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Russians’ Growing Appetite for Change

January 30, 2020

In the past two years, the Russian public's appetite for change has increased considerably. A small but growing group of Russians blame President Vladimir Putin for the country's problems, and his capacity to deliver change is now being questioned. Yet the demands for change are taking very different forms, not only in open protests but also through latent discontent, and the public has not identified a specific alternative leader as a potential agent of change.In July 2019, the Carnegie Moscow Center and the Levada Center, Russia's main independent polling agency, conducted a third poll in two years asking 1,600 Russians about their readiness for change. The results show some striking new trends. A total of 59 percent of respondents—17 percent more than two years before—said that the country needed "decisive comprehensive change" (see Figure 1). The Russian publication of this research in November 2019 attracted a lot of attention from the media and political class. An answer came in January 2020 in a form of constitutional changes and the resignation of the government. In his annual address on January 15, Vladimir Putin said: "Our society is clearly calling for change. People want development. . . . The pace of change must be expedited every year and produce tangible results in attaining worthy living standards that would be clearly perceived by the people. And, I repeat, they must be actively involved in this process."

The Closing Space Challenge: How Are Funders Responding?

November 1, 2015

As restrictions on foreign funding for civil society continue to multiply around the world, Western public and private funders committed to supporting civil society development are diversifying and deepening their responses. Yet, as a result of continued internal divisions in outlook and approach, the international aid community is still struggling to define broader, collective approaches that match the depth and breadth of the problem. This paper seeks to answer the question: how is the assistance community responding to what a growing array of aid practitioners now see as a major threat to Western support for civil society development in many parts of the world?  It looks at how Western funders are responding, examining changes they are making in how they operate and what they do to support civil society abroad, as well as actions they are taking to try to limit specific closing space measures.

Know Your Oil: Creating A Global Oil-Climate Index

March 11, 2015

Oil is changing. Conventional oil resources are dwindling as tight oil, oil sands, heavy oils, and others emerge. Technological advances mean that these unconventional hydrocarbon deposits in once-unreachable areas are now viable resources. Meanwhile, scientific evidence is mounting that climate change is occurring, but the climate impacts of these new oils are not well understood. The Carnegie Endowment's Energy and Climate Program, Stanford University, and the University of Calgary have developed a first-of-itskind Oil-Climate Index (OCI) to compare these resources.The Oil-Climate Index (OCI) is a metric that takes into account the total life-cycle Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of individual oils -- from upstream extraction to midstream refining to downstream end use. It offers a powerful, yet user-friendly, tool that allows investors, policymakers, industry, the public, and other stakeholders to compare crudes and assess their climate consequences both before development decisions are made as well as once operations are in progress. The Oil-Climate Index will also inform oil and climate policy making.

Murky Waters: Naval Nuclear Dynamics in the Indian Ocean

March 9, 2015

This study seeks to raise awareness on an issue that is destined to become of great importance, not only to those who closely follow security issues in South Asia, but also to all those with an interest in the fascinating -- and often troubling -- intersections of naval and nuclear strategy. In particular, it seeks to explore how naval nuclear interactions might lead to friction, misperception, and escalation -- and what can be done to prevent or forestall such developments. The report is divided into three main sections. The first section engages in a granular analysis of South Asia's current naval nuclear developments, describing the motivations and aspirations of both actors, as well as the current limitations to these same ambitions. The report then draws on the history of naval nuclear operations during the Cold War before detailing how some of the debates and discussions held during that rich and variegated period in history could potentially apply to contemporary South Asia. Notwithstanding the reflexive skepticism of many in New Delhi and Islamabad, the intellectual contortions of previous generations of nuclear strategists hold an immense value in terms of thinking more deeply about issues as complex as conventional operations under a nuclear shadow, naval nuclear signaling, and escalation control. The third and final section of the report explores the clouded future of naval nuclear dynamics in the Indian Ocean. Beijing might come to play a more important role, both as an enabler for Pakistani naval nuclearization and as a naval nuclear actor in its own right. Finally, ongoing technological developments in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) might have a sizable impact on sea-based deterrence and naval crisis stability in the region.

