West have prompted the regime to mount even more sustainable ideology-building effort. It is hard to see where challenges to the Putinist ideology could emerge in Russia. Societal resistance to Kremlin propaganda has remained marginal, even during more liberal periods. An alternative pro-Western identity able to challenge the Kremlin's propaganda has failed to emerge and is less likely following the massive exodus of Russian liberals as a result of the Ukraine war. The flexibility of Putin's ideology machine and the simplicity of the narratives it spreads suggest that Putinism is not going anywhere soon and may become further entrenched in the Russian social sphere. 

American Philanthropy and Russian, Slavic, and Eurasian Studies in the United States, 1920–1940s

August 25, 2023

The unprecedented growth of Russian/Slavic/Eurasian area studies programs in North America during the Cold War was a direct consequence of massive government support, including from military and intelligence agencies, which turned these programs into some of the most influential and sustained areas of research activity in the English-speaking world. The boom in Russian/Eurasian area studies underscored the paucity and inadequacy of the previous scholarship, which was primarily represented by a small number of individual researchers, driven by their own idiosyncratic interests and agendas. If prior to the Second World War, the more systematic studies of the Eurasian space, produced in Germany, Austria-Hungary and France, enjoyed steady government support, the production of knowledge about Eurasia in the United States had to rely on funding from selected universities and private benefactors who came predominantly from the world of industry, finance, and commerce.

Global Catastrophic Nuclear Risk: A Guide for Philanthropists

July 20, 2023

Nuclear weapons are a global catastrophic risk; a nuclear war could kill untold millions, inflict horrific suffering on survivors, and derail human civilization as we know it. This report forms a guide for philanthropists who seek to mitigate this risk and maximize the counterfactual impact of their charitable donations. Specifically, the report seeks to guide funders entering this field in the wake of several challenges: the apparent collapse of post-Cold War arms control, the second year of the Russo-Ukrainian War, rising U.S.-China tensions, and a large funding shortfall for nuclear security. It mirrors many of the themes of Founders Pledge's Guide to the Changing Landscape of High-Impact Climate Philanthropy, and is indebted to the insights in that document. The report's analysis has four steps:Understanding key features of the landscape of nuclear philanthropy, with special attention to recent funding shortfalls. Analyzing the structure of the problem, emphasizing the super-linearity of expected costs; not all nuclear wars are equal, and bigger nuclear wars could be disproportionately more damaging than smaller nuclear wars for both current generations and the long-term future. Sketching guiding principles for nuclear philanthropy based on these ideas:Prioritize minimizing expected global war damage;Prioritize neglected strategies;Multiply impact by shaping great power behavior;Exercise leverage via policy advocacy;Pursue a strategy of "robust diversification."       4. Exploring practical implications of these principles. The section briefly describes               concrete projects that philanthropists can support. A conclusion enumerates key               uncertainties and sketches a path forward for philanthropists.

Majority in US Want to Learn More about Nuclear Policy

July 19, 2023

Several survey research organizations have investigated American public tolerance toward the US use of nuclear weapons and the sense of threat from nuclear proliferation but fewer have focused on how much Americans actually know—and whether they want to learn more—about nuclear weapons. To help fill that void, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Carnegie Corporation of New York teamed up to conduct a benchmark study that gauges American awareness and interest in learning more about US nuclear policy, public confidence in nuclear deterrence, and trusted public sources of information about US nuclear policy.