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Regional artists can play a positive role in shaping public debate and supporting democratic transition in the Middle East. This report explores the challenges artists have faced since the Arab uprisings, U. S. government programs to support arts in the region, and the wide array of nongovernmental activities to engage Arab artists, offering recommendations to improve support for these artists.
Feature stories discuss the promotion of tolerance and critical thinking in the Arab world through children's media, the challenges faced by the United States in an era of fiscal austerity, and promising models for measuring teacher performance. Two other stories highlight the National Science Foundation's role in promoting research in the United States and how RAND is helping several countries to foster technological innovation.
Daunting challenges lie ahead for Arab countries where revolutions have upended longstanding authoritarian regimes. This monograph aims to help policymakers understand the challenges ahead, form well-founded expectations, shape diplomatic approaches, and take practical steps to foster positive change.
The Internet is a new battleground between governments that censor online content and those who advocate freedom for all to browse, post, and share information online. This report examines how Internet freedom may transform state-society relations in nondemocratic regimes, using case studies of China, Egypt, Russia, and Syria, and also draws parallels between Internet freedom and Radio Free Europe programs during the Cold War.
As Iran's nuclear program evolves, U.S. decisionmakers will confront a series of critical policy choices involving complex considerations and policy trade-offs. These policy choices could involve dissuading Iran from developing nuclear weapons; deterring Iran from using its nuclear weapons, if it were to acquire them; and reassuring U.S. regional partners. The U.S. Air Force will need to prepare to carry out whatever policies are chosen.
A year after Qaddafi's death, the light-footprint approach adopted for Libya's postwar transition is facing its most serious test. Security, the political transition, and economic development all present challenges. But if Libya's transitional authorities and the international community handle this issue set adroitly, Libya could still emerge as a positive force for democratic stability in North Africa and a valuable partner against al-Qaeda.
Since the 2011 revolution in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as a key political player. Although individuals under the age of 35 make up a large share of the membership, the group's strict hierarchy has led to disaffection among its youth. These members merit attention not only as a challenge to the Brotherhood's organizational cohesion, but as a potential conduit for expanding U. S. engagement with the group.
Less than two years since the beginning of the uprising in Syria, localized protests have morphed into full-blown civil conflict, and external actors have become involved as well. RAND conducted an analytic exercise to generate a greater understanding of the parties and issues in play, including the actors, their motivations, and potential impact of their activities.
As a means of helping U.S. policymakers and Middle East watchers better understand voting patterns in Egypt since the 2011 revolution, RAND researchers identified regional voting trends, where Islamist parties run strongest, and where non-Islamists are most competitive. Egypt appears headed toward a much more competitive political environment in which Islamists will be increasingly challenged to maintain their electoral edge.
As U.S. forces withdraw from Iraq, significant changes can be expected throughout al-Anbar Province in security, political, economic, and even cultural relationships. RAND convened a series of three one-day workshops at which participants identified five relatively distinct futures, or scenarios, for al-Anbar that provide plausible but alternative trajectories for the province between early 2009 and the end of 2011.
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