Project on Middle East Democracy
The POMED Wire Archives
New POMED Policy Brief: Rethinking Development Assistance in the Middle East
February 23rd, 2011 by Alec
In the latest POMED policy brief, CIPE Executive Director John Sullivan explores the impact of the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) in the wake of the dramatic events in the Middle East.
for the full text, and click here
to sign up to receive future briefs via email.
The QDDR highlights the need for development assistance that focuses on institutional reforms. Recent unrest in the Middle East makes it clear that, given the rising number of youth and the growing importance of the middle class, the region’s rulers must move beyond superficial reforms to build inclusive political and economic systems. Sullivan argues that the United States must support efforts to build democracies that deliver by addressing the underlying structures and practices within both governments and economies. U.S. development assistance should encourage the simplification of laws and regulations to reduce economic informality and the establishment of transparent institutions to address the political roots of corruption. The large number of unemployed youth in the region also requires governments, with U.S. support, to loosen labor market regulations and to reform the education system so that the private sector can become a strong alternative for young graduates seeking jobs.
POMED Report Now Available in Arabic
May 19th, 2010 by Josh
One month ago, POMED released its annual report
on the Obama administration’s FY 2011 federal budget request for democracy, governance, and human rights in the Middle East. Today, as part of our efforts to expand access to POMED’s publications, we held an event in Cairo to launch an Arabic version of the report.
The full Arabic report is now available on our website to download as a pdf.
POMED Notes: “FY2011 Appropriations and Middle East Democracy”
April 19th, 2010 by Josh
The Project on Middle East Democracy and the Heinrich Böll Foundation co-hosted an event on Capitol Hill to mark the release of a new publication, The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011: Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights in the Middle East. What are the most significant changes in these portions of the budget request, as compared with the appropriations made in previous years? How does the budget impact U.S. efforts to support democracy in the Middle East and North Africa? To answer these questions, Michele Dunne, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, moderated a discussion among three panelists: Stephen McInerney, POMED’s Director of Advocacy and author of the just-released report; Geneive Abdo, fellow and Iran analyst at The Century Foundation; and Scott Carpenter, Keston Family Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
for POMED’s notes in PDF, or continue reading below the fold.
Posted in DC Event Notes, Democracy Promotion, Diplomacy, Egypt, Elections, Foreign Aid, Freedom, Human Rights, Iran, Iraq, Military, NGOs, Palestine, Political Parties, Publications, Reform, Reports, Technology, US foreign policy | 2 Comments »
POMED Report: “Strategies for Engaging Political Islam”
January 29th, 2010 by Josh
Political Islam is the single most active political force in the Middle East today. To offer insights into this critical issue, the Project on Middle East Democracy partnered with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
to bring together scholars and experts from the Middle East, the United States, and Europe. Moderated by Nathan Brown, Director of George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies, guests discussed the topic “Strategies for Engaging Political Islam: A Middle East, U.S. and EU ‘Trialogue.’” Panelists included Ruheil Gharaibeh, Deputy Secretary-General of Jordan’s IAF; Mona Yacoubian
, Special Adviser to the Muslim World Initiative at the United States Institute of Peace; Zoé Nautré
, Visiting Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations; and Shadi Hamid
, former research director and current vice-chair of POMED’s Board of Directors, and also currently the Deputy Director of the Brookings Doha Center.
To read the full report, which draws upon the participants’ observations and recommendations, click here
. Otherwise, continue reading below the fold.
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Diplomacy, Elections, Foreign Aid, Freedom, Islam and Democracy, Islamist movements, Multilateralism, Muslim Brotherhood, Political Islam, Reform, Reports, US foreign policy | Comment »
Egypt: Is Obama Prioritizing Democratic Reforms?
January 4th, 2010 by Josh
This morning, the Washington Posteditorialized
that President Obama and his foreign policy team lack a firm commitment toward democratic reforms in Egypt. The paper singled out comments by U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey
and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to argue that the Obama Administration, unlike its predecessor, “appears to have put democracy promotion in the region on a back burner.” The Post further laments the administration’s foreign aid budget priorities, noting that “funding for democracy programs in Egypt has been cut by 60 percent,” as detailed in POMED’s July report, The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2010
Mubarak Comes to Washington
August 17th, 2009 by Blake
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
arrived in the U.S. on Saturday for his first visit in six years. Today, Mubarak will meet
with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
. Mubarak’s meeting with President Obama tomorrow is set to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Sudan, regional security and the Iranian nuclear program, leaving little space for discussion of human rights and democracy, reports
In the Washington Post
today, Michele Dunne writes that the uptick in cooperation between Cairo and Washington should be viewed in a larger context than collaboration aimed at solving the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The succession issue in Egypt, as well as the likelihood of unfair parliamentary elections next year, signals that Egypt is on the verge of change.
