Archives for 2009

Legislative Power in Emerging African Democracies

Observers of African politics recognize that democratization in a number of African states is indeed occurring—characterized by several reasonably free and competitive elections, peaceful transfers of power, an environment of free speech, an expanding civil society. The question remains, however, as to how successful these burgeoning democracies will be an...    read more 

Afghanistan: Transition Under Threat

In recent years, there have been numerous highly-charged political debates in Canada over whether or not to continue involvement in post-9/11 U.S., NATO, United Nations, and bilateral Canadian missions. In the initial aftermath of al-Qaeda’s 2001 terror attacks against the U.S., there was a consensus in Canada, like in the U.S., on removing the Taliban and...    read more 

Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War

In the aftermath of Al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and other terrorist strikes motivated by radical Islam against U.S. interests and allies, the American military has actively engaged in operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and against al-Qaeda and their followers throughout the world. Moorthy Muthuswamy argues that America faces a...    read more 

A New Scramble for Africa?: Imperialism, Investment and Development

There is an ongoing debate about the extent to which the recent era of greater growth and investment in Africa represents the inauguration of a new and significant phase in the continent’s historical trajectory. The degree to which this intense interest from outside the continent is altering African nations and citizens is a crucial aspect of this debate. ...    read more 

Private Sector, Public Wars: Contractors in Combat- Afghanistan, Iraq, and Future Conflict

An increasing reliance upon private contracting for support in the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan has drawn considerable attention in the post-9/11 world. While much of the contemporary analysis brings a critical eye to scandals surrounding misdeeds committed by military contractors, it adds little to debate over whether the U.S. policy is a proper appr...    read more 

Trade Unions and the Coming of Democracy in Africa

A remarkable wave of political liberalization swept the African continent in the 1990’s—toppling authoritarian and single-party systems dominant since independence in the 1960’s and establishing more democratic systems of governance. This wave’s potency was amplified due to a confluence of internal and external forces. Within Africa, frustration at g...    read more 

What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism

The question of why some people are drawn to terrorism has long bedeviled researchers. Though some commentators, such as Marc Sageman, have approached this question using the scientific method, far too many analyses of the “root causes” of terror are based on simple intuition or bow to popular conceptions. One of the most pervasive popular conceptions—...    read more 

The Globalization of Martyrdom: Al Qaeda, Salafi Jihad, and the Diffusion of Suicide Attacks

By far the most comprehensive work on suicide attacks to date, Assaf Moghadam’sThe Globalization of Martyrdom provides a superb overview of the modus operandi and the causes behind suicide terrorism’s rapid increase in recent years. Incorporating over a decade’s worth of research, Moghadam tackles the difficult task of presenting a new and compelling a...    read more 

The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global (Second Edition)

The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global (Second Edition), Fawaz A. Gerges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 400 pp. Reviewed by Mark Silinsky, Ph.D. Candidate in International Development at Tulane University The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global by Fawaz Gerges, is a book that begins with the promise of fresh analysis on the origins and [&hellip...    read more 

Iran and the Rise of its Neoconservatives: The Politics of Tehran’s Silent Revolution

The post-election turmoil in Iran cannot be properly understood without an appreciation of the current political climate in the country, and particularly of the split in the conservative factions of the Iranian political spectrum. Iran and the Rise of its Neoconservatives seeks to provide a framework for this by detailing the ascent of a new wave of conserv...    read more