Improving Development Aid Design and Evaluation: Plan for Sailboats, Not Trains

February 23, 2015

The reality is that most development involves politics in some way. Sometimes development projects engage in bureaucratic or small-scale politics, such as deciding where to place a village well -- near the chief 's home, where he has kindly donated land but could then control use, or near the poorer people of the village. This is not the level of politics under discussion.Instead, this report is concerned with larger-scale political and policy engagement. It applies to the subset of the development world that is engaged in democratization, a community that it has long been clear is involved in politics. But it also has a broader ambit. The development community has more recently become involved in governance, anticorruption, transparency, and rule of law programs. These efforts universally affect laws and policies, and nearly all face opposition -- and thus all are political. Finally, many, perhaps most, large-scale socioeconomic development programs also require political engagement. Politics is the process of making decisions about the rules that govern a society and the use of public resources. These decisions are never purely technical. Even if the end goal is not to affect a regime or a political party -- but simply to build a road, help girls get education, or reduce child mortality -- interventions that affect how public resources are produced, who gets those resources, who makes allocation decisions, and what rules govern relations between those who make decisions and those who don't are all political interventions.This report concerns program design and evaluation for all three types of engagement: in other words, most of development work. As the fight over the 2015 Millennium Development Goals illustrates, the decisions that funding agencies make about what to measure can determine their activities and their program designs. It's important to measure the right things in order to incentivize programming that works.

Brazil's Nuclear Kaleidoscope: An Evolving Identity

November 21, 2014

There is no shortage of international commentary on Brazil's nuclear policy, especially its advanced nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear submarine program. But remarkably little attention is paid to Brazilian voices on these issues. Brazilians paint a picture of an emerging power seeking nuclear independence and searching for its role in the global order. The aim here is to present these lesser-known Brazilian perspectives as accurately as an outsider can feasibly do. To help fill the void, the author had numerous conversations over two years with Brazilian policy experts, academics, former and current officials, and representatives of the nuclear industry. Unless otherwise noted, this report draws on personal interviews conducted in Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Campinas, and Washington, DC, in 2012 -- 2013. Critical analysis and external voices provide counterarguments or highlight notable gaps in perceptions between Brazilian and external viewpoints, but by and large the objective is to relay Brazilian views on the state of its nuclear program.

Closing Space: Democracy and Human Rights Support Under Fire

January 1, 2014

After seeing its reach increase for decades, international support for democracy and human rights faces a serious challenge: more and more governments are erecting legal and logistical barriers to democracy and rights programs, publicly vilifying international aid groups and their local partners, and harassing such groups or expelling them altogether. Despite the significant implications of the pushback, the roots and full scope of the phenomenon remain poorly understood and responses to it are often weak. This report examines the closing space challenge to international support for democracy and rights.

Toward a Euro-Atlantic Security Community

February 3, 2012

Proposes developing a community with a shared strategy to resolve disputes by diplomatic, legal, or other nonviolent means as a way to ensure military, human, and economic security. Also calls for demilitarizing U.S.-NATO-Russian relations.

Nuclear Security Spending: Assessing Costs, Examining Priorities

January 13, 2009

Assesses spending on nuclear forces and operational support, deferred environmental and health costs, missile defense, nuclear threat reduction, and nuclear incident management. Recommendations include comprehensive accounting and proactive strategies.

China's Economic Fluctuations and Their Implications for Its Rural Economy

May 1, 2007

Finds that China's rapid growth over the past quarter century has disadvantaged the rural economy and suggests a greater consideration of the rural implications of standard macroeconomic policy making.

WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications

January 1, 2004

Examines what the intelligence community understood about Iraq's WMD programs before the 2003 war in Iraq. Outlines policy reforms designed to improve assessments, deter transfer of WMD to terrorists, and avoid politicization of the intelligence process.