Citing POMED’s recent analysis that reports reduced funding for democracy-promotion in Egypt, Dunne writes that in this “climate of renewed goodwill” between the U.S. and Egypt, Obama should seize the opportunity to emphasize a pro-democracy and human rights message. Importantly, she writes that a convergence of pertinent mutual interests–such as curbing Hamas’ power as well as Iranian nuclear ambitions–will reinforce cooperation. In other words, she contends that promoting democracy and increased political pluralism in Egypt will not cause Mubarak to shy away from cooperation on the Palestinian-Israeli front, which is a priority issue for the Obama administration.
Posted in Democracy Promotion, Diplomacy, Egypt, Elections, Foreign Aid, Hamas, Human Rights, Israel, POMED, Palestine, Reports, US foreign policy | 1 Comment »
POMED Report in the Spotlight
August 17th, 2009 by Blake
at Politico writes
about POMED’s recent report
that analyzes the 2010 foreign aid budget in the lens of democracy promotion. Citing President Obama’s budget cuts for democracy and civil society promotion for allies Egypt and Jordan, Smith highlights some potential contradictions in new U.S. policy about Middle East democracy promotion:
“The return to ‘realism’ is an element of Obama’s agenda that has rankled with some of his allies on the left, and though the administration doesn’t advertise a willingness to compromise on human rights and democracy in exchange for friendlier relations with Egypt’s and Jordan’s government, it’s a logical connection that the budget request seems to set out in black and white.”
POMED’s Budget Analysis Hits the Airwaves
August 11th, 2009 by Blake
at Voice of America writes about POMED’s newest report
, The Federal Budget and Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2010: Democracy, Governance and Human Rights in the Middle East
to access the report). Elshinawi reports that the POMED analysis provides insight into the Obama administration’s plans for promoting democracy in the Middle East, where funding for democracy programs has been increased overall.
New POMED Report on Egypt
May 19th, 2009 by Eoghan
Be sure to check out POMED’s new policy paper
on how the U.S. and its European allies can better promote democratic reform and human rights in Egypt. Written by Greg Aftandilian, “Looking Forward: An Integrated Strategy for Supporting Democracy and Human Rights in Egypt” is being released as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
is due to visit the White House on May 26 and President Barack Obama
will be delivering a major address on relations with the Muslim world on June 4.
Aftandilian will be discussing the main conclusions of the paper tomorrow afternoon with Tom Malinowski
of Human Rights Watch, Edward Walker, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and former Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, and Neil Hicks, International Policy Advisor for Human Rights First. The event will be held at the U.S. Capitol from 2:00-3:30. For details, click here
. To RSVP, email: email@example.com
POMED Event this Wednesday
May 18th, 2009 by Cecile
Come join us for a very timely discussion of strategies for supporting democracy and human rights in Egypt. The upcoming visits by President Mubarak to Washington and President Obama to Cairo will be watched closely for signals as to the place of democracy and human rights in a changing U.S.-Egypt relationship. On Wednesday afternoon, POMED will be hosting an event on Capitol Hill marking the release of a new paper by Greg Aftandilian - Looking Forward: An Integrated Approach to Supporting Democracy and Human Rights in Egypt. Joining him for the discussion will be Neil Hicks, International Policy Advisor for Human Rights First; Tom Malinowski, Washington Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch; and Ambassador Edward S. Walker, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
Three New POMED Papers Released
May 28th, 2008 by Amanda
The Project on Middle East Democracy has recently released its analysis of the FY 2009 budget
by POMED Advocacy Director, Stephen McInerney
, as well as two papers by POMED’s Director of Dialogue Programs, David DeBartolo
, which outline the perceptions of U.S. democracy promotion
efforts in the Middle East.
Analysis of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill
December 21st, 2007 by Celest
POMED has prepared a report that compares the presidential budget, House, Senate and final omnibus versions of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
for Fiscal Year 2008, H.R. 2764
. The original House version
of the bill passed on June 22, 2007, and a Senate version
then passed on September 6, 2007. As year-end efforts to agree on FY08 funding came to a head in late fall, the bill was used as the vehicle for an omnibus appropriations package, which cleared the House on December 17th and Senate on December 18th and was cleared to go to the White House on December 19th. On Friday, December 21, 2007, the President signed a stopgap measure continuing federal funding through December 31, giving him an additional ten days to review the omnibus bill before signing it.
looks at how all the versions compare for funding to specific Middle Eastern countries and for general democracy promotion programs.
Posted in Afghanistan, Congress, Democracy Promotion, Egypt, Foreign Aid, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Reports, US foreign policy | Comment »
U.S. Government-Related Resources
The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of POMED as an organization